|the 19th, and
last,emperor of the 300-year-old
Mughal dynasty, was a pensioner of the
East India Company who occupied
himself writing Persian verse. When
the Mutiny broke out, he became a
tragic victim of circumstance. An unwilling
pawn in the hands of the mutineers,
he was unable to remain detached from events and was therefore imprisoned
by the British after the fall of Delhi.
A British lady who visited the last
"king of kings" in captivity provided
this pathetic portrait of him: "There
in a small, dirty, low room with whitewashed
walls, cowered a thin, small,
old man, dressed in a dirty white suit
of cotton. He laid aside the hookah he
had been smoking, and began salaaming
to us in the most abject manner,
and saying he was 'burra kooshee'
(very glad) to see us."
Bahadur Shah, whose name ironically derived from the Mongolian bator (hero) was exiled to Rangoon where he died in 1862.
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