Book Review. The Last Mughal

The Last Mughal is actually the story of Delhi and its inhabitants including the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. It is a well-researched and unbiased account of the events leading to the War of Independence (The 1857 mutiny), the war itself and the events leading to the dissolution of the East India Company. It is a heart wrenching tale of greed, intrigues, lust for power and money, of treachery, religious ideals and morals. The story starts with Bahadur Shah Zafar’s time, describing Delhi, its inhabitants, the British, Royals and important people including the likes of Zauq and Ghalib. The book cover in great detail the events leading to the siege of Delhi and the last battle fought between the British (East India Company) and the rebelling soldiers and men and finally in the massacre of Delhi residents (which today can be rightly construed as war crimes). There was not a single dull moment in this treatise, not for me at least. Dalrymple describes the events as they happened in a chronological fashion; it is almost as it is happening live. One moment the East India Company seems to be winning and the next it is the revolting soldiers. Split second decisions, not taken, or actions abandoned that might have altered the course of history, make this nail biting record and must read for history buffs. I must confess for a certain period of time after reading it I felt sad. Sad, for the 333 years of glory coming to an end in a very bloody and gruesome manner. While at the same time perhaps it was a much needed change, for out of the ashes of the great Mughal Empire, was born the animosity between Hindus and Muslims of that time (which sadly continues to this day), that resulted in reformation of political ideas and hence a change leading to the independence and the ouster of the British exactly 90 years after the events of 1857 war of Independence.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s