Historian Audrey Truschke pens biography on Mughal emperor Aurangzeb

NEW DELHI: Historian Audrey Truschke has now come up with a biography on Aurangzeb, taking a fresh look at the controversial Mughal emperor.

While many continue to accept the storyline peddled by colonial-era thinkers that Aurangzeb was a Hindu-loathing bigot, there is an untold side to him as a man who strove to be a just, worthy Indian king, publishers of “Aurangzeb: The Man and The Myth” Penguin Random House said.

“In this bold and captivating biography, Audrey Truschke enters the public debate with a fresh look at the controversial Mughal emperor,” it said.

“Aurangzeb Alamgir (1658 1707), the sixth Mughal emperor, is widely reviled in India today. Hindu hater, murderer, and religious zealot are just a handful of the modern caricatures of this maligned ruler,” it added.

The teachings and research of Truschke, an assistant professor of South Asian history at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey focus on the cultural, imperial, and intellectual history of early modern and modern India (c.1500 present).

Her first book, “Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court” looks into the literary, social, and political roles of Sanskrit as it thrived in the Persian-speaking Islamic Mughal courts from 1560-1650.

Truschke documents the interesting exchange between the Persian-speaking Islamic elite of the Mughal Empire and traditional Sanskrit scholars, which engendered a dynamic idea of Mughal rule essential to the empire’s survival.