12th Class History Solved Paper - History 2014 Outside Delhi Set-I

  • question_answer
    Explain the role of zamindars in Mughal India during 16th 17th century.
    Explain the chief characteristics of provincial administration of the Mughal Empire. Why has Mughal nobility been considered as an important pillar of the Mughal state? Explain.


    1. The Zamindars in the Mughal period were the class of those people who lived off agriculture but did not take part directly in me processes of agricultural production. The Zamindars were landed proprietors who had some social and economic privileges due to their superior status in rural society.
    2. The factor of caste hierarchy was also responsible for the higher status of Zamindars. They also per- formed certain services (Khidmat) for the state.
    3. The Zamindars had extensive personal lands termed milkiyat. This milkiyat land was cultivated for the personal use of the Zamindars, generally with the help of hired labour.
    4. The Zamindars were at liberty to sell, mortgage these lands as and when they desire. They could often collect revenue on behalf of the state. For this service they were compensated financially by the state.   
    5. The other source of ?Zamindars? power was their control over military sources. Most of them had fortresses. They also had armed contingent comprising units of infantry, cavalry and artillery.  
    6. If we think of social relations in the Mughal countryside as n pyramid, zamindars make its yen narrow apex. In this context Abul Fazi?s account tells us an ?Upper caste? Brahmana-Rajput combine had already made solid control over rural society. This account also gives a fairly good representation from intermediate castes along with a liberal sprinkling of Muslim Zamindars.
    7. The popular way of expanding the Zamindars system was to disposes the weaker people by a powerful military chieftain. In northern India the Rajputs and the Jats followed the strategies to firm up their control over extensive swathes of territory.
    8. The Zamindars led the colonisation of agricultural land and assisted in settling cultivators by giving them the means of cultivation, including cash loans.
                Undoubtedly, Zamindars were an exploitative class. However, their relationship with the pleasantry had a touch of reciprocity, paternalism and patronage. That is why, Zamindars often, got the support of the peasantry in their conflict against the state.
    The chief charecterstics of Provincial administration are as follows:
    1. The head of the provincial administration was the governor (subadar) who reported directly to the emperor.
    2. Subas were divided in sarkars and the)" often overlapped with the jurisdiction of faujdars who were deployed with contingents of heavy cavalry and. musketeers in districts.
    3. The local administration was looked after at the level of the pargana by three semi-hereditary officers, the qanungo, the chaudhuri and the qazi.
    4. Each department of administration maintained a large support staff of clerks, accountants, auditors, messengers, and other functionaries who were technically qualified officials, functioning in accordance with standardized rules and procedures, and generating copious written orders and records.
    5. Persian was made the language of administration throughout, but local languages were used for village accounts.
    In order to organize his military personnel, Akbar devised a system of ranks, or mansabs, based on the "decimal? system of army organization used by the early Delhi sultans and the Mongols. Although they fell under the jurisdiction of the rnirbakhshi, each owed direct subordination to the emperor. The nobles participated in military campaigns with their armies and also served as officers of the empire in the provinces. Each military commander recruited, equipped and trained the main striking arm of the Mughal army, the cavalry. The troopers maintained superior horses branded on the flank by the imperial mark. The emperor personally reviewed changes in rank, titles and official postings for all except the lowest-ranked officers. Akbar, who designed the mansab system, also established spiritual relationships with a select band of his nobility by treating them as his disciples.
                Thus under Akbar, for members of the nobility, imperial service was a way of acquiring power, wealth and the highest possible reputation.

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