Harem Politics in Mughal India

May 6th, 2015
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The Harem Politics in Mughal India has shaped the paradigm of the politics of this period in more ways than can be imagined. This paper seeks to deconstruct some of the myths and realities about an oft overseen aspect of the Mughal period and look at how the lives and contributions of some exceptional women shaped what we call the Mughal state.

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Harem Politics in Mughal IndiaHistory of India (c.1550-1750s)Project: Harem Politics in Mughal IndiaAbstractThe Harem Politics in Mughal India has shaped the paradigm of the politics of this period in more ways than can be imagined. This paper seeks to deconstruct some of the myths and realities about an oft overseen aspect of the Mughal period and look at how the lives and contributions of some exceptional women shaped what we call the Mughal state.IntroductionThis paper can find its inception in Indu Sudareasns intriguing book, The Twentieth Wife which dealt with the life of Nur Jahans life and her love story with Jahangir. But in order to exalt her position delved deep into the harem politics of the Mughal State. The female characters of this book were an enigmatic lot, drawing an extreme amount of influence on from emperors Akbar to Shahjahan and while well hidden behind the zenana, seemed to collectively pull the strings of the empire. In the course of my research I have come to the conclusion that while such a characterization was bit of an exaggeration it is truly enigmatic the ways in which the women of the Mughal harem shaped the paradigm of their times. Such a study is important, as has been pointed out by MN Rajesh and Rekha Pande in their work, Cloistered Spaces and Invisible Politics, in order to challenge the underlying conceptual framework and bring unseen actors to the forefront. The Mughal Harem DeconstructedAbul Fazl has record

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