Aryaman Kumar, a reporter of the East India Company, notes his observations on the slow disintegration of the Mughal Empire and gives ideas as so to what the great Emperor ought to take action on.
‘What can go wrong, will go wrong. – Murphy’s Second Law
The Englishman Sir Thomas Roe has arrived at the Mughal Empire and has explicitly stated that the English only want concessions, trading rights and the opening of a factory in Surat. These ‘humble’ demands should be addressed with careful consideration and thorough deliberation as the English, just like the Portuguese, are only flocking to Hindustan as they are seeking the fulfillment of their own dubious interests.
It is imperative to understand that even the slightest of risks can lead to destabilization or even the downfall of the Mughal Empire. The Mughal Empire is at its zenith, though it has not reached the top without hiccups and even now witnesses several threats, both internal and external. This is an extremely stressful time for both Hindustan and Jahangir.
Internal threats such as Khusrau’s rebellion, the Superintendant’s betrayal and Khurram’s treason of the ‘highest order’ have been sending shockwaves in the whole of surely put the Emperor in a weakened state. Coupled with the fact that an intruder was found in the Mughal region and said intruder was wearing a foreign uniform alien to the Court, it is not far from the truth if one mentions that the Mughal Empire is under threats from all sides.
As the great Empress rightly said this is a ‘game of shatranj’ (chess) and that one must ‘trust no one, notice everyone and ally with someone’. The British do bring with them rarities and attractive goods from the European market, however one hopes this event is not just a reciprocal of the Portuguese arriving and trying to lure the Mughal Empire while they were the culprits responsible behind the sinking of five Mughal ships and their head, Father Ronaldo (A Jesuit priest), has been accused of trying to convert staunch Hindus and Muslims residing in Hindustan and the Emperor’s home Agra.
We must realize the gravity of this situation. Keeping these facts and instances in mind, one cannot help but feel it is absolutely absurd to consider the possibility of letting these Europeans set up shop here. The Mughal Empire runs the risk of running into a hurdle which they haven’t truly wrapped their heads around. Why the Emperor has let the British East India Company flourish for so long remains a mystery.
The committee has been witness to dozens of debates and discussions which sometimes tend to be inconsequential. However, the various crisis situations handed over to the delegates by the Executive Board have propelled them to increase the level of debate and pick up pace in conference. The delegates must keep up the impeccable standards they set yesterday, which gave them an edge over other committees.
Coming back to the issue at hand, the Emperor and Empress must use their discretion and ensure that the Europeans are not allowed to get the trading rights and concessions they so dearly want. As there seems to be a greater power working behind the scenes, it is blatantly obvious that trade and commerce are not the only issues compelling the English to come to Hindustan. Even the slightest risk their arrival brings with them must not be overlooked. Thus, the Emperor Jahangir must take some firm steps to ensure there is no threat to Hindustan.
Now, the Emperor Jahangir must not let his drinking addiction affect his stream of thinking and his bonding with the English must not hinder his apt abilities as an administrator, political thinker, strategist and most essentially, an Emperor.