Akbar's "Royal Touch" Essay

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I AKBAR’S “ROYAL TOUCH” A companion of one Mullah Tarson of Badakhshan had the temerity to abuse the ‘Representative of God’, Akbar. He even refused to enter his mausoleum at Sikandrah. At his apparent blasphemy, his companions said, “If Akbar possesses hidden knowledge, that man will certainly come to grief.” Just then a piece of broken stone fell on his toe and crushed it. Akbar’s subjects had a perception of royalty different from our own. The supernatural character of the emperor was a part of that perception, and served to establish his authority in the mind of his subjects. It is worth mentioning here that Akbar was a Muslim ruler who ruled the non-Muslims. And one thing that sets him apart from his predecessors is his success in establishing himself as “the spiritual guide of the people” who were fragmented and swore fealty only to their immediate rulers and chieftains. His appeal cut across religions. If he remained a true Muslim till the end, despite his ‘innovations’, for Muslims of his reign (including the orthodox Sunnis) , he was “King Rama” fighting “demons” for Hindus. He used to mutter spells taught to him by the Hindus to be able to subdue the sun to his wishes. As a prince interested more in outdoor sports like hunting, a courtier sent by his father Humayun to motivate him to study found him lying on the grass, looking serene, as if he were asleep, but in fact “contemplating his plans for world conquest”. In words of Abu-l-Fazl, this episode demonstrated that “the lofty comprehension of this Lord of the Age was not learned or acquired, but was the gift of god in which human effort had no part.” Akbar also claimed to impeccably recall everything that happened during his infancy. He was believed to be a king with cosmic powers. “The heavens revolve at his wish” and he was a “rainmaker” and

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