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BHIC-112: History of India –VII (c. 1605 – 1750)

BHIC-112: History of India –VII (c. 1605 – 1750)

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022

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Assignment Code: BHIC-112/ASST/TMA/2022

Course Code: BHIC-112

Assignment Name: History of India – V (C. 1605-1750)

Year: 2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Marks: 100

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. Write a note on the expanding domain of Persian in India during the seventeenth Century. 20

Ans) Tarikh (history), memoirs, Malfuzat (Sufi instructional literature), Tazkirah (biographical compendium), Nasihatnamah (advice literature), Waqa'i (court reports), Akhbarat (news reports), Dastur al-Amal (revenue manuals), Insha (composition of state documents and letters), manaqib (panegyric accounts), Farhang (lexicography), Adab (didactic texts Masnawi (long versed tale), ghazal (love poems), and qasida (ode) were all significant Persian genres in the poems.


Akbar's decision to make Persian the official language of administration at all levels gave the Persian language a boost in India. Fathullah Shirazi, a well-known Iranian nobleman, was instrumental in assisting the Mughals in streamlining the revenue system and other administrative agencies. Due to their proficiency in the Persian language and accounting, Iranian clerks (nawisindagan) and mutsaddis had key positions in the Mughal administrative system.


However, a class of Hindu scribes formed in the seventeenth century as a result of the development in tradition of record keeping and written communication, who adapted to the shifting political and economic situations following the solid establishment of the Mughals in India. Persian provided chances to India's experienced accountants, clerks, and secretaries, the Kayasthas, Khatris, Vaishyas, and Brahmins. The replacement of Hindawi with Persian pushed these castes to learn Persian in village maktabs (schools) and madrasas, where they learned the skills needed to work as revenue reporters, land registrars (qanungo), village accountants (patwari), surveyors, petition writers, letter writers (insha), accountancy (siyaq), court readers, secretaries, and scribes (munshis, munims).


Chahar Chaman (The Four Gardens) by Chandar Bhan Brahman is one of the best instances of a Munshi-written book (d. ca. 1666-70). He was born in Lahore, Punjab, in the late sixteenth century and served three emperors: Jahangir, Shahjahan, and Aurangzeb. He was an elite state secretary, Persian poet, and prose writer whose work Chahar Chaman was both a personal narrative of his experiences serving the Mughals and a manual for aspiring expert secretaries. As a result, the book's format was memoir mixed with counsel (nasihatnama), with an emphasis on ethical behaviour (akhlaq), mystical sensibility, civility, efficiency, public morality, and righteousness, among other things. He was proud of his Brahman ancestors and attributed his understanding of Perso-Islamic Sufi mysticism to his religious Brahmanical heritage. His colourful portrayals of the cities of Shahjahanabad (dar al-hukumat) and Lahore are particularly noteworthy in his work (dar al-salamat).


Q2. Analyse the causes for the rise of Marathas. 20

Ans) Scholars have postulated a few plausible theories for the Marathas' ascent to prominence as a prominent political power in the 17th century. On historical grounds, such a claim is difficult to support, especially since how else could Marathas accept service at the courts of Bijapur and Ahmednagar if we Mughals were regarded outsiders?


Jadunath Sarkar and G S Sardesai made a similar thesis, seeing the growth of Maratha dominance as a 'Hindu' retribution against Aurengzeb's divisive policies. However, such a claim is difficult to support, especially as Muslim monarchs of Bijapur and Ahmednagar routinely served Marathas. Furthermore, Shivaji's policies do not support this notion. The rulers appropriated his titles, such as haindava dharmoddharak, on a regular basis. Andre Wink attributes the rise of the Marathas to the Mughals' increasing pressure. The Mughals appear to be one of the many aspects that Satish Chandra has elaborated on.


Shivaji, like any other rising ruler, made effective use of marriage ties. While limiting Deshmukh power, he formed marriage ties with the region's main deshmukh families, the Nimbalkars, Morayas, and Shirkes, in order to claim equal status. His coronation as suryavamshi Kshatriya, which he received with the help of Gagabhat and other Benaras Brahmins, further elevated his prestige. His claim to kshatriya status was bolstered by genealogy linking him to Indra and titles such as kshatriya kulavatamsa. This helped him gain higher prestige among the Maratha families, allowing him to collect sardeshmukhi exclusively.


The option of attaining kshatriya title aided in the mobilisation of the Maratha, who were not just agriculturalists but also fighters. As a result, the Marathas united around Shivaji and played a key role in his military victory. Similarly, the agricultural community, the kunbis, as well as tribal tribes like the kolis and others, rallied around Shivaji. As a result, Shivaji's rise was built on a stronger mobilisation of various sectors of Maratha society, who were also seeking improved social standing and resentment against the region's traditional elite's economic exploitation. As a result, limiting the Maratha upsurge to a desire to oust foreign domination is an oversimplification.


In the advent of Maratha power, the importance and significance of the bhakti movement in social and political mobilisation was most obvious. Maharashtra Dharma's insistence on egalitarianism was crucial in establishing Marathas as a cultural identity and paving the road for socioeconomic advancement. As a result, Maharashtra dharma refers to a great enlightened state's ethical policy, but Guru Ramdas gave it a political connotation. The Turko-Afghan-Mughal reign was a source of contention for Guru Ramdas.


Shivaji took advantage of Sant poet's attitude and aroused the peasantry against the Deccani kings as well as the Mughals. It was, however, a regional declaration of independence from the major powers. As a result, it cannot be said that Hindus are battling Muslims. The fact that Shivaji, his nobles/sardars, and their successors gathered Chauth and sardeshmukhi across their domain is convincing evidence that it was not a Hindu rashtra fighting the Muslims. Similarly, the topic of Hindu Swarajay was used by regional powers to mobilise political opposition to the Mughals' centralising policy. After the breakup of Ahmednagar, the Marthas desired to construct a huge principality.



Assignment - II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q3. Discuss briefly the character of Indian Ocean trading Network during the 16th-17th Centuries 10

Ans) The history of commercial travel in the Indian Ocean dates back thousands of years, and trade networks covering various production and manufacturing centres can be found all along the littoral of maritime India. India has traditionally held a leading economic position in the process of long-distance commodity flows due to the strategic relevance of its geophysical location in the middle of West Asia and South East Asia. While the majority of this traffic was coastal, the hinterland's role in providing a steady supply of cargo for foreign trade led to the formation of various regional trade hubs near major marine exchange centres.


The Arabian Sea's contribution to world trade in the 16th and 17th centuries was mostly bullion, gold, pearls, diamonds, pepper, and to a lesser extent silk. The European export market had a large share. India's external trade has two major connections: one with China and Southeast Asian countries, and the other with ports in West Asia and East Africa. Cambay, Surat, and other Gujarati ports were directly connected in the trade with Atjeh and the Red Sea, according to Couto and other contemporary Portuguese sources, with or without the Portuguese cartazes that they were meant to carry. The sector of trade between the Coromandel Coast and Southeast Asia was critical to the rise of Indian Ocean trade in the 17th century. The phrase "Coromandel Coast" refers to a stretch of India's east coast that runs from Nagapatnam in the south to Ganjam in the north.


Q4. Write a note on the main characteristics Kishangarh Paintings. 10

Ans) Kishangarh was a small state, yet it was home to a unique form of artistic growth. Kishan Singh formed this minor state in the early years of the 17th century. The life storey of Nagari Das is extremely fascinating. At the age of 49, he sat on the local throne. He was a devout follower of Krishna, yet he had feelings for 'Bani Thani,' a maid in his stepmother's household. He became so enamoured with her that he began to worship her as Radha. He went by the name Nagri Das, which means "servant of Radha."


The main characteristics of Kishangarh Paintings are:

  1. Kishangarh School's subject matter is diverse, including hunting scenes, court scenes, portraits of kings, nawabs, emperors, and saints.

  2. The amorous lives of Radha and Krishna, influenced by Jaydev's Geet-Govinda, is one of the Kishangarh painters' favourite topics.

  3. The Kishangarh artists were also inspired by stories from the Bhagvat Puran and scenes from Nagri Das' Bihari Chandrika.

  4. Nayak-Nayikabheda, the most common theme in Rajasthani and Pahari School, has been most wonderfully rendered at Kishangarh. Nayak is usually Krishna, and Nayika is Radha. They were portrayed as lovers in a lovely natural location.

  5. The representation of ladies is Kishangarh School's main draw. The women have never been painted thus wonderfully in any Rajasthani school. The faces are light and airy, not heavy and dry. Their faces are long, with slanted foreheads, long pointed noses, bulging well-cut lips, and lengthy chins.

  6. In Kishangarh School, the eyes occupy a unique significance. Only in Kishangarh style will you find a lock of hair hanging near your ear.


Q5. What role did robes and attires played in the courtly cultures of seventeenth century India. 10

Ans) In the early modern period, the gift of honour robes known as khilat or sarupa/siropav was a common ritual. This was a custom of dressing a person in royal colours from head to toe. The Mughal Emperor gave robes to ambassadors, nobles, and other deserving officials on important occasions or as a token of their devotion to the throne. The Mughals used the robe ceremony, which was an old custom in the region from Central Asia, Persia, and India, to represent integration into the state's structure, status, and authority over the recipient. This also meant that people who got the robes were distinguished from the general populace and had access to a privileged lifestyle provided by the emperor, so boosting his and the court's authority.


In these travel memoirs, there are also anecdotes of poisoned robes being used to eliminate a rival or enemy who were either taken off guard when presented with the robes or forced to wear them because refusal meant death due to rejection of royal authority. The Emperor was not the only one who gave the garments to his subordinates; on rare instances, other nobles or superiors would do it as well. The robes were so symbolic that when Dara Shukoh was taken back to the court in Agra as a prisoner, Aurangzeb made sure that he was paraded through the city in drab garments so that word of Dara's failure would spread throughout the Empire, increasing his power and legitimacy of reign.

Assignment - III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


Q6. Write a note on the ‘Women as Legal Actors’. 6

Ans) While normative legal systems can be seen as establishing unequal status for women, there is also evidence that women exercised their rights, albeit limited, to protect their positions. Hasan uses mahr contracts and the stipulations that are included in them as an example. Mahr were contracts that were signed at the time of marriage and allocated men to the role of household head. They also included conditions for a marital annulment. On the basis of the terms being broken, these contracts were taken to court. Women were claiming the Sharia through these legal activities, according to Hasan, because they were exploiting the normative system as a place of resistance.


Q7. Discuss briefly the ‘Great Divergence Debate’. 6

Ans) Why did Europe become wealthy while Asia remained impoverished?' The procedure is thought to have started in the 18th century. As a result, the eighteenth century is a contentious period in world history. This century is seen as the start of an era in world history that culminated in a reversal of roles, with Europe becoming wealthy while Asia remained poor. This period also represents the start of the European Industrial Revolution, as well as the gradual but permanent domination of capitalism. Global Economic Divergence, sometimes known as the 'Great Divergence Debate,' refers to the many growth and domination paths that countries have taken.


Q8. Write a note on the ‘Sacred Kingship’. 6

Ans) For all of global history, sacred kingship has been the primary political form in both small-scale civilizations and large empires. By examining this institution in a long-term and worldwide comparative context, this collaborative and multidisciplinary book recasts the link between religion and politics.


Sacred kingship is a religious and political idea in which a ruler is viewed as a manifestation, mediator, or agent of the sacred or holy (the transcendent or supernatural realm). Although the concept dates back to prehistoric times, it continues to have an impact in the present world. At one time, when religion was completely intertwined with the individual's as well as the community's existence, and kingdoms were in various degrees linked to religious forces or religious institutions, there could be no kingdom that was not sacral in some way.


Q9. Write a note on the Jahangir’s engagement with Mewar 6

Ans) "If the Rana himself, and his eldest son, who is called Karan, should come to wait upon you and give duty and obedience, you should not inflict any mischief to his realm," Jahangir told Prince Parwez shortly after his accession in 1606. It shows that Jahangir was opposed to war and preferred a peaceful solution. After Parwez was summoned from Mewar, powerful lords such as Abdullah Khan and Raja Basu were dispatched to Mewar with considerable military contingents, but they failed in their attempts to subdue the Rana and his men. After that, in 1613, Jahangir gathered an army under the command of Prince Khurram and dispatched them on the Mewar expedition from Ajmer.


Q10. Overland Carvan routes in India during seventeenth Century 6

Ans) In terms of merchant safety and welfare, overland trade routes were preferable. In contrast to the sea routes, which were at the whim of European enterprises, these routes were directly under the control of the reigning regimes. The former were better protected in case of issues on route, had superior hotel facilities, and had lower administrative costs. Throughout the 16 and seventeenth centuries, India and Iran had a vibrant economic relationship. Although it is very easy to take a ship at Gombroon, there are always merchants who prefer the overland trade route, as Tavernier so aptly stated: For although it is very easy to take a ship at Gombroon, there are always merchants who prefer the land route, and it is by this route that the finest textiles made in India arrive.

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