In his ambition to seize the throne, Aurangzeb was extremely cruel towards his three brothers. He had his brother Shuja pursued into the jungles of Burma, where Shuja disappeared. Aurangzeb then executed his younger brother Murad. Finally, he turned his attention to his older brother, Dara Shikoh.
Dara Shikoh was captured and paraded through the streets of Delhi before being decapitated. The citizens of Delhi were heartbroken at the death of their beloved Crown Prince. Dara Shikoh’s son, Suleiman, went to Srinagar for asylum, but the King of Srinagar, instead of giving him shelter, arrested him and sent him to Aurangzeb, who had proclaimed himself Emperor. Aurangzeb’s name means ‘Ornament of the Throne’.
When Suleiman was brought before Aurangzeb, Aurangzeb felt a momentary sadness that his nephew was in such a miserable state. He asked Suleiman what he wanted. He assured his nephew that if he wanted to leave, he would not be killed.
But Suleiman said, “If you want to fulfil my only desire, then kill me immediately. You have killed my beloved father and my siblings. Now I do not want to remain on this earth anymore.”
Aurangzeb said, “What are you talking about? I shall not kill you. I shall allow you to go your own way.”
Suleiman said, “I do not need that favour from you, uncle. Only one favour I want: kill me here and now.”
This was Suleiman’s oneness with his father and love for his siblings. Aurangzeb’s sadistic nature came to the fore again and he imprisoned his nephew. He was angry a prisoner had the braveness to stand in front of him and speak like that with such braveness.
Each day a powerful dose of opium was administered to Suleiman and his physical condition deteriorated. After a year and five months of this suffereing finally, he was strangled by the prison guards. He was not even given a proper funeral and was buried in traitor’s cemetary in 1662 at age of 27. His wife and baby daughter were also killed sometime back in an unmarked grave. Only one daughter who was very small survived the persecution and was married to Aurangzeb’s youngest son Mohammad Akbar after 10 years.