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How the Past was UsedHistorical cultures, c. 750-2000$
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Peter Lambert and Björn Weiler

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266120

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266120.001.0001

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The Poetry of History in Early Modern India

The Poetry of History in Early Modern India

Chapter:
(p.161) 7 The Poetry of History in Early Modern India
Source:
How the Past was Used
Author(s):

Allison Busch

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266120.003.0007

This chapter shows how Hindi poetry can be an important resource for understanding the Mughal period (1526–1857). Mughal historians have largely relied on Persian and European sources, but much can be gained by examining the local historical cultures that were cultivated in Indian vernacular languages. Busch focuses on a specific Hindi work, the Binhai Raso of Maheshdas Rao, which tells the story of the Mughal succession war of 1658 from the viewpoint of the Gaur Rajputs who fought (and died) in defence of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Since the materials are primarily literary rather than documentary in nature, they present challenges to would-be historian of historical culture, but they have the potential to contribute new perspectives not only to the field of Mughal history, but to the re-theorisation of Indian historiographical practices.

Keywords:   Mughal period, Hindi poetry, Gaur Rajputs, Binhai Raso, Shah Jahan, historical culture, Indian historiographical practices

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