The Place where Mughal-e-Azam played out……
Once upon a time there was brave prince by the name Salem . He was deeply in love with a beautiful princesses Mehr-un-Nissa . However Salem’s father , the Emperor of India, The Great Akbar didn’t approve of their love . Mehr-un-Nissa was the daughter of a low ranking minister in Akbar’s court . At the behest of the Emperor, Mehr-un-Nissa’s father got her married to Sher Afghan Khan, the then governor of Bihar under the Mughal empire.
Prince Salem was devastated , he could not bear this loss . It was difficult for him to forget his true love so he decided to follow Mehr-un-Nissa to Bihar . The place where Salem settled down in Bihar came to be known as Salempur . Soon Emperor Akbar got to know about it . A miffed Akbar decided to go to Bihar to confront his errant son . He had a makeshift Palace built about 3km from the place where Salem was staying . This place came to be known as Akbarpur .
Soon a war of words ensued between father and son and Salem was banished from the place.
After the passing away of Akbar, Prince Salem ascended the Throne and became the Emperor of India : Jahangir . Coincidentally Sher Afghan khan too passed away shortly for reasons little known. After a period of three years since the passing away of her husband Mehr-un-Nissa finally married the Emperor Jahangir and became Noor-Jahan.
The village where we went for our Village Fieldwork Segment (part of PGDRM curriculum at Institute of Rural Management, Anand ) was the place where prince Salem stayed . Now this place is known as Raja-Dih urf Salempur , the revenue map of this village still bears the name Salempur . There are remnant of the ruins of old structures to the west of the village which the villagers believes to be the mound of the remnants of settlements of the Prince and hence the name Raja-Dih. (Dih means mound ).
The present day Katra block which is 3 km from the village Raja-Dih urf Salempur was the erstwhile Akbarpur . The revenue map of Katra still bears the name Akbarpur.
[PS: Village Fieldwork Segment , is a two month fieldwork segment where we need to stay in a village and understand the rural life and identify the challenges and opportunities that exist there. We also undertake the study of any government intervention and its impact on the village life.This part of our rural management course at Institute of Rural Management Anand.]