It a great tragedy that people who have killed millions, ravaged lands and people, and destroyed cultures, are routinely glorified and honoured by calling them conquerors, emperors, great, magnificent etc. A greater tragedy is that we ignore or forget noble and good people who have saved humanity.
Abul Muzaffar Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad is hailed by some persons as a great ruler. They claim him a pious man because of acts like like weaving and selling prayer caps to pay for his own funeral. How sad it is, that we consider hatred, intolerance and cruel persecution as piety.
He took the title 'Alamgir Aurangzeb'. 'Alamgir' meaning 'world seizer' and 'Aurangzeb' meaning the throne of wisdom / understanding. Seizer he was, but wisdom, he lacked in spite of possessing many talents. Foolishly some politicians seeking to appease Muslim voters had named one of Delhi's beautiful main road after Aurangzeb.
To his credit he was cruel to all his subjects even the Muslims, but he focussed his viciousness on the Sikhs and Hindus. Not only was he a cruel bigot, he perfected an entire culture based on hatred and intolerance that casts its horrible shadow over the entire Indian subcontinent even today.
Rightly so, not long ago, the name of the despicable bigot Aurangzeb was removed from one of Delhi's main roads. By renaming the road rather after the noble, humanitarian Dr. Abdul Kalam, the government has set right a great blunder.
Honouring Dr. Kalam, a humble, unassuming man, great son of India, teacher, scientist, leader, writer and former President of India, the country has shown respect to its own people and to the high ideals a nation should stands for. A new, stronger, honourable and more self respecting India seems to be emerging.
People like Aurangzeb who killed his father, slaughtered all his brothers, uncles and nephews. Waging relentless wars of aggression and acts destruction, he depleted the fantastically rich treasury he inherited.
He used the state machinery and his personal zeal to contribute in a huge way, the spread of intolerance, hatred and persecution of Hindus and even Muslims as done by his notorious predecessors.
Aurangzeb's reign is listed as 23rd in 100 deadliest episodes of atrocities in human history. He slaughtered more than 4.6 million Indians by his own command and proudly documented and autographed all such murders.
According to Muslim historian Firishta [Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah, 1560 -1620], author of the Tarikh-i Firishta and the Gulshan-i Ibrahim, who wrote based on recorded facts of the various courts, that by the mid 1500's (over a 800 year period) about 100 million Hindus were killed in a genocide by Muslim invaders and occupiers. [Noted Historian K.S. Lal estimates the figure at 60 to 80 million over a 525 year period from year 1000 to year 1525
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace.
Aurangzeb gave India and her people only misery. His actions forced the formerly docile and tolerant subjects of the empire to rise against him and Islamic rule. All these actions led to the downfall of the Mughal empire and paved the way for a new wave of invaders and eventual colonisation.
What we sow, so shall we reap. The seeds of arrogance, intolerance, hatred and inhumanity can only yield the bitter fruit of destruction and misery for all but most for the perpetrator himself.
Aurangzeb was an evil man unfit to be honoured as a great emperor, hence he is rightly vilified and remembered only as a horrible tyrant, named Abul Muzaffar Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad. At age 92 years and at the fag end of his life he came to realise the true worth of his achievements.
"I came alone and I go as a stranger. I do not know who I am, nor what I have been doing."
~ Abul Muzaffar Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad (Aurangzeb)
(1616 - 1707 - Sixth Mughal ruler of India, 1658 -1707)
Posted: On the birth anniversary of Aurangzeb, 3 Nov, not to celebrate his coming but to mourn it.