Mehrunissa, The Empress Of Jahangir


This year we were asked to write about a person we admire in the Essay Writing Contest. This is one of the winning entries written by Fluffy of Class IX (2017). The Mughal Empress, Mehrunissa was Fluffy’s favourite choice because even after being born as woman in the 17th century India, she mastered an Emperor’s role.

new-doc-2017-02-22_4Life is a race. Everywhere around you the world is seeking opportunities to pin you down, and you have to strive to stand up and be one in the million. We find very few examples of such strength in history and a very small percentage of this minority turn out to be women. One such example was Mehrunissa, a tigress who came as a bride in the Mughal household. In the 17th century India, with greater power came greater enemies. In the world if such parochialism, life was even harder for women. Both these aspects worked against Mehrunissa. Being deserted in a desert, at birth, by a destitute father, she was born with the spirit of a warrior, who had fought her way back to her father. With a Persian family seeking shelter in the Mughal empire, her father was taken under the wings of the emperor. A beauty with brains, the eyes of the emperor soon fell on Mehrunissa. Here was born a dream, a desire for power and the ultimate position of the emperor. Her preparation stated with learning to control her emotions, a key quality of an emperor. Soon after marriage, her brother was charged with treason and his fate lied in her hands. Curbing all emotions of loyalty and affection, she took an unbiased decision to sentence him to death, proving herself worthy of the throne. With an intoxicated and gullible emperor on the throne, her dreams found fertile grounds in the emperor’s unquestioning loyalty and trust and became the power behind the throne. But so much power concentrated in the hands of one person had to be followed by the fomentation of hatred. There had to be traitors in the shadow. In this case it was the general of the Mughal army, Mahabat Khan. A cunning man, he managed to trap the unsuspecting royalty in an isolated land, intending to become the emperor himself but how could he have escaped the scheming mind of Mehrunissa who solely with her immense grit had saved the emperor.

But unfortunately, history plays its card at random, smiling at some while laughing at others. Being born as part of the unfavoured gender was the curse that came as a mighty obstruction to her dreams.