This article explores a darker side of cultural dialogue—the experience of subjugation to a cultural “other”—through a case study of Rao Surjan of Bundi, a Rajput warrior who was defeated by Mughal emperor Akbar in 1569. Surjan’s surrender of Ranthambhor fort was celebrated in Mughal chronicles such as the Akbarnama but condemned in Nainsi’s Khyat and other Rajput texts. Drawing primarily on Surjanacarita, a Sanskrit poem from about 1590, this article examines the literary strategies that were employed to justify Surjan’s submission to Akbar and his subsequent career as a Mughal mansabdar (imperial rank-holder).
SaranRichard D.ZieglerNorman P.The Mertiyo Rathors of Merto Rajasthan: Select Translations Bearing on the History of a Rajput Family 1462-16602001Ann ArborUniversity of Michigan Centers for South and Southeast Asian Studies2 vols.
SmithJohn D.DolciniDonatellaFfreschiFaustoHeroes, Victims, and Role Models: The Inhabitants of the Rajasthani Epic WorldTessitori and Rajasthan: Proceedings of the International Conference Bikaner 21-23 February 19961999UdineSocieta Indologica109126
See e.g. A. Busch“Literary Responses to the Mughal Imperium: The Historical Poems of Kesavdas.”South Asia Research25 (2005): 31-54. See also her Poetry of Kings: The Classical Hindi Literature of Mughal India (New York: Oxford University Press 2011) and “Portrait of a Raja in a Badshah’s World: Amrit Rai’s Biography of Man Singh (1585)” in this volume. See also H. Pauwels “The Saint the Warlord and the Emperor: Discourses of Braj Bhakti and Bundela Loyalty.” JESHO 52 (2009): 187-228; and C. Talbot “Becoming Turk the Rajput Way: Conversion and Identity in an Indian Warrior Narrative.” Modern Asian Studies 43 (2009): 211-43. Excerpts from the Rajasthani chronicler Nainsi are studied in R.D. Saran and N.P. Ziegler The Mertiyo Rathors of Merto Rajasthan 2 vols. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Centers for South and Southeast Asian Studies 2001).
A. HusainThe Nobility under Akbar and Jahangir: A Study of Family Groups (Delhi: Manohar1999): 87-9; A.R. Khan “Akbar’s Initial Encounters with the Chiefs: Accident vs. Design in the Process of Subjugation.” In Akbar and His India ed. I. Habib (Delhi: Oxford University Press 1997): 1-14.
On Mirza Hakim see M.D. Faruqui“The Forgotten Prince: Mirza Hakim and the Formation of the Mughal Empire in India.”JESHO48/4 (2005): 487-523 and S. Subrahmanyam “A Note on the Kabul Kingdom under Muhammad Hakim Mirza (1554-85).” La transmission du savoir dans le monde musulman périphérique Lettre d’information 14 (1994): 89-101.