Administering the huge Indian subcontinent with such a variety of individuals, cultures, and societies was a very troublesome assignment for any ruler to achieve in the Middle Ages. Very rather than their ancestors, the Mughals made a realm and achieved what had until now appeared to be feasible for just brief timeframes. They forced designs of organization and thoughts of administration that outlived their standard, leaving a political heritage that succeeding leaders of the subcontinent couldn’t disregard. Today the Prime Minister of India tends to the country on Independence Day from the defenses of the Red Fort in Delhi, the home of the Mughal sovereigns.
The ancestors of the Mughals were two powerful rulers. From their mom’s side, they were relatives of Genghis Khan (who died in 1227), he was the greatest Mongol ruler who controlled some of the places of China and Central Asia. From their dad’s side, they were the replacements of Timur (who died in 1404), the leader of Iran, Iraq, and current Turkey. Nonetheless, the Mughals could have done without being called Mughal or Mongol. This was in light of the fact that Genghis Khan’s memory was connected with the butcher of incalculable people. It was furthermore associated with the Uzbeks, their Mongol opponents.
Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar (1542-1605), famously known as Akbar the Great and furthermore as Akbar I was the third Mughal head, who ruled from 1556 to 1605. Akbar succeeded his dad, Humayun, under an official, Bairam Khan, who helped the youthful ruler extend and merge Mughal areas in India. A solid character and an effective general, Akbar progressively developed the Mughal Empire to incorporate a significant part of the Indian subcontinent.
His power and impact, nonetheless, reached out over the whole subcontinent in view of Mughal military, political, social, and monetary strength. To bring together the immense Mughal state, Akbar laid out a unified arrangement of the organization all through his domain and embraced a strategy of mollifying vanquished rulers through marriage and discretion. To protect harmony and request in a strictly and socially assorted realm, he embraced approaches that won him the help of his non-Muslim subjects. Abul Fazl wrote Akbar Nama . It consists of three volumes. The first volume consisted of information about Akbar’s ancestry. The second volume included the events that took place during Akbar’s rule. The third volume had information about Akbar’s administration, army, revenue, and policies.
Akbar divided his kingdom into provinces and called them subas. There were a total of 15 subs. They were: Ahmadabad, Agra, Ajmer, Bengal, Ahmednagar, Allahabad, Awadh, Bihar, Delhi, Berar, Kabul, Khandar, Lahore, Multan, Malwa. The responsibility of administration was given to subadar, who carried out military and political functions. He was assisted by ‘Diwan’, who is in charge of revenue and financial records. For the maintenance of peace and order in the subas, the subadar was supported by other officers. There were: Bakshi, Sadr, Faujdars, Kotwal.
- Bakshi: He took care of the needs and payments of the army.
- Sadr: He is in charge of religious and charitable patronage.
- Faujdar: He is the military commander
- Kotwal: He is the town police commander. He is in charge of law and order.
The provincial officers followed the central administration and performed similar duties. Provinces were divided into sarkars to Parganas and Parganas into villages. The nobles commanded large armies and had access to a large amount of revenue. They were loyal to the ruler and the kingdom. They functioned efficiently. By the end of the 17th century, many nobles had built independent networks of their own. Their loyalties to the ruler were weakened by their own self-interest as time passed. Akbar has a council of ministers to assist him. Apart from subadar and diwan, some of the ministries were:
- The wazir: He was like a prime minister and adviser of the king in all matters.
- Khan-i-saman: He looks after the imperial household. He also looks after the control of the royal bodyguards.
- Chief Qazi: Head of the judicial system.
Other important high officials who assisted the king were Mir Atish who supervised the artillery; Doroga-i-Taksal and Daroga-i-Daak etc. Effective and efficient land revenue and record system were introduced by the revenue minister of Akbar, Todar Mal. There were three systems of land revenue.
- The zabti system
- The Ghalla- Bhakshi
- Kanat or Nasaq
Akbar’s Rajput policy
He married a Rajput princess , the daughter of Raja Bharmal. It was a major thing in the history of Mughals. He gave important posts in his court to Rajputs. Rajputs served Mughals for four generations. Many of them rose to positions of military generals. Important administrative position was given to Raja Bhagwan Das and Raja Man Singh. He abolished Jizya tax in 1564 and pilgrim tax in 1563 which was imposed on Hindus. He never forced his Rajput wives to convert their religion and gave them religious freedom . Akbar treated Rajputs with dignity and honour.
Akbar’s Religious policy
Akbar gained respect and rose to lot of fame due to his religious policies. His teacher Abdul Latif’s impact was great on Akbar. He carried administration on the basis of Sufi doctrine which means ‘ universal brotherhood’ . This was taught to him by his teacher. He prohibited forced religious conversions in 1562. He permitted Christians and Hindus to built their respective churches and temples. He prohibited cow slaughter in respect of Hindus and celebrated their festivals.
In 1575, He ordered for the construction of ‘ ibadat khana’ which is a house of worship at Fatehpur sikri. He organized religious meetings with Ulama, Brahmanas , Jesuit priests and Zoroastrians. He held these meetings to know about different religions and social customs. His interaction with people of different religions made him realize that religious scholars who prioritized ritual and dogma were often bigots. Dissatisfied with the religious bigots, he introduced the idea of sulh-i-kul. It means the people should nit be discriminated on the basis of his religion or his realm .He focused on a system of ethics which were honesty, peace , justice . Thus principle of governance was also adopted by Jahangir and Shah Jahan.
In 1582 he founded a new religion named ‘tauhid-i-illahi’ and later renamed as ‘din-i-llahi’. It consisted of 12 principles. important of them were:
- Worshipping sun and fire
- Observing Sunday as holiday
- Refrain from eating meat
- Avoiding and staying away from sins like lust, pride and slander.
- Sacrificing life , property and their faith and honour for emperor
- Greeting each other as Allah-hu-Akbar when illahi meet.
Question 1: What is the result of the Akbar’s religious policies?
The policies were successful because he gave equal importance to every religion and respected the faiths of people. He abolished the taxed imposed on non Muslims. Hence gaining the respect of people.
Question 2: Why was Akbar most successful Mughal king ?
He decreased the interior pressure through strict lenience. Hindus and Muslims were permitted to utilize their own court customs. Akbar, a Muslim, wedded a Hindu Rajput princess and framed a syncretic religion consolidating a few convictions, including Hinduism and Islam. His endeavors to get the two gatherings to get along are a huge piece of what permitted the realm to prosper.
Question 3: What were Subas and how many of them were formed?
Akbar divided his kingdom into provinces and called them subas. There were a total of 15 subas . They were : Ahmadabad , Agra , Ajmer , Bengal , Ahmednagar, Allahabad , Awadh , Bihar , Delhi , Berar , Kabul, Khandar , Lahore , Multan , Malwa.