Wednesday, Jan 26, 2022
Outlook.com

A Miniature’s Hidden Figures

In this astute analysis, Dara’s popular image is replaced by a man influenced by complex political-religious pulls typical of his age

A Miniature’s Hidden Figures
A Miniature’s Hidden Figures -

I first heard about Dara Shukoh (1615-1659) from my mother. She was fascinated by his brilliance, his poetry. She was also mesmerised by the tragedy that befell him. I wondered why Dara was an enigma and a hero for many others of her generation.

Supriya Gandhi probes that very question, unraveling the ent­wined histories and memories of Dara. Through scholarly reading, Gandhi retrieves Dara as a historical personality with a pol­itical role. The relationship between Aurangzeb and Dara is a crucial discourse in our history, but Gandhi’s meticulous analysis shifts the focus away from Dara’s tragic end to his political ambitions and intellectual journey.

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