Shahen Shah : The Life of Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb must rebel against his father, and compete with his brothers, especially Dara Shikoh who is Emperor Shah Jahan’s favoured son, to become the Shahenshah of India and sit on the Peacock Throne. In politics, after all, trust and betrayal are two edges of the same sword. Meanwhile, in his zenankhana, the begums, constantly worrying about inheritance and bloodlines, grow jittery at the arrival of Hira, a mere concubine, who seems to have all of Aurangzeb’s heart. The air is heavy with anger and envy, and conspiracies are afoot.
Thus begins the reign of one of the darkest characters in Indian history. He murders his own brother, throws his father in the Agra fort prison and sends his children into exile. He declares jehad and relentlessly fights the Marathas, famed for their guerrilla tactics, for the last twenty-six years of his life. Aurangzeb is at once the tragic emperor and the anti-hero who can never be at ease. But he is equally the sovereign who picked up the sword at the age of eighty-two to protect his empire. He has often been described as a tyrant and a zealot in historical texts. In truth, he was a complex, much-conflicted man carrying forward the traditions of his predecessors and the blood-soaked culture of kingly succession.