American history professor Audrey Truschke (Rutgers University, New Jersey) claims she has been target of Hindu extremists on social media since the release of her second book, Aurangzeb: The Man and The Myth, in February 2017.
Responding to her Hindu critics, she says she didn’t write the book for her critics or reviewers who dismiss her research on the basis of their hatred and distorted narratives of Muslim rule in Indian sub-continent for nearly 1000 years especially the last powerful and longest reigning Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
The Indian ruling BJP and its anti-Muslim bigots have long declared that Mughal rulers have no place in India’s history.
Audrey Truschke is not the first author to be chased by BJP and its Hindutva allies. The have declared India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru as a traitor and meat-eater for praising Mughal rulers in his 1946 memoir, The discovery of India.
US-born Canadian war reporter, journalist and author, Eric Margolis, in his 2000 book, War at the Top of the World, said: “When London was home to 15,000 ‘unwashed’ people – Muslim Mughals had created the greatest civilization in India.”
Aurangzeb, as a young prince lived a very lavish life – dinning in gold-dishes, enjoying music and served by dozens of servants. However, later influenced by some Sufi scholars he decided to fight the Deen-e-Iallahi (Allah’s religion) fitna created by his grandfather Emperor Akbar, the Great to please his Hindu Queen Jodha Bai (born 1542), a Rajput princess. The new religion became the religion of the royal court. It remained such during the periods of Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan who built the world-famous Taj Mahal in memory of his Queen Mumtaz Begum.
During the war of succession, prince Aurangzeb always maintained that he was not interested in Mughal throne but his only objective was to protect true Islam from the Deen-e-Iallahi fitna which was practiced by Crown Prince Dara Shukoh. When he was declared Emperor of India by the royal court on July 31, 1658, he declared that he wouldn’t take a single penny from the royal treasury. He fired all the royal servants and until his death on March 3, 1707, the Emperor of the richest country of the world lived on the sale of handwritten copies of Holy Qur’an and prayer caps. Aurangzeb’s wife Nawab Bai Ji (died 1691) used to cook food herself.
Anti-Muslim Hindu and Sikh writers and authors have accused Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir of destroying Hindu temples and Sikh Gurdawaras while both Christian and Jewish historians have not accused him of such religious discrimination. Yes, Aurangzeb did close-down some Hindu and Sikh worship places, an act against Islamic Shari’ah, but not on religious basis but because those places became breeding-grounds for anti-government rebels. Interestingly, the Mughal officials and soldiers involved in enforcing these acts had always been non-Muslims.
Aurangzeb donated land and cash to several Hindu and Sikh worship places such as the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.
Aurangzeb’s royal court had more Hindu nobles than any other Mughal Emperor.