What were the central provinces under the control of the Mughals?
Central provinces under the control of the Mughals were subas and these subas were governed by subadars.
What was the relationship between the mansabdar and the jagir?
Mansabdar was an individual who held a mansab meaning a position or a rank. Mansabdars obtained their salaries in the form of revenue assignments called jagirs. But, most of the mansabdars did not reside in their jagirs. They only had the right to collect revenue from jagirs.
What was the role of the zamindar in Mughal administration?
Zamindars were very important in Mughal administration because they used to collect revenue for the empire. In most of the places, rural elites used to collect taxes for the empire from the peasants. These rural elites were the rural headmen or local chieftains. The term zamindar was used for them by the Mughals. So, these zamindars were very important for collecting revenue.
How were the debates with religious scholars important in the formation of Akbar’s ideas on government?
Akbar called a meeting of different religious scholars in Fatehpur Sikri in 1570. From the discussion of this meeting, he realised that religious scholars who laid stress on rituals and dogma were prejudiced. Their teachings were leading to divisions and unrest among his subjects. Therefore, an idea of sulh-i-kul or universal peace came to him which implied tolerance towards all religions. In a country like India, this idea was very necessary. That is why, he framed a vision of governance around the idea of sulh-i-kul.
Why did the Mughals emphasise their Timurid and not their Mongol descent?
The Mughals were descendants of two great lineages. They were descendants of Genghis Khan from maternal side, and were successors of Timur from paternal side. They did not like to be called as Mongol because Genghis Khan had massacred innumerable people but they were proud of their Timurid ancestry because Timur had captured Delhi in 1398. That is why, they underlined their Timurid and not their Mongol descent.
How important was the income from land revenue to the stability of Mughal Empire?
The main source of income for the Mughal Empire was the taxes collected from the peasants. This source of income was very important for the Mughal emperor to maintain peace and stability in such a large empire. The whole empire was secured and controlled by the military and wealth was required to maintain it. There were a number of jagirdars in the kingdom who were given the right to collect taxes from their jagirs. In this way, land revenue or income from peasants was very necessary for the stability of Mughal Empire.
Why was it important for the Mughals to recruit mansabdars from diverse backgrounds and not just Turanis and Iranis?
It was very important for the Mughals to recruit mansabdars from diverse backgrounds and not just Turanis and Iranis because in the past, mansabdars or nobles belonging to same background had united against the Sultans. Most importantly, the kingdom was so vast where in a number of religious and cultural groups lived together. It was necessary to accommodate all these groups in royal courts as well as in the different provinces. Hence, in order to maintain the stability and peace of the empire, they recruited mansabdars from diverse backgrounds.
Like the Mughal Empire, India today is also made up of many social and cultural units. Does this pose a challenge to national integration?
India is made up of many social and cultural units which do not pose a challenge to national integration because all these social and cultural units mingle with each other and live happily. Their cultures are so interlinked with each other that it is very difficult to separate them from each other. They do not pose a challenge to national integration, but they play a very important role in maintaining national unity.
Do you think this painting suggests that the Mughals claimed kingship as a birthright?
Yes, this painting suggests that the Mughals claimed kingship as a birthright. The painting depicts Timur, and his descendants, i.e., the Mughal emperors. The Mughal emperors were proud of their Timurid ancestry, not only because their great ancestor had captured Delhi in 1398. Mughals did not believe in the idea of giving father’s estate to the eldest son. Instead they adopted Timurid tradition of division of father’s estate among all the sons.
Nobles with a zat of 5,000 were ranked higher than those of 1,000. In Akbar’s reign, there were 29 mansabdars with a rank of 5,000 zat; by Aurangzeb’s reign the number of mansabdars had increased to 79. Would this have meant more expenditure for the state?
No, this did not mean more expenditure for the state. In Akbar’s reign these jagirs were carefully assessed so that their revenues were roughly equal to the salary of the mansadar. By Aurangzeb’s reign this was no longer the case and the actual revenue collected was often less than the granted sum.