सर अलेक्ज़ेंडर बर्न्स (जन्म- 16 मई 1805)

May 16, 2017

सर अलेक्ज़ेंडर बर्न्स (जन्म- 16 मई 1805, मांट्रोस, फ़ोरफ़ारशायर, स्कॉटलैंड; मृत्यु- 2 नवंबर 1841, काबुल, अफ़ग़ानिस्तान), वर्तमान पाकिस्तान, अफ़ग़ानिस्तान, तुर्कमेनिस्तान, उज़बेकिस्तान एवं ईरान में अभियानों के लिए प्रसिद्ध ब्रिटिश अन्वेषक एवं राजदूत थे।

पश्चिमोत्तर भारतीय राज्य कच्छ में अधिकारी के रूप में सेवा (1823-29) के दौरान बर्न्स ने सिंध (पाकिस्तान) से सिंधु नदी के ऊपरी क्षेत्र की यात्रा की शुरुआत की, स्थानीय शासकों को उपहार देकर उनके क्षेत्र में अन्वेषण किया एवं अंत में लाहौर के पंजाब शहर पहुँचे, जो अब पाकिस्तान में है। इसके अगले वर्ष में उन्होंने यात्रा का आरंभ अफ़ग़ानिस्तान पार करके किया, हिंदुकुश पर्वतश्रेणी एवं रूस के तुर्किस्तान होते हुए बुख़ारा पहुँचे। ईरानी यात्राओं में उन्होंने मसहद (मशद), तेहरान और बुशायर का भ्रमण किया। उनकी साहसिक यात्राओं की प्रसिद्धि उनके लंदन (1833) लौटने से पहले ही पहुँच चुकी थी, जिसकी वजह से तत्कालीन शासक विलियम IV के साथ व्यक्तिगत मुलाक़ात सहित उन्हें कई सम्मानों से नवाज़ा गया।

1834 में उन्होंने मैट्स ऑफ़ एशिया एवं ट्रैवल्स इंदु बुख़ारा का प्रकाशन किया।

बर्न्स की इन उपलब्धियों के कारण उन्हें 1839 में नाइट की उपाधि मिली।

मुहम्मद ख़ां को समर्थन
क़ाबुल की एक राजनीतिक यात्रा (1836) के बाद उन्होंने भारत की ब्रिटिश सरकार को अफ़ग़ानिस्तान की गद्दी के लिए दोस्त मुहम्मद ख़ां को समर्थन देने के लिए प्रोत्साहित किया। जबकि सरकार ने अलोकप्रिय शाह शुजा को सत्तारूढ़ (1839) करना पसंद किया और इसके लिए उन्हें बर्न्स के सहयोग की आवश्यकता थी। इसके बाद हुए संघर्ष के दौरान बर्न्स की हत्या हो गई।

Captain Sir Alexander Burnes (16 May 1805 – 2 November 1841) was a British explorer and diplomat associated with The Great Game. He was nicknamed Bokhara Burnes for his role in establishing contact with and exploring Bukhara, which made his name.His memoir, Travels into Bokhara, was a bestseller when it was first published in 1835.

Burnes was born in Montrose, Scotland, to the son of the local provost,who was first cousin to the poet Robert Burns. At the age of sixteen, Alexander joined the army of the East India Company and while serving in India, he learned Hindi and Persian, and obtained an appointment as interpreter at Surat in 1822. Transferred to Kutch in 1826 as assistant to the political agent, he took an interest in the history and geography of north-western India and the adjacent countries, which had not yet been thoroughly explored by the British, then he went to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan, one of the most remote and impoverished kingdoms in the world, found itself sandwiched between the rival British and Russian empires. British control in India made the Russians suspect an intention to move northwards through Afghanistan; conversely, the British feared that India was sought by Russia. Sensing the two empires would collide in Afghanistan, the British Government needed intelligence and dispatched Burnes to get it. In 1831, travelling in disguise, Burnes surveyed the route through Kabul to Bukhara and produced the first detailed accounts of Afghan politics.

His proposal in 1829 to undertake a journey of exploration through the valley of the Indus River was approved and in 1831 his and Henry Pottinger's surveys of the Indus river would prepare the way for a future assault on the Sind to clear a path towards Central Asia. In the same year he arrived in Lahore with a present of horses from King William IV to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The British claimed that the horses would not survive the overland journey, so they were allowed to transport the horses up the Indus and used the opportunity to secretly survey the river. In the following years, in company with Mohan Lal, his travels continued through Afghanistan across the Hindu Kush to Bukhara (in what is modern Uzbekistan) and Persia.

The narrative which he published on his visit to England in 1834 added immensely to contemporary knowledge of these countries, and was one of the most popular books of the time. It was republished in 2012. The first edition earned the author £800, and his services were recognised not only by the Royal Geographical Society of London, but also by that of Paris. He was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society the same year. London's prestigious Athenaeum Club admitted him without ballot. Soon after his return to India in 1835 he was appointed to the court of Sindh to secure a treaty for the navigation of the Indus and in 1836 he undertook a political mission to Dost Mohammed Khan at Kabul.

He advised Lord Auckland to support Dost Mohammed on the throne of Kabul, but the viceroy preferred to follow the opinion of Sir William Hay Macnaghten and reinstated Shah Shuja, thus leading to the disasters of the First Afghan War. On the restoration of Shah Shuja in 1839, Burnes became regular political agent at Kabul.[8] He was knighted by Queen Victoria on 6 August 1838, while serving in the 21st India Native Infantry on a mission in Afghanistan, and remained there until his assassination in 1841, during an insurrection in which his younger brother, Charles, was also killed. The calmness with which he continued at his post despite the threat to his life, and the ferocity with which he fought after the death of his political assistant Major William Broadfoot (killing six assailants in the process),[10] won him a heroic reputation.

It came to light in 1860 that some of Burnes' dispatches from Kabul in 1839 had been altered to convey opinions that had not been his, but Lord Palmerston refused after so long to grant the inquiry demanded in the House of Commons. An account of his later labours was published in 1842 under the title of Travels into Bokhara, being an Account of a Journey from India to Cabool, Tartary and Persia.

Because of Sir Alexander's supposed "womanizing" and the growing discontent of the people of Afghanistan against British occupation, a mob gathered and killed both Sir Alexander and his brother.