Monday, September 12, 2011

Bahadur Shah I, Mughal Emperor

Muazzam emerged victorious in the war of succession among the sons of Aurangzeb following his death in 1707. Muazzam, then subahdar of Kabul at the time of his father’s death, crowned himself Emperor with the name of Bahadur Shah, generally known as Bahadur Shah I. He ascended the Mughal throne at an advanced age of 67.

Also known as 'Heedless king' (Shah-i-bekhabar) due to his indifference to administration, Bahadur Shah I was the only ruler of the Later Mughals to have exercised the real authority. Though he was not a great administrator, he was affable by temperament. By his conciliatory attitude he managed to retain the support of most of the factions and groups in the Mughal court.

Bahadur Shah I pursued a conciliatory policy towards the Rajputs and the Marathas. Sahu, son of Sambhaji, who had been in Mughal captivity since the fall of raigarh, was released. Jeziah, imposed by Aurangzeb, was withdrawn. He acknowledged the independence of Mewar and Marwar. Bahadur Shah I died during the course of his campaign against the powerful Sikh leader Banda Bahadur.

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