Bahadur Shah Zafar, The last Mughal Emperor

Bahadur Shah II, also known as Bahadur Shah Zafar, born on October 24, 1775, in Delhi, India, and died on the 7th of November, 1862, in Rangoon (now Yangon), Burma (now Myanmar), was the final Mughal emperor of India (reigned 1837-57). He was also a poet, musician, and calligrapher is more likely to be an aesthete than a political leader. 

He is the second son of Akbar Shah II and the Lal bai. For most of his reign, he had no real power and the real power belonged to the British. He reluctantly took part in the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58. 

During the revolt, the rebellion from the town of Meerut seized Delhi and forced Bahādur Shāh to take nominal leadership of the revolt, then he was arrested by the British army after the capture of Delhi in September 1857. After the British put down the rebellion, he was tried and was deported to Burma (Myanmar) with his family. 

The trial began at 11 o'clock on the morning of the 27th of January, 1858. He was charged with aiding and abetting the rebellion, which established the sovereignty of the "Hindostan" as to the war against the British government, and involvement in the assassination of the Christians. 

In the trial transcripts, Bahadur Shah is referred to as the ex-king of Delhi. This trial took place at the Red Fort, his place, where he was made captive, and went on for 21 days. Initially at the trial, when asked if he was blameworthy or not blameworthy of the charges, Bahadur Shah Zafar could not realize what was being asked, although a translated transcript of the charges was given to him 20 days before the trial began. And after some time he broke his calmness and pleaded not guilty.

As the trial going on, he argued to be unaware of all the instructions and ordinance that were passed using his signature and blamed either his Commander-In-Chief Bakht Khan or the army, in front of whom Zafar was “powerless”. At the trial, he said, “The Condition of this army forces was such that nobody ever saluted me or demonstrated any respect for me. They would walk into the Diwan-e-Khas or tasbihkhana with their shoes on. How could I trust forces that had killed its governors?”

According to William Dalrymple's book, The Last Mughal, it was the emperor's personal doctor and confidant, Hakim Ahsanullah Khan, who testified against him in exchange for a pardon. On March 9, 1858, a British court found, the Emperor, guilty on all charges. 

Zafar died at approximately 5 a.m. on Friday, November 7, 1862. Zafar was buried at 4 pm near the Shwe Degon Pagoda at Ziwaka Road 6. The mausoleum of Zafar was built thereafter recovery of its tomb on 16 Feb. 1991.

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