The man Narendra Modi wants India to accept as its philosophical lodestar did not regard Muslims as “proper Indians”.
Akbar, and the later Mughals, celebrated a variety of festivals. This was one way of seeking political validation as well as constructing kingship over different ethnicities.
The role of emperor Akbar in revised history textbooks has been reduced to just three lines, with all focus now on Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha empire.
The book also mentions Maharana Pratap as the only “national element” who didn’t sell himself to Akbar.
The composite nationalism, or muttahida qaumiyat, articulated during the anti-colonial struggle represents the organic growth of the cultural moorings and desires of the people of India, unlike political Hindutva and its Islamic counterpart, ‘Pakistan ideology’.
Historians should reject both excessive focus on precolonial Islamic violence, as well as a secular whitewashing that is insensitive to local memories and histories.
In Shahid Amin’s brilliant new book, the contentious relationships between the Muslim conqueror and the Hindu vanquished that constitutes India’s historical past are given their rightful space in the meta narrative of the nation state.
Work on Indian history is increasingly threatened by those who cling to a fabricated past filled with religious conflict and display fierce animosity toward anybody who brings up evidence to the contrary.
Shah Jahan discovered that in the Bhimbhar region of Kashmir, it was common for Muslim boys to marry Hindu girls, with the boys then converting to Hinduism. He tried to stop it but found that his diktat had no effect
It is colonial history that we propagate today when we view Akbar and Aurangzeb as merely “good” or “bad” Muslims and not as rulers whose actions were guided by complex considerations
A man who should be commemorated with a museum of science for children has been fobbed off with a road-sign.