Honour killing in Mughal court
Honour killing is rampant in rural areas in the whole Subcontinent and more specifically in Pakistan. Fiction, like the drama ‘Anarkali-Akbar-Saleem’ reveals that this phenomenon is not new in India. Rather, it has been there at all times in the past.
This truth was told once again in Jamia Millia when the tragic tale of the poor courtesan Anarkali’s love affair with prince Salim, the son of Mughal emperor Akbar and his heir to the throne was replayed. The play was directed by Aziz Quraishi and presented in its Ansari Auditorium in collaboration with Indian People’s Theatre Association.
It aims to give the impression that Anarkali was killed not to preserve the dignity of the Throne, that the future queen of India will not be an ordinary courtesan who is not of royal blood but to preserve the Mughal lineage and to salvage the royal family’s honour and ego of Akbar and therefore, it was a case of pure honour killing and not for the betterment of the Indian people or to save the prestige of the nation as Akbar claimed at that time.
It was interesting to note that Akbar’s role in the play was played by the vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia Najeeb Jang who was a stage actor in his college days.