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IBA student examines the reigns of Mughal emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb
Osama Amin, a BS Social Sciences and Liberal Arts student (BSSS-4), has published a paper titled ‘Reimagining the Mughal Emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb in the 21st Century’ in the Journal of South Asian Studies.
The paper explores the reigns and policies of the two Mughal emperors, Akbar and Aurangzeb, and analyses how they have been remembered in the wider social memory. While Akbar is glorified as a secular and liberal leader, Aurangzeb is often dismissed and ridiculed as a religious extremist, who tried to impose the Shari'ah law in diversified India. The paper traces and evaluates the construction of these two grand narratives which were initially formed by the British historians in colonial India and then continued by specific nationalist historians of India and Pakistan, after the independence of the two nation-states. By citing some of the most popular misconceptions surrounding the two Mughal Emperors, this study attempts to understand the policies of these two emperors in a wider socio-political context and deconstructs these convenient misinterpretations. Concluding the analysis of how these two emperors are viewed differently in both India and Pakistan, the paper asserts the importance of leaving behind the modern concepts of 'liberal vs. conservative' while understanding these emperors and reinforces the practice to understand these historical figures on their own terms.
The paper can be accessed here.