Friday, September 23, 2011
As it turns out my whim of buying this book having randomly seen it in the bookshop next to the Marʿashī Library and having bought it turns out to have been a good thing and a serendipity. Looking through the new book published by Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, one can see the use of the text in finding, for example, evidence of religious debate and interaction at the Mughal court of the Emperor Jahāngīr (r. 1605-27). Alongside the already available Tuzuk-i Jahāngīrī and the Jahāngīrnāma, there are plenty of sources available for a re-evaluation of his court and for the cultural, religious and intellectual life of the period. Unfortunately, for many this may sound like rather old-fashioned Mughal history. It does seem that Jahāngīr and Mughals were far more curious about European culture and Christianity than the old 'Aligarh' school assumed - and the Majālis has led to at least one paper presented at the Indian Historical Congress in 2008 by Shireen Moosvi.