Mughal Influence on India
Table of Contents
Style and Schematics of Government
Views on Religion
Merging of Arts
The Mughal Dynasty in India and its intervening emperors were, with few exceptions, among the world's most aesthetically minded rulers. (Welch, 11) Each emperor was always reaching an unattainable goal. Babur, the poet-conqueror, was possessed with the dream of expanding and building upon an empire worthy of his ancestral lineage. Akbar's idealistic obsession was an Indian utopia for Hindus and Muslims alike. And Aurangzeb depleted the empire financially with his quixotic ideals due to a mania for conquest of the Deccan Empire. (Welch, 11) Nevertheless, during the time of their reign, the Mughal Empire had profoundly influenced the daily lives of its Indian citizens. In particular, it affected their style of government, views on religion, and style of arts. The pattern of Indian conquest had been set many millennia before the Mughals came. (Welch, 9) Aryans, Greeks, Scythians, Huns, Arabs, Turks, and Afghans had trekked through the narrow deserts of India's exposed northwest. (Welch, 9) The native Indians had often confronted these early settlers in order to subjugate them. The victors, of this battle of influence, then held the land until it became their turn to be uprooted. Babur, the first Mughal emperor of India, was a descendant of Genghis Khan and Timur. Because of his bloodline, he inherited a minor kingdom (the Tajik city of Knozent), at the age of 15, and with his avarice for power, led successful conquests to other city-states. Unfortunately, Babur came down with an illness and information of his limitation spread around his government. Due to an anarchy plot, Babur had to abdicate his throne and had barely managed to abscond from his crumbling sovereignty. In time, Babur, with remnants of his army, captured Kabul (in 1504), a city along the Indian trade route. Using Kabul as his headquarters (Tammita-Delgoda, 110), he finally defeated the Lodi Sultans—who ruled the North Indian territory then-- in 1525. In the process, Babur accomplished in succeeding his distant ancestor, Timur, as emperor of India. (Welch, 15) Although the original Mughal Empire arose in 1529 over northern India, the period of peaceful existence and progressive sustenance began with Akbar’s reign in 1556. Until 1556, India was governed with outdated and brutal polices against Hindus. Akbar, the third emperor to the Muslim Empire, with his apprehension, understood that the unity of such a large empire would not sustain itself if the rulers distanced and discriminated themselves against the natives. So thus, with Akbar’s introduction of the theme of co-existence, came forth the true root of cultural India. With their conquests, the Mughals brought a new, revolutionary, and structural government. Before the introduction of the Mughals, many Indian kingdoms were functioning undisturbed. However, there existed myriads of such kingdoms and due to insufficient planning and finance, these governments could not increase or annex more land than they could afford.
Style and Schematics of Government
In order to sustain a large empire, the recording and gathering of a detailed information system was the key to a long-lasting reign. The Mughals, after ensconcing themselves, had established an adequate finance system. As time progressed however, the needs for such a large empire grew in size. Recognizing this, Akbar’s brilliant Hindu finance minister, Raja Todar Mal, reformed the tax procedures. First, he had all of the cultivated land of the empire virtually graded and examined. In addition, he calculated the tax as a percent of the value of the peasants’ crops (Wood, 452). This, in conjunction, made taxation fairer and efficient and provided badly-needed money to the empire. In fact, because Mughal methods were...
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