The 1930s Hindi short story “Mugaloṃ ne saltanat bakhś dī” (“The Mughals Gave the Sultanate Away”) by self-proclaimed apolitical author Bhagavatīcaraṇ Varmā offers an alternative version of how the British Crown took the rule of India away from the Mughal Empire. An in-depth analysis of this story written during the buildup to the decolonization of India evaluates how two different kinds of what is often referred to as “outside rulers” are depicted in this story: the Mughal emperors and the British colonial rulers. This case study assesses whether the story shows a different attitude toward Mughals and the centuries-old Muslim culture in India, compared to how both historic rulers are viewed and represented by right-wing Hindu nationalists: Muslim Indians seem to be made part of the “other” rather than a part of an inclusive interpretation of the Indian “self.”

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