On Tuesday, HuffPost India reviewed historian Audrey Truschke's biography of Aurangzeb, which argues that the Mughal emperor's reputation as a tyrant and bigot is only a partial truth fostered by the right-wingers.
The article, Why Aurangzeb's Reputation As A Tyrant And Bigot Doesn't Stand The Test Of History, has since occasioned much trolling and a meme-storm among a section of the Indian Twitterati.
The review countered several allegations against the ruler, including the accusation of fratricide against him, by drawing attention to the social and political context of his time.
"Aurangzeb merely acted in line with the hallowed Mughal tradition of in-fighting, where brother didn't hesitate killing brother in battles of succession, to come to power. In his case, he drove away one of his brothers from the empire, killed the other two, and kept his aged father, Shah Jahan, in house arrest," it said. "Had Aurangzeb not secured the kingdom for himself by such violent means, he'd have lost face among his contemporaries and most probably his life in the hands of one of his brothers."
The piece didn't go down well with a section of the Indian Twitterati. Soon #YoAurangzebSoNoble was trending on the platform.
Aurangzeb used to share cat videos. https://t.co/QkZudUGZPv— Shivangi (@TranceCosmos) March 29, 2017
Aurangzeb was cutting veggies in the kitchen and he mistook brother's head for a potato. https://t.co/BBAxFvLLoS— अतुल (@amz360) March 29, 2017
*Aurangzeb reaches the gates of hell*— Akshar (@AksharPathak) March 29, 2017
Satan: *reading the HuffPo article* "Sorry bro, galti se mistake ho gayi tere ho heaven jaana ka tha"
Aurangzeb only beheaded people, but he never abused people on twitter, atleast he wasn't a troll.— Vishakha (@VishakhaJ18) March 29, 2017
Aurangzeb: Guys, please untag me. pic.twitter.com/jZs5QaF56w— Dev (@EyeKaDoctor) March 29, 2017
Aurangzeb used the jizya revenue to make sharper blades for beheadings, reducing the pain felt by kufrs. Such benevolence, much wow. pic.twitter.com/v4EcEYKkyY— MansahaRatty (@YearOfRat) March 29, 2017
#YoAurangzebSoNoble, 4.8 million Kaafirs are resting in peace because of him!— Nitin Gupta (@Nitin_Rivaldo) March 29, 2017
Deserves a Noble Peace Prize! Father of Idea of India.
Twitter went one step ahead and trended the hashtag #YoAurangzebSoNoble and launching tons of memes and jokes.
#YoAurangzebSoNoble that he always broke a Coconut before destroying a temple.— TheFrustratedIndian (@FrustIndian) March 29, 2017
Even though Aurangzeb forced kafir to pay Jizya, but never forced them to use Aadhar. #YoAurangzebSoNoble— Kalpesh (@ekvichar_) March 29, 2017
#YoAurangzebSoNoble he used to wipe his sword with Dettol b4 beheading Non Believers! Every time I see a Teddy Bear, it reminds me of him!— Nitin Gupta (@Nitin_Rivaldo) March 29, 2017
#YoAurangzebSoNoble He killed his father so that he won't have to suffer illness and die of some disease later.— Aaawwlicious (@an_upama) March 29, 2017
#YoAurangzebSoNoble, he didn't believe in nepotism.— Nirwa Mehta (@nirwamehta) March 29, 2017
#YoAurangzebSoNoble— आशुतोष (@muglikar_) March 29, 2017
He never operated illegal slaughterhouses. 😎😂
#YoAurangzebSoNoble that— Ekita (@LostByWaves) March 29, 2017
Whenever he went in Mandir to desecrate the idols, he removed his shoes before entering..
Aurangzeb supported Jallikattu and made the bulls run over Kaffirs #YoAurangzebSoNoble— The Masakadzas (@Nesenag) March 29, 2017
Aurangzeb is so innocent that he reads mutual fund documents carefully before investing. #YoAurangzebSoNoble— जिज्ञासा (@imcurious__) March 29, 2017
Aurangzeb would have never approved of YoYoHoneySingh. #YoAurangzebSoNoble— Vishakha (@VishakhaJ18) March 29, 2017
While some joined the bandwagon without even reading up the article.
https://t.co/pz5OyIR3FD glamorizing a killer like Tipu, shame on Huff— Mohandas Pai (@TVMohandasPai) March 28, 2017