Khurshid visits Bahadur Shah Zafar's mausoleum
Yangon: 'Kitna hai badnaseeb Zafar, dafan key liye, do guzz zameen bhi mil na saki, kuye yaar main'.
These couplets written by Bahadur Shah Zafar were recited by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid during his visit to the historic mausoleum of the last Mughal Emperor.
The English translation of the couplets goes: 'How unlucky is Zafar! For burial, even two yards of land were not to be had in the land of his beloved.'
Zafar, also a noted poet, died here on November 7, 1862 at the age of 87 after the British court-martialed him and exiled him to Rangoon (now Yangon) over the 1857 rebellion.
Khurshid, who has described his association with the great poet as personal, made it a point to go through all the 'nazams' of Zafar painted on the walls of the 19th century mausoleum here.
The minister has written a play called 'Sons of Babur', which examines the contribution of individual Mughals and has Bahadur Shah Zafar as the central figure.
Khurshid gave a copy of 'Sons of Babur' to the caretaker of the mausoleum.
"On visiting this place of pilgrimage, both spiritual and political, I feel a sense of fulfillment and inspiration...," Khurshid wrote in the visitors' book, which also has personal messages from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and late Rajiv Gandhi.
Khurshid and his wife Louise also offered prayers and a 'chadar' at the mausoleum.
Earlier in the day, Khurshid inaugurated a three-day international conference on Buddhism attended by scholars from 10 countries, apart from monks and teachers.
While inaugurating the conference at the impressive hall of the Sitagu International Buddhist Academy here, the External Affairs Minister said the teachings of Bhuddha were relevant even today.
Myanmar Vice President Sai Mauk Kham was also present on the occasion.