Real story of Salim-Anarkali

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Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by ashdoc on Mon May 09, 2011 3:44 pm

For generations of people brought up on the legend of salim anarkali and the film mughal e azam this may be a bit of a shocker- but anarkali was akbars woman before she became salims.

i read this first in a book called EMPERORS OF THE PEACOCK THRONE written by abraham eraly.he writes-'' there seems to have been an oedipal conflict between akbar and salim.the mughal court was rife with rumours of about the tension between the two,because of salims escapades and akbars resentment over them. THE MOST ROMANTIC AND PERSISTANT OF THESE STORIES LINKED SALIM WITH ANARKALI(POMGRANATE BLOSSOM), A BEAUTIFUL AND ACCOMPLISHED CONCUBINE OF AKBAR, AND POSSILBLY THE MOTHER OF AKBARS SON DANIYAL (WHO DIED DUE TO ALCOHOLISM)-LEGEND HAS IT THATA WRATHFUL AKBAR ENTOMBED ANARKALI ALIVE FOR THE CRIME OF EXCHANGING A SMILING GLANCE AT HIM''

i decided to search for more information on this and found this in the book THE MUGHAL EMPERORS AND THE ISLAMIC DYNASTIES OF INDIA IRAN AND CENTRAL ASIA by francis robinson-''there was a sexual jealusy between akbar and salim. akbar was said to have immuered alive his favourite concubine ,anarkali for smiling at salim.''

these are titbits though and i decided to search for a longer account of the matter.

i found a longer account in PRIVATE LIVES OF THE MUGHALS OF INDIA by professor R. NATH.

this is what he writes-

anarkalis real name was nadira begum or sharif un nisa begum. she was a excessively beautiful slave girl in the personal service of akbar, who had great liking for her and conferred the title anarkali upon her.

one day while seated in an apartment lined with mirrors, he noticed the youthful anarkali returning prince salim(who was just passing by the hall) a smile.

akbar knew the character of his sensuous son more than anybody else, and he was outraged by the suspicion of an affair between the crown prince and his own slave girl.

he was so infuriated that he that he ordred her to be 'built' alive into a wall. salim could not save hae from this cruel end, but after his accesion to the throne , he commisioned at lahore a tomb in her memory.

the persian couplet which he had inscribed on her marble tombstone reads,


ah! if i could behold the face of
my beloved(yar) once more,
i would give thanks unto my god,
until thr day of resurrection.-
by majnoon salim akbar

this is an expression of passionate love and this testifies that he had really fallen in love with anarkali. the romance was going on for quite some time.

she innocently reciprocated, little knowing the subtle threads of mughal polity which bound these human beings called mughal emporers, and the unfor tunate lady paid the price by her life.

the mughal harem was a 'matter of fact ' institution and there was no place for romances in it.




and to think that I used to think of akbar as her potential father in law!


in another place the author writes-' some youthful slave girl was always in attendance , when akbar was in his harem to look after his personal service,as was anarkali.'

obviously the personal service didnt mean just massaging his legs or something like that- unless you are talking about his short leg -or shoving his short leg between her two fine legs - if you want to use cricketing terminology.

obviously the stories of anarkali being a common nautch girl are false.

k asif in his movie mughal e azam does not want to malign the character of the mughals by showing father and son fighting over one woman.he also shows her as being allowed to escape alive.

the movie anarkali starring bina rai and pradeep kumar is somewhat more truthful as it shows her being buried alive.

obviously she was buried alive to strike terror in the hearts of the other inmates of the harem.an example was made of her to show others what would happen to them if they dared cross the line.

akbar was known to be an egomaniac and any woman whom he slept was to be only his- even though he sometime slept with her only once and then moved on to others.

of course as shehenshah e hindustan he had no choice-if word got out that his concubine was sleeping with his own son he would become the laughing stock of the nation.it was a question of IZZAT- and he had to act accordingly.

where did he aquire her- possibly in meena bazar- the weekly bazar where beautiful women from all over the world were presented to him by merchants and the most accomplished were bought by him.

she musnt have come cheap-for one thing she was beautiful and the person who sold her must have spent a lot of money in training her in her accomplishments which included makeup dancing etc and must have looked to earn a profit on that.

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by doofus_maximus on Mon May 09, 2011 3:53 pm

all I got from this tale was Pomegranate Blossom.. such an awesome soft rock band name.. probably all ladies band..


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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Guest on Mon May 09, 2011 4:01 pm

is this the same Jodha Akbar akbar?

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by ashdoc on Mon May 09, 2011 4:08 pm

seven wrote:is this the same Jodha Akbar akbar?

yeah..........

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Mosquito on Mon May 09, 2011 4:14 pm

seven wrote:is this the same Jodha Akbar akbar?

What does it mean? Do you get your history lessons from films?

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Rashmun on Tue May 10, 2011 12:16 am

One of the sources 'ashdoc' gives for his conclusions is the book 'Private Life of the Mughals in India' by R.Nath. But this book, Nath makes it clear in his introduction, is to be read not as history but as historical fiction. Presumably this is the case with the other sources ashdoc gives.

The only authentic information we have about Anarkali is an inscription in Lahore by Jahangir to the effect that he would have given up everything for Anarkali. Everything else is pure fiction/fantasy/myth mongering.




ashdoc wrote:For generations of people brought up on the legend of salim anarkali and the film mughal e azam this may be a bit of a shocker- but anarkali was akbars woman before she became salims.

i read this first in a book called EMPERORS OF THE PEACOCK THRONE written by abraham eraly.he writes-'' there seems to have been an oedipal conflict between akbar and salim.the mughal court was rife with rumours of about the tension between the two,because of salims escapades and akbars resentment over them. THE MOST ROMANTIC AND PERSISTANT OF THESE STORIES LINKED SALIM WITH ANARKALI(POMGRANATE BLOSSOM), A BEAUTIFUL AND ACCOMPLISHED CONCUBINE OF AKBAR, AND POSSILBLY THE MOTHER OF AKBARS SON DANIYAL (WHO DIED DUE TO ALCOHOLISM)-LEGEND HAS IT THATA WRATHFUL AKBAR ENTOMBED ANARKALI ALIVE FOR THE CRIME OF EXCHANGING A SMILING GLANCE AT HIM''

i decided to search for more information on this and found this in the book THE MUGHAL EMPERORS AND THE ISLAMIC DYNASTIES OF INDIA IRAN AND CENTRAL ASIA by francis robinson-''there was a sexual jealusy between akbar and salim. akbar was said to have immuered alive his favourite concubine ,anarkali for smiling at salim.''

these are titbits though and i decided to search for a longer account of the matter.

i found a longer account in PRIVATE LIVES OF THE MUGHALS OF INDIA by professor R. NATH.

this is what he writes-

anarkalis real name was nadira begum or sharif un nisa begum. she was a excessively beautiful slave girl in the personal service of akbar, who had great liking for her and conferred the title anarkali upon her.

one day while seated in an apartment lined with mirrors, he noticed the youthful anarkali returning prince salim(who was just passing by the hall) a smile.

akbar knew the character of his sensuous son more than anybody else, and he was outraged by the suspicion of an affair between the crown prince and his own slave girl.

he was so infuriated that he that he ordred her to be 'built' alive into a wall. salim could not save hae from this cruel end, but after his accesion to the throne , he commisioned at lahore a tomb in her memory.

the persian couplet which he had inscribed on her marble tombstone reads,


ah! if i could behold the face of
my beloved(yar) once more,
i would give thanks unto my god,
until thr day of resurrection.-
by majnoon salim akbar

this is an expression of passionate love and this testifies that he had really fallen in love with anarkali. the romance was going on for quite some time.

she innocently reciprocated, little knowing the subtle threads of mughal polity which bound these human beings called mughal emporers, and the unfor tunate lady paid the price by her life.

the mughal harem was a 'matter of fact ' institution and there was no place for romances in it.




and to think that I used to think of akbar as her potential father in law!


in another place the author writes-' some youthful slave girl was always in attendance , when akbar was in his harem to look after his personal service,as was anarkali.'

obviously the personal service didnt mean just massaging his legs or something like that- unless you are talking about his short leg -or shoving his short leg between her two fine legs - if you want to use cricketing terminology.

obviously the stories of anarkali being a common nautch girl are false.

k asif in his movie mughal e azam does not want to malign the character of the mughals by showing father and son fighting over one woman.he also shows her as being allowed to escape alive.

the movie anarkali starring bina rai and pradeep kumar is somewhat more truthful as it shows her being buried alive.

obviously she was buried alive to strike terror in the hearts of the other inmates of the harem.an example was made of her to show others what would happen to them if they dared cross the line.

akbar was known to be an egomaniac and any woman whom he slept was to be only his- even though he sometime slept with her only once and then moved on to others.

of course as shehenshah e hindustan he had no choice-if word got out that his concubine was sleeping with his own son he would become the laughing stock of the nation.it was a question of IZZAT- and he had to act accordingly.

where did he aquire her- possibly in meena bazar- the weekly bazar where beautiful women from all over the world were presented to him by merchants and the most accomplished were bought by him.

she musnt have come cheap-for one thing she was beautiful and the person who sold her must have spent a lot of money in training her in her accomplishments which included makeup dancing etc and must have looked to earn a profit on that.

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by ashdoc on Tue May 10, 2011 12:56 am

Rashmun wrote:One of the sources 'ashdoc' gives for his conclusions is the book 'Private Life of the Mughals in India' by R.Nath. But this book, Nath makes it clear in his introduction, is to be read not as history but as historical fiction. Presumably this is the case with the other sources ashdoc gives.

The only authentic information we have about Anarkali is an inscription in Lahore by Jahangir to the effect that he would have given up everything for Anarkali. Everything else is pure fiction/fantasy/myth mongering.


i have the book ( private lives )with me , and there is a preface , not an introduction .

i confess i never bothered to read the preface .

but on reading it ,nowhere did i find that it is supposed to be a work of historical fiction .

the other two books are clear-cut histories of the mughals , and certainly not historical fiction .

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Rashmun on Tue May 10, 2011 8:27 am

I shall get to 'Private Lives' later. With respect to your second source Eraly i have actually met the man (in Chennai). He has no knowledge of persian which was the court language of the great mughals. All the inscriptions, documents of the great mughals were in persian which Eraly cannot read. Now tell us the *original* references Eraly gives with respect to the conclusions you are drawing.

ashdoc wrote:
Rashmun wrote:One of the sources 'ashdoc' gives for his conclusions is the book 'Private Life of the Mughals in India' by R.Nath. But this book, Nath makes it clear in his introduction, is to be read not as history but as historical fiction. Presumably this is the case with the other sources ashdoc gives.

The only authentic information we have about Anarkali is an inscription in Lahore by Jahangir to the effect that he would have given up everything for Anarkali. Everything else is pure fiction/fantasy/myth mongering.


i have the book ( private lives )with me , and there is a preface , not an introduction .

i confess i never bothered to read the preface .

but on reading it ,nowhere did i find that it is supposed to be a work of historical fiction .

the other two books are clear-cut histories of the mughals , and certainly not historical fiction .

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Rashmun on Tue May 10, 2011 8:46 am

With respect to 'Private Life of the Mughals' do you agree that the writer R. Nath does not give a single scholarly reference for the statements he is making? If yes, do you agree that Nath is a pamphleteer rather than a scholar?


ashdoc wrote:
Rashmun wrote:One of the sources 'ashdoc' gives for his conclusions is the book 'Private Life of the Mughals in India' by R.Nath. But this book, Nath makes it clear in his introduction, is to be read not as history but as historical fiction. Presumably this is the case with the other sources ashdoc gives.

The only authentic information we have about Anarkali is an inscription in Lahore by Jahangir to the effect that he would have given up everything for Anarkali. Everything else is pure fiction/fantasy/myth mongering.


i have the book ( private lives )with me , and there is a preface , not an introduction .

i confess i never bothered to read the preface .

but on reading it ,nowhere did i find that it is supposed to be a work of historical fiction .

the other two books are clear-cut histories of the mughals , and certainly not historical fiction .

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Hellsangel on Tue May 10, 2011 9:39 am

Buy PRIVATE LIFE OF MUGHALS (1526-1803 A.D)

The publisher categorizes the book as History not Fiction or Historical fiction.

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Rashmun on Tue May 10, 2011 9:45 am

would you agree that a history book is not actually a history book if it has NO references supporting its statements and inferences irrespective of whether the publisher classifies it as a history book or not?

Hellsangel wrote:Buy PRIVATE LIFE OF MUGHALS (1526-1803 A.D)

The publisher categorizes the book as History not Fiction or Historical fiction.

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Propagandhi711 on Tue May 10, 2011 9:47 am

spot casting aspersions on akbar pls. we know from rashmun's posts that akbar can do no wrong. this nath guy was probably jealous of mughals and objects to hindu muslim synthesis.

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Hellsangel on Tue May 10, 2011 9:52 am

Rashmun wrote:would you agree that a history book is not actually a history book if it has NO references supporting its statements and inferences irrespective of whether the publisher classifies it as a history book or not?


I don't have a copy of the book with me and Amazon does not have a 'Look Inside' option for this book. I can tell you if he does or does nor provide any references after I look inside the book. Have you looked inside the book?

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Rashmun on Tue May 10, 2011 9:58 am

Yes i have.

Hellsangel wrote:
Rashmun wrote:would you agree that a history book is not actually a history book if it has NO references supporting its statements and inferences irrespective of whether the publisher classifies it as a history book or not?


I don't have a copy of the book with me and Amazon does not have a 'Look Inside' option for this book. I can tell you if he does or does nor provide any references after I look inside the book. Have you looked inside the book?

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Hellsangel on Tue May 10, 2011 10:00 am

Rashmun wrote:Yes i have.

So it is your opinion that the book is fiction and not fact? What exactly does the author say in his preface?

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Rashmun on Tue May 10, 2011 10:29 am

the book is not with me right now.
Hellsangel wrote:
Rashmun wrote:Yes i have.

So it is your opinion that the book is fiction and not fact? What exactly does the author say in his preface?

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Hellsangel on Tue May 10, 2011 10:45 am

Rashmun wrote:the book is not with me right now.
When the book is back with you, please do share what the author says in his preface and what led to your opinion that the book is fiction and not fact.

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by ashdoc on Tue May 10, 2011 11:29 am

Rashmun wrote:I shall get to 'Private Lives' later. With respect to your second source Eraly i have actually met the man (in Chennai). He has no knowledge of persian which was the court language of the great mughals. All the inscriptions, documents of the great mughals were in persian which Eraly cannot read. Now tell us the *original* references Eraly gives with respect to the conclusions you are drawing.


come on ,the anarkali incident cannot be expected to be found in the inscriptions or court documents of mughals......

after all ,it was a matter of shame and could have hardly been recorded by the mughal court documents or inscriptions .

abraham gives the reference of the journal of william finch , an english merchant who came to india in jehangir's ( salim took the title jehangir after accession )reign. william says in this journal that when he saw the monument to anarkali , he was told that she was one of akbar's wives who had an affair with salim ( jehangir ), upon notice of which akbar caused her to be enclosed alive within a wall of his mahal , and upon his acsession jehangir commanded a sumptous tomb to be built of stone in the midst of a four-square garden richly walled .

abraham also says that auragzeb's chronicler khafi khan has told the same story .

also he says some late mughal writers have told the story , but does not mention their names .

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by ashdoc on Tue May 10, 2011 11:37 am

Rashmun wrote:With respect to 'Private Life of the Mughals' do you agree that the writer R. Nath does not give a single scholarly reference for the statements he is making? If yes, do you agree that Nath is a pamphleteer rather than a scholar?

obviously , there must not have been real records of the private life of mughals--since some things are not recorded , they are kept private .

but the book is certainly a work of someone who must have spent a great deal of time researching his facts .

most importantly , two historians who have written internationally recognised books on mughals ( francis robinson , abraham eraly ) and one whose book is presumably available only in india ( R. nath )have accepted that anarkali was akbar's concubine .

All three cannot be dismissed lightly.......

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Rashmun on Tue May 10, 2011 12:57 pm

do you have access to the book by R. Nath right now? If yes, tell me whether or not the blurb at the back of the book clearly indicates that this is historical fiction i.e. intermingling of historical facts with fiction. Secondly, tell me whether the author gives ANY references in this book to indicate his sources.

ashdoc wrote:
Rashmun wrote:With respect to 'Private Life of the Mughals' do you agree that the writer R. Nath does not give a single scholarly reference for the statements he is making? If yes, do you agree that Nath is a pamphleteer rather than a scholar?

obviously , there must not have been real records of the private life of mughals--since some things are not recorded , they are kept private .

but the book is certainly a work of someone who must have spent a great deal of time researching his facts .

most importantly , two historians who have written internationally recognised books on mughals ( francis robinson , abraham eraly ) and one whose book is presumably available only in india ( R. nath )have accepted that anarkali was akbar's concubine .

All three cannot be dismissed lightly.......

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by ashdoc on Tue May 10, 2011 1:24 pm

Rashmun wrote:do you have access to the book by R. Nath right now? If yes, tell me whether or not the blurb at the back of the book clearly indicates that this is historical fiction i.e. intermingling of historical facts with fiction. Secondly, tell me whether the author gives ANY references in this book to indicate his sources.



yes , i have access to it right now . at the back of the book is written--history .

in the preface , r. nath says that the day to day happenings of the mughals were recorded , but are now lost to us .

he says that it is generally believed that the persian chroniclers have blacked out this part of history . he says that the persian chroniclers either had no access or no courage to write about private life .

however , he says that he has had a lifetime's rapport with these sources and can read between the lines . he says that they chroniclers used to leave clever references in historical narratives .

for example , while recording that the princess of jaisalmer married akbar , the historian badauni said that the mughals married for eternity , calling it the institution of eternal matrimony ( sohagpura ). basically it means that they did not practice divorce ( talaq ) unlike other muslims , though they forced other muslims to divorce their wives if the king desired their wives for himself .

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by Rashmun on Tue May 10, 2011 2:14 pm

Thanks for your response. Now tell me whether R. Nath gives references for those persian sources with which he claims to have a lifetime of rapport. Also, does he make any mention of the well recognized European sources like the jesuit missionaries and also Sir Thomas Roe, the official representative of the queen of england at the court of Jahangir. The retainer of Roe, Edward Terry, has also left behind a diary. Does Nath also have a lifetime of rapport with these sources or only with the persian sources?

ashdoc wrote:
Rashmun wrote:do you have access to the book by R. Nath right now? If yes, tell me whether or not the blurb at the back of the book clearly indicates that this is historical fiction i.e. intermingling of historical facts with fiction. Secondly, tell me whether the author gives ANY references in this book to indicate his sources.



yes , i have access to it right now . at the back of the book is written--history .

in the preface , r. nath says that the day to day happenings of the mughals were recorded , but are now lost to us .

he says that it is generally believed that the persian chroniclers have blacked out this part of history . he says that the persian chroniclers either had no access or no courage to write about private life .

however , he says that he has had a lifetime's rapport with these sources and can read between the lines . he says that they chroniclers used to leave clever references in historical narratives .

for example , while recording that the princess of jaisalmer married akbar , the historian badauni said that the mughals married for eternity , calling it the institution of eternal matrimony ( sohagpura ). basically it means that they did not practice divorce ( talaq ) unlike other muslims , though they forced other muslims to divorce their wives if the king desired their wives for himself .

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Re: Real story of Salim-Anarkali

Post by ashdoc on Tue May 10, 2011 2:39 pm

Rashmun wrote:Thanks for your response. Now tell me whether R. Nath gives references for those persian sources with which he claims to have a lifetime of rapport. Also, does he make any mention of the well recognized European sources like the jesuit missionaries and also Sir Thomas Roe, the official representative of the queen of england at the court of Jahangir. The retainer of Roe, Edward Terry, has also left behind a diary. Does Nath also have a lifetime of rapport with these sources or only with the persian sources?

ashdoc wrote:
Rashmun wrote:do you have access to the book by R. Nath right now? If yes, tell me whether or not the blurb at the back of the book clearly indicates that this is historical fiction i.e. intermingling of historical facts with fiction. Secondly, tell me whether the author gives ANY references in this book to indicate his sources.





yes , i have access to it right now . at the back of the book is written--history .

in the preface , r. nath says that the day to day happenings of the mughals were recorded , but are now lost to us .

he says that it is generally believed that the persian chroniclers have blacked out this part of history . he says that the persian chroniclers either had no access or no courage to write about private life .

however , he says that he has had a lifetime's rapport with these sources and can read between the lines . he says that they chroniclers used to leave clever references in historical narratives .

for example , while recording that the princess of jaisalmer married akbar , the historian badauni said that the mughals married for eternity , calling it the institution of eternal matrimony ( sohagpura ). basically it means that they did not practice divorce ( talaq ) unlike other muslims , though they forced other muslims to divorce their wives if the king desired their wives for himself .

r nath does not mention any names , but says that these europeans had limitations of language , culture .that they viewed from european point of view and tended to misinterpret .

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