The story of the Mughal emperor who was in the news for alcohol, opium and music?

A period was also seen in the Mughal period when music was banned. Gone are the days of starvation for musicians. The instruments started eating dust. The sound of music stopped being heard all around. That was the era of Aurangzeb. Italian tourist Manucci writes in his memoirs that during the reign of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, fed up with the restrictions on music, the artists planned to protest in their own style. About a thousand musicians gathered at Delhi’s Jama Masjid.

The procession started. Those who protested proceeded with crying and singing as if someone’s funeral was going on. Meanwhile, when Aurangzeb, who was returning after Namaz, caught sight of him, he asked why are you doing this. The protestors replied that you have killed music. Now we are going to bury the same music. After hearing this answer, Aurangzeb said – If so, dig the grave a little deeper.

During the period of ban on music, Aurangzeb’s great-grandson Badshah Muhammad Shah was born, also known as Rangile Badshah. Even at that time, the reins of the rule of Delhi were in the hands of great-grandfather Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb implemented radical Islam. He believed that artists do not follow the principles laid down in Islam. This was the main reason for strictness on music.

He had imposed a special kind of radical Islam in India. The first victims of this became those artists, who were of the opinion that they do not follow Islamic principles. The mood of Muhammad Shah was different from that of his great-grandfather Aurangzeb. Muhammad Shah was also known for promoting music and art as well as for intoxicating liquor and opium.

when the music began to return

Aurangzeb died in the year 1707. The existence of the Mughal Empire started coming in danger, then Muhammad Shah Rangeela took over it. Music and art were given special importance during the time of Muhammad Shah. The art which had withered during Aurangzeb’s time got its wings again. Historian William Dalrymple writes that although Muhammad Shah Rangeela and Bahadur Shah Zafar were not Mughal emperors who could be counted among successful emperors, art was promoted during their tenure and many extraordinary works were done in this area.

It is said that during that period the wall between Hindus and Muslims had become thinner. The emperor himself used to play Holi with the courtiers. Muslim and Hindu saints were seen talking.

When the talk of the king’s name spread

It was during the rule of Muhammad Shah Rangeela that the rumor of his name spread. To prove this rumor wrong, a painting was made by Muhammad Shah Rangeela, in which he was shown having an affair with a maidservant. That painting of that era was in great discussion.

Poets, painters and musicians were always encouraged by Muhammad Shah Rangeela, which is why the artists of that period got special fame. As a result, Delhi became the center of scholars, religious poets, painters, musicians and dancers.

Such was the name Rangeela

Muhammad Shah’s childhood name was Roshan Akhtar. After ascending the throne on 29 September 1719, he was given the name Abu al-Fatih Nasiruddin Roshan Akhtar Muhammad Shah. But the emperor kept his surname Sada Rangeela. As a result, gradually people started calling him as Muhammad Shah Rangeela.

Quli Khan, who was the courtier of Muhammad Shah Rangeela, has narrated the situation of that period in his book Markaye Delhi. Coolie Khan writes that the people of Delhi were leading a very leisurely life at that time. Religious places were crowded.

When the emperor got addicted to alcohol and opium

There also came a time when Muhammad Shah’s addiction to alcohol and opium started hollowing out. There was a sudden attack. After which the emperor was sent to Hayat Baksh Bagh among the Hakims. This garden, full of natural beauty, was said to improve health, but the condition had deteriorated so much that the emperor could not get relief. There came a night when the emperor remained unconscious for the whole night. After 46 years, the emperor died on 26 April 1748. After death, he was buried at the same level as Amir Khusrau.

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