Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Debunking a malevolent statement of Jadunath Sarkar about Ahmad Shah Durrani

By Brigadier (R) Haroon Rashid

In any confrontation, a hero of one side is often the villain  of another. Sir Jadunath Nath Sarkar on the authority of a Maratha while mentioning Ahmad Shah's marriage with Princess Hazrat Mahal casts aspersion on the former as under:
"This tender lamb was to be pounced upon by a fierce Afghan of  grandfatherly age whose two ears docked and nose was rotting from a  leprous carbuncle."
Ahmad Shah, in 1747 AD, at the age of 23 years became King of Afghanistan. In 1756-7 AD, when he married the Princess he was about  33 years of age, which by all standards is a marriageable age. Such  political marriages were in vogue amongst the Mughals, Afghans and  Rajputs of the time. Babur had married Bibi Mubarika daughter of  Malik Mansur Khan Yousufzaey soon after his invasion of the Yousufzi  territory (William Erskine "A History of India under Baber", p- 338.  and Annette S. Beveridge, "Babur-Nama", Appendices `K-AN', p-xxxvi.). Likewise, Emperor Akbar had married daughters of Rajput rajas.

S. Fida Yunas, an authority on the history of Afghanistan writes:-
 "Alamgir Tsani, got his niece married to Prince Taimur (son of Ahmad Shah Durrani) while Sabiha Mahal, wife of Muhammad Shah Babri (mother of Ahmad Shah Moghal) gave her own daughter in marriage to the Durrani King. Seeing the downfall of the Moghals in India, Sabiha Mahal expressed her desire to accompany her son-in-law to Kandahar." (Afghanistan, A Political History" p-105).

Ahmad Shah Abdali had contracted the nose cancer a few years before his death in June 1773 AD. He had been out in the field even in 1770 AD. J. Nath Sarkar's malevolent statement is therefore
absolutely baseless which is contradicted by many authentic historical accounts.

Likewise, the writings of Mir Taqi Mir, whose patron was a Hindu Jat Raja Nagar Mal, are biased. According to him `the Afghans looted grains from some and  sold at higher prices to other wealthy persons'. They could have  easily looted the wealthy people in the first place; why undergo rigmarole of first looting and then selling it. It does not stand to logic.

Haroon Rashid

The writer is a retired brigadier and author of a ten-volume book "History of the Pathans"

Jadunath Sarkar