Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/150

This page needs to be proofread.


146 THE MUGHAL DYNASTY. brother, the noble but impetuous D&ra (1659). After another twelve months' struggle, he drove out of India his second brother, the self-indulgent Shuja (1660), who perished miserably among the insolent savages of Arakan. His remaining brother, the brave young Murad, was executed in prison the following year (1661). Aurangzeb had from boyhood been a Muham- madan of the stern puritan type. Having now killed off his rival brethren, he set up as an orthodox sovereign of the strictest sect of Islam, while his invalid father, Shah Jahan, lingered on in prison, mourning over his murdered sons, until his own death in 1666. Aurangzeb's Campaigns in Southern India. — Aurangzeb continued, as emperor, that persistent policy of the subjugation of Southern India which he had brilliantly commenced as his father's lieutenant. Of the five Muhammadan kingdoms of the Deccan, Bidar and Ahmadnagar with Ellichpur had fallen to his arms, as the prince in command of the Imperial armies, before his accession to the throne. The two others, Bijapur and Golconda, struggled longer, but Aurangzeb was determined at any cost to annex them to the Mughal Empire. During the first half of his reign, or exactly twenty-five years, he waged war in the south by means of his generals (1658-83). A new Hindu power had, as we have seen, arisen in the Deccan — the Marathas, whose history will be traced in more detail in a sub- sequent chapter. The task before Aurangzeb's armies was not only the old one of subduing the Muhammadan kingdoms of Bijapur and Golconda, but also the new one of crushing the quick growth of the Hindu or Mardtha confederacy. Slow Conquest of Southern India. — During a quarter of a century, his utmost efforts failed. Bijapur and Golconda were not conquered. In 1670, the Maratha leader, Sivajf, levied chauth, or one-fourth of the revenues, as tribute from the Mughal Provinces in Southern India; and in 1674 he crowned himself an independent sovereign at Raigarh. In 1680-1681, Aurangzeb's son, Prince Akbar, having rebelled against his father, joined the Maratha army. Aurangzeb felt that he must either give up his magnificent palace in the north for a soldier's tent in the Deccan, or he must relinquish his most cherished