Monday, March 30, 2009

Lesser Known Fact

I am currently reading 'The Last Nizam' by John Zubrzycki. Before, I started reading this book, I always wondered why Indian monarchs fell easily into the trap laid by colonial powers like France and England. The book explains that as per Islam, the eldest son is not the obvious heir to his father's fortunes. The patriarch can choose anyone among his sons or even grandsons. In Hydrebad, Nizam could even choose his heir from his illegitimate chidren or from several adopted ones. This one practice simply explains why Aurangzeb imprisoned his father and killed his brothers (something, which a modern day Indian can not fathom). It also gives another insight, I considered Aurangzeb to be brutal to the core, while now I think he was less brutal but more pratical, for he ran the risk of himself being assasinated by his own brothers.

So, we had at least three colonials powers, Portugal, Britain and France. So, the target was very much there ready to be aimed and won. Britain knew that France would support one of the 'would be monarch' and they had little choice. If you are lucky, the guy whom you are supporting would win. In such an event, you can easily exert influence over the monarch and for all practical reasons, his territory would be ruled by East India Company. Not only this, the Britishers were never shy of reminding the 'Installed King' that he still ran the risk of being overthrown by his brothers, in many cases his own sons, or other noble men (noble?? Am sure English is the sweetest language). Those were starting days and Britishers learnt that if they can make a man take up arms against his brother, it will be easier than a child's play to make hindu and muslims fight. I am in awe of the vision of these colonial powers, for their pratices are still followed by US.

No comments: