Dara Shikoh never became emperor. But he was a true child of India

Source: This post is based on the article “Dara Shikoh never became emperor” published in “Indian Express” on 31st August,2021.

What is the News?

At a time when incidents of intolerance in the name of faith are being reported from Afghanistan, Dara Shikoh, one of India’s most enlightened thinkers, needs to be remembered.

About Dara Shikoh:
  1. Dara Shikoh (1615-59) was the eldest son and a chosen successor of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
  2. He was designated with the title Padshahzada-i-Buzurg Martaba (Prince of High Rank). 
  3. However, he was killed after losing the war of succession against his brother Aurangzeb.
Dara Shikoh as Liberal Muslim:
  1. Dara Shikoh was a champion of interfaith understanding, philosopher, artist, architect, translator, poet and administrator. 
  2. He is described as a “liberal Muslim” who tried to find commonalities between Hindu and Islamic traditions. He translated the Bhagavad Gita as well as 52 Upanishads into Persian.
  3. Moreover, his most important works, Majma-ul-Bahrain (Mingling of Two Oceans) and Sirr-i-Akbar (Great Mystery) are devoted to the cause of establishing connections between Hinduism and Islam

The architecture of Dara Shikoh:  Dara Shikoh is credited with the commissioning examples of Mughal architecture such as:

  1. The tomb of his wife Nadira Begum and Shrine of Mian Mir in Lahore.
  2. Dara Shikoh Library in Delhi.
  3. Akhun Mullah Shah Mosque and the Pari Mahal garden palace in Srinagar, Kashmir.
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