Cultures do clash, and generate complexities of inferiority complexes, and to wriggle their way out, confuse other nations, by literally distorting the truth. The legend is of the travel of Sir Thomas Roe to Hindustan as the Ambassador of England. The talk is of a journal, which was actually never found and consisted of a portion, some letters here and there. Even a partial Dutch translation. A portion was published, but the full journal was not there. Imagine such an important colonial evidence could only be published in 1899, that is around 300 years after the actual travelogue. In our view it is a manipulated journal. The journal is at odd with other journals of the period. We need not comment on same here. We find actual publication of the travelogue of Edward Terry who was chaplain of Sir Thomas Roe, who visited (or wrote about) Hindustan in 1655 and 1665, reputed to be presented to the Prince of Wales in 1622, and amazing it speaks of the geography of Hindustan and devotes only a chapter to Emperor Jahangeer. Jyotsna G. Singh calls it colonial ethnography and out rightly says:
There are a few engravings in the journal. Foremost is to comment on the portraiture of Emperor Jahangeer himself. Although at first sight it looks like a Mughal subject (from some miniature), many things are wrong in it. Jahangeer’s hair style is all weird with hair going up to his neck and the crown is all wrong, alienated from the Mughal perspective. The portrayal of Jahangeer with a smelling Rose is to be borrowed from the miniature of the Turkish Sultan Muhammed, which was done by Western artists too. Look a the dagger, a stiletto with no base for the Mughals. It seems that surely Edward Terry never saw actually the Emperor and wrote about him from street gossips as it was fashionable for foreigners to do at that time.
It was with difficulty, he writes, that these ladies could be approached; they were almost inaccessible to the sight of man. “Woe to any unlucky cavalier, however exalted in rank, who, meeting the procession, was found too near, nothing could exceed the insolence of the tribes of eunuchs and footmen which he would have to encounter, and who eagerly avail themselves of such an opportunity to beat a man in the most unmerciful manner.”
In fact Francois Bernier was himself was once nearly caught in a similar situation, and narrowly escaped the cruel treatment that other riders in the imperial train had experienced. Determined, however, not to suffer himself to be beaten, and perhaps maimed, he drew his sword, and having fortunately a strong and spirited horse, was enabled to open a passage, sword in hand, through a host of assailants and to dash across a rapid stream in front of him. Stalking a Mughal lady was not without danger.
Such flabbergasting stories as Mughal princess’s lover caught, who hid himself in a cooking vessel (degh). Emperor Aurangzeb had boiling water poured in the degh and the lover died in it, without uttering a sound to save his beloved. Filthy minds, outrageous suggestions.
An objective study needs to be carried out of the activities of these Goras in Hindustan, instead of romanticizing their presence here.