By Adv Masood Peshimam
Once, a great Urdu drama writer Imtiaz Ali Taj happened to visit the grave of Anarkali, the kaniz or the courtier of Emperor Akbar at Lahore. Her name was Nadira, who hailed from Afghanistan. There is Anarkali Bazar at Lahore in Pakistan. Anarkali mattered much to Imtiaz Ali Taj. With a view to enlarge the canvas of Anarkali the dramatist thought of rolling out some new story with the touch of fiction.
He developed the whole drama of emperor Akbar having an affair with Anarkali with the copious details involving ironic court intrigues which was not largely synonymous with reality. Being an artist he inundated the whole drama with rich literary contents. Based on Taj’s literary creation the theme occupied more literary space, with someone adding more plot to the situation with the sensational treatment to the subject.
It caught the imagination of director K Asif who made “Mughale Azam” which turned out be magnum opus of Indian cinema with the rich dialogue of Mirza Amanulla, Zeenat Aman’s father. The morale of the story is that many a time untrue narrative is created around kings, nobles or big personalities to arouse attraction. The malignant intention may paint the personality as devil.
Attuned to the phenomenon of painting devil of Muslim kings, making a controversial statement of BJP president of Rajasthan, Madan Lal Saini said that Mughal emperor Akbar was a ” molester” who used to organise “Meena Bazar” to exploit women. Saini also said that the kinds of misdeeds Akbar used to commit under guise are recorded in history, though without giving any reference.