DIGGING UP THE PAST OF MUGHALS AND GETTING READY FOR SURPRISES – SUPRIYA GANDHI QUEST TO OPEN FESTERING WOUNDS OF DARA SHUKOH
My contact with Dara Shukoh goes back generations (my ancestors worked for him), and there is no doubt that as literally King of Lahore, he was responsible for much aesthetic developments. Being son of extremely conscious aesthetic parents, it was to be expected and he proves that with his choices. But research falls into favoured trap. Inevitably sitting outside in a world which dictates choices, you end up with one kind of view. We collected lots of resource materials on Dara Shukoh. And of course researchers like Supriya Gandhi have access to materials, we cannot even fathom with our meager resources. The money comes out of our own pocket. No institution waves off charges which researchers here cannot even afford. There are two famous published books on Dara Shukoh, but there have been publications in Pakistan too. Caravan Book House took out a book on Dara Shukoh in English. United Publishers took out an Urdu book on the fight between two ideologies. And then of course the Diwan was discovered here, published and made famous. But the most relevant book was the printing of the Jaipur newsletters, which were so important and published in Karachi in 1951 by Yusuf Ali Khan, former librarian of Jaipur Sate Records. We have a copy of the rare book and although it is supposed to be Aurangzeb’s life, it is full of references to Dara Shukoh. A blog is not meant to accommodate all information and we give two links below for anyone to read same from our own blog. The links are:
We took out a book on Dara Shukoh and we sent a copy to Supriya Gandhi by courier, well before her own publication. And when she called here with some friends, we gave them all additional copies of same. It has materials which are nowhere else. It was Supriya’s desire to see some of the research material in real terms. There is a Western disdain for independent research, and the easy ability to cast doubts on resource material they do not have with them. She was at first suspicious of our holdings. I received a reply from her from Delhi and it says:
“It does indeed look like Jahanara’s own handwriting at the end, compared with MSS I have seen in London of her Munis al-arwah and some of her writing held in Aligarh. It would be fascinating to compare this text of the Munis with the published version or the British Library copy to see if there are any differences. For a study, of course one would need a full set of images, and then I could do an article. A wonderful find! Thanks for passing this along. “
Obviously we are not milk suckling babies in this harsh world. Our blood and tears are there in our passion for research. My uncle Dr Abdullah Chaghatai did his PHD on Taj Mahal from Paris in 1938. Very few references are there for researchers for this epic work. Mika Natif has pointed out the difference between the Mughals and Occidental. We knew that all the time. Our own book on Dara Shukoh is worthy of being read, with so many things of original research. And yet western scholarship disregards it. A world famous art library refused to possess it, when a number of my books were already there in their holdings. .
Why Dara Shukoh never became an Emperor? Because he did not have the ability to do so. Constant failure of administrative perception, unbridled arrogance with others, and a brain incapable of planning and dealing with situations. He was not mixing Islam with Hinduism, he was mixing anti-Quranic thoughts with other codes of life. In fact he said that the Quran cannot be understood without reading the Hindu texts. To deal with such heresy, a person like Aurangzeb was not required, the people alone sufficed. Shah Jahan’s patronage was keeping Dara alive. Once removed he was not capable of anything. A so called emperor prospective, goes on a mission to capture Kandahar for his father, with a group of narcotic magicians. Casting spells was not the job of Muslim or Mughal Generals. Their job was valour and their job was harmony with their soldiers. In his typical arrogance Dara Shukoh put distances between himself and his army. The results were obvious. What kind of strategy and what kind of IQ sees cities fall through spells? One magician regularly required boys for intercourse to caste his spell. The magician wanted that ‘if this master could be provided with a homosexual boy, three year old wine and certain other requirements, he would summon genies for help by writing secret formulas with the blood of the boy mixed with wine’, how pathetic you can get? Good riddance, otherwise today’s world would be in even greater despair.
Lobbies promote heretics as we see all around the world. For monetary benefits, two timing so called scholars often sell their souls. We have seen how actually truth gets trampled. Dara Shukoh and Aurangzeb were not merely blood brothers but representative of two different ideologies. It demonstrates that the two nation theory is not based on blood relations but refers to matters related to belief actually. Supriya Gandhi has worked very hard to write this book on Dara Shukoh. We appreciate her work, and knows that she understands all this well. We wish her well too! There is even a world of difference between her direct ancestor and the moronic tea seller of India.