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History — Chapter 10

Akbar and His Times

Class 7 - Effective History & Civics Solutions


Complete the following

Question 1

Two Deccan kingdoms annexed by Akbar.

Answer

(a) Khandesh

(b) Ahmadnagar

Question 2

Two Rajputs appointed to high positions.

Answer

(a) Raja Bihari Mal

(b) Raja Man Singh

Question 3

Two Rajput kingdoms whose princesses were married to Akbar.

Answer

(a) Amer

(b) Bikaner

Question 4

Two ranks into which each mansab was divided.

Answer

(a) Zat

(b) Sawar

Question 5

Two buildings built by Akbar.

Answer

(a) Agra Fort

(b) Buland Darwaza

Match the following

Question 1

Sl. No.Column AColumn B
1.Bairam KhanAin-i-Akbari
2.Rana PratapDahsala System
3.Mir BakshiAkbar's Regent
4.Todar MalBattle of Haldighati
5.Abul FazalHead of Military Department

Answer

Sl. No.Column AColumn B
1.Bairam KhanAkbar's Regent
2.Rana PratapBattle of Haldighati
3.Mir BakshiHead of Military Department
4.Todar MalDahsala System
5.Abul FazalAin-i-Akbari

Fill in the blanks

Question 1

Akbar was born at Amarkot in Rajasthan.

Question 2

The Second Battle of Panipat was fought between the Mughals and the Afghan forces led by Hemu.

Question 3

The basic purpose of the formation of Din-i-Illahi by Akbar was Sulh-i-kul or universal harmony.

Question 4

Buland Darwaza was built by Akbar to commemorate his victory in Gujrat.

Question 5

Jaswant and Daswant were two famous painters at Akbar’s court.

Answer the following

Question 1

What steps were taken by Akbar to expand his empire?

Answer

To expand his empire, Akbar adopted two methods – direct conquest and matrimonial alliances. He conquered Malwa, Gondwana, Gujarat, Bengal, Bihar, Kabul, Kashmir, Sind and Qandahar. He asked the rulers of Khandesh, Bijapur, Golconda and Ahmadnagar to accept his overlordship and pay tribute but when they refused, he waged war against them and annexed Berar, Khandesh and Ahmadnagar.
To get the support of Rajputs, he adopted a friendly policy towards them and appointed them at high positions in administration. Akbar made Rajputs his relatives through matrimonial alliances. He married the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amer, Harka Bai. He also married two Rajput princesses of Bikaner. However, Akbar followed an aggressive policy towards those Rajput rulers who refused to accept his suzerainty. Thus, with his policy of conquest and matrimonial alliances, Akbar expanded his empire.

Question 2

Explain briefly the policy adopted by Akbar towards the Rajputs.

Answer

Akbar had realised that he needed the support of Rajputs to consolidate his empire so he adopted a friendly policy towards them. He appointed the Rajputs at high positions in the administration. For example, Raja Bihari Mal and his son Bhagwandas, Raja Man Singh, Raja Todar Mal, Birbal, etc., were given high posts in the administration.
Akbar made Rajputs his relatives through matrimonial alliances. He married the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amer, Harka Bai. He also married two Rajput princesses of Bikaner.
However, Akbar followed an aggressive policy towards those Rajput rulers who refused to accept his suzerainty. For example, Mewar refused to accept Mughal suzerainty. The Rajputs led by Rana Pratap of Mewar fought a furious battle with the Mughal forces at Haldighati. The Rajputs were defeated and Rana Pratap escaped into a mountain fortress.

Question 3

How was the administration run during Akbar’s reign? Briefly explain the functions of some of the important ministers.

Answer

One of the significant contributions of Akbar’s reign was the establishment of an efficient administrative system. His administrative system can be grouped under two heads — Central Administration and Provincial Administration.

Central Administration — Akbar setup a strong centralised government. The emperor was the supreme authority whose decision on all matters — political, military and judicial — was final. He was the Commander-in-Chief of the army and the supreme judge. The emperor was assisted by a Council of ministers. Some of the important ministers were:

  1. Wakil or Prime Minister – During Akbar’s reign, Wakil’s power were reduced and he was only a ceremonial head.
  2. Wazir or Diwan – He was head of the revenue department. He was responsible for all income and expenditure and held control over khalisa, jagir and inam lands.
  3. Mir Bakshi – He was head of the military department.
  4. Mir Saman – He was in charge of the imperial household, royal workshops.
  5. Qazi – He was head of the judiciary.

Provincial Administration — Akbar divided his empire into 15 provinces. Each province or Suba was governed by a Subedar. Diwan was another important minister in the province to keep records of the land revenue. The provinces were further divided into districts and villages. A number of officers were appointed to manage the affairs of the districts and villages.

Question 4

Explain the main features of the Mansabdari system.

Answer

To maintain his hold over a vast empire, Akbar required a huge army and an efficient administration. He realised his objectives by means of the Mansabdari system. Under this system, those who joined Mughal service were enrolled as mansabdars and were given a rank known as the mansab. Each rank was further divided into zat and sawar. Zat rank meant the personal status and salary due to him, whereas, sawar rank indicated the number of cavalrymen (sawars) a mansabdar was required to maintain. The higher the zat, the more prestigious was the officer’s position in the court and the higher his salary. The lowest rank was 10 and the highest was 7000. The salary of the mansabdar was paid by assigning him the revenue of a jagir. The mansabdars only had rights to the revenue of their jagirs. They did not actually administer their jagirs.

Question 5

What was Din-i-Ilahi? What were its main principles?

Answer

Din-i-Ilahi was a system of religious beliefs introduced by Akbar in 1582. Din-i-Ilahi means divine faith. This new faith included the good points of all religions. The basic purpose of formation of Din-i-Ilahi was Sulh-i-Kul or universal harmony. The main principle in this faith were:

  1. Not to discriminate between people of different religions.
  2. It focused on a system of ethics like justice, peace, honesty, etc. which were universally applicable.
  3. There were no sacred books, no priests, no temples or rituals in this faith.
  4. The members of the faith were to follow a code of conduct which included —
    1. not to eat meat, at least in month of their birth
    2. to give alms on their birthday
    3. to do good to everybody.

Question 6

Who were ‘Navratnas’? Name three of them.

Answer

Akbar’s court was adorned by nine distinguished men from different fields. They were called the ‘Navratnas’. Three of them were as follows:

  1. Abul Fazl, who wrote Akbar Nama and Ain-i-Akbari.

  2. Faizi, who translated the Mahabharata and Ramayana into Persian.

  3. Birbal, his constant companion, famous for his intelligence and sharp wit.

Question 7

Write short notes on the following:

(a) Painting during Akbar’s reign.

(b) Akbar’s religious policy.

(c) Akbar’s social and educational reforms.

Answer

(a) Painting during Akbar's reign — During Akbar's reign, painting was organised in royal karkhanas, where painters from different parts of the country used to make beautiful paintings. These artists blended the Persian and Indian style of paintings. The scenes depicted in these paintings included hunting and court scenes in peacock blue and red colours. Paintings were also used for illustrating Persian books. The most important work on painting in this era was Dastan-i-Amir-Hamza or Hamzanama which has about 1200 paintings. Jaswant and Daswant were the two famous painters of Akbar’s court.

(b) Akbar's religious policy — Akbar followed a policy of religious tolerance and believed in administering equal justice to the followers of all religions. He took a number of measures to provide equal rights to all citizens, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

  1. He abolished Jizya, the tax collected from non-Muslims and the pilgrim tax on bathing at holy places such as Prayag and Banaras.
  2. He treated all his subjects equally, gave high posts according to merit without any distinction of caste, creed or religion.
  3. He married Rajput princesses and allowed them freedom to practise their own faith. He also allowed them to celebrate festivals like Diwali and Holi and himself used to take part in these festivals.
  4. He gave land grants to persons of merit, irrespective of their religious belief.

(c) Akbar's social and educational reforms — During Akbar’s reign, a number of social and educational reforms took place.

  1. 'Sati' pratha was abolished and widow remarriage was legalised.
  2. Age of marriage was raised to 14 for girls and 16 for boys.
  3. Sale of wine and spirits was restricted.
  4. Akbar revised the educational syllabus and laid more stress on moral education and on secular subjects rather than on religion and theology.
  5. Akbar set up a translation department for translating works in Sanskrit, Arabic and Greek.

Picture study

Question 1

Study the picture and answer the following questions:

Study the picture and answer the questions. Identify the building in the picture. Where is it located? Name the ruler who got this building constructed. What is the significance of this building? Name five other important buildings constructed by this ruler. State the significant features of his rule. Akbar and His Times, Effective History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 7.

(a) Identify the building given in the picture. Where is it located?

(b) Name the ruler who got this building constructed. What is the significance of this building?

(c) Name five other important buildings constructed by this ruler.

(d) State the significant features of his rule.

Answer

(a) The building given in the picture is Buland Darwaza. It is located in the city of Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh.

(b) Buland Darwaza was constructed by Akbar. It was built to commemorate his victory in Gujarat.

(c) Five other important buildings constructed by Akbar are

  1. Panch Mahal
  2. Diwan-i-Khas
  3. Jami Masjid
  4. Jodha Bai's palace
  5. The tomb of Salim Chisti.

(d) The significant features of Akbar's rule can be summarised as below:

  1. Conquest — He conquered Malwa, Gondwana, Gujrat, Bengal, Bihar, Kabul, Kashmir, Sind and Qandahar; and in deccan he annexed Berar, Khandesh and Ahmednagar.
  2. Rajput Policy — He adopted a friendly policy towards Rajputs and used matrimonial alliances to build strong relations with them. However, he followed an agressive policy towards those Rajput rulers who refused to accept his suzerainty.
  3. Administration — He set up strong centralised government to control central and provincial administration. He gave political and administrative unity to his vast empire.
  4. Mansabdari System — This was a unique system used by Akbar in order to have a large army and effecient control over mansabs.
  5. Revenue System — He introduced a very effecient revenue system with the help of his revenue minister, Todar Mal. It is also known as Zabti or dahsala system.
  6. Akbar's Religious Policy — Akbar followed a policy of religious tolerance and never descriminated on religious basis. He did a great service to the nation by bringing about religious unity.
  7. Social and Educational Reforms — He abolished sati and legalised widow remarriage, revised educational syllabus, restricted sale of wine etc.
  8. Cultural Achievements — He promoted art, architecture, literature, music and painting and gave them unique Indian colour. His court was adorned by navratnas.
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