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Did Mughals See Themselves as Indians

Did Mughals see themselves as Indians

Claim: After Babur every Mughal King was the product of an Indian wife. They knew no other homeland, lived, loved, died & were buried in India. So, they were Indians



  1. Humayun’s mom Mahan Begum was a Persian.
  2. Akbar’s mom Hamida Banu Begum was a Persian.
  3. Aurangzeb’s mom Mumtaz Mahal was a Persian.
  4. Mughals definitely knew of their Turani homeland and dreamed of getting it back. Which is why Shahjahan conducted the expensive Balkh invasion at no real profit whatsoever.
  5. Even a late Mughal like Aurangzeb considered himself a Turani (Central Asian) and not Hindustani (Indian).
  6. Infact, Aurangzeb said Hindustanis are naturally inferior and mean. In Aurangzeb’s India:
  • Foreign Muslims such as Iranis and Turanis commanded high status and occupied high positions.
  • Mughals looked down upon native convert Indian Muslims for being dark and ugly.
  • This is why these native Indian Muslims married women from Kashmir so that their children could look fair and pass off for genuine “Mughals”.



In Mughal India, foreign Muslims like Iranis and Turanis were around 1% of the population. Yet, they enjoyed most of the higher positions. Out of 51 Mansabdars with the rank of 5000:

  1. 45% were Persians.
  2. 17% were Turani Turks.
  3. Only 7% were Indian Muslims.



  2. The King and the People: Sovereignty and Popular Politics in Mughal Delhi by Abhishek Kaicker
  3. The Mughal Nobility Under Aurangzeb by Athar Ali
  4. The Mughal Empire by John F Richards