Friday, August 14, 2020
Home Opinions Of Rahul Gandhi and Aurangzeb - A striking similarity of Dynasties

Of Rahul Gandhi and Aurangzeb – A striking similarity of Dynasties

Rahul Gandhi, the 47-year old scion of the Nehru dynasty, is all set to ascend the throne of the Congress Party. If things go as planned, he will succeed his mother, Smt Sonia Gandhi, and become the sixth member from the Nehru family to be coronated Congress party president.

The grand old party of Indian politics has seen five presidents since 1978. For all but seven of those thirty-nine years, a member of the Nehru dynasty has been its president. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, daughter of Pandit Nehru and grand-daughter of Motilal Nehru, both past presidents themselves, was party president from 1978 to 1984, till her assassination. She was succeeded by her son, Rajiv Gandhi, who was its president from 1985 to 1991, till his assassination. From 1998 to the present day, the Congress party’s president has been Italian-born Smt Sonia Gandhi, wife of Rajiv Gandhi, and mother of Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi’s political acumen has been the matter of intense speculation, as has been his grasp of basic facts of Economics and Geography. But let’s leave that for another day. The latest bit of controversy came via Congress party senior politician, Mani Shankar Aiyar, who responded to a question on Rahul Gandhi’s pending elevation as Congress party president, by comparing it to the succession of the Mughal kings, and even going to the extent of making an indirect comparison of Rahul Gandhi to Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb, as most Indians will know from their history, was arguably the cruellest of all Mughal kings, a religious bigot, and who destroyed many temples out of a sense of religious hatred. One can watch a video clip of Mr Aiya’s comment on ABP here.

This is what Mani Shankar Aiyar said – “Firstly, when Shah Jahan took the place of Jahangir, did any election take place? When Aurangzeb took the place of Shah Jahan, did any election take place? No. It was known from the very beginning, that whoever is the child of the king, and would become the king, unless they fought amongst each other. BUT, in a democracy, elections take place. And I invite Shehzad Poonwala, that if he wants to stand for elections here, then let him please come, apply for the post, and have you heard of this name Shehzad Poonawala before?”

- Advertisement -

While some argue the second part of his statement is relevant, when juxtaposed with comments made in October 2017, it is evident that Aiyar indeed believes in the first half of his statement.

In October, 2017, he had said, “I think only two people can be Congress President, mother or son. Rahul already said he is ready to contest election.” His statement now, in December, are consistent with his line of thinking that only people worthy of being Congress party president are either mother or son. More can be read here.

But let’s leave the present behind and take a short tour down history lane, to the Mughal empire, to be precise. Since the Congress party loyalists have chosen to compare its presidents to the Mughal kings, it is but fair that we see what historians have written about this Mughal empire, especially of the occupiers of the throne after Aurangzeb.

It was a period of clash of ambitions, of group rivalries, of base intrigues, of licentious orgies and, above all, of the decline of moral and ethical values. [Individuals] were permeated with callous indifference toward the interests of the very institution which was the main source of their honour and sustenance. These courtiers failed to realize that they were playing with fire…

Of the foreigners who came from Persia and Transoxiana, at best it could be said that,

they could only still boast of their pride of birth; as to their worth, it had become conspicuous by its absence among them. They had plenty of ambition; but they sought to satisfy it at the cost of the empire.

Generally speaking, the assessment of Aurangzeb’s successors goes something like this –

… the sovereigns who were expected to set the ideal, were immersed in licentiousness. Their vision hardly ever travelled beyond the four walls of their palaces. They spent most of their time in the harem making merry with the cup and their concubines, or in the gay company of poets and musicians in utter disregard to their own duty. Such debased specimens of humanity could hardly evoke sympathy or inspire respect.

Of particular interest is the Mughal King who ascended the throne in 1712. The eldest of Mughal king Bahadur Shah’s four sons, Jahandar Shah became the Mughal king after dispatching his other three brothers in what was an obligatory fratricidal war. This, then, is what historians have to say about Jahandar Shah:

Though about fifty year of age (note that Rahul Gandhi is forty-seven years old), he behaved like a frivolous young man of eighteen. His morals were highly depraved. He drank heavily and passed most of his time in the company of his mistress – Lal Kunwar, whose relations had obtained high posts in government service. Nor could his Vazir Zu’lfiqar fill in the void successfully. He had been overtaken by senile decay. He devolved his entire responsibility on his favourite, Sabha Chand.

Sailendra Nath Sen, Professor of History at the University of Calcutta, has described Jahandar Shah as “a worthless debauch.” (A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 193.)

How did Jahandar Shah’s reign come to an end? His nephew, Farrukh-siyar, combined forces with the Sayyid brothers, and met Jahandar Shah near Agra. Jahandar Shah, the Mughal emperor, fled to Delhi on a bullock cart, accompanied by his mistress, Lal Kunwar. He was duly betrayed, arrested, and after a month in confinement, was strangled to death.

And how did Farrukh-siyar die? The Sayyid brothers collaborated with Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath Bhat and deposed Farrukh-siyar, who was thrown into jail. After being “subjected to all sorts of torture by his jailors,” he was put out of his misery in 1719 by professional executioners who strangled him to death.

Do we detect a pattern here?

Let’s end with a brief evaluation of Muhammad Shah, the fourth son of Bahadur Shah, who was placed on the Mughal throne by the Sayyid brothers in 1719.

Never before did a more care-free sovereign sit on the throne of Delhi. This lad of 17 had passed most of his time within the four walls of the palace, in the society of eunuchs and ladies of the harem. None had cared for his education, because few could foresee the good fortune which lay in store for him. … He was a lover of pleasure, indolent and addicted to loose habits. He made it a rul of his life never to decide anything for himself; his favourites did it for him. … He had no initiative, nor even the dash of some of his predecessors. Rustam Ali, the author of Tarikh-i-Hind, says that ‘Muhammad Shah was negligent of his duties; but the fat is that he did not know if he had any duties to perform.’

With a senior Congress leader making a comparison between Rahul Gandhi and Mughal kings, it is perhaps only fitting that the nation know about the glorious nature of aforesaid Mughal kings.

It is truly said that history repeats itself – first as a tragedy, and then as a farce. We live in interesting times to be able to witness the farce, on live, prime-time television.


  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

Former SP leader Shahzeb Rizvi announces bounty of Rs 51 lakh on Karnataka Congress MLA’s nephew Naveen’s head for ‘blasphemous’ Facebook post

Shahzeb Rizvi said that whoever beheads Naveen for insulting the Prophet and brings his head will be given a bounty of Rs 51 lakh

Chinese media publishes propaganda of Pakistan’s Ambassador to China but refuses to carry India’s rebuttal: Here are the full details

A day after first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370, Chinese state media runs Pakistani propaganda

Congress link emerges in Bengaluru riots, husband of party’s corporator named as an accused in FIR

Kaleem Pasha - one of the masterminds of Bengalururiots, is the husband of Congress corporator from Nagavara Irshad Begum

‘Temples are spreading COVID-19’: 5 reasons why that is untrue and mere propaganda, driven by Leftists and Islamists

Left-liberals and Islamists have started to trend "#TirupatiVirus" on Twitter, claiming that 75% of India's COVID-19 cases are linked to temples.

Dravidian sabotage in education: Behind the veils of the Dravidian Delusion

Tamils in Tamil Nadu have had the benefits of national integration, wider exposure to language among others, denied to them by the Dravidian agitation.

PM Narendra Modi launches Transparent Taxation platform, Taxpayer’s Charter to honour the honest taxpayers

PM Modi launches new transparent taxation platform including Faceless assessments, Faceless appeals, and Taxpayer's charter

Recently Popular

Bengaluru: Amidst chants of ‘Allah Hu Akbar’ and ‘Nara e Taqbeer’, Muslim mob burns down police station, Dalit Congress MLA’s residence over Facebook post...

Angered over Dalit Congress MLA's nephew's alleged Facebook post on Prophet Mohammad, rioting Muslim mob went on a rampage in Bengaluru

Alia Bhatt starrer Mahesh Bhatt’s Sadak 2 trailer gets over 1.3 million ‘dislikes’ on YouTube within hours of premiere

Within hours of its premiere on YouTube, the Sadak 2 trailer got over 1.3 million dislikes, making it one of the most disliked tailer on the video streaming site.

Pakistan: Maulvi rapes child reading Quran in mosque in Sindh province, caught on CCTV

Muslim Cleric in Sindh province in Pakistan on the run after video of hem raping a child inside a mosque emerges, case registered

Bengaluru Riots: SDPI’s Muzammil Pasha arrested for organising, instigating violence, two other SDPI members absconding

The SDPI local leader Muzammil Pasha had visited the police station along with the mob to register a complaint against a person named Naveen over the alleged derogatory Facebook post.

Linkedin employee Sourav Paul vows to murder Brahmins, claims it is easier to kill instead of opposing them

LinkedIn Employee Sourav Paul was unapologetic about his vitriol and abused a person when his hatred towards Rama was pointed out.

Maharashtra CM’s son involved in Sushant Singh Rajput death case, says Bihar govt’s lawyer: Here are the full details

SC heard Rhea Chakraborty’s plea for the second time in connection with Sushant Singh Rajput death case today

Former SP leader Shahzeb Rizvi announces bounty of Rs 51 lakh on Karnataka Congress MLA’s nephew Naveen’s head for ‘blasphemous’ Facebook post

Shahzeb Rizvi said that whoever beheads Naveen for insulting the Prophet and brings his head will be given a bounty of Rs 51 lakh

Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau appoints investigation team to find out causes of the Air India Express flight crash at Kozhikode airport

Capt. S S Chahar, former designated examiner of Boeing 737 NG, has been appointed as Investigator-In-Charge for Kozhikode crash probe

Bengaluru riots: Muslim mob wanted to kill Naveen for his ‘blasphemous’ post, torched down police station as cops prevented it

The Bengaluru riots were triggered by a Facebook post by Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy's nephew Naveen

BMC removes illegal loudspeaker at Mankhurd for which Karishma Bhosale was heckled by Muslims, was sent notice by Mumbai police

Mumbai police had sent notice to Karishma Bhosale calling her request to lower volume of Mosque's loudspeaker "inappropriate"

From cheap goods to telecom: How China’s industrial hegemony and guerilla marketing tactics can hurt India

Be it the battlefield or business environment, Chinese have always tried to strain India's economy in all possible aspects.

Mumbai Police records statement of journalist Faye D’Souza’s husband in the ‘fake views’ scam involving singer Badshah

Rapper Badshah had confessed that he had paid Qyukl, where Sagar Gokhale is director and COO, for fake views of his YouTube video

ED questions Rhea Chakraborty over alleged mismatch in income and expenses, asks to submit financial records: Read details

Rhea and her brother are directors in at least two firms, Front India For World Foundation and Vividrage Rhealityx Private Limited, set up by Rajput.

Fact-check: Did water enter Delhi Transport Corporation bus when incessant rains flooded the national capital

The video which social media users claimed to be of Delhi is from Jaipur which was uploaded on YouTube on August 11, 2020

Chinese media publishes propaganda of Pakistan’s Ambassador to China but refuses to carry India’s rebuttal: Here are the full details

A day after first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370, Chinese state media runs Pakistani propaganda

Tricolour is slowly replacing the black flag in Chhattisgarh’s worst Naxal-hit regions as villagers embrace peace and development: Report

Many schools in the Bastar district, which is considered a core area of Naxal activity, have started initiating flag hoisting ceremony on occasions like Independence Day and Republic day or any other national festival, in which the villagers participate extensively, says the report.

Connect with us