The Mughal empire remained a dynamic, centralized, and complex organization for nearly one hundred and seventy years (1556-1719). The emperor commanded cadres of loyal officials and soldiers who carried out his orders in each province. As official needs dictated, men, money, information, and resources were moved throughout the empire on a regular and routine basis. Mughal success was the result of hard-working, active rulership exercised by exceptionally capable rulers who served as their own chief executives.
The Mughal empire was one of the most powerful centralized states in pre-modern history. By the late 1600s, the Mughal emperor wielded supreme political power over a population of 100 to 150 million people and lands encompassing the majority of the Indian subcontinent.
The “Great Mughal’s” wealth and grandeur were legendary. His coffers held the plunder of dozens of conquered dynasties’ treasures, and his regalia and throne displayed some of the most spectacular precious stones ever mounted. The opulence and sophistication of the Mughal empire impressed almost all observers. The imperial court’s ceremonies, etiquette, music, poetry, and exquisitely executed paintings and objects merged to form a distinct aristocratic high culture. Mughal courtly culture retained its allure and power long after the empire had shrunk to a mere shell. Today, the Mughal style, as represented in miniature paintings or well-known structures such as the Taj Mahal, has an immediate and powerful appeal.
Mughals’ Relation With Other Rulers
Mughal rulers had a policy of constantly campaigning against rulers who refused to accept their authority. However, as the Mughals grew in power, many other rulers voluntarily joined them. Rajputs are a prime example of this. Many of them married their daughters into Mughal families and rose to positions of power. At the same time, many people resisted the Mughals.
For a long time, the Sisodia Rajputs refused to accept Mughal authority. However, once defeated, the Mughals treated them honorably, returning their lands as assignments. Watan is back as a task, which is Watan Jagir. As a result, the Mughals never humiliated or defeated their opponents. The Mughals were able to extend their influence over many kings and chieftains thanks to their careful balance of defeating but not humiliating their opponents.
Mughals’ relation with Rajputs
The Mughal Rajput alliance arose in the sixteenth century in response to the political needs and ambitions of the country’s two most powerful ruling elites, the Mughal and the Rajput. In the context of the empire’s relatively slow expansion and limited economic progress, the two nurtured their relationship. Akbar was both a wise statesman and an aggressive imperialist in his day. To consolidate and conquer his empire, he used a novel policy known as the Akbar Policy of Rajput.
Reason to keep friendly relations with Rajputs
- When Humayun returned to India, he pursued a deliberate strategy of attempting to win over India’s various rulers. He entered into matrimonial relations with them, according to Abul Fazl, to “soothe the minds of the zamindars.”
- When Jamal Khan Mewati, Hasan Khan Mewati’s cousin and ‘one of India’s great jagirdars,’ submitted to Humayun, he married his daughters himself and married the younger sister to Bairam Khan.
- Akbar expanded and refined this policy over time. He claimed that the Rajputs were a brave and valiant people who could not be easily crushed by warfare.
The Rajputs had strained relations with Babur and Humayun. Only Akbar correctly recognized the Rajputs as brave and courageous people who could not be easily crushed by warfare. As a result, he set himself the task of winning over the Rajputs. He devised a matrimonial alliance scheme with the Rajputs. He granted the Rajputs freedom of worship and conscience. Those who allied with Akbar were largely left in command of their kingdoms. He resorted to warfare when conciliation failed.
His ‘carrot and stick policy won over the Rajputs, and they became an integral part of the Mughal empire. Jahangir carried on his father’s Rajput policy. The Rajputs continued to serve the empire during Shah Jahan’s reign, though not in the same prominent position that they had during Akbar’s. Aurangzeb reversed the previous policy, undoing Akbar’s work. He turned valuable allies into dangerous adversaries. Second, the areas to the north and south of Rajputana were fertile and could provide a significant source of revenue. This region was crisscrossed by important trade routes that connected Gujarat to the north Indian plain. Finally, Rajputana was home to a number of formidable forts, such as Chittor and Ranthambore, which were legendary for their ability to withstand sieges.
Successors Followed Akbar’s Rajput Policy
- The Rajput policy of Akbar’s successors, Jahangir and Shah Jahan was continued. Jahangir married both a Kachhwaha princess and a Jodhpur princess, his mother being a Rajput princess.
- He also married princesses from the families of Jaisalmer and Bikaner. The rulers of each of these houses were elevated to positions of honor by Jahangir.
- Prince Salim, Harkha Bhai’s son, married Raja Bhagwan Das’s daughter.
- The resolution of the outstanding dispute with Mewar, however, was Jahangir’s main achievement.
- Prince Khurram (later Shah Jahan) was tasked with leading a large army into the mountainous areas of Mewar.
- Jahangir finished Akbar’s task and solidified his alliance with the Rajputs.
- Because of Akbar’s broadminded Rajput policy, the Mughal Empire reached the pinnacle of progress in all spheres. The Rajputs’ cooperation increased the military power of the Mughal empire.
- The Rajput kings were assured of their hereditary claims, which benefited the weaker state significantly. Religious freedom was also granted to the Rajputs. Thus, the Mughal empire benefited greatly from Mughal’s liberal Rajput policy.
Aurangzeb Diplomatic Relations
- Aurangzeb decided to abandon the futile battle for kandahar and quietly resume diplomatic relations with Iran.
- As a result, the Mughals were able to keep a scientific frontier in the northwest based on the Hindukush, with Qandahar serving as its outer bastion.
- Its primary focus was friendship with Persia, notwithstanding momentary hurdles related to the Qandahar dispute.
- The frequently expressed desire to retake the Mughal homelands was only ever expressed as a diplomatic gimmick.
The military and diplomatic tactics of the Mughals were extremely successful in keeping outside invaders out of India for a very long time.
- The Safavids, who asserted a special place due to their connection to the Prophet, and the Ottoman sultans, who adopted the title of Padshah-i-Islam and asserted to be the successors of the caliph of Baghdad, were two other important Asian kingdoms that the Mughals insisted on equal relations with.
FAQs on Mughals
Question 1: The Mughals choose Persian as their official language, but why?
Due to the fact that Babur, the first Mughal emperor, was an Afghani, Persian was the official language of the Mughal Empire. Persian originated in Iran and migrated to Afghanistan. The Persian language was also brought to India by the Mughal empire.
Question 2: Why did the Mughals maintain good relations with the Rajputs?
Initially, the Mughals were tolerant of the Rajputs. Prior to Akbar, Humayun had entered into matrimonial relations in order to “soothe the minds of the zamindars” (Abul Fazl). Humayun advised Akbar to maintain good relations in order to obtain service and obedience from the Rajputs, as they could not be raised with transgression. Following his coronation, Akbar began matrimonial relations with the Rajputs. Matrimonial relationships represented both a bond and submission.
Question 3: What is the relationship of the Mughals to other rulers?
Many Indian rulers began to recognize Mughal supremacy, and the Mughals campaigned and fought against rulers who refused to submit to them. To advance in the Mughal Empire, Rajputs married their daughters into Mughal families. For a long time, the Sisodiya Rajputs refused to accept Mughal supremacy, but when they were defeated, they were honorably given their land back and made vassals of the Mughal Empire. This balance, in which the Mughals defeated but did not humiliate the enemy, assisted them in extending their rule over much of India.
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