Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Bahadur Shah Zafar

Date of Birth: 24th October, 1775 and Date of Death: 7th November, 1862
            Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Moghul Emperor, led the First War of Independence, which was recognised in the history as the symbol of anger among the people of India against the British.  He was born on 24th October, 1775.  His father Akbar Shah-II was the fourteenth Moghul Emperor.  Lal Bai was his mother.  Bahadur Shah Zafar not only a recognised as a scholar-poet, but also received training in martial arts.  The Indian soldiers who revolted against the East India Company at Meerut in 1857 reached Delhi.  When they entered the Red Fort on 1st May, 1857, Bahadur Shah Zafar conducted his court on 12th May and made various appointments as Emperor and declared war against the British.  Later, he established the Greater Administrative Affairs Council and assigned different responsibilities to different people according to their abilities and loyalty, irrespective of religious affiliations.  Bahadur Shah Zafar took revolutionary steps without hurting the religious feelings of Hindus and Muslims.  He appealed to his soldiers and the ‘people of India’ to defeat the British.  After the retreat of the British, Bahadur Shah Zafar invited the warriors, who were revolting against East India Company outside Delhi.  The Indian warriors were determined not to lose Delhi.  But the British were conspiring and repeatedly making attempts to capture Delhi.  Under such a grave situation, fierce fighting took place between the Indian warriors and the East India Company troops 72 times till 14th September, 1857.  Finally the British troops entered into Red fort and completely captured it on 19th September, 1857.  Bahadur Shah Zafar with some of his family members had to retreat and take shelter at Humanyun’s Tomb, where Zafar was captured by the British tried Zafar and declared him an offender and deported to Rangoon Jail on 8th December, 1858.  He was accompanied his beloved Begum Jeenath Mahal and his two sons.  He and his family members spent in Rangoon jail very miserable life for a period of four years.  Later on last Moghal king Bahadur Shah Zafar breathed his last in jail on 7th November, 1862.  He pitied himself so poignantly stating: “How unfortunate you are Zafar! You do not have the fortune of having at least two yards of land in your beloved mother land for your grave’.

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