The Emperor Who Never Was: Book Discussion

Historians have long wondered whether the Mughal Empire would have crumbled when it did, allowing European traders to seize control of India, if Dara Shukoh had ascended the throne. To many in South Asia, Aurangzeb is the scholastic bigot who imposed a strict form of Islam and alienated his non-Muslim subjects. Dara, by contrast, is mythologized as a poet and mystic. Supriya Gandhi’s nuanced biography, The Emperor Who Never Was: Dara Shukoh in Mughal India gives us a more complex and revealing portrait of this Mughal prince than we have ever had.

Supriya Gandhi is a historian of Mughal India and Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Yale University. She grew up in India, received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, and also studied in Iran and Syria. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Mellon foundations.

Ananya Vajpeyi is an Associate Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. She is currently completing two books about the history of the Shudra as a category in Indian texts and society, from the classical literature to the writings of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. 

Thursday, 9 January 2020
4 pm, CSDS Seminar Room