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Jahandar Shah (Son of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah I)

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Jahandar Shah, son of the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah I, was the Mughal King of India for the period of 1712-1713. He was born on May 10, 1664.

On the death of Bahadur Shah I, three wars of succession took place among his sons, namely, Jahandar Shah, Azim-ush-Shan, Rafi-ush­-Shan and Jahan Shah, all of whom were in Lahore. Zulfiqar Khan, son of the Prime Minister Asad Khan, conspired against Azim-us­-Shan and secretly brought his three brothers together for a joint action against him. Azim-uhs-Shan was defeated and killed and the huge wealth and other valuable property fell into the hands of his victors.

Next, the three brothers quarreled among themselves, and with the assistance of Zulfiqar Khan, the eldest Jahandar Shah disposed of Rafi-ush-Shah, and Jahan Shah, both of whom lost their lives in fighting. Jahandar Shah, then about to complete his fifty-first year, crowned himself emperor on 29th March, 1712) and appointed Zulfiqar Khan as his prime minister.

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Mughal Emperor, Jahandar Shah, reached Delhi on 22nd June, 1712 and threw himself into sensual pleasures to the neglect of all business of government. The entire administration fell into utter confusion during Jahandar Shah’s brief reign of ten months.

His marriage to Lal Kunwar (honored with title “Imtiaz Mahal”) brought dissatisfaction among his people. Before marrying to Jahandar, LaL Kunwar was a dancing girl. However, Lal Kunwar managed to become the favorite wife of Jahandar. The emperor started giving excessive importance to Lal Kunwar. It is believed that he even worsened his relationship with his aunt (Zinat-un-Nissa) for the reason that the relationship between Lal Kunwar and Zinat-un-Nissa was not cordial. Zinat-un-Nissa was the daughter of Aurangzeb.

Later on, Farrukhsiyar, the second son of Azim-ush-Shah, marched against  Jahandar Shah with the help of Sayyid borthers. The government of Jahandar Shah had fallen into utter confusion and bankruptcy. Jahandar Shah arrived at Agra on 29th December, 1712 and was badly defeated by Farrukhsiyar on 10th January, 1713. Accompanied by Lal Kuar, he fled to Delhi and went straight to Asad Khan for protection. But Jahandar Shah was handed over to Farrukhsiyar. Jahandar Shah was put to death by FarrukhSiyar’s order on 11th February, 1713.

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