Topic outline

    • The Mughal Empire 

      Q37. Write about the major campaigns and events of Shah Jahan reign.

      Ans. Mughal campaigns continued in the Deccan under Shah Jahan. The Afghan noble Khan Jahan Lodi rebelled and was defeated. Campaigns were launched against Ahmadnagar; the Bundelas were defeated and Orchha seized. In the north-west, the campaign to seize Balkh from the Uzbegs was unsuccessful and Qandahar was lost to the Safavids. In 1632 Ahmadnagar was finally annexed and the Bijapur forces sued for peace.


      Q38. What were the main features of sulh-i kul?
      Write short notes on Akbar's religious policy.

      Ans. Akbar introduced the idea of sulh-i kul or “universal peace”. Its main features were:

                             i.        This idea of tolerance did not discriminate between people of different religions in his realm.

                            ii.        Instead it focused on a system of ethics – honesty, justice and peace – that was universally applicable.

      Q39. Why was it important for the Mughals to recruit mansabdars from diverse backgrounds and not just Turanis and Iranis?

      Ans. As the empire expanded to encompass different regions the Mughals recruited diverse bodies of people. From a small nucleus of Turkish nobles (Turanis) they expanded to include Iranians, Indian Muslims, Afghans, Rajputs, Marathas and other groups. Those who joined Mughal service were enrolled as mansabdars.


      Q40. Write a short note on ‘Babur’?

      Ans.  About Babur

                            i.        Babur, the first Mughal emperor (1526-1530), succeeded to the throne of Ferghana in 1494 when he was only 12 years old.

                           ii.        He was forced to leave his ancestral throne due to the invasion of another Mongol group, the Uzbegs.

                          iii.        After years of wandering he seized Kabul in 1504. In 1526 he defeated the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, at Panipat and captured Delhi and Agra.

      Q41. Write short note on Humayun.

      Ans. About Humayun

                             i.        Humayun divided his inheritance according to the will of his father. His brothers were each given a province. The ambitions of his brother Mirza Kamran weakened Humayun’s cause against Afghan competitors. Sher Khan defeated Humayun at Chausa (1539) and Kanauj (1540), forcing him to flee to Iran.

                            ii.        In Iran Humayun received help from the Safavid Shah. He recaptured Delhi in 1555 but died the next year after an accident in this building.


      Q42. How were the debates with religious scholars important in the formation of Akbar’s ideas on governance?

      Ans. Akbar’s interaction with people of different faiths made him realise that religious scholars who emphasised ritual and dogma were often bigots. Their teachings created divisions and disharmony amongst his subjects. This eventually led Akbar to the idea of sulh-i kul or “universal peace”. This idea of tolerance did not discriminate between people of different religions in his realm. Instead it focused on a system of ethics – honesty, justice and peace – that was universally applicable.

      Q43. Why did the Mughals emphasise their Timurid and not their Mongol descent?

      Ans. The Mughals were descendants of two great lineages of rulers. From their mother’s side they were descendants of Genghis Khan (died 1227), ruler of the Mongol tribes, China and Central Asia. From their father’s side they were the successors of Timur (died 1404), the ruler of Iran, Iraq and modern-day Turkey. However, the Mughals did not like to be called Mughal or Mongol. This was because Genghis Khan’s memory was associated with the massacre of innumerable people. It was also linked with the Uzbegs, their Mongol competitors. On the other hand, the Mughals were proud of their Timurid ancestry, not least of all because their great ancestor had captured Delhi in 1398.


      Q44. How important was the income from land revenue to the stability of the Mughal Empire?

      Ans. The main source of income available to Mughal rulers was from land revenue. The Mughal Empire was very large and therefore for administration and maintaining law and order, a huge amount of revenue was needed which comes from the land revenue. The land revenue was also needed for salaries of the soldiers and officials and welfare works for the common people. The enormous wealth and resources commanded by the Mughal elite made them an extremely powerful group of people in the late seventeenth century. Thus, we can say that land revenue played a crucial role in the stability of the Mughal Empire.


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