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One of the greatest empires on Earth - The Mughal Empire - controlled, at its peak, all of the Indian subcontinent (minus Sri Lanka), Afghanistan, and a small part of Siam (Modern day Thailand). A mere twenty years later, it was reduced to a strip of land between Delhi and Agra. By the time Bahudar Shah II, the last Emperor, was in power, he did not even control Delhi.
What happened? How could such a powerful nation lose its power so fast?
The answer lies with the last of the Great Mughals; Aurangzeb. He was an excellent general, with large amounts of ambition - but no vision, lots of grab - but no reach. He was a meticulous admistrator, but only in the sense that everything must be recorded. Every single province except Bengal, in one year, reported a loss. Resources could not be allocated, and in addition, Aurangzeb's Anti-Hindu laws angered the Marathas and Rajputs, making them serious problems, his Anti-Shi'a laws made him unpopular with the Persians, who promised to invade (their invasion was later the event that collapsed the Empire).
So what if Aurangzeb was never Emperor? What if his brother, the true heir, Dara Shukoh, became King? When he faced Aurangzeb at Samogarrh, he had the larger army, public support, and the generals of the Empire all behind him. He would have won - he should have won - but for one accident of fate; he got off his elephant. His troops thought he was fleeing (he was actually protecting himself against a desperate, last minute fussilade by Aurangzeb's artillerymen) and ran. He was a better administrator, diplomat, and a decent general. Under him, would the Mughals have fallen?
The consequences? Persians would not have invaded, the Marathas would not have rebelled.
The Empire would not have fallen.
Welcome to A Mughal Destiny.
Differences from OTL
- Modern day India is significantly different from OTL. Controlling a much greater area, it is more diverse. This has led to much "ethnic mixing" as over time people began to marry who they fancied over who was "picked" for them (i.e arranged marriages)
- The country is much more technologically advanced. Although maybe not "the" most advanced country, its technolony level can be compared to OTL Japan. People are richer too, and its GDP is higher than the average OTL American.
- The country has a successful Space program and competes with other world powers on equal terms. The country has landed a man on the moon. It also has the largest armed forces in the World, and has regularly developed firsts in the field of military research.
With the continuation of the Mughal Empire and no India/Pakistan, there is a greater number of muslims in the country. Due to the secular nature of Dara Shukoh and Emperors after him, the Mughal Empire was one of the first secular countries in the world, with muslims in the country respecting hindus. Due to this, most muslims do not eat beef (cow, right?) as a sign of respect to hindus. Most hindus also drink very little alcohol as a sign of respect to muslims. In the 1920s, over 35% of Indians were muslim, a much higher number than OTL, while 65% were hindu. At present, these numbers have fallen. Only 20% of people are now muslim - and 50% hindu while over 30% classify themselves as freethinkers. Increased muslim presence has led to heavily influence Hindu artforms, with many buildings having a mix of Islamic and Hindu styles. Hindus have also influenced muslims, and over 75% of muslims believe in Ganesh (the Hindu God of Good Fortune and Wisdom).
- Traditionally, the Emperor of the Mughal Empire will always be muslim, while the Grand Vizir would be hindu. This tradition is said to have originated from Akbar the Great's time with him and Birbar.
- The country has much less bureaucratic systems, and money allocated to projects reaches its destination quicker and in a much less corrupt manner than in OTL India.