Indian Scholars and Travellers on Jahangir

Indian Scholars and Travellers on Jehangir


Akbars son is full of inordinate greed and haughty feudal contempt for commoners. The courtiers valued jewels and gold just as their monarch did and they all vied with one another in taking bribes and hoarding riches that belonged to their emperor(stealing from taxes and treasury). Instead of devoting their spare time to improving their mind the courtiers delighted in cruel sports and boisterous revelries, the Emperor(Jehangir) specially making wine and women his life’s summum bonum. Man was valued more for his material possessions than for his true riches

Stanley Lane Poole

In spite of his vices which his fine constitution supported with little apparent injury till the sixtieth year, he was no fool. He possessed a shrewd intelligence and he showed in good sense in carrying on the system of government and principle of toleration inaugurated by Akbar. He was not deficient in energy when war was afoot. He was essentially just when his passions were not thwarted and he cultivated religious tolerance with an easy going indifference which was the keynote of his character.

He allowed no persecution or badges of heresy but welcomed the Catholic father Corsi to his court, encouraged artists to adorn the imperial palaces with pictures and statues of Christian saints and had two his nephews baptised for his own purposes.

Ram Chandra Prasad

Jehangir was self indulgent and capricious rather than deliberately vicious. He gave encouragement to all sorts of learning in his courts and was lavish in distribution of his alms from his audience window every week and loved natural beauty and had an aesthetic sense. One of Jehangir’s greatest defect according to even his admirers was his too great reliance “upon those round him who loved him and who won his love”

Sir Richard Burn

He stands in the roll of Indian monarchs as a man with generous instincts, fond of sport, art and good living, aiming to do well to all, and failing by the lack of the final intellectual qualities to attain the ranks of great administrators.

Dr. Ishwari Prasad

Jahangir is one of the most interesting figures in Mughul history. The ordinary view that he was a sensual pleasure- seeker and a callous tyrant does less than justice. All accounts agree that he was intelligent, shrewd, and capable of understanding the most complex problems of the state without any difficulty. There is much in his character that deserves to be condemned, but there is a great deal that entitles him to be placed among the most fascinating personalities of Indian history.”

A.S. Beveridge

Jahangir was indeed a strange mixture. The man who could stand by and see man flayed alive could yet be a lover of justice and could spend his Thursday evenings in holding high converse. He could procure he murder of Abul Fazal and avow the fact without remorse, and also pity the royal elephants because they shivered in winter when they sprinkled themselves with cold water. One good trait in Jahangir was his hearty enjoyment of nature and his love of flowers.

Dr. A.L. Srivastava

Jahangir cannot be called a great king, nor can he be described as a statesman and administrator of outstanding calibre. He was by no means a first rate general or diplomat. But it must be admitted that he was a successful and benevolent ruler who cherished the well-being of his subjects and was deservedly popular with them. Like most rulers, he had his virtues and faults.

Dr. Beni Prasad

Jahangir was “a sensible, kind-hearted man, with strong family affection and unstained generosity to all, with a burning hatred of oppression and a passion for justice. On g, few occasions, in his career as prince and emperor, he was betrayed, not without provocation, by fits of wrath into individual acts of cruelty. But as a rule, he was remarkable for humanity, affability and an open mind.

Jahangir’s reign, on the whole, was fruitful of peace and prosperity to the empire. Under its auspices, industry and commerce progressed; architecture achieved notable triumphs; painting reached its high water mark; literature flourished as it had never done before. Tulsidas composed the Ramayan. A host of remarkable Persian and vernacular poets all over the country combined to make the period the Augustan age of medieval Indian literature. The political side of Jahangir’s history is interesting enough but its virtue lies in cultural development

 Francis Gladwin

From the beginning to end of his reign, Jehangir’s disposition towards his subjects appears appears to have been invariably humane and considerate. The severities that were exercised on the accomplices of Khusru’s rebellion were such as are usually inflicted on familiar delinquents, in all Mohammedan countries. These spectacles are the less to be wondered at there, when executions, equally cruel and diabolical are exhibited in many parts of Europe where the gospel of mercy is professed and established.

So long as Jehangir followed the dictates of his own judgment, by preferring to all other considerations, the ease and prosperity of his subjects, and whilst he vigorously enforced the wise laws of his noble father, his reign was glorious and happy ; but when he embraced the soft allurements of pleasure, and abandoned himself to indolence and dissipation, he became the dupe of an ambitious woman, 1 who, with a view of maintaining her own unlimited sway over the empire after his death, practised upon him basest sacrifices. she precipitated him into violent acts of injustice against a son whom he tenderly loved and the intestine wars which ensued shook the very throne and which made the empire a scene of blood and devastation for a span of seven years.

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