Indo-Persian Homosexual Manuscript

Manuscript.
Era: Mughal Empire or British Raj, India.
Date: 19th century.
Size: 13.2 x 20.3 cm.
Sold on an online auction.
Source: [1].

Northern India under Mughal rule was a haven for gay love. Its icon has to be Mahmud of Ghazni, who deeply loved his boy slave, Ayaz. Their love has become a paragon of ideal love, perhaps analogous to that of Romeo and Juliet in the West. In a telling anecdote, Mahmud asks Ayaz, "who is the most powerful ruler in the world?" "I am the most powerful," Ayaz, the beloved slave replies. The confused king asks his slave boy to explain. "You, Mahmud, are the most powerful of all kings," says Ayaz. "But since I rule your heart, I am more powerful still." In popular lore the two were said to be each other's slave, Ayaz a slave in deed and Mahmud a slave of love. [2]