Memoirs of Babur:
The book was originally written by Babur in his mother tongue Turki. It was translated into Persian during Akbar’s time.
In 1826, it was translated into French and English. The English translation was done by Mrs. Beveridge from the original work in Turki.
Historical significance of Babur’s Memoirs:
According to Beveridge, “Babur’s autobiography is one of those precious gifts which are for all times and is fit to take rank with the Confessions of St. Augustine and Memoirs of Gibbon and Newton”. About the importance of this work, Lane-Poole has observed, “Babur and his successors have gone, his splendor and power are no more but his autobiography is still there to remind us of the greatness of the founder of the Mughal dynasty in India.” This has been accepted as a meritorious book.
Contents of Babur’s Memoirs:
Babur has written about the climate, the people, their economic and social conditions and about the kings and political events in India.
The following are some of the extracts from his memoirs:
Hindustan is a country of few charms. Its people have no good looks, no good manners, no genius, or capacity.
The males use mostly languta and the females cover their body only with one cloth.
Richness of India:
Pleasant things of Hindustan are that it is a large country and has masses of gold and silver.
Season and weather:
Its air and the rain is very fine. However, it creates dampness which spoils everything. The airs are excellent not only in the rains but also in the cold and hot seasons.
It has numberless workers of every kind. There is a fixed class for every sort of work and for everything.
The capital of India is Delhi. When I conquered that country, there were five Muslim and two Hindu rulers.
While assessing Babur’s description about India, it may be observed that he spent most of his four years in fighting battles and perhaps and he had not enough time to study the life of the people closely.