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Ahmad Shah Bahadur: The Mughal emperor ruled by an eunuch

The Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah Rangeela was as weak a ruler as the three rulers before him. He died in 1748 and was succeeded by his only son Ahmad Shah Bahadur Mujahid-ul-Ain Abu Nasr at the age of 22.

According to Everett Jenkins, Muhammad Shah lost Kabul to Nadir Shah and Katihar Rohila. Many other provinces became independent states. Ahmad Shah, who was enthroned by a party of Mughal emperors led by Safdar Jang, was no stronger than his father despite his youth.

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Ahmad Shah was neither educated nor trained for power or war, how could it be?
Historian Jadu Nath Sarkar writes in his book The Fall of the Mughal Empire that his skeptical and miserly father confined him to a corner of Delhi Palace. He grew up in the harem women, inattention, difficulty and father’s reprimand.

He had never commanded an army like the heirs of the throne before him. They did not receive enough stipends to live in general comfort, nor did they play the games of princes such as polo, animal fights and hunting. When he grew up, he turned out to be dull-witted, soft-spoken, foolish. He didn’t have his own personality, he could chase anyone else and wherever he wanted. ‘

According to Sarkar, the mother queen Adham Bai was a public dancer when she was introduced to Ahmad Shah’s father Muhammad Shah. He liked the emperor so much that he made her queen but he did not change his attire and saw the accession of his son Ahmad Shah to the throne as an opportunity to show his pride in the court and collect money.

According to historian Jaswant Lal Mehta, Adham Bai was convinced that if Mughal India was to move, then happy but lazy Ahmad Shah and someone else would have to take power and he was the one. This was not difficult for Adham Bai.

Sarkar says Bai did not have the capacity to run the government or select the right people for it, but like Noor Jahan, he wants to run the state affairs himself. Every day high officials would sit in their doorway and they would talk to them from behind the scenes (through eunuchs), petitions (demands) and letters would be read to them in the Haram and they would issue orders to them, which Would have been final. ‘

Ahmad Shah’s mother had a close relationship with his personal servant Javed Khan, who was a young and Wajiha eunuch and possessed a powerful personality. The royal prestige diminished when the eunuch Javed Khan started spending nights in the royal harem contrary to the old royal rules.

The story of the rise of eunuch Javed Khan
During the reign of Javed Khan Muhammad Shah, he was the deputy administrator of the employees of the Haram and the administrator of the properties of the wives. They had taken over her mind and body even before the death of Adham Bai’s husband. Javed’s progress accelerated when Bai’s son Ahmad Shah took over the throne. He was given six thousand rupees, but for fear that more things would not happen, this gift was also given to Javed Khan’s master Roz Afzoon Khan, who had left Aurangzeb’s time. Until then, he could not walk again due to joint pain.

When power came to hand, they became entangled in luxuries and the emperors ignored the responsibilities of power and society as if they were ready for it. Major Polier wrote from Delhi in 1777 that Prince Ahmed, after ascending the throne, had “completely immersed himself in alcohol, cannabis, hashish and other intoxicants.”

Ahmad Shah practically handed over the administration to Javed Khan and openly sent all the issues to this eunuch for decision. Immerse yourself in sexual pleasure without interruption. On the other hand, Javed Khan used to encourage this thirsty young man to drink alcohol and fill the harem with women. Accompanying the women were men whose sole purpose was to indulge in luxuries.

He writes that gradually the emperor’s mind (only) became inclined to be in the company of obscene people.

It is written in Tarikh Ahmad Shahi that Javed was made the administrator of Diwan-e-Khaas on 19th July, 1748. Attendance at the king’s court fell into their hands, and they continued to increase their influence by not allowing sincere advisers to meet the emperor.

According to court historian Shakir Khan, he was made the caretaker of the spy department, the royal elephant, prizes and appointments, the wives’ estates and the emperor’s special treasury. He was also awarded the title of Mahi Maratab, Khalat and Palki along with the title of Sat Hazari Mansab and Nawab Bahadur (Deputy to the Emperor).

The king distanced himself from the hereditary loyalists of the crown
The government says Javed Khan was now making decisions on war and peace, revenue and organization. Their sole purpose was to keep the emperor and queen happy and to acquire the highest power and wealth through it. They reserved for themselves lucrative estates and the proceeds from them, rather than the emperor and the army. He would earn millions even on the recommendation of the people before the emperor.

According to the history of Ahmad Shahi, when the emperors subordinated their affairs to Javed, the emperors were very open about this. In response to this hatred, Javed would ignore them and give more honor and status to the middle class princes. As a result, the kings drifted away from the crowned hereditary loyalists.

Moral degradation accelerated and by the end of the second year of Ahmad Shah’s rule, the administration had become weak, the pillars of the state were shaking every day. The emperor would never ask about his kingdom or the army or the treasury.

Javed Khan, who was in charge of all the affairs of the state, would run them according to his natural ability and would convince the emperor that everything was going according to the rules so that the emperor would get rid of some of the matters which he had first looked at. The emperor was so engrossed in the pleasure that he reserved an entire kos (four square miles) area for women and the emperor would spend a week or a month in their company in this resting place.

Royal goods had to be sold to pay salaries
The matter escalated to the point that the royal gatekeepers, who had not been paid for more than a year and had not been paid by the emperor or any of their administrators, set the scene. He tied a donkey and a bitch at the front door of the royal court and when the princes and other courtiers came to attend the court, he told them to bow before him first. Pointing to the donkey, he said, “This Nawab is brave and he (the bitch) is Hazrat Qudsia, the mother queen.”

Once upon a time soldiers were raising their voices for their duties and the government could hardly raise Rs 200,000 by selling royal goods.

The royal historian Shakir Khan states: ‘A list of royal goods, weapons, carpets, cooking utensils, utensils, books and utensils was compiled and these items were sold to shopkeepers and peddlers with the proceeds. The salaries of the soldiers were paid. It made a mockery of the people that it is indescribable.

Ahmed Shah’s game of monarchy, three year old boy Governor Punjab
If the emperor was disgusted with the excesses of sexual pleasure, he would pay attention to the childish games of the empire. For example, one day in February 1753, he took his infant son Mahmud Shah with him under the salutation window to the daffodil flowers.

He sent for all the princes and the sons of the courtiers to offer sacrifices to the prince and to follow him. Then the mother took the child in front of the windows of the Queen and the Queen of Time so that they could greet him from outside like an emperor.

He then seated the child on the royal throne in a small tent made for him and sent the children of the princes to stand around him and went to visit the children’s court himself.

The eunuchs greeted the emperor on the way and gave him presents from their master. The emperor made the same child the governor of the Punjab at the age of three and appointed a one-year-old child as his deputy, as was the case, for which children’s clothes made of gold wire were sent to Lahore.

On the other hand, there was a danger that Ahmad Shah Abdali’s general Jahan Khan would invade Kashmir, but there he appointed one-year-old Prince Tale Saeed Shah as governor and another 15-year-old boy as his deputy.

Historian Jaswant Lal Mehta says, “As a ruler, Ahmad Shah was not. He was an example to his parents, there was no education or training to run the government. He denounced immorality and spent more time in bad company, which hurt the image of the monarchy.

It is written in the history of Ahmad Shahi that the emperor got angry from time to time and that too to the extent of words.

The military spirit and ability to lead the army was not even personal courage. The imperial army, under the window, requested that they lead the campaigns to retake the lost provinces so that revenue could be returned to the Delhi treasury and the starving soldiers and royal servants could get the long standing dues of their salaries.

But they would not agree. Her name became associated with humiliation in the history of India by fleeing from Secunderabad in fear of imprisonment and possible rape of the women of the family at the mere advance of the Marathas.

Javed Khan and Safdar Jang
When Javed Khan started interfering in the affairs of the state, he faced opposition and jealousy from other emperors. Javed Khan’s rivals were soon Safdar Jang and other emperors.

The emperor and his mother encouraged Javed Khan to take a strong stand against the occupiers of imperial power and free them from their clutches.

Javed Khan had access to domestic helpers, especially Haram women and eunuchs and junior servants. These became his secret agents and conspirators.

He made the first failed attempt to kill Safdar Jang in November 1748. Nawab Wazir was so frightened by this attempt that he stopped attending the court. When the eloquent language of the royal eunuchs and Mughal emperors became popular, problems of public order arose and the city administration became paralyzed.

Beginning of Ahmad Shah Abdali’s attacks on India
The emperor’s namesake, Ahmad Shah Abdali, ruled Afghanistan from 1747. They launched attacks on India and thus the situation worsened.

Mir Mano, the Mughal governor of Punjab or Lahore, appealed to Delhi for help but was not granted and had to obey the attacker. Courageous to Abdali’s attacks, the two Afghan tribes of the Ganges valley, Rohila and Bangash Pathans, revolted against Delhi.

They looted in the nearby area of ​​Odh. Since Oudh was the basis of Safdar’s war power, he had to leave the capital and go with all his army to suppress the rebellion.

At that time the Maratha influence was growing rapidly throughout the Ganges Valley and Central India. Safdar Jang cleverly complied with the demands of the Marathas and forged good relations with them and with their help crushed the revolt of Rohila and Bangash Pathans. Meanwhile, Abdali attacked Punjab for the third time. Mir Manu was defeated and Lahore became Abdali.

Agreement with the Marathas to protect the Mughal throne
The Mughal emperor was very concerned about this news. In fear, he summoned his minister from Odh to protect Delhi and asked him to bring his Maratha allies along “to fight the foreign invaders”.

Safdar Jang made an ‘agreement’ with the two Maratha chiefs, Mulharao Holkar and Jipa Sindhia, on behalf of the Mughal emperor to defend Delhi. According to the agreement, on behalf of Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao, the Marathas agreed to protect the throne and the Mughal Empire from enemies including Ahmad Shah Abdali.

In return, he was to receive Rs. ۔

Safdar Jang had to stay in Rohail Khand twice during almost three years. Meanwhile, Javed Khan conspired to fire his colleague Mir Bakhshi Salabat Khan from office and he spent the rest of his life as a dervish. Then Safdar put his people in the two biggest positions after the war. Ghazi-ud-Din Khan was made the Governor of Agra with the title of Amir-ul-Amra and Ajmer with the title of his brother-in-law Al-Dawla Khan Khan.

When Safdar Jang returned to Delhi on 5 May 1752, he was accompanied by an army of 50,000 Marathas, but he was surprised to learn that the emperor had already given the province of Lahore and Multan to the invader before he returned to Kandahar. This was done by the emperor on the advice of Javed Khan who had become his chief adviser in the absence of the minister.

It was difficult for the powerful minister to digest all this and he decided to remove the head of the eunuchs and cut off the head of the puppet emperor.

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