Aurangzeb's succession to the Mughal throne in 1658 was written about from Western Europe to South-East Asia. The European and Persian accounts of this event are more well-known. What did the Rajput allies of the Mughals think of this event? How did they record it? The Vachanika Rathor Ratansinghri is a text from c.1670 that remembers the martyrdom of Ratan Singh of Ratlam in the Battle of Dharmat (near Ujjain) during the Succession War. The Vachanika shows little concern about which particular Mughal prince would become the padshah. It deploys tropes from the Mahabharata to conceptualise the Mughal polity. How exactly? The text also outlines norms of conduct for Rajputs as military and political figures. The text provides data to make sense of issues such as the role of Mughal service in the making of Rajput identity, notions of martyrdom and masculinity.
Vikas Rathee received his PhD in History from The University of Arizona (2015) for writing a thesis titled Narratives of the 1658 War of Succession for the Mughal Throne, 1658-1707.
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