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BHIC-109: History of India –V (c. 1550 – 1605)

BHIC-109: History of India –V (c. 1550 – 1605)

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

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Assignment Code: BHIC-109 / ASST / TMA / 2021 - 22

Course Code: BHIC-109

Assignment Name: History Of India-V (C. 1550-1605)

Year: 2021 2022 (July 2021 and January 2022 Sessions)

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Note: There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all questions in the Sections.


Assignment – I


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1. Critically examine the Mughal theory of kingship. 20

Ans) Babur and Humayoun, the early Mughal rulers, did not get enough time to create a definite concept of kingship. Both faced adversity at the court, lost their throne and were forced to roam helplessly, supported only by a small band of loyal followers, as some of their closest nobles betrayed them in their hour of need. Under these circumstances, it was not possible to establish and maintain certain court etiquettes and the ceremonies to go with them.

After ascending the throne, Humayoun, who had an innovative mind, introduced a few rituals and ceremonies to make his court more glamorous. This obviously came to a halt when he lost the throne and was forced into exile. His tragic, untimely death soon after his restoration, prevented him from resuming this tradition. Therefore, it was Akbar who consolidated the Mughal Empire and stabilised the institution of kingship.


Abul Fadl (1602) provided the philosophical basis for Mughal kingship by exalting the position and emphasising the importance of royalty. Royalty, according to him, is the highest dignity in the eyes of God and is a light which emanates from Him. Thus, Abul Fadl calls royalty 'the divine light'. According to him, this light creates paternal love for his subjects in the heart of the king and increases his trust in God.


Abul Fadl divides kings into two categories true and selfish. Both types of kings possess the same ruling institutions — treasury, army, servants, and subjects — but they distinguish themselves by their attitudes. A true king uses these institutions for the welfare of his subjects. According to Abul Fadl, all actions of the true king are divine, and therefore are to be accepted by the people without question.


The Mughal rulers of India inherited these court ceremonies and administrative traditions through the Sultans of Delhi and added some Changizi traditions to them. The participation of Rajput princes in the Mughal government led to the adoption of Indian dress and some other customs and practices.


These court ceremonies which included prostration (sijda), kissing of ground (zaminbus), and kissing of feet (pabus) elevated the status of the king. Akbar also liberated kingship from the clutches of ulema when he issued Mahzr, a decree signed by all leading ulema authorising the king to interpret religion. This made the Mughal king all powerful and deprived the ulema of their authority as the custodians of religious affairs. The king was no longer bound to follow sharia. Instead, the ulema now came under his control and he could make them issue fatwas according to his wishes. Even Aurangzeb, who was a religious man, asked them to issue such fatwas which allowed him to fulfil his schemes and plans. Thus, ulema became subservient to the king.


Moreover, Akbar declared himelf the king of all his subjects irrespective of religion, caste, and creed. The result was the development of a composite culture which integrated all his subjects socially and culturally.


The Marhattas and the East India Company, in spite of their authority, ruled in the name of the Mughal king. His popularity was evident when, in 1857, the rebel soldiers stormed the Red Fort to help him fight against the Company's rule. The charisma of divine kingship came to an end as a result of the Mughal defeat in 1857.


Q2. Analyse the categories of land rights in the medieval Deccan. Elaborate on the working of the watan system in the Deccan. 20

Ans) The rights and privileges enjoyed by the cultivating families comprising the village community were determined in accordance with the degree of superiority of proprietary rights in land held by them. The cultivated area of a village was divided into:

1. Mirasi Right

The old land listings of Mirasi rights held on the basis of village coparcenary or the older Thal system included inherited mirasdats. The members of several households in a hamlet possessed these lands in common or collectively. The ownership of the share, as well as the rights and privileges that came with it, were all clearly defined. The mirasdars were required to pay the government a permanent land tax known as swasthjdbara, as well as additional cesses such as miraspati.


2 Inam Lands

The inam lands were either tax-free or subjected to a minor tax known as inam patti. It was a special class of land right. The rights to inam land owned by a watandar (hereditary village office holder) might be sold and transferred along with the office or watan. However, whether the inam lands and the watan could be sold or transferred separately cannot be established with assurance.


3. State Land (Crown Land)

Although there may have been some distinction between the two, land possessed by the government as a corporate organisation or by the Peshwa/ruler might be considered state land. Many communities in the Deccan had state holdings that were overseen by local authorities. They might be able to sell them after getting permission from the I federal government. These lands were either awarded in inam or have the potential to be developed into housing sites.


4. Waste Lands or Lands of Extinct Families

The mirasi and inam rights were clear; however, the rights in the land of extinct families or wastelands were a little more problematic. The village headman, village assembly, or state could all sell these holdings. The lands of the vanished families were referred to as gatkul zamin. Pad zamin refers to land that has been left uncultivated for an extended length of time. Pad zamh might be found even in the miras lands.


Working of the Watan System

Watan is an Arabic term, and the watan system dates back to the inception of Muslim control in the Deccan. In general, it refers to a hereditary gift given by the government to a local officeholder in exchange for services performed to the village community by Hira. The hereditary village officers were permanent residents of the village (desaks), and the state awarded them property as well as rights and immunities in exchange for performing administrative chores in the village. Watandars were the name given to the desaks (deshmukh, desai, deshpande, kulkarni, etc). They were spared from paying the government any land revenue. The Srnrltis relate to vrittis, which was an indigenous variation of watan, and nibandbas, which were the emoluments earned by vrittis holders. The watandar's rent-free land was known as inam.



Assignment – II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q3. Critically examine the political formation on the eve of Babur’s invasion in the subcontinent. 10

Ans) On the eve of Babur's invasion, India was split into various states that were always at odds with one another. As a result of numerous states declaring independence, the Sultanate of Delhi had shrunk significantly. There was a lack of cohesiveness, and several factions competed for dominance. Daulat Khan Lodi invited Babur to conquer India in such conditions.


Vulnerable Political condition of India on the Eve of Babur’s Invasion

Several contending powers in India were engaged in a struggle for political domination. Babur, who aspired to control India, was well aware of the situation and decided to try his luck. The situation is briefly summarised here.

Delhi: The ruler of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, lacked power and political diplomacy. He'd made a lot of enemies. Several Afghan and Turk nobles were not on friendly terms with him. His sworn nemesis was Mewar's Rana Sanga.

Sultan Ibrahim Lodi was distrusted by Daulat Khan Lodi, the governor of Punjab. He summoned Babur from Kabul to invade India to settle his score with him.

Sind: The province of Sind had gained independence from the Delhi Sultanate's dominion. In the state, there was a lot of turmoil and disorder.

Kashmir: At the end of the fifteenth century, a period of chaos began in Kashmir. Mewar: The monarch of Mewar was Sangram Singh, also known as Rana Sanga. He aspired to be king of both Delhi and Agra. Babur is claimed to have been invited to conquer India by him. Babur, like his ancestor Timur, was likely under the impression that he would attack, loot, and return to Kabul.


Q4. Discuss the emergence and development of the Nayaka kingdoms. 10

Ans) Following the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire, the Nayak Dynasty arose in South India. Former Vijayanagar monarchs' military governors claimed independence in 1565 and created their own kingdoms, ruling from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The Nayak dynasty was known for administrative reforms, artistic and cultural achievements, and the development of a distinct temple architecture style. They also restored temples that the Delhi Sultans had pillaged. The Nayaks were also responsible for the development of Thanjavur painting, a well-known South Indian school of classical painting.


The rise and development of Nayak kingdom:


During Krishnadevaraya's reign, the kingdom of Senji under a nayak appears to have begun. Vaiappa was the first nayak. All of Senji's nayaks stayed faithful to Vijaynagar till 1592. Venkata I, the Vijaynagar monarch, moved his capital from Penukonda to Chandragiri after 1592 in order to enhance Vijaynagar's control over the nayaks.


During Achyuiaraya's rule in 1532, Sewappa Nayak established Tanjore (modern Tanjore and North Arcot). Throughout the 16th century, the nayaks of Tanjore remained faithful to Vijaynagar. In the Empire's fights, they always sided with the Empire. They aided Venkata I against the Golkonda invasion, for example, and this allegiance lasted until Venkata I's death in 1614.


During the later years of Krishnadevaraya's reign, Madura (south of the Kaveri) was placed under a nayak (1529). Vishvanath was the first nayak (d. 1564). Even at the Battle of Talikota, he and his successors remained largely faithful to Vijaynagar. They aided the Empire in its battle against the Portuguese. During Krishnadevaraya's reign, the nayaks of Ikkeri (north Karnataka) arose as well.

Odeyar Mysore

The Odeyar chiefs arrived in this region in 1399, and their history dates back to that time. However, the Odeyars rose to prominence under Chamaraja 111 (1513-53) and his son Timrnaraja (1533-72). The control of this territory by Vijaynagar, particularly in Umr nttur, was never complete. We learn that the most powerful Vijaynagar ruler, Krishnadevaraya, struggled to control the Umrnattur leaders. Odeyar nayaks continued to challenge Vijaynagar strength till the Raja succeeded in overthrowing the Vijaynagar viceroy of Seringapatam and establishing Seringapatam as his capital in 1610.

Q5. Write a note on the Mughal mansab system. 10

Ans) The Mughal monarchs employed the Mansabdari grading system to determine a Mansabdar's position and salary. They were nobility who held various posts in the Mughal Empire's administration. The Mughal Emperor appointed and dismissed them.


The Mughal administration is distinguished by the mansabdari system, which was introduced by Akbar. Every officer in the Mughal empire was assigned a rank, or'mansab,' under this system. The lowest rank in the system was 10, while the nobility had the highest rank of 5000. The Mughals utilised a grading system to determine rank, income, and military tasks. Zat and sawar were the two ranks that were created. Zat established a person's personal status and the amount of money owed to him. A mansabdar's sawar rank indicated the number of cavalrymen or sawar he was expected to maintain. The mansabdar had to keep twenty horses for every ten cavalrymen. The mansabdars were paid in the form of revenue assignments known as jagirs. It was not a permanent job, and the revenue was frequently collected on the mansabdar's behalf by his slaves while he was serving elsewhere in the country.


It was a system in which nobles were awarded the privilege to possess a jagir, or revenue assignment (not land itself), in exchange for services rendered, with the king having direct control over these nobles. Asad Yar Jung mentioned 66 mansabdar grades, but in reality, there were only about 33 mansabs. The lowest grade was 10, while the highest was 5,000 during Akbar's early rule (later raised to 7,000). Princes and Rajput kings who recognised the emperor's suzerainty were given higher mansabs.


Assignment – III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


Q6. Indic literary tradition as source of medieval history 6

Ans) In India, the mediaeval period runs from the eighth through the eighteenth century. Historians can trace history using archaeological and literary sources of information. Monuments, temples, inscriptions, coins, and weaponry are examples of archaeological sources. Manuscripts, folk stories, poems, and biographies of various emperors are among the literary sources.


Wealthy people, rulers, monasteries, and temples all gathered manuscripts. Historians can find detailed information in the manuscripts, but they are difficult to use. Because there was no printing press in mediaeval India, manuscripts were copied by hand. The nastaliq form of Persian and Arabic lettering is simple to read. The shikaste writing style, on the other hand, is difficult to comprehend.


Q7. Bairam Khan’s regency 6

Ans) Muhammad Bairam Khan was a powerful statesman and regent at the court of the Mughal Emperors, Humayun and Akbar, as well as a major military commander and later commander-in-chief of the Mughal army. He was also Akbar's protector, major mentor, adviser, teacher, and most valued ally.


Khan-i-Khanan, which means "King of Kings," was Akbar's title for him.


Bairam was originally known as Bairam "Beg," but he was eventually given the title of 'Kha' or Khan. Bairam Khan was a ruthless general who was hell-bent on restoring Mughal rule in India. He is credited with two divans, one in Persian and the other in Chagatai.


Q8. Food crops and cash crops during the medieval period 6

Ans) The crops of mediaeval India were an important aspect of the country's economic structure during the time. Food crops, non-food crops, fruits, and other crops were among the crops. The production of crops was the foundation for India's exports as well as an increase in its financial assessment. Because India has always been an agricultural country, its economy has always been based on crop output. The kings of mediaeval India attempted to increase the quality of the crops produced by improving irrigation facilities. In ancient days, Indian soil was rich in manures, and a small bit of manuring and tilling improved agricultural yields.


The Mughal rulers attempted to raise crop yield by improving irrigation, providing improved seeds, resolving cattle difficulties, and improving transportation systems. Crop production resulted in the strong creation of a robust land income system, allowing mediaeval kings to build vast armies and empires.


Q9. Mughal mints 6

Ans) The Mughals' most major monetary achievement was to bring about standardisation and consolidation of the Empire's coinage system. The system persisted long after the Mughal Empire had ceased to exist. Sher Shah Suri, not the Mughals, was principally responsible for the tri-metalism system that came to characterise Mughal coinage. Sher Shah produced a silver coin known as the Rupiya.


Mughal Coinage displayed uniqueness and innovative talents in terms of coin designs and minting procedures. During the reign of the Grand Mughal, Akbar, Mughal coin designs reached their pinnacle. The background of the die was ornamented with flowery scrollwork, which was a new innovation. Jehangir was very concerned with his coinage. The remaining massive coins are among the world's largest ever produced. Mughal Coinage reached new heights with to the Zodiacal signs, portraits, literary passages, and exquisite calligraphy that were synonymous with his coinage.


Q10. Mahzar 6

Ans) The maar was declared following lengthy talks between Akbar and Muslim divines at Fatehpur Sikri's famed religious assembly. He eventually got unsatisfied with Muslim educated men's shallowness and opened the sessions to non-Muslim religious experts such as Hindu pandits, Jain and Christian missionaries, and Parsi priests.

He issued a public proclamation (maar) declaring his right to be the final arbiter in Muslim religious matters in 1579 to legitimise his nonsectarian policies.


A study of faiths convinced Akbar that while all of them had truth, none of them possessed absolute truth. As a result, he declared Islam to be the state religion and embraced a doctrine of rulership based on divine enlightenment, which included acceptance of all people regardless of belief or sect. He eliminated regulations that discriminated against non-Muslims and revised Muslim and Hindu personal laws to create as many common laws as possible.

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