Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Tidbits
17-Indian History-AD-5 (1707-1764)
India has a continuous civilization since 2500 BC. During the 2nd millennium, Aryan speaking tribes migrated from northwest into the Indian subcontinent. The following material has been taken from "A New History of India", by Stanley Wolpert. 2004.
British Raaj (1619-1947 AD) - 328 years
From 1619, since first British outpost was established at Soorat, on the northwestern coast in 1619, British continued to open their permanent trading stations at Madras, Bombay and Calcutta each under the protection of native rulers. But they could not capture Delhi until 1756.
Twilight of Mugal Empire - 1707-1764
Mugal rulers continued to rule from Delhi until 1858. After Aurangzeb, Mugal power was fading like a "magnificent flower slowly wilting and occasionally dropping a petal, its brilliance fading, its stalk bending ever lower and lower". Nine emperors succeeded Aurangzeb, between the death of Aurangzeb and the exile of its last emperor to Rangoon in 1858. It was no accident, that the British ended the rule of its East India Company and decreed India to be its Indian empire.
1-Muhammad Aazam Shaah (14 Mar 1707 - 19 Jun 1707 AD)
2-Bahaadur Shaah (reign, 1707-1712 AD) - 5 years
Aurangzeb's eldest living son Muhammad Muazzam was 63 when his father died. He left Laahaur for Delhi to claim the throne as Bahaadur Shaah (Brave king) the first Shaah Aalam. His brothers, Aazam Shaah and Kambakhsh, also came to claim the throne. Aazam Shaah was killed, so Muhammad Muazzam became the King as Bahaadur Shaah I. Bahaadur Shaah's brief reign of 5 years was already in the traditional Mugal war of succession. He made peace with Raajpoot, leaving young Shaahoo (Shivaajee's grandson) who had escaped to Mahaaraashtra as the king of Sataaraa. Bahaadur Shaah even won the support of Guru Gobind Sinh who went to Aagaraa to attend his court. After the death of Guru Gobind Sinh in October 1708, Sikh got united under Bandaa Bahaadur (1708-1716), his original name was Lakshman Daas, who became the virtual king of Panjaab. He even introduced his own coins and own calendar to commemorate his reign. Bahaadur Shaah made him flee to the hills. But spiritless and depressed, Bahaadur Shaah died in February 1712.
He had 8 sons and 1 daughter - Jahandar Shaah, Azeemush Shaan, Rafeeush Shaan, Khujistaa Akhtar Jahaan Shaah, Buland Akhtar ....
3-Jahandar Shaah and Saiyyad Brothers (reign, 1712-1713) - 1 year
He fled to Delhi, but from there he was captured and handed over to the new Emperor, who confined him along with (Laal Kunwar). He lived in confinement for a month, until 11 February 1713, when professional stranglers were sent to murder him. When the stranglers entered the prison, Laal Kunwar shrieked, clasping hold of her lover and refused to let him go. Violently forcing the two apart, they laid hands on Jahandar Shaah and finished him off. His head was severed and presented to Faarrukh-shiyaar, while his body was taken to Humaayoon's Tomb and interred there. He had three sons including Azeezudeen or Aalamgeer II, who reigned between 1754 and 1759 (see below).
4-Faarrukh-shiyaar (1713-1719) - 6 years
During his reign only, in 1717, he developed piles and the East India Company's Surgeon William Hamilton cured him, so he gave the Company the "Duty Free Trading" rights for a mere 3,000 Rupees a year. He also lost confidence of his people and wasted much of his 6-year reign (1713-1719). Faarrukh-shiyaar met a humiliating and bloody end, his constant plotting eventually led the Syed Brothers to officially depose him as the Emperor. Husain Alee, one of the Saiyyad brothers, came back from the victory from Dakkan along with 11,000 Maraathaa soldiers, intending to depose Faarrukh-shiyaar. Faarrukh-shiyaar was imprisoned and starved; later, on 28 February 1719, he was blinded with needles on the orders of the Saiyyad Brothers. He was strangled to death on the night of April 27/28, 1719. After accomplishing his assassination, the Saiyyad Brothers placed his first-cousin, Rafi Ul-Durjat on the throne. Rafi-ul-darjat's father and Faarrukh-shiyaar's father had been brothers.
5-Rafi ul-Darjat (May 1719 - June 1719)
Meanwhile Rafi ul-Darjat's lungs failed and he also died. At the time dying he requested Saiyyad Brothers that his elder brother should be enthroned. So he was sent to Harem and his elder brother Rafi ud-Daulaa was appointed as the 12th Emperor of Mugal Dynasty.
6-Rafi ud-Daulaa or Shaah Jahaan II (Jun 1719 - Sep 1719)
7-Nekoosiyaar Muhammad (May 1719 - Aug 1719)
8-Muhammad Ibraahem (Oct 1720 - Nov 1720)
9-Muhammad Shaah Rangeelaa (a grandson of Bahaadur Shaah), (1719-1748 AD) - 30 years
After this Muhammad Shah appointed Nizaam-ul-Mulk (b/d 1669-1748) as his Chief Minister. he tried to advise the Emperor but when he did not listed to him, he went to Dakkan. At the same time the Emperor appointed a Governor in Haidaraabaad. He always fought with Maraathaa, so Nizaam-ul-Mulk defeated the Governor with the help of Maraathaa and became the new ruler of new stste of Haidaraabaad. Naturally he had lost the position of Chief Ministership of the Emperor. Here he founded a "dynasty" that would long outlive the Mugal Empire.
Although Urdu language had already been discovered long ago, but from his times it became a common language among the people, so the Emperor declared it as the court language.
Emperor Muhammad Shah had four wives, but his most favorite was Baadshaah Begum, daughter of Emperor Faarrukh-shiyaar. She was the most influential of all wives of the Emperor and exercised her opinions on him. His second wife was Mahal Begum. he married her on the same day as the first one. She was also his most favorite wife. His third wife was Oodham Baaee, also called Kudsiyaa Begum, who bore him his future successor, Ahmad Shaah Bahaadur. She was formerly a dancing girl. His fourth wife was Soofiyaa Sultaan Begam. Muhammad Shaah had three sons and three daughters.
Nizaam-ul-Mulk of Haidaraabaad (1723-1748 AD) - 25 years
Naadir Shaah (Napoleon of Persia) (1736-1747 AD) - 11 years
At this point, Persians did not wait for Muhammad Shaah's help, so Naadir Shaah advanced to take Kandhaar and Kaabul alone; and then at the end of 1738, he crossed the Sindhu River. Laahaur fell, the Sikh fled to the hills, and Persians advanced toward Delhi. On 13 February 1739, the battle of Karnaal was fought. Emperor Muhammad Shah had over a 100,000 force against Naadir Shaah's 55,000 men but was still defeated. The Emperor himself met Naadir Shaah in his camp, handed over the keys of the Delhi gate and entered Delhi with him.
At first every thing was cordial among the two emperors. However rumors spread throughout Delhi that Naadir Shaah was assassinated. The masses attacked the Persian force and slaughtered 900 Persian soldiers. At this Naadir Shaah massacred the populace, and at least 30,000 people died. The Emperor had to stop the massacre by turning into looting the Mughal treasury. The famous Peacock throne, the Darya-e-Noor diamond and unimaginable wealth excluding elephants, horses and every thing that was liked was taken. Muhammad Shah had to marry his daughter Jahaan Afrooz Baanoo Begam to Naadir Shaah's youngest son. Muhammad Shaah was crowned as Emperor by Naadir Shaah himself on 12 May, and Muhammad Shaah ceded the area west of river Indus to Naadir Shaah. Then Nadir Shah went back to Persia. Shaah Jahaan's city was left smoldering shell by May 1739.
Rise of British in Bangaal -
French East India Company -
Baajee Raav had died in 1740, but his son Baalaajee Raav (1721-1761) succeeded him as Peshavaa and led Maraathaa for two decades. There were four extremely powerful Maraathaa Generals - Gaayakvaad in Barodaa, Holkar at Indaur, Sindhiyaa in Gwaalior, and Bhonsley at Naagpur, each of whom had carved his own domain. These paid nominal allegiance to the king of Sataaraa.
10-Ahamad Shaah Bahaadur (1748-1754) - 6 years
In 1748, during his father's reign, Ahmad Shaah Abdaaliee invaded India. So Prince Ahmad Shaah was sent to fight with him with 75,000 men. Ahamad was victorious, so he was conferred with the title "Bahaadur". Mugal's Chief Minister was killed in this battle, this shocked the Emperor, he got sick and died in a few days. Ahamad Shaah rushed to Delhi, spent a week in sorrow and then ascended the throne on 8 April 1748.
11-Azeezuddeen Aalamgeer II (1754-1759)
Siraaj-ud-Daulaa in Bangaal and Battle of Plaasee (1756-)
12-Shaah Jahaan III (1759-1760) 8 months
13-Alee Gauhar or Shaah Aalam II (1759-1806) 46 years
After the battle of Buxar, this homeless fugitive Prince Alee Gauhar sought the protection of British. Shaah Aalam took up residence at Ilaahaabaad and no doubt could have passed his life peacefully there, but he got an opportunity to regain his kingdom. When the Maraathaa had occupied Delhi, invited him there to occupy the throne of his forefathers. Shaah Aalam left Ilaahaabaad in May 1771 and in December reached Delhi. He consulted the British and they had advised him not to trust the Marathas. The Emperor resided in the fort of Ilalahaabaad for six years as a virtual prisoner of the British. Warren Hastings was made Governor of Bengal in 1772. Shah Alam then left for Delhi with a small force trained on the European model, under the command of his able general, Mirzaa Najaf Khaan. He arrived there in December 1772 and sought to restore some of the glories of the Mughal empire.
Trouble with the Sikhs was endless; they raided as far as Delhi practically every year for money and possessions. They entered Delhi three times in 11 years from 1772 to 1783—in 1772, 1778 and 1783 with the underhand help from the then Vazeers of Shaah Aalam II.
Later an Afgaan named Rohillaa blinded Shaah Aalam in 1788. After the Battle of Delhi, on 14 September 1803, British troops entered Delhi and Shaah Aalam, a blind old man, seated under a tattered canopy, came under British protection. The Mugal emperor no longer had the military power to enforce his will, but he commanded respect as a dignified member of the House of Taimoor in the length and breadth of the country. The Navaab and Soobedaar still sought formal sanction of the emperor on special accessions. Since the British were not yet strong enough to claim sovereignty on their own, kept Shaah Aalam as a puppet until his death in 1806.
14-Akbar Shaah II (1806-1837) - 31 years
When Gulaam Qaadir captured Delhi, he was forced to dance along with other princes and princesses and humiliated, as well as starved. When Jahaan Shaah IV fled, he was proclaimed puppet Emperor with the title of Akbar Shaah II, and was to remain acting Emperor even after the reinstating of his father, till December 1788.
Akbar Shah II had four sons, one of whom was Bahaadur Shaah Zafar who eventually succeeded him at the age of 60. After the mutiny, he fled Delhi and took refuge in other parts of India. In the mid 1800s he came to Bangaal. His sons and two daughters lived the same life he did, in constant fear of the British. His eldest son, Mirzaa Jalaaluddeen became an official to a Bangaal Raajaa. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Mirza Zafar. He was an official to the Raja too. His son Mirza Jamsher renounced his titles in 1895. Their children settled down permanently in North Bangaal and to this day they still remain in the capital city of Dhaka and Rajshahi.
15-Bahaadur Shaah "Zafar" II - the last Mugal Emperor (1837-1857) - 20 years
He was a noted Urdu Poet. He has written a large number of Urdoo Gazals with the pen-name "Zafar". Many of his works are lost but many survived which are collected in a collection entitled "Kulliyaate Zafar". His court was home for many Urdoo poets of high standing, Gaalib, Daag, Momin, Zauq etc.
He was a devout Soofee and was himself regarded as Sufee Peer. In 1828, a decade before he ascended the throne, Major Archer reported, "Zafar is a man of spare figure and stature, plainly appareled, almost approaching to meanness. His appearance is that of an indigent Munshee or teacher of languages". He believed in Taabeez and charms. Peer, miracle workers and Hindu astrologers always stood in his attendance.
The last remains of Mugal rule is the history of Zafar Mahal in Mehraulee, a locality of Delhi. Zafar Mahal was originally built by Akbar II, but it was his son, Bahaadur Shaah Zafar, who constructed its gateway and added to the palace in the mid-1800s. It literally spans centuries. A plastered dome near the gate is probably of 15th century; other sections are relatively newer and show definite signs of Western influences. There is, for instance, a fireplace in one of the walls that stands near the Motee Masjid. And the staircase to the balcony is a wide one with low steps - very unlike the steep, narrow staircases of most Indian Islamic architecture. he has many roads, statues, parks in many Indian cities.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 09/20/12