The origin of the book is the five-act play penned by Salman Khurshid. Khurshid has stated that is was the complex questions relating to (his) identity among other things that led to the play.
'Babur Ki Aulad' has for sometime been used to address Muslims in India. It is supposed to associate all Muslims with the Mughal rule and hence with Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire in India.
As I said before, issues relating to identity are very complex. Two months back when I was at the Victoria and Albert Museum I saw a chair commissioned by Nawab Ghaziuddin Haidar of Awadh. It was designed on the lines of the prevalent trend in European countries and not modelled on the thrones used by the Mughal kings and princes. The exhibition 'Indian Maharajas' noted that the Nawabs of Awadh sought to 'establish a new style that marked an ideological separation from Mughal taste and turned to European inspired art and architecture'.
While a South Indian Muslim will almost never associate himself with Babur (he will feel much closer to Tipu Sultan or Nizam of Hyderabad) we should remember that even a Lucknowi is more commonly referred to as Nawab rather than a Mughal.
So who are the sons of Babur? North Indian Muslims? Baburnama, which has kept me busy many a lazy afternoons and the period between dinner and a good night sleep, has helped conclusively prove that I am not Babur's Aulad. Page 387 of the The Baburnama translated and edited by Wheeler M Thackston says 'Dham Deo with four thousand' (troops) along with Rana Sanga fought against the Mughals in the battle of Khanwa (a place near Agra) in 1527.
The Mughals were victorious and the Rajput army was scattered. Dham Deo and his elder brother Kam Deo came down to Ghazipur with their families and followers. According to a book, Evolution and Spatial Organization of Clan Settlement by S H Ansari the Sakharwar Rajputs of Gahmar (one of biggest villages in Asia situated on the bank of river Ganga) emerged from Dham Deo and Bhumihars and Kamsar Pathans emerged from Kam Deo.
Five centuries later all the three clans continue to co-exist in Ghazipur (between Zamania and Gahmar) but not many are aware of their close historical lineage. In the days when farming was still bereft of tractors and fertilisers, these 'brothers' used to share the cattle for ploughing and other agricultural activities.
A school established by a Kamsar Pathan at Dildarnagar, which is the main market town for the villages inhabited by the three clans, is more popularly called 'Rajput'. It took me some time to realise that it reflected the origin of my forefathers. Thus Kamsar Pathans (with the surname Khan) have no qualms in calling their school 'Rajput.'
During a train journey to Ghazipur in 2006, I met an elderly man retired from government service. He was from the Bhumihar clan (closer to me than the Rajputs of Gahmar) and told me that since our 'grandfather' was the elder brother, he gave Dham Deo the more fertile part of the land in a fatherly gesture.
Though I have spent all my life in Mumbai and am now based in London it perhaps makes no difference being a Babur Ki Aulad or progeny of the Rajputs 500 years later. That said I am glad to know the identity of my forefathers.