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Saturday, December 24, 2016


Jahangir(1605 - 27):
·         He issued Twelve ‘Edicts’ or ‘Ordinances’ for the general welfare and better government of the country.
·         Established Zanjir-i-Adal (Chain of justice) at Agra fort for justice seekers.
·         Rebellion by prince Khusrau (Jahangir’s son) at Lahore (1606). Jahangir personally suppressed the rebellion. The fifth Sikh Guru Arjun Dev ji, with whom the rebel prince had stayed at Tarn Taran and also received his blessings, was at first fined by the government, but as he refused to pay the fine he was sentenced to death.
·         The first military expedition undertaken by Jahangir was against Rana Amar Singh, son of Rana Patap of Mewar. The Mughal expeditions sent against Mewar in 1606 and 1608-09 proved indecisive, but in 1613-14 the campaign led by prince Khurram proved decisive and Rana Amar Singh came to terms with the Mughals in 1615. Jahangir offered most liberal terms to Mewar and thus ended a long drawn out struggle between Mewar and the Mughals.
·         He pursued his father’s plan of territorial expansion beyond the Narmada. The first target was a half-conquered Sultanate of Ahmadnagar.
·         The greatest failure of Jahangir’s reign was the loss of Kandahar to Persia. Shah Abbas of Persia (15871629), outwardly professing friendship towards the Mughals, captured Kandahar in 1622. The loss of Kandahar greatly affected the Mughal prestige in Central Asia.
·         Jahangir married young widow Mihar-un-nisa (widow of Sher Afghan), daughter of a Persian Mirza Ghiyas Beg and conferred on her the title of Nur Mahal (Light of the Place) which was later changed to Nur Jahan. In 1613, she was promoted to the status of padshah Begum, coins were struck in her name and on all farmans her name was attached to the imperial signature.
·         Nur Jahan’s influence secured high positions for her father who got the title Itimad-ud-daulah and her brother, Asaf Khan. A year after her own marriage, Asaf Khan’s Mumtaz Mahal, was married to Khurram, the ablest of Jahangir’s sons.
·         In 1620, Nur Jahan married Ladli Begum (her daughter by Sher Afghan) to Jahangir’s youngest son Shahryar and supported the cause of her son-in-law Shahryar as heir apparent to the throne, while her brother Asaf Khan supported his son-in-law Khurram (who had already been conferred the title of Shah Jahan).
·         Jahangir also married Manmati or Jodha Bai, daughter of Raja Jagat Singh of Marwar.
·         Many of the events of the period, such as Khusrau’s murder, Mahavat Khan’s coup and Salim’s rebellion, were all results of this factional politics.
·         Jahangir’s court was visited by two representatives of King James I of England, namely, Captain Hawkins (1608-11) and Sir Thoms Roe(1615- 19) and as a result of the efforts of Thomas Roe English factories were established at Surat, Agra, Ahmedabad and Broach.
·         He was buried at Lahore.
Shah Jahan(1628-58):
·         At the time of Jahangir’s death in October 1627, Shah Jahan was in the Deccan. At Lahore, Nur Jahan proclaimed Shahryar as the emperor, while Asaf Khan put Dawar Baksh, son of Khusrau, on the throne as a temporary arrangement till the return of Shah Jahan.
·         Shah Jahan arrived at Agra in February 1628, Dawar Baksh was deposed and Asaf Khan defeated. He captures and blinded Shahryar.
·         The first three years of Shah Jahan’s reign were disturbed by the rebellions of the Bundela Chief Juhar Singh and of Khan Jhan Lodi. He ousted the Portuguese from Hugli in 1931and occupied it.
·         After the death of her beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal in 1631, he built Taj Mahal at Agra in her memory.
·         In 1632, the Nizam Shahi kingdom of Ahmadnagar was finally annexed to the Mughal Empire.
·         In 1636-37, Shah Jahan himself arrived in the Deccan and after a show of strength forced Bijapur and Golcunda to accept the Mughal suzerainty and pay annual tribute.
·         In 1636, Aurangzeb, son of Shah Jahan, was appointed the Mughal viceroy in the Deccan. The territories in his charge were divided into four subahs:
a.     Khandesh with its capital at Burhampur and stronghold at Asirgarh,
b.    Berar with its capital at Eclichpur,
c.     Telengana with its capital at Nanded, and
d.    Ahmadnagar.
·         No attempt was made to recapture Kandhar till 1638. The opportunity, however, came in 1639, when Ali Mardan Khan, the disgruntled Persian Governor of Kandahar, delivered the fort to the Mughals without fighting.
·         Similarly, taking advantage of internal rebellions in Balkh and Badakhshan and the unpopularity of the ruler of these states, Shah Jahan sent an expedition under his son Murad in 1646 and the Mughal army occupied both these states.
·         Shah Abbas II of Persia once again captured Kandahar from the Mughals in 1649. Subsequently, Shah Jahan sent three expeditions to recover Kandahar, but all proved to be miserable failures.
·         The second term of Aurangazeb’s viceroyalty in the Deccan began in 1653 and continued till 1658. He secured the service of a very comptent revenue administrator named Murshid Quli Khan whom he appointed as his diwan.
·         For purpose of revenue administration Murshid Quli Khan divided the Mughal subahs into ‘lowlands’ and ‘highland’.
·         Todarmal’s zabti system of survey and assessment was also extended to the Deccan with some changes suited to the local conditions. These measures led to improvement in agriculture and increase in the revenue in a few years.
·         In 1656, Aurangzeb planned to annex Golconda. In this task Mir Jumla (whose actual name was Muhammad Sayyid), wazir of Golconda, also colluded. In February 1656, Aurangzeb laid siege of Golconda.
·         In 1657, the Adil Shahi kingdom of Bijapur was attacked, and on the intervention of Shah Jahan and Dara Shikoh peace was made with Bijapur too.
·         Meanwhile, Shah Jahan fell ill and a war of succession seemed imminent. At the time of Shah Jahan’s sickness in September 1657, his eldest son Dara was at his bedside in Agra; Shuja was governor in Bengal; Aurangzeb was viceroy in the Deccan. The youngest Murad was governor in Gujarat.
·         In the closing weeks of 1657, when Shah Jahan was on the way to full recovery, Shuja crowned himself in Bengal. Murad did the same in Gujarat and then formed an alliance with Aurangzeb who was already marching towards Agra. In February 1658, the forces of Murad joined him near Ujjain. The imperial forces sent to contain the combined forces of Murad and Aurangzeb were defeated in the battle of Dharmat, near Ujjain. After Dharmat, Aurangzeb marched towards Agra and in the ensuing battle at Sumugarh, near Agra, the Mughal forces under Dara were decisively defeated and he fled from Agra.
·         In June 1658, the fort of Agra also surrendered and Shah Jahan was made a prisoner. The echo of the war of succession continued till 1661 and in between 1658 and 1661 all the remaining sons of Shah Jahan were killed or excuted.
·         Shah Jahan passed the remaining years of his life in captivity. He was buried in Taj Mahal.
·         Three most important factors responsible for the war of succession were:
a.     Shah Jahan’s partisan attitude towards Dara,
b.    old rivalry between Dara and Aurangzeb, and
c.     Dara and Aurangzeb led two factions of the Mughal court, Dara representing liberalism and Aurangzeb the conservative elements.
·         Mughal architecture under him reached its zenith. A large trade developed between India and Western Asia and Europe, which greatly contributed to the travelers.
·         Two Frenchmen, Bernier and Travenier and an Italian adventurer Manucci, the author of the Storio Dor Mogor, visited his court.

Aurangzeb (1658-1707):
·         After the capture of Agra, Aurangzeb crowned himself as emperor in Delhi in July 1658, and assumed the title of Alamgir. But his formal coronation took place June 1659, after the battles of Khanwa and Deorai.
·         After his second coronation Aurangzeb, in order to alleviate the economic distress of the people, abolished the inland transit duties (rahdari) and the octroi (pandari).
·         Aurangzeb had claimed the throne as the champion of Sunni orthodoxy. In 1659 he issued a number of ordinances to restore the Muslim law of conduct according to the teachings of the Quran.
·         He discontinued the practice of inscribing the kalmia on the coins and abolished the celebration of the New Year’s Day (nauroz).
·         Censors of public morals (muhtasibs) were appointed in all big cities to enforce the Quranic law and put down the practice forbidden in it.
·         The ceremony of weighing the emperor on his birthdays and the practice of jharoka-darshan were also discontinued.
·         In 1668, the jaziya was imposed on the Hindus.
·         Aurangzeb appointed Mir Jumla as the governor of Bengal in 1660 with orders to punish the lawless zamindars of the provinces, especially those of Assam and Arakan. In 1661 Mir Jumla invaded Cooch Behar and in 1662, he made extensive conquests in Assam including Guwahati. During this difficult expedition Mir Jumla died in 1663. In 1665 Mir Jumla’s successor in Bengal, Shaista Khan, conquered Chittagong.
·         Between 1665 and 1675, there were a number of tribal uprisings in the Northwest frontier. To suppress these rebellions Aurangzeb adopted a forward policy and in 1674, when the situation became quite serious, he himself directed the operations.
·         In 1669-70 the Jat peasantry of the region of Mathura rose under the leadership of Gokula; In 1672, the Satnami peasants in the Punjab; and the Bundelas under the leadership of Champat Rai and Chhatrasal Bundela in Bundelkhand. These rebellions were the outcome of the agrarian tension and the reactionary policies of Aurangzeb. These rebellions were suppressed, but led to the rise of the autonomous Jat and Bundela states in the early eighteenth century.
·         In 1675 he ordered the arrest and execution of the ninth Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur, which led to the creation of Khalsa and the growth of Sikh military under the last Sikh Guru Govind Singh.
·         Aurangzeb also caused serious rift in the Mughal-Rajput alliance by his policy of annexation of Marwar in 1679. He wanted to annex Marwar after the death of Raja Jaswant Singh by derecognizing the claim of his posthumous son Ajit Singh to the Rathor throne. The war against Marwar continued with fluctuating fortunes for nearly thirty years. From the side of Marwar, the campaign was conducted by the Rajput chief Durgadas.
·         When Aurangzeb was conducting the campaign against Marwar, his son Akbar rebelled in 1681, united with the Rajputs, issued a manifesto deposing his father and crowed himself as the emperor. From Marwar, the rebel prince Akbar took shelter with the Maratha king Sambhaji. Aurangzeb, suspecting an alliance between the Rajputs, the Marathas and the rebel prince, marched to the south, but never to return to the North.
·         From his arrival in the Deccan (1682), till the execution of Sambhaji (1689), his years in the Deccan were most fruitful. Bijapur and Golcunda were annexed to the Mughal Empire in 1686-87.
·         Sambhaji, son and successor of Shivaji, was captured and executed (1689) and his son Sahu was made captive.
·         Aurangzeb died at Ahmadnagar in February 1707.
·         He was called Zinda Pir, the living saint.
·         The bifurcation of authority in the provinces, the division of power between the subahdar and the diwan was based on the system prevailing under the Arab rulers in Egypt.
·         In the days of Babur and Humayun, there was a prime minister, known as vakil, who was entrusted with large power in civil and military affairs. During the early years of Akbar’s reign, Bairam Khan, as vakil, virtually served as regent for the minor sovereign. After Bairam Khan’s fall, the office of vakil was not abolished; it was gradually shorn of all powers because it was not considered prudent to allow concentration of authority in a single person.
·         After the virtual disappearance of the vakil, the wazir became the emperor’s minister par excellence’ i.e. prime minister. Among the wazirs who have left their impress on the Mughal history are Raja Todarmal, Raja Raghunath, Sadullah Khan and Jalar Khan.
·         The minister who looked after the administration of the army was called Mir Bakshi. Towards the end of Aurangzeb’s reign the expansion of the empire necessitated the appointment of four bakhshis:
o    The khan-i-saman held independent charge of the household department and the karkhanas.
o    The sadr-us-sudur had three important functions. He acted as the emperor’s chief adviser in religious matters. He was in charge of the disbursement of imperial grants for religious, educational and charitable purpose. He was the chief justice of the empire, and his judicial authority was subordinated to that of the emperor only.
o    The muhatasib (censor of public morals) for examination of weights and measures, enforcement of fair prices in the market, recovery of debts and restoration of fugitive to their owners.
o    A diwan of the khalisa in-charge of the crown lands. Diwan-i-tan looked after matters relating to the jagirs.
·         Mustajfi was the auditor general and Daroga-i-dak chauki was in-charge of the imperial post.
·         Mir-i-arz was in-charge of petitions and Mir-i-mal was in-charge of the Privy Purse.
·         There were public news reporters and secret spies, divided into four classes: waqai navis (news writer), swanih nigar (news writers), khufia navis (secret letter writer), harkarah (spy and courier).
·         The administrative division of the Mughal territories in the reigns of Babur and Humayun were districts rather than provinces.
·         Sher Shah appointed military governors in the Punjab, Malwa and Ajmer, but Bengal was divided into several sarkars which corresponded to districts.
·         In 1580, Akbar divided the empire into twelve provinces (subahs): Agra, Delhi, Allahabad, Awadh, Ajmer, Ahmadabad (Gujarat), Bihar, Bengal, Kabul, Lahore (Punjab), Multan and Malwa.
·         By the end of his reign the number of provinces had increased to fifteen with the addition of three newly annexed provinces in the Deccan: Berar, Khandesh and Ahmadnagar.
·         After the fall of Sambhaji (1689), the empire was divided into twenty one subahs (one in Afghanistan, fourteen in North India and six in South India as follows: Kabul, Agra, Ajmer, Allahabad, Awadh, Bengal, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat ,Kashmir, Lahore, Malwa, Multan, Orissa, Thatta (Sind), Khandesh, Berar, Aurangabad, Bidar, Bijapur and Hyderabad.
·         Initially each subah had one governor who was officially called sipah-salar (commander of the forces). Abdul Fazi calls him the ‘Vice-regent of the emperor’. In later times, the designation was changed to nizam (regular of the province) but usually known as subahdar.
·         The subahdar was appointed by the Emperor. He was usually a mansabdar of high rank.
·         Diwan was responsible for the collection of land revenue and other taxes, for accounting and auditing. He appointed collectors (kroris and tahsildars).
·         Faujdar and kotwal: Chief assistants of the subahdar. The kotwal was primarily the chief of the city police.
·         The subah had its own high officials bakhshi, sadr qazi, buyutat, muhtasib, waqai navis and mir bahr who discharged the same duties in the province as officers bearing the same titles did for the whole empire.
·         The bakhshi was the paymaster of the provincial army.
·         The provincial buyutat was the keeper of government property and official trustee.
·         The muhtasib was the censor of public morals.
·         The mir bahr looked after bridges required for military use, port duties, customs, boat and ferry taxes.etc.
·         During the Mughal period, as during the period of the Sultanate, criminal justice was administered according to the Islamic law. Even Akbar did not make any basic change in this system. A comprehensive legal digest (fatwa-i-alamgiri) was prepared by a syndicate of theologians under Aurangzeb’s directive. The emperor was the highest court of appeal and sometimes acted as a court of first instance as well.
·         Next to the emperor was the Chief qazi (qazi-ul-quzat) who held the office of Chief Sadr (sadr-us-sudur) as well. Criminal and civil cases were generally decided by the subahdar, the faujdars, the shiqqdars and the kotwals on the basis of customary law, ordinances issued by the emperors and equity.
·         The duties on foreign imports were levied at all ports. The administrative officer of a port was called shah-bandar. Coins were made of gold, silver and copper.
·         There was a regular department of the state called baitmai where the property of all nobles and officers of the state (as also the property of all persons dying without heirs) had to be kept in deposit after their death.
·         The emperor was the head of the army and its commander-in-chief. The troops available for purposes of war and internal defense were divided as:
o    forces of the tributary chiefs
o    the mansabdari contingents chiefly cavalry in accordance with the grade of the mansabdars in the official hierarchy
o    The ahadis, the gentlemen troopers who were young men of position and good family recruited by the emperor and owed allegiance to him directly. They were placed under the command of an amir and had a separate bakhshi (paymaster).
·         The cavalry was the most important of these branches and was regarded as ‘flower of the army’. The artillery-men were paid by the state and administered as a Department of the Household.
·         The department which maintained sea and river flotillas was under mir-i-bahri.

The Mansabdari System:
·         Introduced by Akbar, the term mansab (i.e. office, position or rank) in the Mughal administration indicated the rank of its holder (mansabdar) in the official hierarchy. The mansabdari system was of Central Asian origin.
·         The mansabdars of the Mughal Empire received their pay either in cash (naqd) or in the form of assignments of areas of land (jagir). The mansabdars who received pay in cash were known as naqdi and those paid through assignments of jagirs were called jagirdars. The mansabdari belonged both to the civil and military departments.
·         The Mughal mansab was dual, one designated zat (personal rank and pay status) and the other sawar (number of horsemen to maintain).
·         The mansabdars holding ranks below 500 zat were called mansabdars, those more than 500 but below 2,500 amirs and those holding ranks of 2,500 and above were called amir-i-umda or amir-i-azam.
·         The watan-jagirs were the only exception to the general system of jagir transfer. The watan-jagirs were normally granted to those zamindars that were already in possession of their watans (homelands) before the expansion of the Mughal Empire.
·         The mansab was not hereditary and it automatically lapsed after the death or dismissal of the mansabdar. The son of a mansabdar, if he was granted a mansab, had to begin afresh.
·         Another important feature of the mansabdari system was the law of escheat (zabti), according to which when a mansabdar died all his property was confiscated by the emperor.
·         The reign of Jahangir saw an important innovation in the mansabdari system, namely the introduction of the duaspah sih-aspah rank (literally, trooper with two or three horse) which implied that a mansabdar had to maintain and was paid for double the quota of troopers indicated by his sawar rank.
·         Under Shah Jahan we have new scales of pay, monthly rations and new regulations prescribing the sizes of contingents under various sawar ranks.
·         For the purpose of assigning jagirs, the revenue department had to maintain a register indicating the assessed income (jama) of various areas. This document was called jama-dami or assessed income of an area. During the reign of Shah Jahan, the jama-dami or value of the jagir increased in accordance with the price rise during the period.
·         The Mughal nobility during the early years of Akbar came to consist of certain well organized racial groups. These were the Turanis, Iranis, Aghans, Shaikhzadas, the Rajputs, etc.
·         Later on, in the seventeenth century, with the expansion of the Mughal power in the Deccan, there was an influx of the Deccans, the Bijapuris, the Hyderabadis and the Marathas into Mughal nobility.
Land Revenue Systems:
·         Akbar was the founder of the Mughal revenue system. In the beginning, he adopted Sher Shah’s system in which the cultivated area was measured and a central schedule was drawn up fixing the dues of peasants crop-wise on the basis of the productivity of the land. The state’s share was one-third of the produce.
·         In 1573, the annual assessment was given up and kroris were appointed all over North India to collect a kror of dams as revenue and to check the facts and figures supplied by the qanungoes regarding the actual produce, state of cultivation, local prices etc. These kroris were also known as amils or amal-guzars.
·         A new system was developed in 1580 called the dahsala system. This system was an improved version of the zabti system which was the standard system of revenue assessment during the greater part of the Mughal empire. The credit for developing this system goes to Todarmal who became the head of the wizarat or revenue ministry.
·         During the reign of Akbar and his succession four main systems o revenue assessment were prevalent:
o    zabti or dahsala system
o    batai, ghallabakshi or bhaosli
o    kankut and
o    nasaq
Zabti or dahsala system:
·         Dahsala was an improvement on the zabti system. For the purpose of assessment, the land was classified in four categories:
o    polaj (land which was cultivated every year and never left fallow)
o    parati or parauti (land which had to be left fallow for a time to enable it to recover fertility)
o    chachar (land which had to be left fallow for three or four years), and
o    banjar (land which remained uncultivated for five years or more).
·         Parauti land, when cultivated, paid the same revenue as polaj land. The chachar and banjar lands were charged a concessional rate which was progressively increased to full or polaj rate (i.e. one third of the produce) by the fifth or the eighth year.
·         The dahsala was neither a 10 years nor a permanent settlement, and the state had the right to modify it.
·         Since this system was associated with Raja Todarmal, it is also known as Todarmal’s bandobust or settlement.
·         This system prevailed from Lahore to Allahabad and in the provinces of Malwa and Gujarat.
·         A major extension of it occurred in the later year of Shah Jahan’s reign, when it was introduced in the Deccan by Murshid Quli Khan.
Batai, ghallabakhshi or bhaoli:
·         This was a simple method of crop-sharing in which the produce was arranged into heaps and divided into three shares, one of which was taken by the state. Under this system the peasant had the choice to pay in cash or kind, but in the case of cash crops, the state demand was mostly in cash.
·         Under the method, instead of actually dividing the grain (kan) an estimate (kut) was made on the basis of an actual inspection on the spot. One-third of the estimated produce was fixed as the state demand. It was a rough estimate of produce on the basis of actual inspection and past experience.
·         Prevalent in Bengal, in this system a rough calculation was made on the basis of the past revenue receipts of the peasants. It required actual measurement, but the area was ascertained from the records.

The zabti system was the standard system. In the subahs of Ajmer, Kashmir and southern Sind, crop-sharing and in Bengal nasaq were prevalent.
·         The revenue yielding land administered directly by the imperial Revenue Department was known as khalisa.
·         Jahangir reduced the extent of khalisa lands, but Shah Jahan increased it.
·         Again in the later years of Aurangzeb’s reign, lands were released from the khalisa area for jagir assignments. In the Mughal agrarian system, there were a number of intermediaries such as the zamindars, the muqaddams or the mukhiyas, the chaudhuris, the talluqdars etc.

During the Mughal period was the large number of food and non-food crops. The Ain-i-Akbari gives revenue rates for sixteen crops of the rabi (spring) harvest, and twenty five crops of the kharif (autumn) season. The seventeenth century saw the introduction and expansion of two major crops: tobacco and maize. Sericulture also witnessed enormous expansion during this century, making Bengal one of the great silk producing regions of the world.

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