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Jahangir

From Academic Kids

Nuruddin Jahangir (August 31, 1569 - October 28, 1627) was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until 1627. He signed a treaty with the British East India Company promising their merchants preferential treatment, opening India to Britain for the first time.

He is also the person known to history as Shehzada Salim of Anarkali fame, immortalized in the famous Hindi film Mughal-e-Azam. Personal nickname was Shaikhoo. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگير, meaning "Conqueror of the World", "World-Conqueror", or "Dominant over the World". Alternative spellings of the name include Jehangir, (in Turkish) Cehangir and so on.

Prince Muhammad Salim was the eldest son of Akbar. He was born in August 1569, after many prayers and blessings of the saints. Therefore, Akbar ensured that his son receive the best education possible. Salim started his studies at the age of four and was taught Persian, Arabic, Hindi, history, arithmetic, geography and other sciences by important tutors like Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana.

Prince Salim succeeded to the throne on the eighth day after his father's death. He took the name Jahangir and started his 22 years reign at the age of 36. Having seized power, he had to fend off his own son Khusraw's claim to the throne. Khusraw was defeated and as a punishment, his eyes were taken out.

Jahangir started his reign with several popular acts. He released prisoners of war, promised to protect Islam and granted general amnesty to his opponents. He set up a "Chain of Justice" outside his palace. Anyone in trouble could simply pull the chain and receive a hearing from the Emperor. Jahangir married the extremely beautiful and intelligent Mehr-un-Nisa in May 1611, which is in itself a story of romance and intrigue. Mehr-un-Nisa was given the title of Nur Jehan on her marriage to Jahangir. Jahangir was fond of ease and comfort. He was an alcohol addict and could be found day and night with wine goblets in his hands. He was also susceptible to the influence of others, a weakness exploited by many. Because of his inebriated state, Nur Jehan came to be the actual power behind the throne. It was during Jehangir's reign that the British got formal permission to trade freely in the Mughal Empire. This is often said to be his greatest blunder for these traders went on to become the rulers of the Sub-continent.

Jahangir was a good writer and loved nature. He recorded all sorts of wildlife in his book Tuzk-i-Jahangiri. He liked paintings and collected many of them in his palace. Some of them are still found in museums. He died in 1627 and was buried in Shahdra a suburb of Lahore in present day Pakisan. His great mausoleum is still present and is a popular tourist attraction. (From: http://www.storyofpakistan.com.)

His twentieth wife was Nur Jehan, b. 1577, d. 1643 and herself a historically significant person.

Alternate view from scholarship

In The Great Mogul: His Cruelty (1618) Edward Terry writes

For his cruelties, he put one of his women to a miserable death; one of his women he had formerly touched and kept company with, but now she was superannuated; for neither himself nor nobles (as they say) come near their wives or women after they exceed the age of thiry years. The fault of that woman was this, the Mogul upon a time found her and one of her eunuchs kissing one another, and for this very thing the king presently gave command that a round hole should be made int he earth, and that her body should be put in that hole, where she should stand with her head only above the ground, and the earth to be put in again unto her close round about her, and so she might stand in the parching sun till the extreme hot beams thereof did kill her: in which torment she lived one whole day, and the night following, and almost till the next noon, crying out most lamentably, while she was still able to speak..."Ah my head, my head!", which horrid execution, or rather murder, was acted near our house; where the eunuch, by the command of the said King, was brought very near the place where this poor creature was thus buried alive, and there in his sight cut all to pieces.

Eyewitness to History, ed, John Carey, 1988, p. 171.


Preceded by:
Akbar
Mughal Emperor
1605–1627
Succeeded by:
Shah Jahan

Template:End boxde:Jahangir

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