HIS282Y1 Lecture Notes - East India Company, Dara Shikoh, Aurangzeb

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1 Dec 2011
October 17th
Rasa man singh, Rasa Todar Mal, Din-I-Ilahi, Ibat Khana, Fate Pur Sikri, Sirhindi, Dara
Shikoh (1564-1624)
Society in the Mughal empire, the entry of the east India trading company and the
contest it presented,a also look at why the British came in.
From last class:
Mansabdars- mansa=holder of a rank, noble
Subadar is a head of provincial government, jagirdar is the person who has right to
collect revenue from the land (a section of land) and get a certain % of this revenue.
So all of these overlap, as rank holders have land and are administrators etc, it’s an
overlapping of social, political and economic power. The british rule is like a grid,
strictly divided.
What the Mughals do is redefine the tribute givers as people of the system, as
zamindars, from tribute givers to office holders, even if they hold very little land and
are therefore small office holders. Because the positions overlap it’s a very flexible
system. For example if you are the land holder but also literate and knowing math
you can become the accountant of the land as well. The Mughals manage to bring
new categories of people into their system. Zamindars are generally literate, well
educated classes.
The Mughal nobility and its court is described in the language of splendor but what
does this actually mean? The Mughal nobility is extremely ethnically diverse, the
giving of rank and status rather than forced cohesion is how the nobility is held
together. There is an image of Mughal excessiveness, but actually less than 5% of
the budget is spend on the imperial household and over half of it is spent on
keeping a huge military establishment. The imperial budget is run in a very
disciplined way along military lines. Noble consumption is actually evidence of the
increased monetization and wealth of the empire, especially under Akbar. The
Mughal system isn’t one that hoards coins and silver and gold as the Europeans
thought, it actually has a growth of a monetized economy and you need that to pay
the growing bureaucracy.
Akbar and his policies of alliance and how he managed an empire of non-muslim
subjects. Akbar has hindus as mansabdars, at the highest positions of his
administration. His finance minister is a Rajput and also … he abolishe the jizya tax
on non-believer and replaces the muslim calendar with a solar one. Hinduism and
Sufism are mixed together as well as zorastrianism which is the religion of Persia
before Islam. What he promotes is the Din-i-ilahi, divine belief, promoting diverse
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