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Begum Zinat Mahal

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Zinat Mahal married Bahadur Shah II at Delhi on 19 November 1840 and bore him a son, Mirza Jawan Bakht.

She greatly influenced the Emperor, and after the death of the Crown Prince Mirza Dara Bakht, she began promoting her son Mirza Jawan Bakht as heir to the throne over the Emperor's remaining eldest son Mirza Fath-ul-Mulk Bahadur. But due to the primogeniture policy of the British, this was not accepted. She was suspected of poisoning the British Resident in Delhi, Thomas Metcalfe in 1853 for meddling too much in palace affairs.

 

1857 rebellion

During the Indian rebellion of 1857, she kept her son out of contact with the rebels in an attempt to secure the throne for him. With the British victory, the emperor's two other sons were shot for supporting the rebels; however, her son did not become heir. In 1858, her husband was deposed by the British, bringing the Mughal Empire to an end, and she was exiled to Rangoon with her husband. After her husband's death in 1862, the British banned anyone from claiming the title of Emperor, in an attempt to dissolve the monarchy.

 

school-chalao-zinat-mahal1. image

 

Death

She died on 17 July 1886. She was buried in her husband's tomb in Yangon's Dagon Township near the Shwedagon Pagoda. The site later became known as Bahadur Shah Zafar Dargah.

The grandchild of her and Bahadur Shah II is also buried alongside the couple. After remaining lost for many decades, the tomb was discovered during a restoration exercise in 1991.

 

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