Geeta Pandey “Aurangzeb: Why is a Mughal emperor who died 300 years ago being debated on social media?” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-61519088
Aurangzeb, often described as the "last effective Mughal emperor" ruled India for nearly 50 years from 1658 to 1707 - but he was never a favourite in the eyes of historians.
For a start - he came to the throne after imprisoning his father and having his older brother killed.
And in comparison with other Mughal rulers, he fared badly - his great-grandfather Akbar was described as the benign secular ruler, grandfather Jahangir was known for his love for art and architecture and father Shah Jahan was the great romantic who built the Taj Mahal.
But Aurangzeb, the sixth emperor and a devout Muslim, was often described as a ruthless tyrant who was an expansionist, imposed tough Sharia laws and brought back the discriminatory jizya tax that Hindu residents had to pay in return for protection.
He was also described as someone who hated music and other fine arts, and ordered the destruction of several temples.
In front of Aurangzeb's tyrannical thinking, Guru Tegh Bahadur became 'Hind di Chadar' and stood like a rock. This Red Fort is a witness that even though Aurangzeb severed many heads, but could not shake our faith: PM Narendra Modi at Red Fort, Delhi pic.twitter.com/Fj2PxSMoRu— The Times Of India (@timesofindia) 2022年4月21日
中世史家のNadeem Rezavi氏*5もまた「アウラングゼーブ」という名前が現在のムスリムへの暴力を煽る機能を担っていると認識している。また、氏は アウラングゼーブ帝の人物像が通説よりも複雑であることを示している；
In a series of tweets, historian Audrey Truschke*4 responded that Hindu nationalists believed that "Muslims oppressed Hindus for hundreds of years so they deserve to be oppressed today, as retribution for the past".
She said Aurangzeb's name was being used as "a dog whistle to signal that it is acceptable to hate and use violence against present-day Muslims".
In the days since this Twitter discussion, much more hate has been heaped on Aurangzeb.
Describing him as a "butcher", the mayor of the city of Agra said all traces of him should be removed from public places. On Twitter, the Mughal emperor was called "an invader" who wanted to wipe out Hindus and one user suggested that all monuments and buildings
Prof Rezavi says the Mughal emperor did demolish a number of Hindu temples and imposed the discriminatory tax on Hindus, but he was a complicated figure, and not completely evil.
"He gave the highest number of grants for maintaining Hindu temples, he himself was two-thirds Hindu by blood because Akbar, his great-grandfather, had married a Rajput [a warrior Hindu caste], and there were more Rajputs in higher echelons during his rule than that of any other Mughal."
Despite popular perception, Prof Rezavi says Aurangzeb was not a fundamentalist in his personal life and that he "enjoyed wine, played the veena - an instrument favoured by Hindu goddesses - and more music books were written under him than any other Mughal".
But, he adds that Aurangzeb "invoked religion to cover up for his political failures and strengthen his authority - much like India's present-day leaders.
"But the question to ask is that even if Aurangzeb was all dark and evil, a sectarian and fundamentalist, who destroyed temples, should we be emulating him today?" Prof Rezavi asks.
"He was a tyrant and an emperor who lived 300 years ago. At the time there was no modern democracy, there was no constitution to guide him. But today we are guided by the Indian constitution and laws of parliament, so how can you duplicate the deeds that were done in the 16th and 17th Century?
"So if someone is indulging in the politics of 17th Century, they are committing a far greater crime than Aurangzeb did in the 17th Century," he adds.
*3:See also https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/20080909/1220932179 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/20090215/1234634437 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/20090612/1244776748 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/20131122/1385081575 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/20181111/1541914962