Monday, June 13, 2011

Babur was a homosexual!!

A little known fact about Zahir-ud-Din Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire is that he was a homosexual or a bi-sexual at any rate and this is by his own admission in the Baburnama. In fact it was accepted among the Turks to have sexual liaison with boys. Many Turkish nobles kept 'catamites' i.e. young boys as sex slaves.  Thus admission of homosexuality in his biography was not construed odd. 

The incident narrated below is after his first marriage to his first cousin, daughter of his fathers brother.

'...during this time there was a boy from the camp market named Baburi. Even his name was amazingly appropriate. I developed a strange inclination for him - rather I made myself miserable over him. Before this experience I had never felt a desire for anyone, nor did I listen to talk of love and affection or speak of such things. At that time I used to compose single lines and couples in Persian. I composed the following lines there.'

May no one be so distraught and devastated by love as I; 
May no beloved be so pitiless and careless as you.

Babur composes another line for his beloved boy lover after coming face to face with him on the street but unable to show his affection owing to the people around him.

I am embarrassed every time I see my beloved. 
My companions are looking at me, but my gaze is elsewhere

He confesses of deep love. 'I wander bareheaded and bare foot around the lanes and streets through the gardens and orchards paying no attention to acquaintances or strangers, oblivious to self and others.'

When I fell in love I became mad and crazed. I knew not this to be part of loving beauties.

'Sometimes I went out alone like a madman to the hills and wilderness sometimes I roamed through the orchards and lanes of town, neither walking nor sitting within my own volition, restless in going and staying.'

I have no strength to go, no power to stay. You have snared us in this sate my heart

The Baburnama 

1 comment:

  1. A few collected lines would hardly paint a character sketch and even if he was bi-sexual, as you say, how does it matter?