Sunday, April 12, 2020

Babur of Andijan, making of a Padshah-1

Babur of Andijan, making of a Padshah-1

Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur Mirza was born in Andijan Uzbekistan, an important city on Great Silk Road bordering Kyrgyzstan in 1483. His father Umar Saikh Mirza II (son of Miran Shah and grand son of Timur) was a governor of Fergana valley in Uzbekistan. In Ramadan of 1494, when Umar was 38 years old, he died in freak accident in dovecote in Aksikent Fort, which was built at the edge of the building collapsed.

His eleven years old son Zahiruddin became the ruler of Fergana. He was popularly known as Babur (big-royal). His mother Qutlugh Nigar Khanum was a princess of the Chagatai Khanate and daughter of Yunus Khan of Moghulistan. They were from Timurid Dynasty of Turco-Mongol origin descended from Timurlane of Utarar tribe. They carry title Koragani (son-in-law) as Timurids were in laws of the line of Genghis Khan, the founder of Mongol Empire. They were descendants of Chagatai dynasty. Babur was the great great grandson of Timurlane. He was direct descendant of Genghis Khan through his mother and was descendant of Shujauddin Timur through his father. He was brave, energetic and physically extra fit worrier, made strategic moves to find his place in the history.

Teenage Babur was very ambitious. He knew the history of his ancestors and their rule over the subcontinent and had ambitions to recapture the lost area. He was Timurid and man of achievement. He aimed at filling Timuridbek.

His great great grand father Timur invaded India in 1398, defeated Sultan of Delhi Nasir ud-din Mahmud Shah Tughluq by creating panic amongst the elephants by the hay setting on fire which were loaded on camels’ backs. Stamped back the elephants made the victory of Timur easy. The richest city of the world Delhi was sacked and thousands of captives were killed. Timur left Delhi in destruction and in power vacuum. Timur died en route during his winter campaign against Ming China in 1404 at Farab on side of Syr Daria. Timur’s mausoleum of Gur Emir is located in Samarkand. In succession, his youngest son Shah Rukh took over the throne in 1409. With the permission of Shah Rukh, Khizr Khan the governor of Multan, later became the Sultan of Delhi in 1414 (Sayyid Dynasty). Shah Rukh’s son Ulugh Beg was notable for his work in astronomy related mathematics, such a trigonometry and spherical geometry.

In teenage, Babur aimed at the most famous Samarkand (2250 years old), as it for nearly 140 years was the capital of their dynasty. In 1497, he conquered Samarkand but fell ill. His speech was impeded and they drop water into mouth with cotton. After recovered from illness and he had received messages of rebellion from his mother and grandmother from Andijan to return, he left Samarkand (ruled 100 days) for Andijan in March 1497. But, in anxiety for Andijan, he has given Samarkand out of his hands, then heard he had lost Andijan. In ignorance, made to leave Samarkand and lost Andijan. Auzan Hasan took over Andijan in Ali-dost’s presence.

Babur went to Khujand, then mounted for Samarkand but couldn’t capture. Twice he tried to move out of Khujand the poor place, once for Andijan and once for Samarkand but failed and role out to Pashaghar. In June 1498, he had fever but receiving the message of Ali-dost to take over Andijan, he marched 3 days and 2 nights with his 240 men to recapture his farher’s country Andijan. He faced rebellion of his brother Jahangir Mirza. Peace was made, he took Andijan side and gave away Akshi side to Jahangir. Together they would march to Samarkand and once Babur was in possession of Samarkand, Andijan was to be given to Jahangir. At Andijan, Ali-dost, backed by Tambal started his humiliation.

He re-conquered Samarkand when he was 19 years old. He married to his cousin Ayisha Sultan Begim, from whom first child Fakari-n-nsa born but died in 40 days. Babur maddened and afflicted himself for a boy named Baburi in the camp bazar, described him, “o’thief of my heart”.

When Shihibani invaded Samarkand, he in astronomical calculation of eight stars positing between the two armies and after 13-14 days would moved to the bake of the enemy, he marched out of Samarkand and was defeated. He had surrendered Samarkand to Shahibani Khan in July 1501, took his mother and two women with leaving elder sister Khan-zada Begim into the hands of Shaibani Khan’s left Samarkand in the darkness of night. They lost way and wandered reached Khalila village before the dawn and then went to Dizak, then to Auratipa to Dikhkat and reached Tashkent searching a place for shelter. At Dikhkat where they stayed, the mother of the head man was 111 years old. Some relatives of her had gone with Timur Beg’s army to Hindustan. She had that in her mind and used to tell the tale. It sparked interest for Hindustan in the mind of Babur.

Shaibani Khan was after him, hearing he was coming up into Aura-tipa, they crossed Abu-burdan pass into Macha hill country. Wandering from mountain to mountain, homeless and house less, without country or abiding place, he had passed through bad days. In 1502-03, during his stay in Tashkent, he endured much poverty and humiliation. He had no country or no hope of one. Most of his retainers dispersed. Bare headed, bare foot, he was meeting relative. That uncertainty and want of house and home drove him at last to despair, said, “it would be better to take his head and go off than live in such misery; better to go my feet can carry me than be seen of men in such poverty and humiliation.” He writes, “Except my soul, no friend worth trust found I; Except my heart, no confident found I.”

He tried to compromise with his brother Jahangir, sent his ermine cap for Jahangir and large broad sword (made by Nuyan Kukuldash) for Tambal. In an encounter, his thigh was injured with arrow and Tambal chopped the sword at his head that large wound was made on his head, though not a thread of the cap was cut. He turned rein and crossed Khak-an caral.

1503-4, he spent a year in hill country of Sukh and Hushiar in great misery. He was not only homeless and poor but shut in by enemies. Wandering barefooted, his feet were unable to differentiate stone or rock. Not yet, 22, he left Sukh intended to go to Hussain Mirza in Khurasan but he changed that plan for one taking him to Kabul where a Timurid might claim to dispossess the Afghans then holding it since the death of his uncle Aulugh Beg Mirza Kabuli. He in his 23rd year, applied the razor to his face when half at a place near Hisar while going to Kabul. As Tambal at Ferghana and Shahibaq Khan at Samarkand were after him and didn’t allow him to conquer his native, without fight or effort he obtained Kabul and Ghazni in October 1504.

To stabilise his rule, he created terror amongst Afghans by group slaughtering. He observed that when Afghans are powerless to resist, they go before their foe with grass between their teeth, this being as much as to say, “I am your cow”. His mother died in Kabul on 4th June 1505. He had recorded earthquakes with high magnitude on 5th July 1505, 33 tremors on first day and 2-3 quakes per day for a month.

He conquered Bukhara and Samarkand in October 1511 (10 months after reaching Kabul) and re-enter the town after 9 years, but lost to Ubaid as he went out to challenge him unprepared and without reinforcement. He had to return to Kabul. He in Kabul, Badakhshan and Balkh augmented by various Mirzas in exile, in whose need of employment, he was in need of wider territory, therefore, he decided to embark Hindustan.

19 October 2019


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