What if Dara Shikoh became the Mughal emperor instead of Aurangzeb

SSDD

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
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India
Good that Dara did not become emperor.
If Dara became Empire then Marathas perhaps would not rise, but the forceful conversions Aurangzeb did would not happen, and Marathas despite becoming powerful they did not have reversion process.

In long term run, Aurangzeb's forced conversions did more harm, but I think Shivaji was ambitious, infact Aurongzeb was militarily talented which Dara was not, in such case Mughals would be defeated earlier.
 

Jinit

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,274
India
This Maratha factor is also over hyped. Lets first take a look at the real historical events that occurred in Deccan.

Marathas rose suddenly while the conflict was already going on between Mughals and Deccan sultanates. In 1663 he forced the Mughal army led by Shaista Khan to run away by making surprise attack. Next year he raided Surat and entered into direct conflict with Mughals. Raja Jai Singh of Amber was sent with a large Mughal army to fight against the Shivaji. Jai Singh besieged the fort of Purandar, which forced Shivaji to sign the treaty with Jai Singh. Jai Singh also convinced the Shivaji to rather join his side against the Deccan Sultanate as it would have been beneficial for both of them. Here's the terms of the treaty of Purandar.

-Shivaji kept twelve forts, along with an area worth an income of 100,000 (1 lakh) huns.
-Shivaji was required to help the Mughals whenever and wherever required.
-Shivaji's son Sambhaji was tasked with the command of a 5,000-strong force under the Mughals.
-If Shivaji wanted to claim the Konkan area under Vijapur's control, he would have to pay 4 million (40 lakh) huns to the Mughals.
-He had to give up his forts at Purandar, Rudramal, Kondhana, Khandagla, Lohagad, Isagad, Tung, Tikona, Rohida, Nardurga, Mahuli, Bhandardurga, Palaskhol, Rupgad, Bakhtgad, Morabkhan, Manikgad, Saroopgad, Sakargad, Marakgad, Ankola, Songad, and Maangad.
-Shivaji agreed to visit Agra to meet Aurangzeb for further political talks.

Shivaji's army joined Jai Singh in his campaign against Bijapur, however the scorched earth policy adopted by the sultanate forced them to retreat. Shivaji was sent to the Mughal court in Agra as per the terms of the treaty. Where instead of any political negotiations he was arrested by Aurangzeb.

As one can see Aurangzeb didn't have any role at all in the inital conflict between Mughals and Marathas. The entire affair was handled by the Raja Jai Singh both militarily and diplomatically. The fact that Shivaji agreed to go to Agra shows that he completely trusted Jai Singh and didn't have any ill thoughts or suspicion towards Mughals and that he was satisfied with the treaty atleast for a time being. (who doesn't want the war to end?).

If Dara Shikoh would have been Emperor, Shivaji would never have been arrested but in all possibility he would have been treated very well creating a good impression on Shivaji (with DaraShikoh talking about Upanishadas and as such would have made it even easier!!!). Shivaji would have become the loyal subordinate of the Mughals, and Deccan would have been easily subjugated now that Marathas are completely out of picture. Infact willingly or unwillingly Marathas would have contributed to the effective subjugation of deccan by the Mughals.
 
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Jun 2014
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India
Because I do not want my country to be a nation like Iraq and Egypt which can show many buildings to tourists but which themselves have no culture of their own rooted in their land. I hope you agree that Indian heritage in architecture, philosophy, religion, languages, arts, literature, music etc. is very rich, why should I favor such great heritage which is result of sacrifices of countless generations who by their blood and sweat created and preserved such things being replaced by some alien culture?

India was not centralised like Persia or China, decentralisation has great disadvantages but one big advantage is that even when central authority collapses, things move on a lot. So unlike in Persia where Persian script owed its popularity to use by Persian Kings while zoroastrianism needed only state patronage to survive, India saw its education system rooted in land and villages. Local inter village communal set ups used their resources to support education and such cultural activities, Kings were just nominal holders of land. Due to this, even when Muslims ruled India, our infrastructure survived and so while Persians lost their script easily, we preserved it.

Till 1600s, Persian words in Indian languages were very few, it is because of same factors I listed. However, Akbar with his tolerance changed all this, he gained confidence of Hindus and gave a stability to Islamic empire in India which in history had never been the case. This meant increasing centralisation which in turn impacted local elites too. Now, Akbar used Persian as official language and because of stability and relative less resistance to his empire, Persian reached large parts of North India. Same is the case everywhere from architecture( post Akbar Rajput architecture was impacted heavily by Persian architecture but before Akbar we have such distinct works like Vijay Stambh or Ranakpur temple) to religion. But for Akbar, there would have been no sadist like Jehangir, no criminal tyrant like Shahjehan and no bigot like Aurangzeb.

We should understand that arrogance of Islamic empires in India and their decimation of Indic civilization's cultural creations was not just due to islamic bigotry alone. Yes Islamic bigotry played a large nay dominating role but apart from that Persian Xenophobia also played a big part. Xenophobia and arrogance towards non Persians are rooted in Persian culture( such things are there in all cultures but more so in Persian) and in pre islamic times this xenophobia reached absurd limits( like Persians marrying their own biological mothers to produce sons rather than non Persians) in Persia.

One man does not mean anything after his death, the ruling establishment of Mughals thus had these two elements that is islamic fanaticism and Persian xenophobia and so it does not matter whether ruler was tolerant or intolerant as these two factors would play a strong role. Infact as proven tolerant rulers gave a life and stability to their empires and so Dara Shikoh who was more like Akbar would have given a fresh lease of life to this alien imposition on India.

Anywaya,Dara was no Kushan emperor Vema or Vasudeva, just because this Persianized Turk composed some verses not in line with orthodox principles of islam does not mean anything and even if he loved Indian culture more than Persianized one, it would have been disastrous for Indic culture in long run.

Take case of Nehrus and Saprus and many Khatris of Punjab, by 19th century these people were just Persianized people who were only different from Muslims of UP and Punjab in sense that they did not practise circumcision.
Mughal empire lasting longer would have created such people thoughout North India.
 
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Jun 2014
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If Dara became Empire then Marathas perhaps would not rise, but the forceful conversions Aurangzeb did would not happen, and Marathas despite becoming powerful they did not have reversion process.

In long term run, Aurangzeb's forced conversions did more harm,
but I think Shivaji was ambitious, infact Aurongzeb was militarily talented which Dara was not, in such case Mughals would be defeated earlier.
Nope. Do we have any figure for conversions to make this remark? just as Prithviraj is glorified for unknown reasons, Aurangzeb is credited too much with Islamic presence in India. Muslims in 1900 Undivided India numbered just 22 percent so if India is divided it is because of Hindu leaders stunningly cowardice and lack of self respect.

Now, were these 22 percent Muslims result of Aurangzeb ? Well, Aurangzeb did nothing remarkable than so called tolerant rulers like Iliyas sahis or Tughlaqs. Infact, Aurangzeb was far restrained in massacres of non combatants than above mentioned dynasties. Aurangzeb was just nearer to us than Firuz Tughlaq or Afghans and is one of many such rulers. Six centuries of islamic rule led to those 20 percent Muslims, Aurangzeb contributed not more than 10 percent of total conversions in anycase. Now, whether a people number 22 percent or 19 percent does not make difference.

Anyway, it was Akbar's tolerance which is reason for islamization of eastern Bengal.
 
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Jinit

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,274
India
Anyway, it was Akbar's tolerance which is reason for islamization of eastern Bengal.
I was going to mention the same thing. It was the Akbar's tolerance that proved far more fateful than any bigoted Muslim ruler. Mass scale conversion in Bengal occurred only after the area came under the Mughal rule.

Besides judging from the history of Islam in India and in the world it is certain that if not for Aurangzeb, sooner or later some another fanatic would have come to throne. And that time in addition to the temples of North India, that of south would have suffered the same tragic fate.

Mughals proved far more disastrous for India than any other Islamic dynasty.
 
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SSDD

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
3,900
India
Nope. Do we have any figure for conversions to make this remark? just as Prithviraj is glorified for unknown reasons, Aurangzeb is credited too much with Islamic presence in India. Muslims in 1900 Undivided India numbered just 22 percent so if India is divided it is because of Hindu leaders stunningly cowardice and lack of self respect.
Hindus were 66% in 1947, before partition.

Now, were these 22 percent Muslims result of Aurangzeb ? Well, Aurangzeb did nothing remarkable than so called tolerant rulers like Iliyas sahis or Tughlaqs. Infact, Aurangzeb was far restrained in massacres of non combatants than above mentioned dynasties. Aurangzeb was just nearer to us than Firuz Tughlaq or Afghans and is one of many such rulers. Six centuries of islamic rule led to those 20 percent Muslims, Aurangzeb contributed not more than 10 percent of total conversions in anycase. Now, whetehr a people number 22 percent or 19 percent does not make difference.

Anyway, it was Akbar's tolerance which is reason for islamization of eastern Bengal.
It was not massacres, Aurangzeb imposed Jizya which forced many Hindus to be Muslims, he also made provocative offering to lure Hindus for conversion. Which previous Mughal rulers did not.

Raja Jai Singh I was on Aurangzeb's side in war of Succession. If Dara won then Raja Jai Singh I perhaps would be just demoted. Nevertheless, after defeat of Adilshahi Army when Adilshahi sultan requested Mughals to help them and Aurangzeb sent Mughal army. Now Dara Shikoh was not man of warfare, if he was Emperor he would just probably advise to defuse the situation peacefully which was impossible. He would not send Jai Singh I either as explained above. In that case, Shivaji would slowly defeat Adilshahis completely.
 
Jun 2014
4,516
India
Hindus were 66% in 1947, before partition.
Source please? Also do know that by Hindus I have included all non abrahmics in this case. At time of partition, Muslims were around 25 percent of Undivided India, which means that rest 75 percent people did not convert to Islam. Also, the 25 percent figure is due to higher birth rate rather than any conversion as even in 1900 they were 22 percent. In Bengal alone, Hindus were thin majority in 1872 but became minority in 81 and by 1941 were just 43 percent.
If Muslims could become 57 percent from 49 percent in 7 decades, so could have been the Hindus but their leaders were writing some beautiful prose and poetry at same time.

Point is that ancestors of Hindus resisted all Ghazanavis, Baburs and Aurangzebs so much that India had only around 20 percent Muslims in 1900, Hindu leaders since then have managed to do what Aurangzebs and Baburs could not do.


It was not massacres, Aurangzeb imposed Jizya which forced many Hindus to be Muslims, he also made provocative offering to lure Hindus for conversion. Which previous Mughal rulers did not.
islamic rule does not start and end with Mughals. Zaziya was imposed on Hindus of Punjab since Ghazanavids occupied the region around 1010s and Akbar abolished it in 1560s meaning that Hindus of Punjab suffered zaziya for 550 years, Aurangzeb imposed zaziya on 2 April 1679 and he died in 1707 so a period of 28 years. I hope that we agree that 28 years of zaziya is nothing before 550 years, right?

Also, zaziya was very little factor, real reason was active persecution. Demolition of one's places of worships, enslavement, castration and discriminatory laws were norms for Hindus in Bengal as well as Punjab way before Aurangzeb and it is these factors which caused most conversions. In East Bengal, mass conversions occured due to Akbar's tolerance whereby a stable Mughal rule was established and unique climatic and geographic factors combined with less advanced agrarian social order led to islamic dominance.

Muslims like Aurangzeb ruled Malwa, Gujrat, Maharashtra,UP, Bihar, Haryana for centuries yet Muslims nowhere numbered more than 15 percent. east Bengal and west Punjab had different reasons for majority and Aurangzeb is no factor in this.

These things were taking place in Bengal centuries before Aurangzeb.


Chaitanya-mañgala, a biography of the great Vaishnava saint of medieval India, presents the plight of Hindus in Navadvipa on the eve of the saints birth in 1484 AD. The author, Jayananda, writes: The king seizes the Brahmanas, pollutes their caste and even takes their lives. If a conch-shell is heard to blow in any house, its owner is made to forfeit his wealth, caste and even life. The king plunders the houses of those who wear sacred threads on the shoulder and put scared marks on the forehead, and then binds them. He breaks the temples and uproots tulsi plants The bathing in Ganga is prohibited and hundreds of scared asvattha and jack trees have been cut down.

Vijaya Gupta wrote a poem in praise of Husain Shah of Bengal (1493-1519 AD). The two qazi brothers, Hasan and Husain, are typical Islamic characters in this poem. They had issued orders that any one who had a tulsi leaf on his head was to be brought to them bound hand and foot. He was then beaten up. The peons employed by the qazis tore away the sacred threads of the Brahmans and spat saliva in their mouths. One day a mullah drew the attention of these qazis to some Hindu boys who were worshipping Goddess Manasa and singing hymns to her. The qazis went wild, and shouted: What! the harãmzãdah Hindus make so bold as to perform Hindu rituals in our village! The culprit boys should be seized and made outcastes by being forced to eat Muslim food. The mother of these qazis was a Hindu lady who had been forcibly married to their father. She tried to stop them. But they demolished the house of those Hindu boys, smashed the sacred pots, and threw away the pûjã materials. The boys had to run away to save their lives.
I have used Goel's book and Goel has used Majumdar.
 

greatstreetwarrior

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
3,873
well atleast we dont study manufactured history that teaches that Bin Qasim formed a new nation state in the subcontinent and the people in the Indus who were the ones who gave the name "Hindu", are infact invaders who took pity on the lower castes to free them up from upper caste exploitation in the subcontinent, bestowing their benevolence over 7 centuries.