21. Aurangzeb

Aurangzeb, the King of Delhi had come to the throne by imprisoning his father Shah Jehan, and by killing all his three brothers Dara Shikoh, Murad and Shujah by deceit. There is no doubt that Aurangzeb had become very unpopular amongst his Muslim subjects, especially since Dara Shikoh was loved and respected by all. Therefore, he decided to cover his crimes with a coat of religion. He claimed that his father and Dara were infidels, whereas he was true to the teachings of Prophet Mohammed and led the life of a staunch muslim. He shipped the wealth of India to Mecca and Medina to win the hearts of the "Qazis" and "Mullahs." In short, Aurangzeb became a Muslim fanatic for he thought it politically expedient to be so, otherwise in the words of Guru Gobind Singh ji, he was neither true to Mohammed nor to Allah (God). Every policy that was instrumented at Delhi, was certain to be designed against the interests of Hindus. Although Aurangzeb had a lot of Hindu blood in him, he hated the Hindus everywhere, except in the army where the might of the Rajput warriors was indispensable, and in the harem where the beauty and loyalty of the Hindu princesses enchanted even his puritan and ascetic mind to the point of romantic madness. His principal queen, Nawab Bai, the mother of his successor, Bahadur Shah, was a Hindu princess of Kashmir. So also was his favourite Hira Bai, with whom he fell head over heels in love, before he became the Emperor." If there had ever been a dark age in the history of the 5000 years old Hindu religion, it was during the reign of Aurangzeb. It would not be an exaggeration to say that they were just "existing and not living." The plight of the Hindus under Aurangzeb can be compared with that of the Jews under Hitler or the kulaks under Stalin. The privileges of riding a horse; flying a flag; growing a moustache, chewing a bectle leaf or tying a turban were reserved only for the muslim members of the Indian society.