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Aurangzeb is controversial because of India’s present, not because of its past: Audrey Truschke

This portrait of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb mounted on a horse, and ready for battle, was originally produced circa 1660. In 1700, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was arguably the richest, most powerful man in the world. He ruled for nearly 50 years, from 1658 until 1707, over a vast empire in South Asia that boasted a population exceeding the entirety of contemporary Europe. Today, he has been forgotten in the West. In modern-day India, however, Aurangzeb is alive in public debates, national politics, and people’s imaginations. From Mumbai to Delhi…

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Aurangzeb as never seen or believed!

  How should we view Aurangzeb, the last of the Great Mughals, and perhaps the most polarising figure in pre-modern Indian history. Was he a ruthless tyrant who did not even spare his family in his power bid and weakened the empire by his bigotry and ceaseless warring, or a determined, conscientious ruler but inflexible in his faith, as roughly par for his times. The general depiction of Aurangzeb in popular culture – and there has been quite a bit in recent times – is as an ambitious and scheming…

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