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Mughal Empire

      The administrative system of Mughals was centralized one. The king had absolute powers. He was assisted by a number of ministers in the administration. The important ministers were:
a) Vakil - Prime Minister;
b) Diwan or Wazir - Finance Minister;
c) Mir Bakshi - Inspection of Mansabdars and disbursement of salaries;
d) Sadar-us--Sadar - looked after endowment and charity departments.

      There was not much administrative reforms during the period of Babar and Humayun since they ruled for a short period. During the period Akbar a number of administrative reforms were introduced. Akbar introduced subedary system and other Mughal rulers followed this system. The Mughal empire was divided into a number of provinces called Subas. Subas were kept under the control of Viceroys called Subedar. There were 15 subas during the period of Akbar. Subas were divided into Sarkars. Sarkar was headed by Faujdar. He maintained law and order and collected revenue in the Sarkars. Sarkars were again divided into Parganas. Pargana was kept under the control of Chaudari. In big towns an officer called Kotwal looked after the municiapal and police duties.

      Akbar introduced Mansabdari system in the army in 1571 A.D. The word "Mansab" means office or rank. Every officer of the Mughal state held a Mansab and assigned 10 to 10000 cavalry. There were nearly 33 grades of Mansabdars. Rajputs and other Hindus and feudarory kings were appointed as Mansabdars. Mansabdars were recrueted, promoted and dismissed by the emperor. Mansabdars were paid a fixed salary. The Mugal army consisted infatry, cavalry, elephantry and artillery. The practice of taking descriptive rolls and branding of horses was followed to prevent corruption.

      Akbar introduced a system of scientific taxation of land called Bandobast system with the help of his finance minister Raja Todarma. The lands were measured, classified and then rates were fixed. The lands were classified into four categories i.e. Polaj, Parauti, Chachhar and Banjar. Revenue was fixed 1/3 of each category. Settlement was fixed for 10 years. Tenets paid to the governor without the intervention of middle man. Hence this system is called Roytwari system.

      The Mughals were sunnis. Except Aurangzeb the rest were not bigots. Akbar was tolerant towards all religions. He abolished Pilgrimage tax on Hindus in 1563 A.D. He abolished "Jizya" tax on Hindus in 1564 A.D. Akbar built a new building called the Ibadat Khana (House of Worship) at Fatepur Sikri and invited scholars of different religions to hold discussions. He was not satisfied with any religion and decided to unite in his own person the authority of ruler and religious head and a proclamation was made accourdingly in 1579 A.D. Akbar founded a new religion called Din-i-Ilahi in 1582 A.D. But he never compelled anyone to embrace his new religion. Except Raja Birba no Hindu joined in this religion. Aurangzeb followed Anti-Hindu policy and prohibited Hindu festivals. This resulted many revolts.

      There were Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians in the society. Hindus were the majority. Casteism was deep rooted in the society. Inter caste marriages were prohibited. People of lower strata were the untouchables. Akbar was against the child marriages. He prohibited the practice of Sati in Hindus society.

      Agriculture was the main occupation of the people. The main crops grown were Wheat, Barly, Rice, Sugar-cane, Indigo, Cereals, etc. There was heavy taxation on farmers. Textile industry was the most important during this period. Ahmadabad, Jaunpur, Fatehpur and dacca were the important centres of textile industry. Sugar industry was developed in Bengal, Gujarat and Punjab. Trade and commerce was flourished. The main items of export were Opium, Indigo, Handloom textimes, spices etc.

      Intermingling of both Hindus and Muslims paved the way for the cultural advancement of the country. Number of books were written in Urdu, Sanskrit, Persian and Hindi. Babar wrote Tuzuk-i-Babari in Turkish. It was translated into persian. Darashuko, son of Shajahan, translated number of books into persian from other languages and vice-versa. Number of works were done in regional languages also.

      Mughals patronized art and architecture. The period of Shahjahan was the Golden Age of Mughal architecture. He built a new capital at Delhi called Shajahanabad. He built Red Fort at Delhi, Taj Mahal at Agra, Juma Masjid and Moti Masjid etc. Shalimar Garden at Shahdra and Wazir Bagh in Kashmir were the famous gardens. The famous musician Tansen was in the court of Akbar. Abdul Hamid Lahari and Inayat Khan were the court historians of Shahjahan.

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