Prince Salim – A long hidden desire

Prince Salim

Prince Salim

Emperor Jehangir aka Prince Salim was going with his entourage to Lahore once when he was 50 years old.

It is the playful but world-weary and tired Jahangir that was remembered in the subcontinent. The Venetian traveler Niccola Manucci records the following anecdote about Jahangir he picked up in India at least half a century after the emperor’s death:

 

One day he was passing through Lahore city when he saw a number of little children playing in the street. He descended from his elephant, sat himself down on the ground in their midst, and distributed sweets, flowers, clothes, gold and silver coin. After embracing and kissing them, he said tearfully: ‘Better were it for me to die or to be a little one like you, not to be as I am to-day, with my conscience entangled in the affairs of this weaiy world.’ At these words he took his departure with a salutation, the tears streaming from his eyes. From these and other like acts the people judged that this king feared God, and desired to live without causing harm to his vassals.

 

So one can only imagine by this incident noted what Jehangir/Salim was deprived of in childhood. Prince Salim went at a very young age of 9 years to war field. In 1581 he was incharge of the Kabul campaign at mere age of 12 years and he had 5000 soldiers(foot and infantry) or Masabdari under him.By 1585 he had 12000 mansabdari the highest any military commander could have apart from the emperor at mere age of 16 years.Hence may be he did not get time to enjoy childhood like common children and hence regretted it in his 50s.

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