Been reading about Akbar the Great.Couldn’t stop myself from share some interesting reads written about his life and reign.
He never thought himself of being an invader.Had his first wife a Rajput Princess(Hira bahi and not Jodha bai), and his son from Her as Salim(Salim’s wife was Jodha) as the next Moghul Emperor.
Akbar was the first ruler to have banned Sati Pratha .He built Fateh Pur sikri in Honour of sufi, Salim Chisti, and for the love of his wife,which apparently he could never receive.
He used to lead from Front in War and peace.Though did not know how to read or write, but was always surrounded in the company of learned men.In his court he would listen to debates and religious discussions coming from Muslim scholars,Christen missionaries both Catholic and protestant,Jews,Zoroastrians and offcourse from Hindu learned lot.
He realized that unlike his great grandson that in order to rule and have a long dynasty you needed to win the hearts of his people,especially majority community,therefore had Jazia banned as well as religious tax on Hindu pilgrimage sites taken off, in his Empire.
He would not hesitate to argue with Ulema and made sure they understood, that Emperor is supreme and his word is final!
He would at times listen to the advice of his mother and other women folk.
Off course he had many wives, most of them for strategic alliances,though had a huge set of concubines to fulfill his carnal desires.The story about Anarkali, is that she was an Italian merchant’s daughter whose father was murdered by pirates and then she was sold as a slave, and brought up by some guy who run a harem,who then gifted it to Turkish Sultan as a virgin.This King of Turkey then presented her to Akbar.
Akbar really liked her as she was beautiful, but then Salem also fell for her.So basically, both had the opportunity to make love with her.
Akbar’s personal life was not that great though, his two sons died early in front of him ,because of drinking problems.Infact, Salim too had issues with drinking and opium, but still could manage to hang on,compared to Daniyal and Murad.
Also realised that Khurram( Shan Jahan) was favourite of Akbar, and it was he who took care of him.Khurram was the youngest of the three sons of Salim and was born on an auspicious day.Hence Akbar decided that he would bring up the child in his care.
Inspiration has come from the author Alex Rutherford,who wrote the book, Empire of the Moghul Ruler of the world!