History is replete with the unfulfilled promise of princes cut down in their prime. The Mughal Empire is no exception. This episode traces the life and times of the crown prince, Dara Shukoh, his prodigious talent as a chronicler, poet, philosopher and connoisseur of the arts, his deeply syncretic ideas, the bitter rivalry with his brothers, leading to an open War of Succession – and his tragic end.
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Professor Muzaffar Alam
Muzaffar Alam is George V. Bobrinskoy Professor, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, at the University of Chicago. Trained at Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, he taught for three decades at the Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, and held visiting positions in several European and American academic Institutions. A specialist in Persian, Arabic, Hindi and Urdu, Professor Alam is one of the world’s leading historians of medieval and the Mughal India. He also has a strong interest in philology, literature, and text studies. His major publications include “The Crisis of Empire in Mughal North India”, “The Languages of Political Islam in India: c. 1200-1800”, (both included in the Indian History classics). Among his several other books that he jointly authored are “A European Experience of the Mughal Orient”( with Seema Alavi), “The Mughal State 1526-1750”, Writing the Mughal World, and “Indo-Persian Travels in the Age of Discovery: 1400-1800” (with Sanjay Subrahmanyam).
Avik Chanda is a bestselling author, columnist, business advisor, educationist and entrepreneur. He is the Founder and CEO of NUVAH ELINT LLP, a NASSCOM 10,000 incubated startup, and is also a visiting faculty at IIT-Delhi and XLRI. A prolific columnist, his bylines appear regularly in The Economic Times, Scroll, FirstPost, Quartz, Harvard Business Review, and other publications. Chanda’s previous books include a collection of poetry, Footnotes (Shearsman, 2008) and a novel, Anchor (HarperCollins, 2014). His business book, “From Command To Empathy: Using EQ in the Age of Disruption” (HarperCollins, 2017), was featured in Amazon India’s Best Reads under Business, Strategy and Management. Chanda’s latest book, “Dara Shukoh: The Man Who Would Be King” (HarperCollins, 2019), was on the National Non-Fiction Top 10 Bestsellers List for 10 consecutive weeks, garnered huge critical success, and has been released as an audiobook by Audible.