Narratives of the 1658 War of Succession for the Mughal Throne, 1658-1707
AdvisorEaton, Richard M.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation studies certain Hindi and Persian narratives of the War of Succession (1658) to succeed Shah Jahan (r.1627-1658). All the narratives under study were written during the reign of Aurangzeb (r.1658-1707), the successor of Shah Jahan. The study evaluates the significance of the War as a landmark moment in the social history of India, especially in the formation and inter-relationships between religious communities. The dissertation demarcates the larger epistemological and ontological canvas on which these communities took shape and interacted with each other. The research outlines the ways and the contexts in which terms such as Hindu, momin, musalman, Islam, din and Rajput were deployed in literary texts. It asks whether Hinduism and Islam were two disparate traditions, as previous histories of the War and Mughal India had contended. The dissertation argues that social communities of Hindus and Muslims were mutually and similarly circumscribed within an Islamic worldview and concept of din. Hindu traditions could portray Muslims in concepts and terms borrowed from Indian epics but within an over-arching Islamic cultural dispensation. The War was not a moment of evolution between two independent Hindu and Muslim traditions. Rather, the War was a moment that saw the evolution, even if it be of an antagonistic kind, of Hindu and Muslim traditions within a larger Islamic framework. Besides the above primary focus, the dissertation provides the reader with important insights and overviews regarding allied subjects such as the literary histories of Persian and of Hindi/Urdu, especially in the Dingal and Khari Boli dialects, the political culture of Hindu India, Rajput political culture, Mughal political culture, patronage networks in Mughal India, notions of soldierly duty in seventeenth century India, language and status, preaching in the Hindu and Islamic traditions, the sociological ideas of acculturation and Islamisation, and twentieth century history-writing.
Degree ProgramGraduate College