CHILDREN OF DARA SHIKOH
JAHANZEB BANU BEGUM
She loved and died for son of Aurangzeb Alamgeer
Jahanzeb Bano (Jani) daughter
Jahanzeb Bano was also known as Jani Begum, and after the issues of the war of succession, when Dara Shikoh was deposed, she was adopted as a daughter by her aunt Jahan Ara Begum. Jahanzeb Bano had a charming personality, and enamoured everyone. Aurangzeb Alamgeer liked her so much that he proposed the hand of his favourite son Muhammed Azam for her and the marriage was celebrated with great pomp. She used to accompany her husband everywhere and used to be with him even in the battlefield. She gave a birth to a son, and Aurangzeb Alamgeer himself named him ‘Bidar-Bakht’, along with valuable presents. And all his life Bidar-Bakht remained the favourite grandson of Aurangzeb Alamgeer.
Prince Muhammed Azam did become an Emperor on 14th March, 1707 AD, but Jahanzeb Bano daughter of Dara Shikoh died on 13th March, 1705 AD due to breast cancer. She could have been treated as a French lady surgeon was present to do the same, but she refused to let someone who took wine to mess up with the private parts of her body. She preferred death over being shamed by a foreign lady. Her life is a record of vicissitudes of the times.
If one looks dispassionately at the whole affair, one is kept wondering at the way of the Mughals. It is hard to understand them. But one thing is clear. These children of Dara Shikoh held their father in guilt, and the biggest guilt was his apostasy from Islam itself. But that is another story for another time.