Soon after, what remained of the family was able to return to Delhi, to begin a new life on the pension of five rupees a month that the British offered the few surviving members of the imperial family. The stuff that is there is of very poor quality, but hunger is the greater master and neediness a true slave driver, so people will take what they can get and consider it a boon. Dalrymple shows the vast enduring impression of the Emperor of India in the common men of 1857 even afar the intrusion of the British through Plassey hundred years before. But he was a weak and vacillating figure not fit to be a leader of men. You could be an expert in your field, having worked your way through every bit of ponderous tome you could ever read, but when it comes to creating a story out of it, a clear thread that runs through every bit of knowledge that you have - and to be able to share it with a reader, who comes with a background of having been told fuck-all in his school I believe that one of the first things that need to be done after reading a book such as this to literally take a bow to the author for his efforts. At the same time, in the Act for the Better Government of India, the British Crown finally assumed all governmental responsibilities held by the East India Company, and its 24,000-man military force was incorporated into the British Army.
This book is a timely one on this 150th anniversary of the Great Indian mutiny of 1857. If the army had followed its instructions - that goat or mutton fat would not offend the religious susceptibilities of either Hindu or Muslim soldiers, but that on no account must either beef or pork fat is used - there would have been no problem. If anyone should have understood the important symbols of a monarchy, the Brits should have. He therefore gave his blessing and public support to the Uprising, and took seriously his role as newly empowered Mughal Emperor, while doing all he could to limit the depredations of the sepoys. More than the last Mughal emperor, the book belongs to the First War of Indian Independence to which he was unwittingly bound. Fundamentally, he did two things.
A culturally diverse, almost cosmopolitan city, of which Bahadur Shah The further backward you look. The book is brilliant and scholarly. This part in general is an interesting insight into a world that was lost and forgotten after 1857 - when a fair amount of Brits intermingled and lived with Delhi-ites, primarily the elite of the Mughal court again, a nominal authority by that time , when mushairas and ghazals and Ghalib were all real, and not stuff of urban legend that we sometimes intriguingly look back to. Bahadur Shah 2 or Bahadur Shah Zafar as we were taught in history classes, born in 1775, whose pen name meant 'Victory', and was depicted as the face of the revolution that almost threw out the British. These are the forces that led to the rise of Nationalist Forces that finally led to Independence in 1947 and also the partition of the country that same year. But while his Mughal ancestors had controlled most of India, the aged Zafar was king in name only.
On a hazy November afternoon in Rangoon, 1862, a shrouded corpse was escorted by a small group of British soldiers to an anonymous grave in a prison enclosure. There he died, the last Mughal ruler in a line that stretched back to the sixteenth century. But while his Mughal ancestors had controlled most of India, the aged Zafar was king in name only. Because sometimes the threads are just so damn interesting…and even pertinent! There was a feeling that technologically, economically and politi A chronicle of the horrors of colonialism in Mughal Delhi and greater India. The royal princes had nothing to lose by supporting, encouraging and leading the revolt, when it came. The reason is not hard to guess.
He never forgot the central importance of preserving the bond between his Hindu and Muslim subjects, which he always recognised was the central stitching that held his capital city together. He vividly portrayed, the daily life in streets of the mid nineteenth century Delhi and the devastation and destruction at the end of the rebellion that brought a civilisation to its end. In 1989 Dalrymple moved to Delhi where he lived for six years researching his second book, City of Djinns, which won the 1994 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. Importantly, it directs our attention to several of our presend-day issues and attitudes, a direct result of our legacy. First, he used multiple sources many of which were previously unexplored that allowed his story to be wonderfully unbiased in either direction.
S Naipaul, E M Forster so often do, it's really fine by me. He has vividly described the street life of the Mughal capital in the days before the catastrophe happened, he has put his finger deftly on every crucial point in the story, which earlier historians have sometimes missed, and he has supplied some of the most informative footnotes I have ever read. But we are not here for British-bashing, that can happen maybe someday later. If Niall Ferguson's may be said to speak to the upside of Empire—its legacy of representative government, etc. Among these were the Mughal court and the many Muslim individuals who made their way to Delhi and fought as civilian jihadis united against the kafir enemy.
Throughout the Uprising, his refusal to alienate his Hindu subjects by subscribing to the demands of the jihadis was probably his single most consistent policy. It goes on for a very long time, not just in the excitement of the aftermath of battle. I thought this book could have been better written. In modern Delhi an increasingly wealthy Punjabi middle class now lives in an aspirational bubble of shopping malls, espresso bars and multiplexes. This was the beginning of the end for the Mughal Empire in particular and Muslim hold over India in general. This is also the first ever book that looks at the mutiny from the Indian point of view, though it is written by an Englishman. Muslims were specifically targeted here and were treated with total contempt.
I think, India as a society is richer due to the Mughals and despite the popular opinion and recorded history who wrote it, you guessed it right. After it was captured, not so much. What makes it even better is that he has been very rigorous, citing sources and taking minimum liberties and narrates like an unbiased spectator however not refraining from deriving The Last Mughal is a masterpiece. A stage version by Christopher Hampton has just been co-commissioned by the National Theatre and the Tamasha Theatre Company. He has vividly described the street life of the Mughal capital in the days before the catastrophe happened, he has put his finger deftly on every crucial point in the story, which earlier historians have sometimes missed, and he has supplied some of the most informative footnotes I have ever read.
Dalrymple's sympathies lean distinctly and rightly, I think Indian-ward. Rape and massacre of civilians on a large scale was commonplace. Deprived of real political power by the East India Company, he nevertheless succeeded in creating a court of great brilliance, and presided over one of the great cultural renaissances of Indian history. The book's fundamental premise, though, is intriguing: that Zafar's court represented the last vestige of a tolerant, Indo-Islamic culture; that British imperialism and religious evangelicals replaced a mixed Anglo-Society that was itself part of this pluralistic culture. The problem with this book is its length and complexity. I'll definitely read more by this author. There was a frenzied general massacre of civilians at Delhi upon its fall in September 1857, devastating and depopulating the whole city.