ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Romancing the Mughal Past at Shah Jahan’s Citadel

Red Fort: Remembering the Magnificent Mughals by Debasish Das, Mumbai:, 2019; pp xi + 406, `499, (paperback).

Since the coming of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in 2014, there has been an all-out attack on India’s Islamicate past. Muslim kings are routinely vilified as being uni­quely evil in India’s multilayered historical landscape and are even used as election tropes by the Hindu nationalists. But the hatred against India’s medieval and early modern rulers is not just limited to the Hindutva political rhetoric, governments in various BJP-ruled states have tried to diminish their importance by writing them out of textbooks or changing retrospectively the outcome of battles fought in the distant past or renaming roads named after them. But all this negative noise has spawned a copious number of popular histories of this period in the last few years.

Red Fort: Remembering the Magnificent Mughals is a welcome addition to this evergrowing list. With the title itself, the author, whether consciously or unconsciously, makes a political statement in today’s fraught times—he believes the Mughals were “magnificent.” He makes his point in ­lucid language throughout 400 pages (p 381, not including the bibliography and index). The descriptions are vivid and rest on a mixture of academic and non-academic readings, as indicated by the bibliography.

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Updated On : 4th Dec, 2022
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