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Akbar's Jodha a happy myth: Rushdie

June 4, 2008

Text: Suman Mozumder | Photographs: Paresh Gandhi

Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie believes Jodhabai, widely accepted by many to be Mughal Emperor Akbar's wife, is a myth, fuelled by the popular imagination.

Speaking at the Rubin Museum in New York on Tuesday to mark the release of his newest novel The Enchantress of Florence, Rushdie said Akbar's queen was indeed a Rajput princess called Mariam-uz-Zamani.

"You can tell from her name that she is a Muslim convert and is the mother of Jehangir. Jodha is not the mother of Jehangir. His mother is Mariam. Jahangir had a minor wife called Jodha," Rushdie said.

"The only Jodha in history is the second wife of Jehangir and not his mother. So it is just a thing that has come up, exactly because everybody believes that she exists," Rushdie said.

Image: Salman Rushdie at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York on June 3.

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