Posted on: 1 November 2012

Digital Rare Book:
A Vindication of Aurangzeb
By Sadiq Ali of Kapurthala
Published in Kapurthala - 1916

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Excerpts from the Preface:

"My object in writing this essay is to caution students of the history of the Indian Mughals against credulity in regard to European historians, who have certainly made gross and unpardonable mistakes when describing events and making comments in their histories of India, particularly those portions treating of Aurangzeb's reign."

"It is not perhaps out of place to tell my readers that I was as much prejudiced against Aurangzeb as any Indian schoolboy could be, until a few years back. I had in fact imbibed all my notions on this subject from current Indian histories written by foreign authors."

"Then came a special opportunity and inclination to study history from the original Persian works, and from as many works of foreign authors on the subject as I could procure. As my natural turn of mind is what is termed as free-thinking-- for which people often blame me-- I am averse to unquestioned obedience to 'authorities' on matters in which I have an opportunity of making independent inquiries. I always take facts, evidence, and intuition for my guide in forming opinions and passing judgments. On studying the above-mentioned books and patiently reflecting on what they taught, I was surprised to find them running counter to all my preconceived ideas of Aurangzeb's life and character. This was to me a revelation, so I wished to communicate it to others;"

- Sadiq Ali of Kapurthala, The Punjab- September, 1916

Emperor Aurangzeb; reverse: calligraphic panel
A.H. 1028/ A.D. 1619

Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
H: 29.6 W: 20.1 cm

Copyright © 2012 Smithsonian Institution

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His grave in Aurangabad is a study in austerity. A simple cotton cloth covers it. There is no large headstone, nothing. Just a little basil seed tree. That is all. I was touched by the fact that this was ordered by him.

He is one of the most controversial figures in history of india.Its like perpetual views from different historians which would haunt always.

Muzammil I dont know much about history. But I am amazed by your deep interesrt ion history.u have done very good job by giiving reference of rare book society of the author has tried to narrow the misconceptions about aurangzeb .

yes dr Qazi Akhtar Saeed, the only history a man knows for certain is that small part he owns for himself. :)