By William Dalrymple
On a gloomy night in November 1862, an inexpensive coffin is buried in eerie silence. There aren't any lamentations or panegyrics, for the British Commissioner accountable has insisted, ‘No vesting will stay to tell apart the place the final of the nice Mughals rests.'
This Mughal is Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the most tolerant and likeable of his extraordinary dynasty who stumbled on himself chief of a violent and doomed rebellion. The Siege of Delhi was once the Raj's Stalingrad, the top of either Mughal energy and a outstanding culture.
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Additional info for The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857
The unity and married calm of states Quite from th eir fixture! How could communities, Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities, . The primogen ity and due of birth, Preroga tive of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels, But by degree, stand in authentic place ? Take but degree away, untune th at string, A nd, hark, what discord follows! . S HAKESPEARE, Troilus and Cressida, I, iii 2 SAC RE D AND SE C ULAR FO UNDATIONS O F KINGS H I P IN T H E PAST, one ruler stood at the summit of the social hierarchy.
For the true believer, access to the truth of God's word can be h a d only through the Qur'an and the SACRED AND SECULAR FOUNDATIONS OF KINGSHIP 41 sayings o f the prophet. Although these sou rces provide no gu idance concerning the successio n , the true faith and man's fate de pend abso lute ly on preserving Muhammad's prophetic c harisma by finding the one right line o f successio n . 34 This is the reason why an "objective" history o f the caliphate (caliph means lieutenant, com pan ion , or successor, at least originally) cannot be written .
What Irfan Shahid said of Southern Arabi a a p plies to Mecca as well : Theirs was a busi ness c u l t u re , and their ideal was materialistic , the acq uisi tion of wealth , w hich they relentlessly pursue d , a s the Carthagi nians did, with sim ilar results. The re ma i n s of their material cultu re are u n inspiring, more interesting archeologically t han artistically , lacking that signi ficant form whic h d i fferen tiates an artefact from a work of art. . B ut the very same isolation which possibly o perate d to their disadvantage i n the cultu ral s phere was their salvation politically .