20 Causes behind the Downfall of the Mughals in India
In the words of Stanely Lane-Poole, "As some imperial corpse preserved for age in its dead seclusion, crowned and armed and still majestic, yet falls to the dust at the breath of heaven, so fell the Empire of the Mughals when the great name that guarded it was no more." V. A. Smith writes, "The collapse of the Empire came with a suddenness which at first sight may seem surprising. But the student who has acquired even a moderately sound knowledge of history will be surprised that the Empire lasted so long rather than it collapsed suddenly." There were many causes which were responsible for the downfall of the Mughal Empire; some of them were as follows: (1) Religious Policy of Aurangzeb:
The most important cause of the downfall of the Mughal Empire was the religious policy of Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb alienated the sympathy and support of the Hindus by committing all sorts of atrocities on them. He imposed Jajiya on all the Hindus in the country. Even the Rajputs and Brahmans were not spared. He dismissed the Hindu Officials from state service and allowed only those to continue who were prepared to embrace Islam. An order banning the building of new Hindu Temples in areas directly under Mughal control was promulgated early in his reign. Though old temples were not to be destroyed under this order, it was decreed that temples built since the time of Akbar should be regarded as newly built temples and on that plea were desecrated in different parts of the Mughal Empire and those included the Temples of Vishwanath at Kashi and the Temple of Bir Singh Deo at Mathura. A number of schools attached to the temples were shut down. In 1679, when the State of Marwarj was under direct imperial administration and the Rajputs prepared themselves to resist Mughal a j Authority, old as well as new temples were destroyed in different parts of the Empire. Thousands n of artisans and labourers were employed to pull down Hindu Temples and Mosques were built with their material. After the death of Raja Jaswant Singh, Aurangzeb tried to keep Ajit Singh; under his control. Durga Das managed to remove him and his Mother Rajputana in spite of all the precautions taken by the Mughal Government. That led to the Rajput War which continued from 1679 to 1681. Although peace was made, Aurangzeb could not depend upon the Rajputs.ff It proved to be a great handicap when he was busy in the Deccan Wars. Instead of depending |g upon the support of the Rajputs, he had to set apart Mughal Forces to meet any possible trouble® from their side. The execution of Guru Teg Bahadur was a blunder. That led to the alienation of the Sikhs who became a strong military power under Guru Gobind Singh. Later on, these very Sikhs gave trouble to the Mughal Emperors. Although Banda was captured and put to death after a long resistance, the Sikh Power was not crushed. It kept on growing day by day and ultimately the Sikhs were able to out the Mughals from the Punjab. The same policy of religious persecution led to the rise of the Marathas under Shivaji. The persecution of the Hindus hardened their character and they became the bitter enemies of the Mughals. To quite Lane- Poole, "His mistaken policy towards Shivaji provided the foundation of a power that was to prove a successful rival to his own Empire. (2) The Deccan Policy of Aurangzeb:
The Deccan policy of Aurangzeb was also partly responsible for the downfall of the Mughal Empire. Aurangzeb was bent upon crushing the power of the Marathas. He found that the States of Bijapur and Golcunda were a source of help to the Marathas who were employed in those states in large numbers. They occupied important places of trust and authority in civil administration. Maratha soldiers were welcomed in those states. They got not only money but also military training. Aurangzeb felt that if those states were annexed, the source of the strength of the Marathas will be stopped. Moreover, the...
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