What if Dara Shikoh became the Mughal emperor instead of Aurangzeb

Jinit

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,274
India
You could be missing lots of stuff. Maybe there was a family member who was a hostage. Maybe they genuinely liked Akbar as a person. Maybe they felt that he was truly divine. Maybe they felt that the Mughals would shut off trade to their kingdoms if they didn't cooperate. Examining motives of individuals is only possible when we have texts written by them, and sometimes not even then
I wasn't talking about Akbar. Alliance with Akbar still had some merit for it. I was talking about Aurangzeb. Unlike previous Mughal rulers, Aurangzeb didn't have any marital relations with Rajputs and unlike Jahangir and Shahjahan, Aurangzeb didn't have any maternal link with Rajputs. The reasons that you have cited seem valid on first look. Trade would have been important element. However in reality trade from Delhi-Agra passed via Rajputana and not other way around. Besides other Rajput kingdoms like Marwar and Mewar would have faced the same threat, yet they rebelled. AFAIK Kachawahas didn't have any family member held hostage by Mughals, In contrast to the Rathods of Jodhpur whose crown prince and queens were held hostage by Mughals. Proximity of Amer to Delhi might have been the reason, but then Jat kingdom of Bharatpur was even closer to Delhi and yet they screwed up the Aurangzeb.
 
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Jinit

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Jun 2012
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Btw can anybody tell me whether the story of Jats of Bharatpur desecrating Akbar's mausoleum and excavating and burning down his remnants as a revenge, has any tinge of truth in it or not? or is it just a myth?
 
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SSDD

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Aug 2014
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Btw can anybody tell me whether the story of Jats of Bharatpur desecrating Akbar's mausoleum and excavating and burning down his remnants as a revenge, has any tinge of truth in it or not? or is it just a myth?
Yes it is truth but they could not. First time Jat chieftain Rajaram tried to desecrate but Sikandra's fouzdar Mir Abul Fazal prevented it.

But Rajaram again attacked in same year and did that. The year was 1688.
 
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Jinit

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Jun 2012
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This is what I found on wiki.

After a short while, Raja Ram reappeared at Sikandara and taking advantage of the delay in coming of Shaista Khan, the governor-designate of Agra, he attacked and plundered Akbar’s mausoleum. The Jat leader carried away the precious articles of gold and silver, carpets, lamps etc. and destroyed what he could not carry.

According to Manucci the Jats dragged out the bones of Akbar, threw them angrily into fire and burnt them to avenge the death of Gokula. Muhammad Baqa (the Naib of Khan-i-Jahan) who was then at Agra, did nothing to frustrate the rebels. As a punishment, therefore, 500 and that of Khan-i-Jahan reduced his mansab by 1000 sawars. The Jats also ransacked the villages, set aside for the support of Taj Mahal. Some Jats ravaged the environs of Khurja, while others captured the local Mughal officers at Palwal.


[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raja_Ram_Jat]Raja Ram Jat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
 
Jun 2014
4,516
India
Birbal is famous because of the stories of Akbar - Birbal and not as a historical character. Stories of Vikram Vetal are popular, that doesn't mean that Vikramaditya is famous historical character. Anyway I wasn't talking about fame or popularity. Afterall they fought two greatest Indian icon - Pratap and Shivaji. (And funnily they won both the time!!!). So it is understandable if they aren't famous. (Although to be fair it is completely possible Jai Singh or his son helped Shivaji to escape from Agra). I was basically talking awareness and recognition not only about Man Singh but entire dynasty. But yes you are right. They don't get much attention but they aren't completely ignored.

The thing that I am unable to understand is why did they stuck to the Mughals for such a long time. They were the first of the Rajputs to accept the Mughal suzerainty. From Man Singh's subsequent military record it is certain that the move wasn't taken out of complete cowardness. There must be some other considerations. However more surprisingly they remained loyal even to the Aurangzeb when almost all the other Rajput clans declared themselves independent, completely pissed of by bigotry of Aurangzeb and despite the fact that Aurangzeb constantly kept bullying Kachwahas by sending them to difficult remote locations like Afghanistan and Assam and destroyed their temples in Mathura. It is just strange that they remained loyal despite such odd circumstances. Or am I missing some point here?
1. Of all Rajputs, Kachhwahas were on fringes till alliance with Akbar, Sisodiyas of Mewar and Rathores of Marwar were prominent Rajputs in 16th century. Atleast till Aurangzeb, they greatly benefited from alliance with Mughals.

2. The reason why they could not or did not rebel was due to their own lack of determination as well as their location. On map, distance of Delhi and Mewar might not look much great but compared to Jaipur which is just 290 KM away, we can see that it was far easier to defy Aurangzeb from Mewar than from Amer, even then Mewar could not carry its war for long time. Case of Jats is different, they were upstarts and had nothing to lose while Kings of Jaipur had made their state richest in entire Rajasthan and did think about maintaining same.

Mirza Raja Jaisingh 's son Ram Singh might have played a role in Shivaji escaping.
 

Jinit

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Jun 2012
5,274
India
1. Of all Rajputs, Kachhwahas were on fringes till alliance with Akbar, Sisodiyas of Mewar and Rathores of Marwar were prominent Rajputs in 16th century. Atleast till Aurangzeb, they greatly benefited from alliance with Mughals.

2. The reason why they could not or did not rebel was due to their own lack of determination as well as their location. On map, distance of Delhi and Mewar might not look much great but compared to Jaipur which is just 290 KM away, we can see that it was far easier to defy Aurangzeb from Mewar than from Amer, even then Mewar could not carry its war for long time. Case of Jats is different, they were upstarts and had nothing to lose while Kings of Jaipur had made their state richest in entire Rajasthan and did think about maintaining same.

Mirza Raja Jaisingh 's son Ram Singh might have played a role in Shivaji escaping.
Now that makes perfect sense. In the end Kachhwahas did manage to become the powerful entity with one of the most well planned capital for their time... By joining the side of the Mughals they also secured themselves from other powerful Rajput entities especially Mewar.

Infact I was just searching for some information regarding Rajput entities during late medieval period and it seems that looking for architectural data alone they seem to have done rather impressive job. Especially Mewar who was at constant warfare with turks and yet managed to build some of the most exquisite monuments in India like Ranakpur and some of the most impressive fortifications and cities like Chittor, Kumbhalgarh and Udaipur. Despite heavy vandalism by conquerors, monuments of Chittor are still very impressive. Reminds me of that "almost lost my life for few sacks of Bajra" statement of sher shah suri. Rajput entities of Rajasthan needs to be studied in isolation.
 
Apr 2018
77
Ayodhya
You could be missing lots of stuff. Maybe there was a family member who was a hostage. Maybe they genuinely liked Akbar as a person. Maybe they felt that he was truly divine. Maybe they felt that the Mughals would shut off trade to their kingdoms if they didn't cooperate. Examining motives of individuals is only possible when we have texts written by them, and sometimes not even then
It would seem that Akbar had very personal ties and a warm relationship with the Kacchwaha family. The first time they met was around 1556. Akbar was riding an elephant that went wild and everyone was fleeing on all sides to escape the elephant. However, one family that stayed firm in their spot was the family of Bharmal, who came to visit Akbar at the time. Akbar was quite impressed by this act of bravery and loyalty, and hence inquired more about the family once they left, and he reportedly said "we will plant you", which some historians take as a plan by the youthful emperor to marry a daughter of that family in the future, and raise the family to an exalted rank. Some years later, in 1562, Mirza Sharifuddin was harassing the royal family of Amer, and they came with an appeal to Akbar that he help them out, and marry his daughter. Akbar obliged, and forced Sharifuddin to back off. We later learn from the Akbarnama that this daughter (of Bharmal) rose to high rank in the Mughal harem.

According to the "Ishwar Vilas Mahakavyam", some moments before Akbar's marriage with Bharmal's daughter, he went hunting and encountered Man Singh (a young lad of 12 years old then) on the day of the marriage, and tauntingly asked the boy (I am paraphrasing here): "Where were you when God was distributing beauty in heaven?" The dark-skinned Man Singh wittingly replied in a jiffy: "I was in my prayer room at that time. But I was present to recieve valor and manliness when God was distributing these qualities". Akbar gauaged great potential in the young lad, and thus took him along to Agra after the wedding, where he was given the title of Farzand and was reared under his guidance. Akbar was like a father-like figure to him. Jaipur records suggest that after the marriage with Bharmal's daughter, Akbar personally dined with Rajputs and even adopted an Ameri princess and got her married to another Rajput prince. The Jaipur records interpret this as an act of great krpa (compassion) done by the emperor, towards them. His close ties with the Ameri Rajputs, as mentioned in vernacular texts, are described by B.L.Bhadani in the following paper: The Profile of Akbar in Contemporary Rajasthani Literature on JSTOR

In the battle of Paronkh (1562), we see Bhagwant Das offering water from his own personal supply, to an exhausted Akbar. Bhagwant Das also saved Akbar's life in Gujarat from a night ambush in Gujarat, during the Mughal invasion of that province. Akbar granted Bhagwant Das royal honors on that occasion (I don't remember the particulars, but Vincent Smith says that these honors were reserved for the emperor himself only). In Gujarat, they had a drinking party, and when drunk, the discussion turned to the valor of the Rajputs. Now, the Rajputs had a practice of a man holding one end of a spear and another running into the pointed end (to show his valor). Akbar, in his drunkenness, decided to imitate this act of valor, and pinned his sword to the wall, and was charging into the pointed end (to show his valor). All courtiers knew how disastrous this would be, but none had the courage to speak up. In that state, it was only Man Singh who got up and gave the emperor a firm blow, causing the sword to fall off, and the possibly fatal attempt of Akbar to be terminated. This behavior of Man Singh shows the kind of influence and power he wielded in front of the emperor. When nobody dared to criticize the emperor's stupidity, he risked being victim to the emperor's ire, and saved his king's life.

Another anecdote is also worth mentioning... Around 1585, Akbar married his son Salim to Bhagwant Das' sister. According to a Rajasthani source, when Bhagwant Das was seeing off his daughter after the marriage, he told Akbar: "My daughter is the honor of your palace, and we are your slaves". To this, Akbar immediately replied: "Your daughter is the queen of our palace, and you are our Great Lord". This just shows the kind of warmth between the two families. On top of that, his liberality and respect for the Hindu religion, even from his early years, is all too well known. So, I believe that the reason why Man Singh remained loyal has more to do with his personal equation with Akbar, than from politics. Amer stuck to the Mughals in Aurangzeb's time, due to the long standing tradition of loyalty to the Mughal empire.
 
Mar 2019
1,751
KL
what muslim kings were not bad? and what hindu kings were not divine, the indian history needs to be revised and a revision needs to be made, aurangzeb would not be having hindu mistress before his death if he was such a bigot, i think the colonial history needs to be challenged and there might a several flaws in colonial narrative.

regards
 
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Apr 2018
77
Ayodhya
what muslim kings were not bad? and what hindu kings were not divine, the indian history needs to be revised and a revision needs to be made, aurangzeb would not be having hindu mistress before his death if he was such a bigot, i think the colonial history needs to be challenged and there might a several flaws in colonial narrative.
I have been doing some reading from primary sources lately, about Aurangzeb, and he does not come across as a bigot, to be honest. For instance, according to Manucci, upon ascending the throne, Aurangzeb called his teacher Mullah Salih into his court and upbraided the Mullah for wasting his early childhood teaching him Islam and Arabic, instead of military history, military sciences, and how to be a good warrior. That is not the behavior of a pious Muslim. To be honest, all this pretense of being a pious Muslim was just eyewash, in order to obtain the support of the orthodox Muslim nobles. Dara Shikoh was popular among the commoners, but he was very unpopular among the nobles of the court, and the army. He thus stood no chance against Aurangzeb. If Akbar was facing a man like Aurangzeb in his rebellion of 1580-82, then he would have also lost his throne, as there was much discontent among the Muslim nobles, because of Akbar's infidelity...
 
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Devdas

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Apr 2015
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Mughal Empire would have survived a longer and maybe British couldn't have annexed Bengal along with entire Indo-Gangetic plains. Aurangzeb's mad Deccan campaign against Marathas bankrupted the Mughals and he never groomed his children to be the Emperor. Dara Shikoh would have been able to keep the calmness among his Hindu subjects as Aurangzeb reimposed all discriminatory taxes against Hindus that were discarded during the time of Akbar.