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South Asian Memories
the-south-asian.com December 2000
Real Name - Salim
Born – 1569
Died – 28 Oct 1627. Nur Jahan built his tomb in Lahore.
Accession to power – At the age of 36 in 1605
Length of rule in India – 22 years from 1605-1627
Ethnic stock – Half Mughal and half Hindu Rajput
Father – Akbar
Mother – Rajput princess from Amber
Siblings – Two brothers – Murad and Daniyal – both died of alcoholism
Married – Married the sister of Raja Man Singh of Amber – a Hindu Rajput princess. Also married Persian Mehrunissa [Nur Jahan] in May 1611- she was 34 at the time.
Children – 4 sons
Khusrau b 1588 of Hindu Rajput mother – led 2 rebellions against father
Parwiz b 1590 was a nonentity - died 1626 of alcoholism
Khurram b 1592 known as Shah Jahan - born of Hindu Rajput princess
Shahriyar b of a slave-girl – in 1621 Nur Jahan got him married to her daughter from first marriage Ladli Begum – to thwart the growing influence of Shah Jahan
As a ruler – Did not follow his father’s politics of reconciliation nor did he initiate any extreme measures. No popular fusion of the two religions. Promoted mass conversion to Islam, persecuted followers of Jainism, executed Guru Arjun Das the 5th Guru - yet wrote in his diary "the need to follow the rule of universal peace with regard to religions".
Weaknesses – His chief weakness – influenced by others. During the last 5 years of his reign Jahangir weakened by alcohol, opium and asthma. Not a soldier or a reformer.
Inherited – a vast, stable empire
Above information is compiled from various sources, prominent among them ‘India – a Country Study’, ‘Delhi’ by Khushwant Singh, ‘The Great Mughals’ by Bamber Gascoigne, ‘The Mughals – Splendours of the Peacock Throne’, and ‘The City of Djinns’
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