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Subjects /Indian History / Medieval History / The Mughal Period from 1526AD to 1707AD Part II

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08 Mar 2021

The Mughals were originally Turks. They belonged to the Chagtai Tribe of the Turkish race. Original home of Mughals was Fergana in Central Asia.

Period of Mughal Empire is also known as Second Classical Age.

Akbar from 1556AD to 1605AD

  • He was born in 1540 at Umerkot, Sindh.
  • Akbar gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent north of the Godavari river.
  • His power and influence, however, extended over the entire country because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance.
  • To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralized system of administration throughout his empire and adopting a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy.
  • Akbar Mausoleum is in Sikandarpur, Agra.

Rajput policy:

  • Under this policy the Rajput rulers need to accept the sovereignty of Mughals and come to Akbar court to accept the political sovereignty in person.
  • It means that the kingdom of the ruler is under Akbar and Akbar is the king of the India.
  • In return the rulers were assured that their kingdom will not be invaded by Akbar and they can continue ruling their respective kingdoms.
  • He formed marriage alliances with Rajput kings in order to strengthen relations between both.
  • 1st king to accept this marriage alliance was King Of Amber Raja Bharmal.
  • He married his daughter Harka bai to Akbar.
  • Chittor was the only kingdom who did not accept the Mughal sovereignty and was ruled by Maharani Pratap.
  • Maharana Pratap was only the king whose kingdom was attacked.
  • Akbar was defeated in 1st battle of Haldighati in 1576 because Rajput’s were using Guerrilla warfare.
  • After the death of Mahrana Pratap his son accepted this policy because the rule to prostrate in front of the Mughal king was relaxed and they do not need to prostrate (Lying stretched out on the ground with one’s face downwards) in front of king.

Mughal Administrative System Under Akbar

Mansabdari System

  • This is the most important administrative system of Mughal which was started by Akbar.
  • Under this system the ‘Badshah’ or king was allotting the ranks to officers for higher administrative positions.
  • Usually the rich people were enrolled for this.

There were 2 Ranks for Mansabdar:

  • Zat: It was a numerical rank. The salary and position was decided according to number of Zats given to someone.
  • Sawar: Mughal Badshah allotted Sawar rank to every mansabdar and in order to it these officers need to maintain 500 Soldiers (Military officer was Mansabdar).
  • No of horses will be always double than the number of soldiers according to Dah- Bisti rule.
  • Salary was dependent on Mansabdar.
  • Lower is the Sawar or equal to Zat but Zat never higher to Sawar.

Personal salary of mansabdar can be in 2 forms:

  • Cash (Tankhawah)
  • Jagir(Land revenue)
  • Every jagirdar was Mansabdar but all Mansabdar may not be Jagirdar.
  • Jagirdari system was started by Akbar.
  • Jagirdar was not an owner but an administrative officer who collected revenue on behalf of the King.

Religious Policies of Akbar

  • Akbar came up with a Secular policy called ‘Sulh – i – Kul' (Religious Equality).
  • Universal tolerance and no discrimination of Hindus and other religions .16% of the Mansabdars were Hindus.
  • He abolished Jaziya Tax in 1564 which was imposed on Non-Muslims or Hindus. According to Akbar there should be no discrimination on the name of religion.
  • Tirath Kar (Pilgrimage Tax) an another Tax imposed on Hindus was abolished.
  • 1st Mughal Badshah to tart new practice in India Jharokha Darshan (Glimpse from Balcony).
  • Janta Darbar: Mughal Badshah appearing from the Imperial Palace Building & meeting the common people for listening to their grievances.
  • Tuladan: Practice of weighting of Badshah with Gold and Silver Coins and this was distributed among the poor and the needy people.
  • This was done in order to solve the misery of poor to some extent.
  • It was collected from the Mansabdars by Tuladan or Higher administration officer. And not used from Shahi Khazana(Imperial Treasury).
  • Ibadat Khana: Built at Fatehpur Sikri, Agra.
  • Alt was located around a water tank called ‘Anoop Talab’.
  • Here Akbar used to hold Religious decisions with all leader of various religions. Eg. Hindu pandit, maulvis, jains &etc.
  • He believed any religious dispute can be sorted out through Discussions & Consensus.
  • This was discontinued because Ibadat khana became a place for showing one’s religion’s Supremacy.
  • Din- i– Illahi or Tauhid – i – illahi: Started by Akbar originally as Tuhid-i-illahi and changed to Din-I –illahi during Jehangir time.
  • It was not a new religion.
  • It was kind of a religion where Akbar was enrolling some people on a token price. People who can be loyal to the Badshah no matter what happens.
  • The royal supports like Birbal, Abul fazal & others were enrolled who can come handy for help during the emergency.
  • Who are always ready to sacrifice their life for Badshah(Only trusted people were enrolled).
  • Also this was a moral, ethical policy to remove social evils. These people were enrolled to set an example to the society and who can become their role model.
  • Akbar was the first Badshah to abolish Sati system.
  • Also removed circumcision of Muslim boys called as ‘Khitan'.