President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday paid his respects to the last emperor of Mughal dynasty Bahadur Shah Zafar, by offering ‘chadar’ at his mausoleum in Yangon of Myanmar.
It is indeed saddening that for more than a century, the last Mughal emperor was almost forgotten – but a chance finding of his grave helped resurrect the legacy of a man revered as a Sufi saint and one of the finest poets in the Urdu language.
It is believed that only a handful of relatives were present when Bahadur Shah Zafar II breathed his last in a shabby wooden house in Rangoon (now Yangon) in 1862.
That very day, his British captors buried him in an unmarked grave in a compound near the famous Shwedagon Pagoda.
It was an inglorious end for the last emperor of the Mughals that ruled undivided India (including Pakistan and Bangladeshand large parts of Afghanistan for more than 300 years.
Bahadur Shah Zafar II was considered as the rallying point for the failed “Indian uprising” of 1857, when soldiers from undivided India rose against the British East India Company
After they lost, the emperor was tried for treason, imprisoned and exiled to other territory under British control, in what is now Myanmar (Burma).
President Kovind is on a five-day official visit to Myanmar where he also addressed a gathering of Indian community at Yangon later in the day.
During his address Kovind reiterated India’s readiness to offer assistance to Myanmar in addressing its challenges of national reconciliation, reconstruction and economic development during its transition towards democracy.
The President also extended India’s full support to the peaceful dialogue between all stakeholders in Myanmar to make the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement more inclusive.