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Kerala Plus Two History Chapter Wise Questions and Answers Chapter 8 Kings and Chronicles: The Mughal Courts
The founder of the Mughal Empire?
The last ruler of the Mughal Empire?
Bahadur Shah Safar
The administrative language of the Mughal Empire?
The language that came from a mixture of Persian and Hindavi?
Those who opposed the Mughal art and painting?
The author of Badshahnama?
Abdul Hamid Lahori
The ruler who reintroduced Jizya?
The first capital of the Mughals?
The ruler who brought ‘jarokha darshan’ (public audience)?
Finance Minister (Head of Revenue Department) in the Mughal rule was called?
Which Mughal ruler is connected with the 1st Battle of Panipat?
What are Chronicles?
As per the instructions from the Mughal Emperors, the palace historians kept a diary of the important happenings in the country. These are the Chronicles. They talk about the achievements of the Mughal rulers. They also give chronologically important events. Chronicles are an important source to study about the Mughal Capital and Mughal Empire.
Why was Akbar especially interested in Abul Fazl?
Abul Fazl was the writer of Akbamama. Abul was born and brought up in Agra. He was well-versed in Arabic, Persian, Greek Philosophy and Sufism. He was a scholarly debater and had independent thinking. He severely criticised the views of conservative ulamas. Akbar was attracted by these qualities of Abul Fazl and so he appointed him as his advisor and spokesman. Akbar’s intention was to release the nation from the control of orthodox ulamas. As a palace historian, Abul Fazl was able to formulate ideas related to the administration Akbar liked him very much.
What is special about nastaliq style of writing?
Akbar showed great interest in writings in nastaliq script. Nastaliq script is one of the most fluid calligraphy styles for the Arabic alphabet. It has short verticals with no serifs, (serif is a.small line attached to a letter) and long horizontal strokes. It is written using a piece of trimmed reed called “qalam”(“pen” in Arabic) and carbon ink, named “davaf”.
Point out the information we get from the Mughal Chronicles
Chronicles give a chronological account of incidents. The Mughal chronicles are great sources to know about Mughal history.
- They give information regarding the founding of the Mughal Empire.
- They tell us about the policies and schemes the Mughal Kings wanted to implement.
- They tell us how theories of all kinds developed and how they reached the people.
Point out the importance of pictures in the manuscripts of the Mughal period.
Artists, those who made pictures, played a big role in writing the manuscripts. In the Chronicles along with descriptions of things, pictures were also included. They gave a visual picture of things. The manuscript writer left the following page blank if he felt there was a need for a picture to illustrate the matter. In these blank spaces, artists drew pictures. These pictures were small in size and so they were called ‘miniatures’.
The pictures in the manuscripts increased their beauty and utility.
They showed things in a visual manner of things that would be difficult to describe using words, they give a good picture of the country and the power of the rulers.
Which were the Mughal capitals in India?
In 1707 Aurangzeb died. After his death, 13 rulers of the Mughal dynasty ruled India. They were known as Later Mughals. During their rule, the dynasty’s power began to decline. As the Central administration became weak, regional rulers started becoming more and more autonomous. The Later Mughals failed to prevent foreign attacks. Although the Mughal Empire was breaking up, the Mughal rulers tried to maintain their status and glory. They continued symbolically. In 1857, the British dethroned the last Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah Safar II. With this, the Mughal rule ended. The Mughal capitals were Agra (Babur), FatehpurSikri, Lahore (Akbar), Shajahanabad (Shah Jahari).
What were the aims of the Mughal rulers in getting the Chronicles written?
- One of the aims was to let people know the policies of the state.
- Another aim. was to let the enemies of the country know that their efforts were bound to fail and they would be defeated.
- A third aim was to leave the records of the Mughal rule to future generations.
What does ‘zulh-e-kul’ mean? What were the steps taken by Akbar for this?
Zulh-e-kul means complete peace. The Chronicles point out that in the Mughal Empire there were Hindus, Jains, Zorashtrians, Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians. The Emperor, Akbar, was a tolerant person and he extolled the virtues of unity, peace, and stability. He worked with all communities to ensure peace and justice. Thus zulh-e-kul was jan important feature of Akbar’s rule.
- Abul Fazl points out that it was the base of an enlightened rule.
- It helped all the religious groups to have their faith and (nodes of worship. But it did not allow the different groups to fight or jeopardise the security of the country. ,
- Akbar made special efforts to put Zulh-e-kul into practice. It was executed through state policy. He asked all the officials to follow this policy. He also introduced and social and religious reforms to facilitate zulh-e-kul.
- Akbar stopped taking religious taxes. There were taxes for taking bath in the holy places like Prayag and Banaras. Non-Muslims had to pay Jizya. All these were stopped by Akbar as they were religious taxes.
Who introduced jarokha darshan? What was its purpose?
Akbar introduced this. The day of the Emperor started with prayers. Then he would appear in a balcony which faced eastward. Jharoka is this balcony. All kinds of people – soldiers, traders, artisans, agriculturists, women with sick children – waited for this darshan of the Emperor* This is called jharoka darshan. This was a way of getting the support of the people and increasing the acceptability of the government.
From where did the Mughals get the idea of ‘divine light’ (Divya Prakasam)?
Mughals believed in the theory of divine kingship. They believed and propagated that their authority came directly from God. The court historians explained the legend of Queen Alanqua to propagate this divine kingship theory and divya prakasam. Alanqua was taking rest in her camp. She was conceived by the rays of the sun. Her son had bequeathed this divine right to all the future kings. Thus the Mughal king also got this divine light.
What does Abul Fazl say about picture painting. Was it different from the opinion of the Ulamas? Explain.
Abul Fazl qualified picture painting as a magical art. He believed that it had the power to give life to even inanimate things.
Pictures showing the Emperor, the court, and people created constant conflicts between the rulers and the ulamas. These ulamas based their objection on the Koran and Hadith. The ulamas said that making pictures of people is against Islamic law. By making pictures, the artist is questioning the authority of God to create things. They believed that the power of creation belonged entirely to God.
Who was Jahanara? What were her contributions to the architectural field?
Jahanara was the daughter of Shah Jahan. She was in charge of the gardens and buildings. Shah Jahan made a new capital known as Shahjahanabad.
Jahanara was the one who planned many of the buildings in the new capital. Here a two-storeyed inn with a fine sit-out and garden needs special mention. She was the one who planned the Chandni Chowk Bazar, the main center in Shajahanabad.
Describe the processes involved in preparing manuscripts.
Many people were involved in the preparation of a manuscript. They included paper manufacturers, copywriters, guilders (beautifiers), artists (who drew pictures) and binders (those who bound the manuscripts in book form).
- Paper manufacturers prepared the sheets.
- Scribes or calligraphers copied the text. ‘
- Gilders made the pages look fine.
- Artists drew pictures.
- Binders arranged the pages and bound them neatly. The completed manuscript became a valuable thing, a thing of beauty and scholastic treasure. The beauty of the manuscripts showed that the Mughal emperors loved knowledge and beauty.
Akbar is considered the greatest of the Mughal rulers. Why?
Humayun was the father of Akbar. After Humayun’s death in 1556, Akbar became the ruler. Akbar is considered the greatest Mughal ruler. Here are the reasons:
- He not only expanded his empire but also unified it. He made the empire the biggest, strongest and richest at that time.
- He succeeded in extending the boundaries of the Mughal Empire up to the Hindukush Mountain Range.
- He was able to resist the expansion schemes of the Uzbeks in Central Asia and the Safavid dynasty of Iran.
Who was Gulbadan Begum? What were her contributions?
When Akbar asked Abul Fazl to write the history of his rule, he also asked his aunt Gulbadan to help. He asked her the record the memoirs of Babur and Humayun. Akbar thought that this would help Abul Fazl in his work. Gulbadan Began accepted this challenge and wrote a book titled ‘Humyun-nama’. It was the description of Humayun and his rule. It looks into the private life of the Mughals. It is not a book of praise-singing. She has written here about the fights and confrontations among the kings and princes. She has also shown how the elderly ladies of the family helped in solving such disputes.
Different kinds of greetings were in existence in the Mughal court. Describe them.
Different kinds of greetings were in existence in the Mughal Court to show respect for authority. It showed the status of each one in the court.
- Deep Prostration: This was shown to those with the highest power.
- ‘Sijda’: In this a person knelt and touched his forehead on the floor.
- During Shah Jahan’s time, he first introduced ‘zaminbos’ (kissing the ground) and later ‘chartaslim’. Another greeting was kornish. Here the subject places his right palm on his forehead and bows. By bowing his head, the seat of intellect and wisdom, he is showing his respect for the authority.
What were the special features of the Mughal Lordship?
The Mughal lords came from different backgrounds. Members were chosen from different religious and Class and Tribal groups. There were Mughals, Afghans, Turks, Persians, Indian Muslims and Rajputs in this assembly.
How did the word ‘Mughal’ originate? Is it something the Mughals themselves chose? Explain:
Mughal comes from Mongol. Today that name reminds us of the greatness of an Empire. It was not a name that was chosen by the rulers themselves. Through their fathers, the Mughals were the successors of Timur, the ruler of Turkey. They called themselves Timurids. Through his mother, the first Mughal ruler, Babur, had relations with ChengizKhan, the ruler of Mongols. Babur spoke Turkish. He actually considered the Mongols as ‘uncivilized’.
Who were the writers of the Mughal Chronicles? What ware the things they stressed in their writing?
The writers of the Mughal Chronicles were court (palace) historians. They stressed matters connected to the ruler, his family, the court, nobles and lords, wars, administrative arrangements and so on. Their – historical writings were about the Emperors. Thus. we have Akbarnama, Shah Jahannama and Alangirnama (Alangir was a title of Aurangzeb).
What was the administrative language of the Mughals? Why did they choose that language?
Persian was the administrative language. People who were well-versed in it got power and status. The Emperor, his family members and the elite of the court spoke in Persian. It was used at all levels of the administration. Therefore even accountants, clerks and other officials learned it. People who came from different parts of the subcontinent also used Persian.
Who were the successors of Akbar?
His successors were three able rulers – Jahangir (1605-27), Shah Jahan (1628-58) and Aurangzeb (1658-1707).
What were the three special features of Mughal theory „ about kingship?
a) Divine Right of Kings.
c) Social contract.
Shah Jahan was very much interested in architecture.
– Evaluate this statement.
Shah Jahan was greatly interested in architecture. He built some beautiful and imposing buildings. In 1648 he moved his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad. He built the Red Fort, Juma Masjid, Chandni Chowk (an extensive maidan with rows of trees) to include in his new capital Shahjahanabad. The new capital was exquisite enough to show the pomp and greatness of the Mughal Empire.
The center of the Mughal Court was the king. Justify.
The Chronicles show that the administration of the Empire was fully vested in the ruler. He was the supreme authority in administration, judiciary, and military. Others had to simply obey his orders.
When did Mughal Rulers take titles? Did they give titles to others?
Mughal Emperors took many fancy titles. Such titles included common titles like Shahanshah (King of Kings or Rajadhiraja), and special titles like Jehangir (One who conquers the world) and Shah Jahan (King of the World). They took these titles on coming to the throne. These titles indicate that the Mughal emperors had control even beyond the boundaries of their country. Contemporary history talks about diplomatic relations and also conflicts that existed between the Mughal rulers and their neighbors. The reasons for the conflicts were regional interests.
Who were the inmates of the ‘Harem’ of the Mughal rulers? How many types of wives did the rulers have?
The household of the rulers was called harem. Harem is a Persian word meaning a holy place. It included the ruler’s wives, concubines, close and distant relatives including mother, step-mothers, foster-mothers, sisters, daughters, daughters-in-law, aunts, children, maid servants, and slaves.
The mughal rulers had two types of wives – begums and aghas.
Begums came from royal families. They came with a lot of dowry (mahar) by way of things, ornaments and money. They received preferential treatment in their husband’s household. They were given greater consideration by their husbands. The other wives (aghas) were not from royal families.
The Mughal aristocrats were the pillars of the Empire. Do you agree?
The Mughal aristocrats were definitely the supporting pillars of the empire, the main pillar being the ruler. They were the officials and collectively they were called the aristocrats. They were the ruling class. Considering the importance they had during the Mughal period, some historians called the Mughal rule as ‘Rule by the Aristocrats’ or, to use the official name ‘oligarchy’.
Do you think there was a close relationship between the aristocrats (officials) and the Mansabdari system?
There was a close relationship between the aristocrats (officials) and the Mansabdari system. Akbar was the one who introduced the mansabdari system. He did it to organize a strong and efficient army. The civil duties of the mansabdars were combined with their military service.
- In this system each official was given the status of mansab. The person who got it was a mansabdar.
- The status of mansabdar had two aspects – zat and zawar. Zat was a private title. It showed the position of the person in the administrative chain and his salary. Zawar shows the number of cavalrymen a mansabdar had to keep under him.
The Mughal administration had adequate arrangement for keeping the records and exchange information. Evaluate this statement.
The Mughal rulers gave important consideration for maintaining records. All royal orders (farman) were presented in the royal court. All applications and documents were preserved by a group of palace scribes. These scribes or writers were called ‘waqianavis’. They worked under the ‘mir bakshi’ (head of the military). The agents of the aristocrats and the regional authorities recorded all the processes of the royal court under the heading “News from the Exalted Court” or “Akbarat”.
The times and dates of the Royal Court have been recorded here. ‘Akbarat’ has all the details regarding the attendance in the Court, the assigning of jobs and titles, the diplomatic missions, the gifts received and even the enquiries the Emperor made about the health of the officials. This information is quite valuable in writing the life histories and activities of rulers and aristocrats. The Mughal postal system helped in exchanging communication. It was through the royal post that news and official documents were sent all over the country.
There were runners to carry the post and to pass information to the Emperor quickly. It is reported that there were 4000 runners in the country. They carried the papers in the form of scrolls carried in bamboo boxes. They worked all the time with hardly any rest. This postal system (by runners) helped the king to get information from faraway places in record time.
Describe the features of the Mughal Provincial , Administration Do you think it was easy to control the Provinces? Justify.
The Mughal Empire was divided into many Provinces. They were called subas. Provincial Administration was a miniature model of the Central administration. In the Provinces also there were Ministers and officials to help them. The head of the provincial administration was called Subedar (Provincial Governor). He was appointed by the Emperor. The Subedar had to report directly to the Emperor.
- Each province was divided into districts, called sirkars. They were under officials called faujdars (commandants). There were plenty of footmen and gun-carrying soldiers in every district.
- The sirkars were divided into parganas (sub-districts). The officials in charge of parganas were known as qanungo, chaudhuri, and quazi. Qanungo kept the revenue records. Choudhari collected the revenues. Qazi handled judicial matters.
- Parganas were divided into villages. They were administered by gramasabhas.
Kandahar was a problem for the Mughal rulers. Evaluate this statement.
Kandaharwas an important military and commercial city. This was a fort-city and there were conflicting claims about this between the Mughals and the Safavids of Iran. Initially, Kandahar was under Humayun. Two years after the death of Humayun Iran took possession of that city. In 1595 Akbar recaptured it. Although the Safavids had diplomatic ‘ relations with the Mughals, they continued to claim Kandahar. In 1613, Shah Jahan sent a diplomatic representative to the Court of Shah Abbas in Iran. The idea was to let the Mughals continue to have power over Kandahar. But the mission failed. In 1622, the Persian Army attacked Kandahar. The Mughal army was not battle-ready to defend the place. They were forced to give up Kandahar to Safavids. All efforts to recapture it later failed.
Describe the important considerations that influenced Mughal relations with the Ottomans.
The main considerations were religious and economic. The Mughals wanted to ensure easy access to their traders and pilgrims in areas under Ottoman Turks. They especially wanted to ensure freedom to travel in Hijaz which was part of Ottoman Arabia. Mecca and Medina are located there. The Mughal emperors had both religious and trade interests in these places.
Critically examine the relations between Akbar and the Jesuits.
Akbar was keen on knowing about Christianity. So he sent his messengers to Goa to invite Jesuit priests to the Mughal Court. In 1580, the first Jesuit group reached Fatehpur Sikri and spent nearly two years there. They talked to Akbar about Christianity. They also talked to Ulamas about the good aspects of the Christian religion.
Two more Jesuit groups were sent to India. They reached in the Lahore Mughal Court in 1591 and 1595. The Jesuits have recorded certain things from their private observations. They throw light on the character and thoughts about the Emperor. When there were public meetings, the Jesuits were given seats quite close to Akbar. He had very cordial relations with them