Short Answer Questions
Name two important sources which provide information about the Mughals.
Two important sources which provide information about the Mughals are:
- Ain-i-Akbari — A set of five books written by Abul Fazal during reign of Akbar which provides information about the administration and culture of that period.
- The Taj Mahal — Mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal at Agra which provides information about architecture of Mughal period.
Name the author of Ain-i-Akbari. Name any two subjects of this book.
The author of Ain-i-Akbari was Abul Fazl.
Two subjects of this book are:
- Imperial administration.
- Servants of emperor, the military and civil services.
Who invited Babur to India? Why?
Babur was invited by Daulat Khan Lodhi who was Governor of Punjab.
Daulat Khan Lodhi invited Babur to India to oust Ibrahim Lodhi from the throne. Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi in First Battle of Panipat and occupied Delhi and Agra.
Between whom was the First Battle of Panipat fought? What was the outcome of the battle?
The First Battle of Panipat (1526) was fought between Babur and Ibrahim Lodhi.
In this battle Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi and occupied Delhi and Agra.
Between whom was the Battle of Haldighati fought? Who was defeated by Akbar at this Battle?
The Battle of Haldighati was fought between Maharana Pratap, the ruler of Mewar and the Mughal army led by Raja Man Singh.
Maharana Pratap was defeated by Akbar at this Battle.
Mention any two steps taken by Akbar to promote better understanding between the Hindus and the Muslims.
Two steps taken by Akbar to promote better understanding between the Hindus and the Muslims were:
- Akbar abolished the poll tax or jizyah, which the non-muslims were required to pay. He also abolished the pilgrim tax on bathing at holy places such as Prayag and Benaras. Further, he abolished the practice of forcibly converting prisoners of war to Islam.
- To strengthen the liberal principles, Akbar enrolled a number of Hindus into the nobility. While most of these were Rajput Rajas, many of whom entered into matrimonial alliances with Akbar, mansabs (position or rank) were given to others on the basis of their competence.
Name the two taxes abolished by Akbar.
The two taxes abolished by Akbar were:
- Poll tax (Jizyah).
- Pilgrim tax.
What principles did Akbar's Din-i-Illahi promote?
Akbar's Din-i-Illahi promote the principle of oneness of God. The new religion stressed on virtues like courage, loyalty and justice. It also demanded loyalty to the Emperor. The basic purpose of forming Din-i-Illahi was Sulh-kul or universal harmony which governed all public policies of Akbar.
Why did Akbar build the Ibadat Khana?
Akbar build the Ibadat Khana or the Hall of Prayer at Fatehpur Sikri to discuss religious and spiritual matters. He used to call selected theologians of all religions, mystics and intellectuals at Ibadat khana.
Name the title given to the heads of the revenue department and the military department respectively in the Mughal Empire.
The title given to the head of the revenue department was 'diwan' or 'diwan-i-ala' and the title given to the head of military department was 'mir bakshi'.
Who were mansabdars? How were they paid?
The term 'mansab' means rank or position and the term mansabdar refers to an individual who holds a mansab. The mansabdars formed the ruling group in the Mughal empire. Almost the whole nobility, the bureaucracy as well as the military hierarchy, had mansabs. The lowest rank in the system was 10, and the highest was 5000 for nobles. It was a grading system used by Mughals to fix rank, salary and military responsibilities.
Mansabdars were paid salaries as revenue assignments called jagirs. They had rights to the revenue of their assignments which was collected from their jagirs by their servants.
List any two social reforms that were introduced by Akbar.
Two social reforms that were introduced by Akbar were:
- Akbar raised the age of marriage to 14 for girls and 16 for boys.
- Akbar legalised widow remarriage.
With reference to the Mughal Empire, explain briefly the significance of the following:
(b) Taj Mahal
(c) Red Fort
(a) Ain-i-Akbari — Ain-i-Akbari was a part of a large project of history writing commissioned by Akbar. Written by Abul Fazl, it is regarded as a precious source material for knowing the administration and culture during the reign of Akbar. The Ain-i-Akbari is divided into five books. The first book deals with the imperial household. The second book deals with the servants of the emperor, military and civil services. The third book deals with the imperial administration. It consists of the regulations for the judicial and executive departments, and the division of empire. The fourth book contains information about Hindu philosophy, science, social customs and literature. The fifth book contains the wise sayings of Akbar. It also contains an account of the ancestry and biography of the author, Abul Fazl.
(b) Taj Mahal — It was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is mausoleum of both of them. It is built at Agra on the banks of the river Yamuna. It was designed by Ustad Isha Khan. It is made up of pure white marble. The main structure is constructed on a high platform. On each corner of this platform there is a minaret. The central dome rises to the height of 56.1 metres. The interior has an octagonal chamber with an inverted lotus ceiling. The actual graves are in lower chamber, underground. The walls of the entire structure are decorated with floral designs. The Taj Mahal brought together all the architectural forms developed by the Mughals like massive domes of marble, pietra dura (method of decoration) and kiosks (chhatris).
(c) Red Fort — The Red Fort was built by Shah Jahan on the bank of river Yamuna. Red sandstone and marble was used in its construction. The fort has massive walls and two gateways. The Western Gateway is known as the Lahori Gate. This gate was used for the emperor's ceremonial purposes. The campus has some impressive buildings like Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas and Moti Masjid. The Diwan-i-Khas is lavishly ornamented hall where the Peacock Throne was placed. The hall was used by the emperor to give audience to the princes of the royal family, nobles and other important dignitaries. The red fort is an important historical monument.
With reference to the Mughal rule, state briefly:
(a) Akbar's policy towards the Rajputs.
(b) Akbar's policy of religious tolerance.
(c) Social reforms introduced by Akbar.
(a) Akbar's policy towards the Rajputs — The Rajput policy of Akbar proved to be one of his greatest achievements. He entered into marriage alliances with Rajputs. Bhara Mal, the ruler of Amber, married his younger daughter, Harkha Bai to Akbar. Akbar not only gave complete freedom to his wives who followed Hinduism but also gave an honoured place to their parents and relations in nobility. The Rajputs were also made equal partners in the Mughal government, it considerably affected the public policies of the Mughals and greatly helped in the growth of a composite culture. Thus, the Rajput policy of Akbar ended the centuries old animosity between the Muslim rulers and the Rajputs.
(b) Akbar's policy of religious tolerance — Akbar took a number of measures to promote greater understanding between the Hindus and the Muslims. The major steps taken by him were:
- He abolished the poll tax or jizyah as well as pilgrim tax, which the non-muslims were required to pay.
- He abolished the practice of forcible conversion of prisoners of war to Islam.
- Akbar enrolled a number of Hindus into the nobility.
- He built a hall called Ibadat Khana or the hall of prayer at Fatehpur Sikri. At this hall, he used to call selected theologians of all religions, mystics and intellectuals and discuss religious and spiritual matters with them.
- Akbar issued a declaration or mahzar, making him the supreme or final arbiter in religious matters and replaced the power of Ulema by the power of the Emperor.
- He promulgated a new faith called Din-i-Illahi. The basic purpose of forming it was universal harmony or Sulh-kul.
- Akbar set up a big translation department for translating works in Sanskrit, Arabic and Greek into Persian. The books taken for translation were the Singhasan Battisi, the Atharva Veda, the Bible, the Quran, the Mahabharata, the Gita and the Ramayana.
(c) Social reforms introduced by Akbar — Akbar introduced a number of social and educational reforms which were pivotal in upliftment of women. Some of his reforms were:
- He abolished the practice of forcible Sati. However, the women who committed Sati of their own free will were allowed to do so.
- Akbar legalised widow remarriage.
- Akbar was against anyone having more than one wife unless the first wife could not bear children.
- He raised the age of marraige to 14 for girls and 16 for boys.
- He revised the educational syllabus giving more importance to moral education, mathematics and secular subjects like agriculture, geometry, astronomy, logic and history.
With reference to the administrative system in the Mughal period, answer the following questions:
(a) What was the position of the monarch?
(b) Who were the three important ministers?
(c) How was the provincial government organised?
(a) According to Abul Fazl, the office of a true ruler was a very responsible one which depended on divine illumination. Thus, the Mughal Emperor endowed with the divine light was regarded as the vice-regent of God on earth. He ruled the empire with paternal love towards his subjects without distinction of sect or creed. The emperor was the head of the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary and the Army. He was the supreme commander of armed forces and all other commanders were appointed and removed by him. He made laws and issued administrative ordinances. The royal uzuk (small singet ring) was affixed to farmans granting appointments, titles, jagirs etc.
(b) The three ministers in Mughal empire were:
- Vakil or Prime Minister — he was entrusted with great powers in civil and military affairs.
- Diwan or Diwan-i-ala — He was head of revenue department. He was responsible for all income and expenditure.
- Mir Bakshi — He was the head of military department and intelligence and information agencies of the empire.
(c) The Empire was divided into twelve provinces or subahs, which was further subdivided into sarkars and each sarkar into parganas or mahals. Each subah was headed by one governor who was called the subahdar or sipah salar or nazim. He was usually a mansabdar of high rank. His functions included maintenance of law and order, enforcement of imperial decrees, administration of criminal justice and the smooth collection of revenue. The provincial diwan was incharge of revenue administration of the province. Beside them, the other important officials in the province were faujdar, kotwal, bakshi, sadr qazi and muhtasib. The centre appointed the officials of the provinces, sarkars and the parganas. Hence, these divisions were directly responsible to the centre.
With reference to the Mansabdari system, answer the following questions:
(a) What was the Mansabdari system?
(b) What was meant by zat and sawar rank?
(c) Trace the changes in the system from the rule of Jahangir to Aurangzeb.
(a) The Mansabdari system introduced by Akbar was a unique feature of the administrative system of the Mughal Empire. It was a grading system used by the Mughals to fix rank, salary and military responsibilities. Under this system, every officer was assigned a rank (mansab). Thus, the term Mansabdar refers to an individual who holds a mansab, meaning a position or rank. The Mansabdars formed the ruling group in the Mughal empire. Almost the whole nobility, the bureaucracy as well as the military hierarchy, had mansabs. The lowest rank in the system was 10 and the highest was 5000 for nobles. The mansabdars received their salaries as revenue assignments called jagirs. However, they only had rights to the revenue of their assignments, they didn't actually reside in or administer their jagirs.
(b) The Mansabdari system was a grading system used by the Mughals to fix rank, salary and military responsibilities. These ranks were divided into two, namely Zat and Sawar. Zat fixed the personal status of a person and the salary due to him. The higher the Zat, the more prestigious was the noble's position in court and the larger his salary. The Sawar rank indicated the number of cavalrymen or sawar a mansabdar was required to maintain.
(c) Jahangir maintained the Mansabdari system developed by Akbar. But he reduced the average rate of Zat salary from Rs. 240 per annum to Rs. 200 per annum. Shah Jahan reduced the number of sawars a noble was requied to maintain. Thus, a noble was expected to maintain a quota of only one-third of his sawar rank and in some cases, one-fourth. During the reign of Aurangzeb, there was a huge increase in the number of mansabdars. These and other factors created a shortage in the number of jagirs.
Study the picture and answer the following questions:
(a) Who built this fort? Where is it located? State its ceremonial importance in the present?
(b) Mention three important buildings within the fort.
(c) Mention two architectural features of the fort.
(a) This fort was built by Shah Jahan. It is located in Delhi.
Its ceremonial importance in the present lies in the fact that the Prime Minister of India every year unfurls the national flag from its ramparts on Independence day (August 15).
(b) Three important buildings within the fort are:
- Moti Masjid
(c) Two architectural features of the fort are:
- The fort has massive walls and two gateways. The Western Gateway is known as the Lahori Gate.
- Red sandstone and marble were used in its construction.
Study the picture and answer the following questions:
(a) Who built this monument? Where is it located? Of which material is this monument built?
(b) Name the person who designed this monument. Why was the monument erected? What is the method of decoration of this monument called?
(c) State the four features of this monument which reflect the Mughal style of architecture.
(a) This monument was built by Shah Jahan. It is located on the bank of river Yamuna in Agra. This monument is built of pure white marble.
(b) This monument was designed by Ustad Isha Khan.
Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal as her mausoleum.
The method of decoration of this monument is called pietra dura.
(c) The four features of this monument which reflect the Mughal style of architecture are:
- The massive central dome of Marble.
- Pietra dura inlay work.
- Presence of kiosks (chhatris).
- Presence of Minar.