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ASSIGNMENT DRIVE FALL 2013

PROGRAM BA SOCIOLOGY
SEMESTER II
BAS 204 History of Indian Circa 750-1707

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Q. No 1 Explain the Chalukyas contribution to architecture.


Answer:

The Chalukya

dynasty was

an Indian royal

dynasty

that

ruled

large

parts

of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries. During this period, they ruled as
three related yet individual dynasties. The earliest dynasty, known as the "Badami Chalukyas", ruled from
Vatapi (modern Badami) from the middle of the 6th century. The Badami Chalukyas began to assert their
independence at the decline of the Kadamba kingdom of Banavasi and rapidly rose to prominence during
the reign of Pulakesi II. After the death of Pulakesi II, the Eastern Chalukyas became an independent
kingdom in the eastern Deccan. They ruled from Vengi until about the 11th century. In the western
Deccan, the rise of the Rashtrakutas in the middle of the 8th century eclipsed the Chalukyas of Badami
before being revived by their descendants, the Western Chalukyas, in the late 10th century. These Western
Chalukyas ruled from Kalyani (modernBasavakalyan) until the end of the 12th century.
The rule of the Chalukyas marks an important milestone in the history of South India and a golden age in
the history of Karnataka. The political atmosphere in South India shifted from smaller kingdoms to large
empires with the ascendancy of Badami Chalukyas. A Southern India based kingdom took control and
consolidated the entire region between the Kaveri and the Narmada rivers. The rise of this empire saw the

birth of efficient administration, overseas trade and commerce and the development of new style of
architecture called "Chalukyan architecture".Kannada literature, which had enjoyed royal support in the
9th

century

Rashtrakuta

court

found

eager

patronage

from

the

Western

Chalukyas

in

the Jain and Veerashaiva traditions. The 11th century saw the birth of Telugu literature under the
patronage of the Eastern Chalukyas.

2 Explain the Turkish invasion.


ANSWER: The Turkish invasion of Cyprus,[15] launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military
invasion in response to the 1974 Cypriot coup d'tat. It is known in Turkey as the "Cyprus Peace
Operation" (Turkish: Kbrs Bar Harekt), "Cyprus Operation" (Kbrs Harekt) or by its Turkish
Armed Forces code name Operation Atilla (Atilla Harekt).
The coup had been ordered by the military Junta in Greece and staged by the Cypriot National Guard[16]
[17] in conjunction with EOKA-B. It deposed the Cypriot president Archbishop Makarios III and installed
Nikos Sampson,[18][19] a leader in favour of Enosis, the union of Cyprus with Greece.
In July 1974, Turkish forces invaded and captured 3% of the island before a ceasefire was declared. The
Greek military junta collapsed and was replaced by democratic government. In August 1974 further
Turkish invasion resulted in the capture of 40% of the island. The ceasefire line from August 1974
became the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus and is commonly referred to as the Green Line.
More than one quarter of the population of Cyprus was expelled from the occupied northern part of the
island where Greek Cypriots constituted 80% of the population. A little over a year later in 1975, there
was also a flow of roughly 60,000 Turkish Cypriots from the south to the north after the conflict.[20] The
Turkish invasion ended in the partition of Cyprus along the UN-monitored Green Line which still divides
Cyprus today. In 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) declared independence,
although Turkey is the only country which recognises it.

3 Discuss the Revolts and Downfall of Tughlaq Empire.


ANSWER: The Important Causes behind the Downfall of the Tughlaq Dynasty are described bleow:

When Muhammad Tughluq was the ruler, him empire included the whole of the continent of India, with
the exception of Kashmir, Cutch and a part of Kathiawar and Orissa. On the death of Mahmud Shah, his
grand-nephew, the extent of the kingdom was defined thus by a contemporary saying: "The rule of the
Lord of the World extends from Delhi to Palam" (Palam is a village at a distance of a few miles from
Delhi).
Even this small kingdom vanished and the Sayyids established their rule at Delhi. Many factors were
responsible for the downfall of the Tughluq Empire.
(1) Muhammad Tughluq himself was partly responsible for the downfall of the Tughluq Empire. His
transfer of the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad brought a lot of misery to the people. His introduction of
the token currency emptied the treasury. His attempt to conquer Khorasan cost, him a good deal.
His taxation of the Doab turned its inhabitants into the enemies of the empire. His personal character also
was responsible for creating a large number of enemies of the empire. No wonder, there were many
revolts in many parts of the empire. It was during his time that the Bahmani kingdom was set up in the
Deccan. Likewise, it was during his reign that the Vijayanagar empire
was established. All his time was spent in crushing one rebellion or the other and even when he died in
1351, he was fighting against the nobles. There is no exaggeration in saying that even before the death of
Muhammad Tughluq, the process of disintegration had already started.
(2) This disintegration could have been stopped if Muhammad Tughluq had been succeeded by a strong
personality, but that was not to be. He was succeeded by Firuz Tughluq who was not a warrior at all.
It is true that he carried out many reforms and made himself popular with the people but the lack of
martial qualities in him could not enable him to reconquer those parts of India which were once parts of
the Delhi Sultanate. He did not take any action at all against the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar and the
Muslim state known as Bahmani kingdom.
(3) The situation became much worse under the successors of Firuz Tughluq. Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq
Shah II. Abu Bakr Shah, Nasir-ud-Din Muhammad, Ala-ud-Din Sikandar Shah and Nasir-ud-Din
Muhammad who ruled from 1388 to 1413 were too weak to reconquer those parts of the empire which
had become independent.

As a matter of fact, even those parts of India which were under Firuz Tughluq, became independent
during their reigns. The result was that the process of disintegration, instead of being stopped, was
accelerated during the reigns of the weak successors of Firuz Tughluq.
Those rulers contented themselves with their personal pleasures. They spent their time in mutual fights.
They sent armies to plunder and massacre the people but they did nothing to give the people a good
administration which alone could win their confidence and loyalty.
(4) Firuz Tughluq made many mistakes which contributed to the downfall of the Tughluq dynasty. He
revived the Jagir system. He gave large jagirs to his great nobles instead of giving them salaries.
The Jagirs often amounted to viceroyalties. Large districts and even provinces were assigned to eminent
persons. Kara and Dalamau were granted to Mardan Daulat with the title of "King of the East". Oudh,
Sandila and Koil formed separate jagirs. Jaunpur and Zafrabad were given to another Amir.
Gujarat was given to Sikandar Khan and Bihar was given to Bir Afghan. All these nobles were expected
to defend their frontiers and manage their internal affairs. In course of time, these Jagirdars defied the
authority of the Delhi Sultan and set up independent kingdoms at the cost of the Tughluq Empire.
It cannot be denied that Firuz Tughluq set in motion the centrifugal forces which ultimately led to the
break up of his empire. It was during the reign of the successors of Firuz that the province of Oudth and
the country to the east of the Ganges as far as the borders of Bengal were formed into an independent
kingdom of Jaunpur. The provinces of Gujarat, Malwa and Khandesh cut off their connection with Delhi
and became independent states.
A Hindus principality was established in Gwalior. Muslim principalities were setup in Bayana and Kalpi.
The chiefs of Mewat were practically independent and they shifted their allegiance from one authority to
another according to the circumstances.
The Hindus of the Doab were almost continually in revolt and the rulers of Delhi had merely to content
themselves with whatever they were able to realise with the help of their armed forces.
(5) Another mistake made by Firuz Tughluq was that he created a large army of slaves which became a
menace in the time of his successors. The number of slaves in the reign of Firuz Tughluq was about 1,
80,000 out of whom 40,000 were enlisted for service in the palace of the Sultan. It is true that by
increasing the number of slaves,

Firuz Tughluq was able to add to the number of converts to Islam but these slaves interfered with the
administration of the country and ultimately became an important causes of the disintegration of Tughluq
empire. We do not hear of eminent slaves like Qutb-ud-Din Aibak Iltutmish and Balban who were
responsible for the greatness of the so-called slave dynasty. The slaves of Firuz Tughluq were merely a
negative force who did not bother to gain even at the cost of the empire. No wonder, the army of slaves
recruited by Firuz Tughluq became a liability.
(6) Firuz Tughluq made another mistake which also contributed to the fall of the Tughluq dynasty. A
majority of the army men in his reign were paid by transferable assignments on the royal revenues.
Those assignments were purchased at Delhi by a professional class at about one-third of their value.
Those were sold to the soldiers in the districts at one-half. This practice led to great abuse and the
discipline of the army suffered. Firuz Tughluq also ordered that when a soldier became old, his son or
son-in-law or even his slave could succeed him.
Service in the army was made hereditary and considerations of fitness and merit were ignored. This was
bound to affect adversely the efficiency of the army. Such an army could not be trusted to fight
successfully against rebels or foreign invaders. Most of the army of Firuz Tughluq consisted of quotas
supplied by the nobles.
This army could not be controlled by the Central Government as their recruitment; promotion and
discipline were in the hands of the nobles and not in the hands of the Sultan. The weakening of the
military machine, on whom alone depended the integrity of the empire, was suicidal and Firuz Tughluq
must be held responsible for the same.
(7) His religious policy was also partly responsible for the fall of the Tughluq dynasty. Firuz Tughluq was
a staunch Sunni Muslim. He took pleasure in persecuting the non-Sunni Muslims and the Hindus. The
temples of the Hindus were destroyed and their idols were broken and insulted. Their books were burnt.
The Hindus were converted to Islam by threats and temptations. Jizya was exacted from them with great
strictness. Even the Brahmans were not spared.
A Brahman was ordered to be put to death on the charge that he was seducing the Muslims to give up
their religion. Two Sayyids were put to death in Katehar. Firuz Tughluq attacked Katehar and under his
orders thousands of Hindus was killed and 23,000 of them were taken prisoners and converted into slaves.

This process was repeated for 5 years. That shows the bitterness of feeling which Firuz Tughluq had for
the Hindus. Similar was the treatment given by Firuz Tughluq to the non-Sunni Muslims.
The Mulhid and Abahtiyan were imprisoned and banished. The Mehdrins were punished. Their leader
Rukn-ud-Din was torn to pieces and Firuz Tughluq took pride in the fact that God had made him the
instrument of putting down such wickedness. He was also cruel towards the Shias. Their books were
burnt in public and they themselves were killed.
By following such a religious policy. Firuz Tughluq might have won over the goodwill of the Ulemas,
Shaikhs, Sayyids and Muslim divines but by doing so he alienated an overwhelming majority of the
people to such an extent that by his actions he undermined the very foundations of his empire. Firuz
Tughluq ignored altogether the fact that will and not force is the basis of the state. By his actions, he
failed to win over the affection of the people.
(8) The basic principle of the Muslim State in the I4th century was force. The awe and fear in which the
ruling class was held disappeared. Firuz Tughluq, if at all, was loved and not feared by his subjects.
The result was that the people defied the authority of the state and became independent and the empire
began to disintegrate.
(9) The theocratic character of the state adversely affected its efficiency. The influence of the Mullahs and
Muftis proved disastrous in the long run.
A state where the bulk of the population was that of the non-Muslims could not be governed for long by a
law which followed the precepts of the Quran.
(10) After conqering India, the Muslims got everything. They got plenty of wealth, women and wine.
They started living a life of ease. They lost their old grit and manliness.
They behaved like a disorderly mob in the midst of a campaign. The qualities of generalship disappeared
and an army consisting of such persons could not keep down the Hindus of fight against the foreign
invaders.
(11) Although the Hindus had been subjected to a foreign rule for a long time, they did not give up their
efforts to become free and independent. It took more than 150 years to conquer and annex Ranthombor.

Although the Doab is situated very near Delhi, it was never submissive. The Hindus always continued to
revolt and the control of the Delhi Sultanate was merely nominal. No wonder, as soon as the authority of
the Delhi Sultanate became weak, they revolted and became independent in various parts of India.
(12) The Delhi Sultanate was merely a police state. Its only function was maintenance of law and order
and collection of revenues. When it failed to discharge those duties satisfactorily, it lost the they reason
for its existence.
(13) According to Dr. Lane-Poole, inter-marriage with the Hindus was one of the causes of the fall of the
Tughluq dynasty. However, this view is not accepted.
It is pointed out that although Firuz Tughluq had a Hindu mother, be did not show any leniency towards
the Hindus. Even the subsequent events do not support the contention of Lane-Poole. Akbar adopted the
policy of matrimonial alliances with the Hindus in order to strengthen his empire and it cannot be denied
that he succeeded in doing so. It is only when that policy was reversed by Aurangzeb that the downfall of
the Mughal empire took place.
(14) However, it cannot be denied that the invasion of India by Timur gave a death-blow to the Tughluq
dynasty. Even at the time of invasion, there were two rulers, namely, Mahmud Shah and Hindus Khan,
who claimed at the same time to be the rulers of Delhi.
The manner in which the people of Delhi were massacred and plundered must have completely destroyed
the very foundation of the Tughluq Empire. We are told that for three months Delhi had no ruler at all.
There was utter confusion and disorder in the country.
The various provinces became completely independent and there was none to take any action against
them. Even after his restoration, Mahmud Shah did nothing to restore law and order within the territory
under his control. He devoted all his time to pleasure and debauchery. No wonder, such an empire
disappeared. There was nothing left of justify its existence.

4 Describe the establishment of Mughal Empire.


ANSWER: WHILE there is continuity in the history of Indo-Islamic civilization, with the foundation of
the Mughal empire in the second quarter of the sixteenth century a political and cultural watershed was
reached. The era of the sultanate (from 1206 to 1526) is often referred to as the medieval period of Indian

history, partly because of correspondence in time to the conventional classification of European history,
and partly because of certain analogies in spirit of the two historical epochs. But it is also the Middle
Ages of Indian history in that it divides ancient India and modern India. While it is true, as has been
shown in the preceding chapters, that the seeds of the new life which bloomed so vigorously in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were planted during the seemingly barren years of the sultanate,
nevertheless the Mughal empire has a different atmosphere from the preceding era. It can be argued that
the beginning of modern Indian history is to be dated not from the establishment of British hegemony in
the early nineteenth century, but from the coming of the Mughals in 1526.

One obvious reason for the different tone and spirit of the Mughal empire is the greater continuity of
administration. For three hundred years the same dynasty ruled from Delhi, and for half of this period,
from 1556 to 1707, four rulers in direct succession maintained control. This is a remarkable achievement
in the dynastic history of any great country, but it is particularly astonishing when measured against the
rapid overthrow, not just of rulers, but of dynasties, in the sultanate period.
The beginnings of Mughal rule followed a familiar pattern: an adventurous chieftain in the
mountainous areas to the northwest, attracted by possibilities of wealth and power during a period of
internal weakness in India, gathered his forces for a sudden descent upon the Punjab./1/ Babur was ruler
of a kingdom centered on Kabul when he invaded India in 1526, but his original territory was the little
principality of Farghana in Turkistan. A Chaghatai Turk, he claimed descent from both of the great
Central Asian conquerors, Timur and, more remotely, Chingiz Khan. It was this connection with the great
Mongol invader that gave the dynasty the misleading appellation of "Mughal" or "Mongol."
Babur had established himself in Kabul in 1504, after he had been driven out of Farghana by the
westward movement of the Uzbegs, and when he found that he was prevented from expansion towards
Persia by the rise of a new dynasty there, he turned his attention to India. There the revival of Hindu
power and the virtual independence of the Muslim governors provided him with an opportunity to attack
the [[137]] sultanate with the assurance that he would not be met by any united resistance. In 1525 he
captured Lahore, the capital of Punjab, whose ruler was in virtual rebellion against the sultan, and then
made plans for an attack on Delhi. The decisive encounter with the sultan, Ibrahim Lodi, took place on
the historic battlefield of Panipat on April 21, 1526. It is probable that Babur had fewer than 12,000 men,
in contrast to at least 100,000 in the army of the sultan, but he had the decisive advantages of fine artillery
and disciplined, well-led troops. The sultan had neither, and before evening he and 15,000 of his soldiers
were dead, and the road was open to Delhi and Agra. After Babur had taken these, he swept on to capture

the other great centers of North IndiaGwalior, Kanauj, and Jaunpur. His strongest opposition came from
the famous Rana Sanga, the Rajput ruler of Mewar, who had collected a great force of Hindu chieftains
and a few Muslim nobles. The two armies met at Khanua, a village near Agra, on March 16, 1527, and
although the rana was a far better leader than the sultan, his bravery was no match for Babur's superior
tactics and modern weapons.
Humayun was twenty-three when he succeeded his father, and while he had experience as a military
commander, he lacked his father's vigor and toughness. These qualities were needed, for he was faced
with a hostile combination of his own jealous relatives, including his three younger brothers, and the
Afghan nobles who were not reconciled to their loss of power. He soon found himself fighting his
enemies on two widely separated fronts.
Sher Khan Sur was one of the most colorful of the numerous Afghans who had created places for
themselves in the outlying provinces. The son of a petty Afghan jagirdar in Bihar, he had gone at an early
age to Jaunpur, where he acquired an excellent knowledge of the Arabic and Persian classics. He entered
the service of the governor of Bihar, but apparently seeing the likelihood of a Mughal triumph in North
India, he joined the army of Babur when he invaded India. After Babur's death he took advantage of the
disturbed conditions to assert his own supremacy over Bihar. This, however, did not satisfy him, and at
the end of February, 1536, he appeared at the gates of Gaur, the capital of Bengal, and retired only after
receiving a large payment. Next year he marched eastward again and entered Gaur in triumph, but on the
return of Humayun from Gujarat, he withdrew toward Bihar to fight the Mughals in the area he knew
best. In 1539 Humayun, who had occupied Gaur, was caught in unfamiliar territory during the monsoon,
and as he tried to withdraw his forces toward Agra, Sher Khan blocked his communications and defeated
him at Chausa on the Ganges. The two armies met again at Kanauj, in 1540, but the Mughal army was so
demoralized that on Sher Khan's advance they fled in panic. Humayun's last chance of making a stand
against the Afghans was gone. He fled toward Rajputana and Sind, and at one time turned toward
Qandahar where his brother Kamran was in power, but he received no help and had to seek refuge with
the Shah of Persia. For the next fifteen years he wandered through the Indian borderlands, quarreling with
his brother and seeking support for a return to India, but it was not until 1555, a year before his death, that
he was able to enter Delhi again.

Sher Khan Sur proclaimed himself ruler of North India in 1539, after the battle of Chausa, with the
title of Sher Shah Adil, and he quickly conquered Malwa, Rajputana, and Sind. To guard against a
Mughal invasion, he built a strong line of forts in the northwest Punjab.

Although he reigned for only six years, and his successors lost control ten years after his death, Sher
Shah's rule is one of the more [[139]] significant Islamic administrations in Indian history. His deep
knowledge of earlier history and his practical experience with the working of the system evolved by the
Delhi sultans enabled him to utilize what was good in the past and to improve and add to it. In this way he
paved the way for the final phase of Muslim administration under Akbar and the later Mughals. For
example, he undertook administrative reforms which had been introduced originally by Ala-ud-din Khalji,
such as a powerful standing army officered by the nobles of the sultan's choice, and improved on them,
leaving his successors with a more efficient state service.

The principal reforms for which Sher Shah is remembered are those connected with land revenue
administration. The agency which he built up, and which with further improvements under Akbar and the
British continues to the present day, fulfilled many functions. It was entrusted with the recovery of
government dues, collection of data regarding the villages and the holdings of the cultivators, and the
general economic situation. In this reform Sher Shah was able to draw upon his experience of the detailed
administration of a pargana of his father's jagir. The fundamental change made by Sher Khan was the use
of actual measurement, rather than an estimation, of the cultivated land as the basis for revenue
assessment. The land was to be measured every year, and then one fourth or one third of the average
produce was to be taken as revenue. Allowance was to be made for soils of different degrees of
productivity.

The revenue system depended upon careful organization, and Sher Shah attempted to create an
administrative structure that would be under continual supervision from the capital. Here again he was
drawing upon the experience of the past, which had shown the dangers of too much power in the hands of
governors. The smallest administrative unit was the pargana, or group of villages, and for each of these
Sher Shah appointed a shiqqdar, who was responsible for the general administration, including the
preservation of law and order, an amin, who supervised assessment and collection of revenue, a treasurer,
and two clerks to keep accounts, one in Persian, and the other in Hindi. The next unit was a sarkar, or a
revenue district, which had a chief shiqqdar and a chief munsif, "whose duty it was to see that the [[140]]
revenue was collected in full, but that the cultivators were not oppressed."

Sher Shah's desire for a centralized administration is also reflected in his attempt to link the various
parts of his empire by an efficient system of roads. Of his four great roads, one connected Sonargaon
(near modern Dacca) in Bengal, through Agra, Delhi, and Lahore, with the Indus; others connected Agra
and Mandu; Agra, Jodhpur, and Chitor; and Lahore and Multan. Fruit trees were planted on both sides of
the roads and at short intervals caravansaries were set up with separate lodgings for Muslims and Hindus,
with servants to supply food to the travelers of each religion. Safety was ensured by making the officials
of the adjacent villages responsible for incidents on the roads passing through their areas. Trade along the
highroads was encouraged by the abolition of all tolls, with custom duties levied only on the frontiers.
Although Sher Shah was rigidly orthodox, Hindus held high positions in his army, and Todar Mal, who
later gained renown under Akbar, was originally in his service. One of his best-known generals was
Brahmajit Gaur, whom he sent in pursuit of Humayun, and Raja Ram Singh of Gwalior is also said to
have been in his service. His army included a contingent of Rajputs.

Islam Shah, who succeeded Sher Shah in 1545, made an effort to preserve the institutions of his
father. He kept the fortifications in good repair, increased the number of caravansaries, and ordered the
compilation of a detailed statement of government regulations, extracts of which were read every Friday
in meetings of government officials of each area. He was, however, unable to keep his rebellious nobles
in check, and religious unrest among his subjects further undermined his power.

The religious ferment of Islam Shah's reign was part of a widespread movement. At this time the
millennium of the migration of the Prophet of Islam from Mecca was approaching, and many people
believed in the imminent appearance of a Mahdi who would convert the whole world to Islam and fill the
earth with equity and justice. Sayyid Muhammad, a leading scholar and saint of Jaunpur, encouraged this
expectation and later claimed to be the Mahdi. Those who accepted his claims and followed his
injunctions were known as Mahadwis. The Mahadwi movement gradually lost its importance in northern
India, but it flourished longer in the south, and Mahadwi doctrines have been held by some important
persons in Hyderabad Deccan (including the late Nawab Bahadur Yar Jang). Even in northern India, the
struggle which it generated and the conflict which ensued between the court jurists and the Mahadwi
notables had their effect on the religious history of Akbar's day.

Sayyid Muhammad Jaunpuri died in Farah, in modern Afghanistan, in 1504; but his doctrines were
kept alive by his enthusiastic followers. In Sher Shah's reign, Shaikh Alai, son of a leading religious
teacher of Bengal, established himself at Bayana near Agra, where he came under the influence of Shaikh
Abdullah, an Afghan follower of Sayyid Muhammad. The two leaders confined their preaching, marked
by rigid puritanism and asceticism, to the poor. They kept no property and encouraged others to do the
same, and admonished anyone who committed irreligious acts. The group carried arms and permitted no
interference with their actions by officials. This defiance brought them into conflict with the established
government, in particular Makhdum-ul-Mulk, an important office-holder in the state, who strongly
objected to the new cult and used his influence with Islam Shah to punish those who believed in its
doctrines. Shaikh Alai and Shaikh Abdullah had many powerful friends, but their unwillingness to
acknowledge any superior secular authority, including a refusal to salute even the emperor, gave
Makhdum-ul-Mulk an opportunity to have them both flogged. The bitterness and animosity engendered
by the strife between the sect's leaders and the government help to explain, in part at least, the growing
confusion and disorder of Islam Shah's reign.

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5 Akbar was an imperialist and frankly acknowledged his desire to pursue the policy of the
extension of the empire. Explain the extension of his empire.
ANSWER: Akbar (Hindustani: [kbr]; 14 October 1542 27 October 1605), known as Akbar the
Great, was Mughal Emperor from 1556 until his death. He was the third and greatest ruler of the Mughal
Dynasty in India. Akbar succeeded his father, Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the
young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India. A strong personality and a successful
general, 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 centralised system of administration throughout his empire and adopted
a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. In order to preserve peace and
order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his
non-Muslim subjects. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar strived to unite far-flung
lands of his realm through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to himself as an emperor who
had near-divine status.
Mughal India developed a strong and stable economy, leading to commercial expansion and greater
patronage of culture. Akbar himself was a great patron of art and culture. He was fond of literature, and
created a library of over 24,000 volumes written in Sanskrit, Hindustani, Persian, Greek, Latin, Arabic
and Kashmiri, staffed by many scholars, translators, artists, calligraphers, scribes, bookbinders and
readers. Holy men of many faiths, poets, architects and artisans adorned his court from all over the world
for study and discussion. Akbar's courts at Delhi, Agra, and Fatehpur Sikri became centers of the arts,
letters, and learning. Perso-Islamic culture began to merge and blend with indigenous Indian elements,
and a distinct Indo-Persian culture emerged characterised by Mughal style arts, painting, and architecture.
Disillusioned with orthodox Islam and perhaps hoping to bring about religious unity within his empire,
Akbar promulgated Din-i-Ilahi, a syncretic creed derived from Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and
Christianity. A simple, monotheistic cult, tolerant in outlook, it centered on Akbar as a prophet, for which
he drew the ire of the ulema and orthodox Muslims.
Akbar's reign significantly influenced the course of Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal empire
tripled in size and wealth. He created a powerful military system and instituted effective political and
social reforms. By abolishing the sectarian tax on non-Muslims and appointing them to high civil and
military posts, he was the first Mughal ruler to win the trust and loyalty of the native subjects. He had
Sanskrit literature translated, participated in native festivals, realizing that a stable empire depended on
the co-operation and good-will of his subjects. Thus, the foundations for a multicultural empire under
Mughal rule was laid during his reign. Akbar was succeeded as emperor by his son, Jahangir.

6 Explain the Foreign trade under the Mughal era.


ANSWER: By the time of the Mughals, cities had grown in importance. The expanding economy now
needed urbanization and a fixed market in order to succeed. Earlier, there were usually weekly markets

where people from surrounding regions would congregate at a particular place on a particular day. Once
the economy started growing, many trade centres developed which soon grew into prosperous cities.
Many Indian cities of that time, according to travelling foreigners, were better than those in Asia and
Europe. Communication and transport facilities had also improved during the time of the Mughals and
Sher Shah. There were several metalled highways reaching various places of the empire. River transport
was also important, especially those which were navigable throughout the year. River transport was a
cheap and fast way of transporting goods over long distances. Bridges were also constructed to speed up
the movement of land transport. Such initiatives and conditions were important contributing factors to the
development of the economy.
Agriculture continued to remain an important part of the economy, but the crops and techniques still
remained largely unchanged. Irrigation was largely absent although some areas did have access to canals
and water works. A variety of food and cash crops were grown. The textile industry was booming and
hence there was tremendous demand for cotton and silk which were important cash crops. Tobacco,
introduced sometime in 1604 also became an important cash crop. One negative aspect of the Mughal
administration was that they did not make any major efforts in agricultural development. Hence the
citizens were subject to various famines, which had devastating results. With no assistance from the
centre, the situation was usually grim. Quite often severe famines led to large scale migration of the
population within the empire, and in some cases they even left India. Some Mughal emperors did try
initiatives to alleviate the problems, but most of the time it was a case of too little too late. These famines
had a detrimental effect on the economy.
Industry had been developing and by the Mughal period was very diversified and involved a large number
of people. The range and volume of products manufactured by Indian industries was very large, catering
to not only a large domestic demand but also to a large international demand. The most important industry
of this period was that of making cotton cloth. Several cotton manufacturing units were scattered across
the country, catering to a huge demand. Bengal was renowned for its fine quality silk and cotton cloth. In
fact it was said, that the amount of cloth produced in Bengal was more than most of the kingdoms of India
and Europe put together. With the cloth industry so successful, the dyeing was also doing very well.
Shawl and carpet weaving were also important industries, receiving major patronage during the time of
Akbar. The ship building industry also remained important, although India was no longer a major
maritime country. The State, while encouraging Industry did not directly support it financially, a task
undertaken by various middlemen. This was regrettable, for the industrialists were often exploited by such
middlemen. They were also exploited by corrupt nobles and officers who often forced them to sell goods
at low prices. The irony of the situation was that although the craftsmen were being deprived of the fair

value of their commodities, it was because of the nobles and officers that there was a demand for the work
they produced. The nobles and officers having fine tastes encouraged the development of high quality
work.
Currency also began to develop with the return of a stable power. Standardized coins were issued in gold,
silver and copper. The coins were of superb quality and often had interesting artistic designs. The
important matter ofcourse was that currency was now seen as a reliable method of exchange, with the
Mughal coins being a respected unit of value.
India had flourishing trade relations with many parts of the world, with foreign trade being an important
part of the Indian economy. The chief Indian imports of the time were, raw silks, gold, ivory, precious
stones, perfumes, horses and slaves. Chief exports included textiles, spices, opium and indigo. The land
routes usually went via Afghanistan, but land transportation was not very safe or reliable. River and sea
transport were the popular choices. Customs duties during the period were very low, it was approximately
3.5% on all imports and exports. European traders were also beginning to play an important role in Indian
trade, with many of them setting up warehouses and distribution points in the empire. Most European
goods however were affordable only by the rich.
The economy flourished during the Mughal period, though it began to deteriorate after the death of
Aurangzeb. After the decline of the Mughal empire the country was thrown back into chaos which caused
much damage to the Indian economy. With the rise of the British in India, towards the 18th Century, and
their conversion of India into a colony, the economy stagnated and in fact took several steps back.
By the time of the Mughals, cities had grown in importance. The expanding economy now needed
urbanization and a fixed market in order to succeed. Earlier, there were usually weekly markets where
people from surrounding regions would congregate at a particular place on a particular day. Once the
economy started growing, many trade centres developed which soon grew into prosperous cities. Many
Indian cities of that time, according to travelling foreigners, were better than those in Asia and Europe.
Communication and transport facilities had also improved during the time of the Mughals and Sher Shah.
There were several metalled highways reaching various places of the empire. River transport was also
important, especially those which were navigable throughout the year. River transport was a cheap and
fast way of transporting goods over long distances. Bridges were also constructed to speed up the
movement of land transport. Such initiatives and conditions were important contributing factors to the
development of the economy.

Agriculture continued to remain an important part of the economy, but the crops and techniques still
remained largely unchanged. Irrigation was largely absent although some areas did have access to canals
and water works. A variety of food and cash crops were grown. The textile industry was booming and
hence there was tremendous demand for cotton and silk which were important cash crops. Tobacco,
introduced sometime in 1604 also became an important cash crop. One negative aspect of the Mughal
administration was that they did not make any major efforts in agricultural development. Hence the
citizens were subject to various famines, which had devastating results. With no assistance from the
centre, the situation was usually grim. Quite often severe famines led to large scale migration of the
population within the empire, and in some cases they even left India. Some Mughal emperors did try
initiatives to alleviate the problems, but most of the time it was a case of too little too late. These famines
had a detrimental effect on the economy.
Industry had been developing and by the Mughal period was very diversified and involved a large number
of people. The range and volume of products manufactured by Indian industries was very large, catering
to not only a large domestic demand but also to a large international demand. The most important industry
of this period was that of making cotton cloth. Several cotton manufacturing units were scattered across
the country, catering to a huge demand. Bengal was renowned for its fine quality silk and cotton cloth. In
fact it was said, that the amount of cloth produced in Bengal was more than most of the kingdoms of India
and Europe put together. With the cloth industry so successful, the dyeing was also doing very well.
Shawl and carpet weaving were also important industries, receiving major patronage during the time of
Akbar.
Currency also began to develop with the return of a stable power. Standardized coins were issued in gold,
silver and copper. The coins were of superb quality and often had interesting artistic designs. The
important matter ofcourse was that currency was now seen as a reliable method of exchange, with the
Mughal coins being a respected unit of value.
India had flourishing trade relations with many parts of the world, with foreign trade being an important
part of the Indian economy. The chief Indian imports of the time were, raw silks, gold, ivory, precious
stones, perfumes, horses and slaves. Chief exports included textiles, spices, opium and indigo. The land
routes usually went via Afghanistan, but land transportation was not very safe or reliable. River and sea
transport were the popular choices. Customs duties during the period were very low, it was approximately
3.5% on all imports and exports. European traders were also beginning to play an important role in Indian
trade, with many of them setting up warehouses and distribution points in the empire. Most European
goods however were affordable only by the rich.