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Biographical Data :

Name :Nader Shah
Period :1687 - 1747
Biographical detail : Shahanshah of Iran

The dizzying rise of Nader Shah from a shepherd’s son to the throne, as Shahanshah (King of Kings) is an amazing story of warfare, intrigue and ambition.

Nader Shah assisted Shah Tahmasp of Iran to regain his kingdom from the Afghan chief in 1730 and then deposed the king off and declared himself the king in 1732. After taking all the territories that belonged to the Turks, he concluded a treaty with them in 1736.

Nader Shah created and commanded the superb force and the first standing army in the region that drilled daily when not at war; armed with modern weapons provided by the state; and paid regular salaries. With this army, he drove out marauding Afghans, defeated the Ottomans and forced out the Russians.

In order to pay, feed and arm Nader Shah’s large forces that, at one stage, numbered 375,000, according to some records, it was necessary to tax the country to the point where different parts of the country often revolted. There was constant discontent in the land. It was this need to pay for his large army that drove him to invade India.

Nader Shah defeated Mughal army at the battle of Karnal, 75 miles from Delhi. He entered the capital Delhi in 1739 at the head of his army of qizilbash (Red Hats). His soldiers slaughtered a staggering 20,000 men, women and children in the city on March 22, 1739, within a spell of six hours. There are independent eyewitness accounts of this horrific happening. There are contemporary chronicles like Tarikh-e-Hindi of Rustam Ali, Bayan-e-Waqai of Abdul Karim and Tazkira of Anand Ram Mukhlis. The Mughal Empire had been weakened by wars of succession and secession in the three decades since the death of Aurangzeb. The regime was corrupt and disunited, but the country was still extremely rich and Delhi’s prosperity and prestige unblemished. Nadir Shah came in to grab a piece of the pie, like so many before and after him in India’s history. He squeezed citizens, nobles and the Mughal emperor for money, gold and gems until some notables instigated revolt against the invaders.

Nader Shah’s retribution was swift and terrible. He commanded his troops to massacre the rebels and by the time he ordered them to halt, around 30,000 people had been killed. Thousands of camels, horses and donkeys were required to haul his ransom to Persia. It is authoritatively estimated Nadir Shah returned back with a booty estimated at some £90bn in today’s money along with the peacock throne and the diamond Kohinoor. Nader Shah name remains a byword for cruelty centuries after his death.

Nader Shah, however, was noted for his considerate treatment of women. Again and again, he ordered his soldiers to return unharmed captive women rather than treating them as the spoils of war, a common practice at the time.

But Nader Shah could be cruel, as his son Reza Quili discovered when his eyes were plucked out on a suspicion that he had conspired to assassinate his father. It was after the blinding of his beloved elder son that Nader Shah went into a decline. His actions became more capricious, as he aroused the hatreds of many who had earlier been loyal.

After his reign of about 20 years, when Nader Shah, born Nadir Quili Khan, was murdered, there were few to mourn him as his family was put to death soon afterwards. His nephew Adil Shah murdered him and thirteen of his sons and grandsons. The only one that escaped murder was Nader's grandson Shah Rukh, who went to Europe and joined the Austrian army as an officer and was known as Baron von Semlin.
 (Compiler : M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin)


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