The Mughal Empire
Text Book Page No. 46
Do you think this painting suggests that the Mughals claimed kingship as a birthright?
As this painting portraits the hierarchy of the Mughal emperors right from Timur to Aurangzeb, it depicts that the Mughals claimed kingship as a birthright.
Text Book Page No. 47
How was Humayun’s relationship with Safavid Iran different from Akbar’s?
- Humayun took refuge in the court of Safavid Iran when he was dogged out of the subcontinent by Sher Shah Suri. Therefore, he had friendly relations with Iran.
- On the other hand, Akbar seized Qandahar from Safavid Iranian rulers. Therefore, he was at war with them.
Did the annexation of Golconda and Bijapur in Aurangzeb’s reign end hostilities in the Deccan?
No, in spite of the annexation of Golconda and Bijapur, Aurangzeb faced unending disturbance in Deccan as Marathas started guerrilla warfare against him. Ultimately, he had to personally manage campaigns in Deccan from 1698 onwards.
Text Book Page No. 50
Which do you think is a fairer division of inheritance: primogeniture or coparcenary?
According to me, coparcenary is the fairer division of inheritance as it is based on the principle of equality.
Text Book Page No. 51
What was the consquence of this insult (of Shivaji by Aurangzeb) ?
When Aurangzeb insulted Shivaji, when latter came to accept Mughal authority, Shivaji escaped from prison and began great guerrilla warfare in Deccan against Mughals.
Would this have meant more expenditure for the state?
Yes, the increase in number of mansabdar with higher zat rankings would have led to more expenditure for the State.
Text Book Page No. 55
Can you identify the Jesuit priests in this picture?
Two persons sitting on the upper left side in the picture wearing black robes are the Jesuit priests.
Text Book Page No. 57
Find out more about Akbar’s other contemporaries-the ruler of Ottoman Turkey, Sultan Suleyman, also known as “al-Qanuni” or the lawgiver (1520-1566) the Safavid ruler of Iran, Shah Abbas (1588-1629); and the more controversial Russian ruler, Czar Ivan IV Vasilyevich, also called “Ivan the terrible” (1530-1584).
Sultan Suleyman : The ruler of Ottoman Turkey, Sultan Suleyman was born on November 6th 1494 at Trabzon. At the age of 26, he became the 10th Sultan of the empire in 1520. He ruled the Ottoman Empire for 46 years between 1520-1566 and almost doubled his territory. He is known as “al-Qanuni” or the lawgiver in his homeland.
Europeans are called him “Suleyman the Magnificent.” He constructed many valuable buildings and transformed the army and the judicial system.
Shah Abbas (1588-1629)
(1) Shah Abbas ruled Iran from 1588-1629. Abbas moved the court to Isphahan and was a patron of both art and business. Abbas was famed for his fairness.
(2) Abbas regains Azerbaijan and its capital Tabriz and he was able to regain Mashed and Herat. To the South east he set the border with the Mughals in Timurid Indian at Qandahar.
Czar Ivan IV Vasilyevich : Czar Ivan IV Vasilyevich (August 25, 1530, Moscow-March 18, 1584, Moscow) was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547 and Czar of Russia from 1547 until his death. His long reign saw the conquest of Tartary an4, Siberia and subsequent transformation of Russia into a multiethnic and multi¬confessional state.
This tsar retains his place in the Russian tradition simply as Ivan Grozny commonly translated into English as “Ivan the terrible” (using “terrible” in the somewhat archaic sense of “inspiring fear”).
Text Book Page No. 57
Babur and Akbar were about your age when they became rulers. Imagine you have inherited a kingdom. How would you make your kingdom stable and prosperous?
In order to make my kingdom stable and prosperous I will undertake following actions :
- I will reform administration, revenue, military and trade systems.
- I will try to uplift the common people such as peasants, artisans.
- I will check corruption in the court.
- I will tighten my hold on nobles.
- I will expand my kingdom.
- I will induct new war technology, etc.
Exercise Questions and Answers
Match the following
Fill in the blanks :
(a) The capital of Mirza Hakim, Akbar’s half-brother, was ______
(b) The five Deccan Sultanates were Berar, Khandesh, Ahmadnagar, ______ and ______.
(c) If zat determined a mansabdar’s rank and salary, sawar indicated his ______.
(d) Abul Fazl, Akbar’s friend and counsellor, helped him frame the idea of ______ so that he could govern a society composed of many religions, cultures and castes.
What were the central provinces under the control of the Mughals?
The central provinces under the control of the Mughals were-Lahore, Panipat, Delhi, Mathura, Agra, Amber, Ajmer, Fatehpur Sikri, Chittor,- Ranthambhor and Allahabad.
What was the relationship between the mansabdar and the jagir?
- Mansabdar were the nobles or the rank holders. They were not paid salaries Instead they were given the right to collect revenue from the land granted to them. These lands were called jagirs.
- Often mansabdars had to serve outside their jagirs therefore the revenue from their jagir was collected by their servants.
What was the role of the zamindar in Mughal administration?
- The main responsibility of the zamindar in the Mughal administration was to collect taxes from peasants and submit the same to the central government’s revenue department.
- Therefore, zamindars were inter-mediaries, whether they were local headmen of villages or powerful chieftains.
How were the debates with religious scholars important in the formation of Akbar’s ideas on governance?
The debates with religious scholars, of India today does not pose a challenge to national integration because today, we have a democratic, republic government appointed by the common people of the land through elections.
Peasants were vital for the economy of the Mughal Empire. Do you think that they are as important today? Has the gap in the income between the rich and the poor in India changed a great deal from the period of the Mughals?
(1) In today’s context, peasants do hold an important place in the economy of India. But the other sectors of economy such as industries, and services have made a vital place for themselves in the Indian economy. Therefore, today’s economy does not totally depend upon peasants.
(2) No, the gap in the income between the rich and the poor in India has not changed a great deal from the period of the Mughals, but the incomes have highly increased compared to that period.
The Mughal Empire left its impact on the different regions of the subcontinent in a variety of ways. Find out if it had any impact in the city/village region in which you live.
Students, do themselves.
[Hint : Consider the importance of Agra city due to Taj Mahal. If the Taj Mahal, had been built at any other place in India, that place would have been of the same importance, as Agra is.]