A brilliant minister, a magnificent madrasa and a heinous execution

 

Khwaja Mahmud Gawan, was the Persian prime minister of Muhammad Shah III Lashkari (r. 1463-1482) of the Bahmanid dynasty. 

 

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He aggressively expanded the territory and took over most of the Vijayanagar empire. His army captured Goa and looted Kanchipuram. 

He was also an erudite scholar and had varied interests.

 

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He brought Persian architects and artisans and built the grandest Madrasa in India which will attract the most eminent theologians, philosophers and scientists. The library of the madrasa boasted over three thousand manuscripts.

 

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His and his Madrasa’s fame spread far and wide. But fame has its pitfalls,  it causes envy in men with weak hearts and minds.

 

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And weak hearts usually band together hoping that collectively they can become strong. Gawan’s enemies joined hands and plotted his downfall.

 

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They conspired with the Royal seal bearer and obtained Gawan’s official stamp on a blank document. And they proceeded to write a conspiratorial letter on it inviting a rival king to invade the Bahamani empire.

 

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This letter was shown as a proof of Gawan’s treachery to the Shah who flew into a rage and ordered that Gawan be produced before him forthwith.

 

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When confronted with the seemingly authentic document with his seal on it Gawan knew he had been outsmarted by his detractors.

Order for his immediate execution was pronounced by the Shah.

 

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And Gawan said:”I am old and do not mind my death but my death is bound to become your dynasty’s end. I thank God that he gave me an opportunity to lay my life in the cause of the dynasty.”

The Shah paid no heed to his words and left the court.

 

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Khwaja Mahmud Gawan knelt down facing Mecca and began his prayers. 

Know one knows for sure if he heard the swish of the sword when it came down and severed his head but the Bahmanid kingdom ended soon after his death.

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