An African slave who defied the Mughals (14 December 2019)

महाराष्ट्राच्या इतिहासातील एक महत्वपुर्ण व्यक्ती. इथियोपियात जन्मलेला एक निग्रो गुलाम ते महाराष्ट्रात मोगलांना यशस्वी टक्कर देणारा, मराठी बाणा अंगात मुरविलेला महान राजकारणी, एकढेच नव्हे तर औरंगाबाद शहराचा निर्माता, जमीन मोजणी आणि महसूल या विषयातील तज्ञ अशी ओळख असलेले व्यक्तीमत्व म्हणजे मलिक अंबर.

Manu S Pillai

(My column in Mint Lounge, December 14 2019)

Malik_amber_ahmadnager_hi.jpg

In the 1670s, when the Maratha hero Shivaji commissioned Kavindra Paramananda to produce his epic Sivabharata, extraordinary praise was reserved in its verses for a dead Muslim warrior called Malik Ambar. Shivaji’s father Shahaji, like his grandfather Maloji, had been a close lieutenant of this man, so much so that in a battle scene, we read how, “As Kartikeya the gods protected in his battle with Taraka, so did Shahaji and other rajas gather around Malik Ambar.” The general was not only “as brave as the sun” and “wondrous in power”, according to Shivaji’s poet, but also a “man of most-terrible deeds”, before whom enemies quaked in fear. What is not highlighted in this eulogy, however, is another striking detail—that Malik Ambar, who even in death was “like a brilliant setting sun”, was originally a slave, born in Africa.

Though…

View original post 848 more words

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.