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On the day of Love Poetry

Dr. Gitartha Roymedhi

This is really interesting to know that when the world celebrates Saint Valentine’s Day, the same day is observed as Babur's Day in one nation. I can remember once about 12 years back in Simferopol International Airport, I came across a middle aged Uzbek man travelling to Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan. While in the queue for the security checking, he asked me about my nationality. He said that he is from a rural part of Uzbekistan and his son works as a hired worker in a farm in Simferopol. He was there to visit his son. As I said that I am Indian and travelling to Delhi via Tashkent, he claimed that the Red Fort and Taj Mahal were built by them. When I asked how, he replied that Babur was from his country.

There is no second opinion about Babur and the Mughal Dynasty. Babur was born in the city of Andijan in the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan. This means that Babur who was born on 14th February 1483 as Zahir Uddin Muhammad was Uzbek by birth. He had invaded India as like the other foreign invaders to establish his empire in the subcontinent. He was attracted by the fertile lands and treasury of India. He was invited by Daulat Khan Lodi, a rebel of the Lodi Empire (Afghans by origin) to invade India in 1524. Daulat Khan Lodi thought Babur would just overthrow Ibrahim and return back but Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the first Battle of Panipat in 1526 and formed Mughal Empire that had ruled over the Indian Subcontinent till 1857.

14th February is not celebrated as the Valentine’s Day in Uzbekistan because for them it is an Align Festival. To keep the youths and new generations away from this migrated festival, the day is celebrated as “Babur’s Day”. But why is Babur important to Uzbekistan? Is it only because he was born Uzbek? 14th February which is called as the “Day of Love” is celebrated in Uzbekistan to pay respect to the founder of Mughal Empire in India who is considered as a National Hero in Uzbekistan. As received information from various webpages Babur’s home is now a museum. There are parks and monuments in Uzbekistan dedicated to him.

History says that Babur didn't have an easy time in hi