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Showing posts from November 30, 2014

WHY DOES WILLIAM DALRYMPLE ADORE AURANGZEB SO MUCH???

William Dalrymple has always been a great fan of Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir, India’s sixth Mughal emperor (1658-1707). In his two previous books, The Last Mughal and White Mughals, Dalrymple reenacted the British’s fondness for the Mughal period, by directly and indirectly praising the longest reigning emperor after Akbar. In his forthcoming opus magnum, which will be solely dedicated to Aurangzeb, Dalrymple says he will go further: “Aurangzeb was absolutely fascinating, very self aware, very Shakespearean. By the end of his life, Aurangzeb does becomes a monster of myths, but his final letters are full of regret and awareness about how much he destroyed of what he had inherited”. And he concludes: “What is little spoken is that he was an extremely generous donor of various ashrams and maths. Just the sheer data that can be gathered about his donations to Hindu monasteries is extraordinary”…. Was the emperor such a pious man? Well, just look to what he did to his own family: Aurangze…