Besotted Babur records his love for Baburi in the Baburnama – Nivan Sadh

Babur, born Zahīr ud-Dīn Muhammad (14 February 1483–26 December 1530)

Nivan SadhIdolised by the radicalised section of Islamic society, Babur is assumed to be an ideal Muslim who followed all the modern day practises of Islam. However, this image of the murderous invader might be reason for surprise when you learn about his sexuality. – Nivan Sadh

Babur, an Islamic invader of Turkic descent, is widely renowned as the founder of the blood-stained Mughal Empire which is recorded to have oppressed native Indians under Islamic patriarchy.

Often idolised by the radicalised and extremist section of Islamic society, Babur is assumed to be an ideal Muslim who followed all the modern day practises of Islam. However, this image of the murderous invader might be the reason why you’re going to be shocked when you know about his sexuality.

Babur was a self-proclaimed bisexual, if not gay, Islamic ruler. According to the Baburnama (the personal memoirs of the first Mughal Emperor), a 17 year old Babur fell madly in love with a younger boy named ‘Baburi’ in Urdu Bazaar. There is some confusion over the age of the boy, most believe him to be a teenager although there are those who believe he was a pre-teen.

Babur was infatuated by Baburi, and in his memoirs describes the incident when he met him as:

In those leisurely days I discovered in myself a strange inclination. … I am maddened and afflicted myself for a boy in the camp-bazar, his very name, Baburi, fitting in. Up till then I had had no inclination for any-one,indeed of love and desire, either by hear-say or experience, I had not heard, I had not talked. From time to time Baburi used to come to my presence but out of modesty and bashfulness, I could never look straight at him; how then could I make conversation (ikhtildt) and recital (hikdyat)? In my joy and agitation I could not thank him (for coming); how was it possible for me to reproach him with going away? What power had I to command the duty of service to myself?

One day, during that time of desire and passion when I was going with companions along a lane and suddenly met him face to face, I got into such a state of confusion that I almost went right off. To look straight at him or to put words together was impossible. With a hundred torments and shames, I went on. (Ref: Baburnama, Vol. 1, Pg. 120)

So madly in love was the Mughal emperor with the child, he regularly wrote couplets describing his love for Baburi. Such as: 

Out of myself desire rushed me, unknowing, That this is so with the lover of a fairy-face.

Nor power to go was mine, nor power to stay; I was just what you made me, oh thief of my heart. (Ref: Baburnama, Vol. 1, Pg. 121)

It is said that Babur had many eunuchs in the Mughal harems under him. The Mughal soldiers usually took the women and young boys of kingdoms they invaded and sent them to the harems. The boys were usually castrated and turned into eunuchs to give sexual satisfaction to the nobles. It is believed that homosexuality was very common in the Muslim Empire at that time, and it was fairly common for young boys to be engaged in sexual activities in harems run by the emperors. – OpIndia, 25 September 2020

Nivan Sadh has a keen interest in politics, history and economics and regularly writes on current affairs.

The Quran mentions ghilman (غِلْمَان) as serving boys who are one of the delights of Jannah or paradise/heaven of Islam, in verse 52:24. (Verse 56:17 is also thought to refer to ghilman.)



One Response

  1. Babri Demolition Case: All 32 Accused Including LK Advani Acquitted – Alok Pandey – NDTV – Lucknow – 30 September 2020

    The demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, was not planned and involved “anti-social elements” who got agitated and climbed the domes, a court in Uttar Pradesh said Wednesday, acquitting all 32 accused including BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti of conspiracy charges in a landmark verdict. “The accused tried to stop the demolition,” said special judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, adding that merely giving a provocative speech was not enough to prove guilt.

    Here’s your 10-point cheat sheet on this big story:

    1. LK Advani, 92, MM Joshi, 87, and Uma Bharti, 61, were not present in court and watched via video link when the verdict was announced. They had all been accused of criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and inciting activists with incendiary speeches from a dais next to the site. Mr Advani said he celebrated the “moment of joy” by chanting “Jai Shri Ram”.

    2. “Anti-social elements brought down the structure. The accused leaders tried to stop these people,” said the special judge, whose term had been extended for this verdict. The judge also said the audio and video evidence produced by the CBI did not establish conspiracy charges. “The audio of the speeches was also not clear,” he said.

    3. “There is no evidence that the accused got together in common cause with anti-social Kar Sewaks to bring down the disputed structure. The leaders seated on stage and those near the Ram Chabutara – VHP leader Ashok Singhal and BJP’s Vijaya Raje Scindia — did not suspect that a section of the Kar Sewaks will get agitated and climb the disputed structure,” the judge said.

    4. The mosque demolition was preceded by a series of Rath Yatras by LK Advani, whose campaign for a Ram temple at the site catapulted the BJP to the national spotlight. Mr Advani, Mr Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh, who are among the 32 surviving accused, were allegedly present near the mosque. Investigating agencies said they delivered speeches that instigated the crowds who had gathered for a temple.

    5. Kalyan Singh was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh at the time. Former Union minister Uma Bharti, who is admitted in hospital for COVID-19, had declared she would not seek bail if she was convicted and she would accept any punishment with pride. Mr Advani recorded his statement before the special CBI court through video conference on July 24 and was asked 100 questions.

    6. The 16th century mosque was razed by thousands of “Kar Sevaks” who believed it was built on the ruins of an ancient temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. The incident led to riots that left 3,000 dead and changed India’s political landscape forever.

    7. Over the last 28 years, the case has seen many turns. Two cases were filed in 1992, which eventually grew to 49. The second case, FIR no 198, had named Mr Advani, Mr Joshi and Uma Bharti for promoting religious enmity and provoking rioting. Later, the Supreme Court asked that criminal conspiracy charges be restored against them.
    8. In a historic ruling in November, the Supreme Court handed over the site claimed by both Hindus and Muslims for the building of a Ram temple. The groundbreaking ceremony took place earlier this year, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing the main rituals.

    9. The Supreme Court also called it “unlawful destruction” and said Muslims had been wrongly deprived of a mosque that was constructed well over 400 years ago. “It is necessary to provide restitution to the Muslim community for the unlawful destruction of their place of worship,” the top court said, ordering an alternative site in Ayodhya for a mosque.

    10. In an interview to NDTV in 2000, Mr Advani had called the Babri mosque razing a “terrible mistake” and said: “Till today, frankly, I do not know whether it was mob fury, a mob going out of control or a small determined group which did not agree with the leadership of the movement who thought that this should be done, I’m not clear in my mind.” Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said a section of Kar Sevaks went out of control. “What happened in Ayodhya was very unfortunate. It should not have happened. We tried, to prevent it, but we did not succeed. We are sorry for that,” he told NDTV.


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