Saturday, December 24, 2016

Mughals and all that...

One of my great retrospective resentments once I was an adult was the shoddy way we were taught history in middle and high school. The indifferently written and produced text books thought of history as an unending saga of kings, queens and successions, bereft of day to day lives of the people and the society at large. This book does something similar, but in a slightly more sophisticated and engaging manner. I am also quite confused after reading it – Akbar was great and secular but could be cruel and narrow-minded; Aurangzeb was cruel and prejudiced but could be great and liberal, and so on and so forth. The book (The Great Mughals and their India by Dirk Collier) seems to look at the Mughal period of Indian history as one long-running blood-feud, full of remorseless brutality; where kings and courtiers, concubines and consorts did their licentious things, in-between killing and getting killed. Average, or worse.

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