Akbar’s Revenue Administration

The revenue administration of the Mughal Empire under Akbar can be understood on the basis of the evidence mainly furnished by Abul Fazl in the Ain-i Akbari and the Akbarnama. The important documents reproduced by Abul Fazl have a bearing on this aspect are: (1) The ain dealing with the Sher Shahi rai; (2) the ain-i nuazdehsala; and (3) Ain-i dahsala (1580); all in the Ain-i Akbari. And then (4) Todar Mal’s report of the 27th RY (1582) and (5) Fathullah Shirazi’s report of the 30th RY (1585) given in the Akbarnama.

Akbar’s administration achieved a remarkable degree of standardization of the land-revenue system over a fairly large region. The region where it effectively functioned, comprised the larger portion of Northern India, the territory extending from the Salt Range to the river Son and contained within eight subas. The standard mode of revenue assessment followed here was known as zabt, which signified assessment of revenue by the application of standard rates, fixed in cash, to the area under each crop.

The rates annually fixed from the 6th to the 24th RY are recorded in the Ain in a set of tables entitled Ain-i Nauzdehsala (The Ain of 19 Years). In these tables the dasturs (cash rates) are given province wise, in single rates or pairs (lowest & highest). From the 6th to the 9th RY the crops are given a single rate throughout each province: in many cases same rate prevails in all eight provinces. From this one would infer that uniform productivity as well as uniform prices had been assumed. From 10th RY a change occurs: the rates are are much lower than those during the previous 3 years; and for most crops 2 rates, the max & min, are entered (excepte in suba Lahore & Malwa). The rates now vary from province to province.

The rates from the 15th (& in some cases 14th) to the 24th RY on which the final cash rates are supposedly based, were still lower than the rates of the previous years. The variation from province to province is quite pronounced.

The figure in this ain-i nauzdehsala are generally given in dams with complex fractions expressed in jitals (1d=25j): thus based on a very close calculation.

Under the heading Ain-i Dahsala, Abul Fazl sets out in detail the cash rates (dasturul ‘amal) in force in the eight provinces at the time the Ain was written (c. 1595). From this it appears that the crops were not normally rated uniformly within a province, but the province was divided into circles comprising groups of parganas, each circle having a separate schedule containing single cash rates for individual crops. The Ain provides separately for each province lists of parganas constituting the various dastur circles within the province. Usually these did not cross the boundaries of a sarkar. In a few cases these circles comprise groups of parganas drawn from more than one sarkar.

Akbar’s land-revenue reforms rested on the new system introduced by Todarmal which became popular by the name of Todarmal’s bandobast. The three main features of the bandobast or system were: (a) Survey and measurement of land, (b) Classification of land on the basis of its productivity and (c) The assessment of land-revenue.

The Mughal revenue system, evolved through experiments that continued till 1585. In the beginning, he adopted Sher Shah’s system in which the cultivated area was measured and a central schedule was drawn up fixing the dues of peasant’s crop wise on the basis of the productivity of the land.

From Abul Fazl’s formula for the calculation of the revenue rates on the basis of Sher Shah’s rai, it has been assumed (Moreland) that Akbar’s dasurs too were designed to represent one-third of the yield per bigha, and that the rates so fixed in kind were commuted not cash at prices prevailing in the rural localities.

Prices were lower in rural areas which were far away from the urban centres and the cultivators found it difficult to pay in cash at the official rate.

According to Moosvi, there is no plain direct statement to this effect by AF. Further according to Moosvi that there was a difference of atleast 10% between rural and urban prices and that if one makes allowance for that, we would have to assume that the dasturs represented about half of the average produce. It is then quite probable that one-half and not one-third was set as the share of produce for formulating the dasturs. Further, as the rai of Shershah was also inflated, and it had to be scaled down. One is therefore tempted to conclude that Akbar’s administration in framing its dasturs flatly laid claim to one-half of the total produce.

In the tenth year of his (Akbar’s) reign, prices of crops prevailing in dif­ferent regions were substituted for the uniform schedule and the emperor reverted to a system of annual assessment.

In 1573, the annual assessment was given up and karoris were appointed all over North India to collect a crore of dams as revenue and to check the facts and figures supplied by the qanungos regarding the actual produce, state of cultivation, local prices etc.

These karoris were also known as amiIs or amalguzars. On the basis of the above facts and figures, a new system was developed in 1580 called the dahsala system. This system was an improved version of the zabti system which was the standard system of revenue assessment during the greater part of the Mughal empire. The credit for developing this system goes to Todarmal who became the head of the wizarat or revenue ministry.

During the reign of Akbar and his successors four main systems of revenue assessment were prevalent: (a) zabti or dahsala system; (b) batai, ghallabakshi or bhaoli; (c) kankut and (d) nasaq.

As stated earlier the dahsala was an improvement on the zabti system. For the purpose of assessment the land was classified in Akbar’s reign in four categories: polaj (land which was cultivated every year and never left fallow);parauti (land which had to be left fallow for a time to enable it to recover fertility); chachar (land which had to be left fallow for three or four years); and banjar (land which remained uncultivated for five years or more) Polaj and parauti lands were classified into three categories-good, middling and bad-and the average produce per bigha of these three categories was taken as the normal produce of a bigha. Parauti land, when cultivated, paid the same revenue as polaj land.

The chachar and banjar lands were charged a concessional rate which was progressively increased to full or polaj rate (i.e. one- third of the produce) by the fifth or the eighth year. Under the dahsala system an attempt was made to work out the revenue rates. The state demand was given in maunds but for the conversion of the state demand from kind to cash, a separate schedule of cash revenue rates (dasturu’l amals) for various crops was fixed.

For a period of the past ten years, 1570-71 to 1579-80, information on yields, prices, and area cultivated was collected for each locality. On the basis of the average prices of different crops in each locality over the past ten years the state demand was fixed in rupees per bigha.

Each revenue circle had a separate schedule of cash revenue rates (dasturu’l amal) for various crops. Thus the peasant was required to pay on the basis of local produce as well as local prices. The dahsala was neither a ten-year nor a permanent settlement, and the state had the right to modify it.

Since this system was associated with Raja Todarmal, it is also known as Todarmal’s bandobust or settlement. This system prevailed from Lahore to Allahabad and in the provinces of Malwa and Gujarat. A major exten­sion of it occurred in the later years of Shah Jahan’s reign, when it was introduced in the Deccan by Murshid Quli Khan.

This system greatly simplified the process of assessment. The cash rates (dasturu’lamals) were not fixed by a “rule of thumb”, but were based on enquiries into the yields and prices of each crop in different localities.

(b) Batai, ghalla-bakhshi or bhaoli. This was a very old system which continued during the Mughal period. This was a simple method of crop- sharing in which the produce was arranged into heaps and divided into three shares, one of which was taken by the state. Under this system the peasant had the choice to pay in cash or kind, but in the case of cash crops the state demand was mostly in cash.

(c) Kankut. This system was already in use in the fourteenth century. Under this method, in­stead of actually dividing the grain (kan), an es­timate {kut) was made on the basis of an actual inspection on the spot.

One-third of the estimated produce was fixed as the state demand. In simple terms, it was a rough estimate of produce on the basis of actual inspection and past experience.

(d) Nasaq. This was widely prevalent in the Mughal Empire, particularly in Bengal. In this system a rough calculation was made on the basis of the past revenue receipts of the peasants. It required no actual measurement, but the area was ascertained from the records.

The zabti system was the standard system, but other methods of assessment were prevalent in different parts of the empire. In the subahs of Ajmer, Kashmir and southern Sind, crop-sharing and in Bengal nasaq were prevalent. There was, however, a contradiction in the Mughal revenue system.

Although the assessment was made by the state of the individual cultivator, the collection of revenue was made through intermediaries like zamindars, talluqdars, muqaddams, patils etc.

Reading List:

1. Akbar’s Land-Revenue System as Described in the “Ain-i-Akbari”

W. H. Moreland and A. Yusuf Ali

The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland
(Jan., 1918), pp. 1-42


2. Moreland, Agrarian System of Moslem India, pp. 82-92


3. R.P Tripathi, some Aspects of Muslim Administration, 308-38


4. Irfan Habib, Agrarian System


5. Shireen Moosvi, The Economy of the Mughal Empire, c. 1595 A Statistical Study

• Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi

Humayun and the Afghans

A special situation arose as a result of the concentration of a large number of Afghan chiefs having a tendency of moving towards the east after being evicted by the Mughals from their erstwhile iqtas or after having fallen out with the Mughals.

As a result, by 1530 or 1531, there had come to exist in the eastern parts of Bihar three major Afghan factions:

  1. The Nauhani chiefs, holding a major part of Bihar as their iqta since the time of Ibrahim Lodi.
  2. Secondly, were the Afghan chiefs of the Sur clan, together controlling a number of parganas in the region located between Ganges and Son.

Both were rivals of each other.

  1. Third were those Afghan chiefs like Shaikh Bayazid, Shaikh Bibban and Maruf Farmuli and his sons who had converged on Bihar as fugitives after being expelled from their iqtas. They had come with considerable funds and contingents and thus can be called as ‘Afghan emigres’.

Then there was another factor: The role played by the ruler of Bengal who felt threatened not only by the expansion of the Mughal territory but also by the presence of Afghan chiefs and troops in the vicinity of his kingdom.

From 1528 onwards, the King of Bengal was trying to

  1. Playing one Afghan faction against the others;
  2. Put joint Afghan pressure on the Mughals.

At Kharid, the Afghans fought jointly with Bengal. Then, with the accession of Humayun, an attempt by some Afghan groups was made to occupy Jaunpur territory with the help of Bengalis.

Gulbadan Bano Begum says that within six months of Humayun’s coming to the throne, sheikh Bibban coming from Gaur invaded Jaunpur territory. Humayun had to proceed and repulse him.

But then in other sources, eg., Tazkirat ul Waqi’at of Jauhar it is mentioned that sometime after Humayun’s accession, Shaikh Bibban, Shaikh Bayazid and Mahmud Lodi entered the eastern wing of the empire somewhere near Awadh and created serious disturbances. These sources, including Jauhar Aftabchi, inform that Humayun met them in the vicinity of Awadh, at a place known as Dadra or Daura and in the battle the emperor defeated the Afghan army.

The question which arises is whether this episode of Dadra is the same as the one narrated by Gulbadan, or were they two different battles? Some points tend to suggest they were two different battles:

  1. Gulbadan specifically says that the Afghan army came from Bengal; In the other story, there is no mention of this fact.
  2. In the case of Gulbadan, mention of Mahmud Lodi is absent. In the other sources it is clear that at Dadra / Daura, the Afghan army was commanded by Mahmud Lodi himself.

Then there is the problem of the timing of the battles. Gulbadan’s battle took place within six months of Humayun’s accession.

Abbas Khan Sarwani, who describes the Battle of Dadra in his Tarikh-i Sher Shahi, goes on to suggest that the Battle of Dadra took place not earlier than 1533.

According to him, Mahmud Lodi promised to Sher Shah that after defeating Humayun, ‘I shall bestow all Bengal to you’. This shows that this battle took place after the Battle of Surajgarh. Prof. Qanungo says that the Battle of Surajgarh took place in 1529. But we have evidence that the Battle of Surajgarh did not take place before 1532, as it took place after the death of Nusrat Shah. And Nusrat Shah was alive down to the mid-1532.

Thus the battle between Afghans and Humayun described by Gulbadan, and the battle described by Jauhar, Abbas Khan and others were not the same.

What we find is that the Bengalis were creating diversion for the Mughals by encouraging Afghan chiefs to undertake expeditions against the Mughals.

Thus we can say that the situation in Bihar was fluid. All groups, irrespective of mutual tussles, had a tendency to unite against the Mughals.

In fact the outcome of the Battle of Dadra from the Mughal point of view was mixed: As a result of the Afghan defeat in this battle, one powerful faction was eliminatd from the scene. But then, the defeat of Bayazid, Farmuli, etc., led by Mahmud Lodi in the long run proved to be a boon for Sher Shah and a bane for the Mughals.

After this development, Sher Khan was the only leading Afghan left who could hope to mobilize Afghans before him. And this tended to make the Afghan position very strong – as under one command, the Afghans were a force not so easy to tackle.

Thus the Mughal victory at the battle of Dadra created a problem for Humayun in the shape of Sher Khan.

• Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi

Humayun and Mirza Kamran

Mirza Kamran submits to Humayun. Akbarnama, artist Manohar, 1602-3, fol. 129r, British Library. Or.12988

Kamran was the younger brother through a wife of Babur who was of Mongol origin. Humayun’s mother had a Central Asian background. From their prince-hood days, relations between them were far from cordial. One may refer to the dispute that arose over Kabul in 1528. In that year, while Kamran was stationed at Qandahar, Humayun was made in charge for the wilayat of Kabul which was under Kamran’s charge. This demand was contested by Mirza Kamran and the dispute became acute. According to Babur, on account of the role of the members of the royal haram, in 1528, a tense situation was created at Kabul. Babur took Kabul in khalisa and compensated Kamran with the sarkar of Wilayat.

After his accession, Humayun seems to have wanted to exclude Kamran from Punjab altogether. Therefore, while transferring Kabul to Kamran’s charge, Humayun took away the sarkar of Multan from him. This naturally provoked Kamran as Multan was a much richer sarkar as compared to Kabul: This change meant a financial loss to him. Perhaps Humayun was also conscious that by taking away Multan, he was giving him a pretext for adopting a hostile attitude.

Thus we find that side by side with bringing this change, Humayun also wrote a letter to Kamran. The text of this letter is given only by Khawr Shah bin Qibad al-Husaini [the text has been translated by S.K. Veda in PIHC, in 1960’s].

In this letter in a very vague manner, Humayun held out prospects of increasing Kamran’s assignments at a later date. In fact, he asks Mirza Kamran: “Remove the veil of secrecy from desires”.

A later source, compiled in 18th C (Muntakhab ul Lubab) gives a curious information: Humayun also decided to add a few Afghan places to Kamran’s charge. If we accept this, then Humayun tried to ensure that Kamran had no foothold in the Punjab but keep him in good humour and persuad him to remain with two wilayats, Qandahar and Kabul. Humayun did not want to give him foot-hold to the east of Khaibar. And when he discovered that Kamran would not be happy, he wrote the letter reproduced by Khawr Shah.

Kamran was not prepared to accept the deal and soon descended into Punjab and occupied Lahore by force. He brought under his rule the whole territory of Punjab up to the river Sutlej.

Humayun had to acquiesce in this act with a show of grace. He pretended to being happy of occupation of Punjab and added some new territories and allowed him to rule.

This attitude of Humayun can be explained due to serious difficulties on the eastern front and his nobility. Humayun was trying to suppress the revolts of Muhammad Zaman Mirza and Bengal and Bihar.

The establishment of Kamran’s control over Punjab created a situation in which there were two centres of authority within the Mughal Empire: Agra with Humayun and Lahore with Mirza Kamran. This had quite serious consequences:

1) In times of emergency and crisis, it hampered the mobilization of resources of the Empire to face military threats. In 1530, after the Battle of Chausa, when Humayun tried to offer a battle at Qannauj to Sher Shah, he found a large chunk of forces of Kamran not available.

2) This situation also created a bad example for the other Mughal princes. If Kamran could be accepted as the de facto ruler of a territory, then Mirza Askari and Mirza Hindal could also think of getting established in other territories. Now no scruples for them were left.

In 1536-37, when Humayun left Askari in Gujarat, Askari was tempted to declare himself as the king of Gujarat. He was in fact advised by some of his lieutenants to do so.

Similarly in 1538-39, when Humayun was trapped in Bengal due to the collapse of the Mughal military control over the Eastern part of the Empire, Mirza Hindal was persuaded by some of the nobles to declare himself as a rival king at Agra. Again, if we believe Abu’l Fazl and Gulbadan, some of these nobles are reported to have threatened that if Hindal refused their advice, they would go over to Punjab under Kamran.

3) Then this assignment of dual centres at Agra & Lahore also contributed in further undermining the allegiance of the nobility towards Humayun: As in this situation, any noble, feeling aggrieved, had a choice of going over to Kamran.

In 1539, when a large number of senior nobles deserted Humayun at Bengal, and declared that they could not serve under Humayun as he had failed completely, they would rather serve Hindal, if he proclaimed himself, or go over to Kamran in Punjab.

• Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi

Humayun and His Nobility

So far as the problem of the nobility is concerned, one important development took place during the last one year of Babur’s reign. This development was apparently the withdrawal of almost the entire set of the Indian nobles (i.e., the Afghans & the Shaikhzadas) from the Mughal service, which naturally once again created a situation in which the Timurid ruler in Hindustan had to administer Hindustan with the help of Turani nobles exclusively, i.e., those who came with Babur from Kabul including Khurasan etc.

This is suggested by two kinds of evidence from Humayun’s reign: One are those which go to positively indicate that many shaikhzadas & Afghan nobles were now in rebellion against Humayun. The whole Nauhani clan controlling Bihar, Shaikh Bibban & Shaikh Bayazid, who had earlier joined Babur’s service were in rebellion. Most probably, a majority of these nobles had left in the last year of Babur’s reign, a period when we have no detailed contemporary account.

This is also borne out partly by the negative evidence to the effect that most of these Afghans and Shaikhzadas mentioned by Babur holding wajh are not mentioned in the accounts of this period.

Putting together both these positive and negative evidences, it appears that most of the Afghan and shaikhzada nobles had withdrawn. Net result was that the Mughal ruler had again become dependent on Turanis who had their own limitations. They had no roots in the Indian society. Secondly, they had great pretensions about their privileges and perquisites. They were very sensitive of these: some privileges, as we have earlier seen, were underlined by the influence of the Mongol traditions in the working of the Timurid polity.

Babur was able to tackle them and use them effectively in Hindustan. Most of the Turani nobles who came to Hindustan with Babur were devoted to his person and had served him in very difficult conditions. Further, as a result of the successful leadership of Babur, they had great faith in his person.

Then, they had been raised to high positions by Babur himself. Out of the senior nobles, whom Babur inherited from Umar Shaikh Mirza, most had been eliminated by a variety of reasons. By the time Babur had established himself at Kabul, the majority were those raised to high positions and office by Babur himself. Babur himself observes that before setting out for Hindustan in 1525, he had given enmass promotions to his troopers and petty officers (yikitlars & ichikis) so that he was able to overcome the problem of paucity of high nobles (begs) in his party. Thus they were Babur’s creatures and thus remained loyal to him when certain measures of Babur (like 30 % reduction of wajh) hurt them.

Under Humayun some nobles did not show the same kind of loyalty as shown to Babur. Humayun found it difficult to control, manage or discipline them. In addition, this problem was further complicated on account of Humayun’s extreme unpopularity with an influential section of the Turani nobility.

That Humayun wa unpopular, is borne out by the evidence we have regarding the so-called Mir Khalifa’s Conspiracy. The evidence to this conspiracy is provided by Nizamuddin Bakhshi who says that his father Mohd.Muqim Harvi, who was in Babur’s service as a diwan-i buyutat, told him that when Babur was lying critically ill, his wakil, Mir Khalifa, decided to put up Babur’s son-in-law Mahdi Khwaja as the possible successor. But one day, while Mahdi Khwaja was talking in a menacing manner about Mir Khalifa in private, it was heard by Muqim Harvi, who reported it to the wakil. Thereupon Mir Khalifa changed his view and withdrawing support from Mahdi Khwaja, invited Humayun and assured him of support in succession.

This narration of Nizamuddin Bakhshi on the authority of his father is a centre of controversy amongst modern historians.

Important point is that at one point of time, just before his coming to the throne, Humayun was not looked upon with favour by a section of senior nobility represented by Mir Khalifa.

This story is borne out by Abu’l Fazl in an oblique manner in his Akbarnama.

Another indication of this lack of support between Humayun and an influential group of Turani officers, was a revolt of Muhammad Zaman Mirza which took place according to Tarikh-i Ilchi-i Nizam Shah preserved in Persia. The author, Khawr Shah bin Qibad al-Husaini, was an ambassador of Bahmani Kingdom to the Safavid court sometime before 1565-70.

In this work, it is pointedly mentioned that Muhammad Zaman Mirza revolted just after Humayun’s accession. This is at variance with time given in other sources where mention is made to this incident in 1533-34. But a much earlier source mentions it as the first important event after Humayun’s accession.

Thus the clans of Mirzas were also alienated from Humayun and they revolted. This development assumes significance if seen in the background of total support which Turani nobility gave to Babur.

This is the first case of the revolt of Turanis against the Mughal emperor. This again, is an indication of a change in the attitude towards Humayun.

This should be before us when we say that Humayun had no complete command and thus complicated his position with his nobility as such.

To begin with, this was the nature of the problems with nobility.

Probably it was as a result of this that Humayun initiated a number of steps to re-organise his nobility. These measures, as mentioned by Khwand Amīr would be discussed separately elsewhere. Possibly these administrative steps were not sufficient to solve the issues, but to escalate the ensuing conditions further.

If the post-1535 period is any indication, this type of re-organization further complicated the situation by provoking the nobles further. It further widened the cleavage between him and the senior nobles whose privileges he was trying to curtail.

We find that as the military pressure against Humayun increased, the tendency on the part of the Turani nobles to defy his authority, to disown him and to think in terms of setting up his brothers against him went on steadily increasing. This process became quite manifest from 1536 onwards.

In 1536, or the close of 1535, we come across an incident of gross indiscipline and disobedience by a considerable number of officers in Gujarat. In fact at Champaner, when Humayun camped, 400 Mughal (petty) officers deserted him and proceeded towards Ahmadnagar. They were pursued and arrested. All of them were put to death in a most savage manner.

Humayun’s perturbed mind can be seen from the fact that the very next day of execution, he also put to death the imam of the royal camp on the charge that the imam had recited in the evening prayers a verse from the Holy Quran in which a general disapproval of cruelty to servants and sub-ordinates is conveyed.

This indicates anxiety of Humayun on this development as desertion had taken place while on march to Gujarat. It is also an indication of the great cleavage between Humayun and his nobility. Before, under Babur, nobles would stand like rock even in the most difficult situations. Now even minor officers were defying Humayun in a difficult situation.

Next year in 1536, one of the senior nobles in Gujarat, Ghazanfar Koka deserted. He was a Turani. He deserted with 300 horsemen and joined Bahadurshah in his counter-offensive against the Mughals.

One further matter took place the same year at Champaner. When Bahadurshah had evicted the Mughal officers from the coastal region, the Mughal officers greatly panicked and all of them led by Mirza Askari came to Champaner. There Mirza Askari was adviced by some of his trusted nobles that he should declare himself an independent king of Gujarat. Argument was that the Mughal hold over Gujarat could be maintained only if Askari declared as king otherwise the local chiefs would not be reconciled and they would rally around Bahadurshah. Humayun at this time was at Malwa.

There was a tussle between Tardi Beg and Mirza Askari. Tardi Beg was guarding the fort and the treasury. Askari asked for it on pretext of organizing an army. Tardi Beg was ready and finally Askari and Yadgar Mirza proceeded to Agra without working for Humayun. General suspicion was that Askari would be declared as the rival king and fore-stall Humayun’s coming back.

Thus with the increase in military pressure, Humayun’s complications with the nobility was increasing. This alienation came to a point of no return during the Bengal campaign. It was this crisis with nobility which resulted in Humayun’s defeat against Sher Khan. At Chausa in 1539 and then at Qannauj in 1540 Humayun was routed due to his bad relations with his nobles.

We find that when Humayun was still in Bengal, some of his highly placed nobles whom he had stationed for guarding the route connecting Gaur with Agra deserted Humayun at a very critical juncture. They were according to Abul Fazl, Khusrau Beg Kokaltash, Haji Muhammad Koki, Zahid Beg and Mirza Nazar. They came to Koil which was in Zahid Beg’s jagir. From here they sent a message to Mirza Hindal who at that time was at Alwar:

“Henceforth we do not serve the king, if you, as you have already proposed, will have the khutba read in your name, we will enter your service and render you faithful allegiance; otherwise we shall go to Mirza Kamran where happiness and a welcome are awaiting for us.”

Then we also know about the behaviour of nobles at Agra and Delhi during Humayun’s absence. Both Gulbadan and Mirza Haider Dughlat inform that it was because of the pressure of nobles present at Agra and Delhi that Kamran did not proceed to Chausa to rescue Humayun. They thought that if the king returns in victory, he would take them to task, otherwise he woud deal with them leniently.

This shows the loss of confidence and faith in Humayun by a large section of noble’s community. Nobility had reached a point by 1539 that when Humayun offered the governorship of Bengal to Zahid Beg, he contemptuously turned down the offer and retorted back in the presence of other nobles that: “Couldn’t you find a better place to get me killed”. After making this impolite reply, he deserted Humayun and went to Loil.

If this is taken along with another independent piece of evidence, the picture becomes clearer.

Masum Bhakkari in his Tarikh-i Sind  says two of Shah Husain Arghun’s emissaries, whom he had sent to Bengal (Gaur) to congratulate Humayun for his success, started from Humayun’s camp for Sind on the eve of Humayun’s decision to withdraw from there. The report which these two brought of the condition in the Mughal camp testify that almost the entire nobility was in a rebellious mood and the king had lost all control over the army. They predicted that Humayun would soon meet catastrophe.

Thus this independent source also points in the same direction that the nobles were completely alienated from Humayun.

These evidences put together also indicate that the measures of Humayun as given in Khwandmir’s account remained un-accounted and that by 1535 the position reached a point of no return. 

Now the question arises: why this crisis of Humayun accentuated in such a dramatic manner during this period?

One fact was the failure of the scheme he worked out. This utopian scheme further added to the confusion due to loss of trust between nobles and the king.

Then Humayun’s own erratic behaviour in post-1538 period was also responsible for the loss of confidence in his leadership on the part of the nobles. During this time we find on the one hand Humayun insisted upon divine origin of his power or Jalwa-i Quds: shutting himself for months with no social meetings with nobles.

On the other hand he was gradually very lenient with the nobles and was not taking any stern action or measure for disciplining them. The episode in Gujarat is an exception. This is borne out by the fact that none of the high nobles who rebelled by 1535, as well as those who deserted him in Bengal or Agra, or who behaved in an insolent manner like Zahid Beg at Gaur, were given any punishment. They would be pardoned and restored. This lenient attitude was in contrast to the high claims he made. This was a contradiction which convinced the nobles that Humayun would not provide a right leadership.

Ther is also evidence to suggest that in 1535-40 Humayun had developed a psychic problem. For example, he claimed that his defeat at Chausa was the result of Divine intervention on Sher Shah’s side: “I saw myself horsemen wearing green garments descending from the sky and joining Sher Shah’s forces.”

Again, his behaviour during his 6 – 7 months that separated the battle of Chausa from that of Kannauj was erratic. He was not able to devote himself to mobilize forces. During this time he resorted to gimmicks which were censored by Kamran & others. One was placing on throne Nizam Saqqa, the water carrier for three days. Kamran protested these frivolous orders. He said this is the time of war.

So this erratic behaviour was an important factor for the complete loss of faith among the nobles. That is why in the final battle at Kannauj, the issue was decided in favour of the Afghans not due to the inherent weakness of the Mughals but as a direct result of the dis-integration of the Mughal army organization which had become totally demoralized due to the absence of any rapport between the emperor and his nobles.

A few passages of the account of the Battle of Kannauj, given by Mirza Haider Dughlat in Tarikh-i Rashidi, show that the Mughal defeat was not a military defeat, but a collapse of the organization.

Referring to the behaviour of the nobles at Kannauj, Dughlat writes:

“Now (at Kannauj) having colluded with Sher Khan, he (Muhammad Zaman Mirza) deserted. A new way was thus opened. Every body began to desert and most surprising point of it was that many of those who deserted did not go over to Sher Khan ans so could expect no favour from him.

An excited feeling ran through the army and the cry was ‘Let us go and rest in our homes’. A number of Kamrani auxiliaries also abandoned the king and fled to Lahore.

Between me and the river (Ganges) there was a force of 27 Amirs, all of whom carried the tugh (banner). In this position also, were the other components of the left wing, and they must be judged by the others. On the day of the Battle, when Sher Khan, having formed his divisions marched out, of all these 27 tugh not one was to be seen, for the great nobles had hidden them, in the apprehension that the enemy might advance upon them. The soldiership of the Amirs may be conceived from this exhibition of courage.

Before the enemy had discharged an arrow the whole army had scattered and defeated. I had estimated the Chaghtais as numbering 40,000 men excluding the camp followers and workmen. They fled before 10,000 men and Sher Shah gained a victory while the Chaghtai were defeated in this battlefield where not a man, either friend or foe, was wounded; not a gun was fired and the chariots were useless.”

These passages more than support the contention that this was not a defeat but the disintegration of the Timurid nobility due to a deepening crisis in 1542.

In 1541 Kamran proclaimed himself a rival king. This led to a radical shift in the situation. Henceforth there existed a state of civil war between Humayun and Kamran for possession of the Timurid territories especially in the Kabul, Qandahar and Badakhshan region. This civil war came to an end only with Mirza Kamran’s defeat and blinding in 1553. the Mughal nobility tried to use this situation for extending its own area of privileges by playing up one brother against the other. They were repeatedly changing sides throughout this time which actually was the basic factor behind the prolongation of the civil war for such a long time.

In 1541 the nobles rallied around Kamran which reduced Humayun to the desparate position of a wanderer in the Sind region and later a fugitive at Shah Tahmasp’s court.

But the same nobles, once they joined Kamran, started conspiring against him also. One additional factor making impossible to keep the nobles contended was the paucity of resources in this region, which were not sufficient for keeping all the nobles in service employed gainfully and paid properly for the services. This was additional to the high claims to privileges and benefits which these nobles had from early period. It was also in addition to the fact that they had become habitual conspirators. That is why we find that when Humayun returned in 1545 to Kabul, they deserted Kamran and joined Humayun. But they deserted Humayun again in 1547 and again tried to bolster Kamran’s position by joining him. Once again they revolted in 1550. This was possible for them because of the situation created by Kamran as a rival king. 

Before 1540 Kamran had no claim of being a rival of Humayun. He ruled before as a semi-independent ruler. He would also mention Humayun as Sultan-i Azam and Khaqaz-i muazzam. He refused to do so only after 1541. Coins issued now did not include Humayun’s name, but his own name had titles of khaqan and sultan.

Relations after Humayun’s Return from Iran

After his return from Persia, from 1545, he did not resort to the gimmicks as before. Now jalwa-i quds is not referred to nor his insistence of nobles standing at a long distance from him. Now he organized festivities and mixed with nobles on a social plain.

Gulbadan says that on the occasion of Akbar’s circumcision in 1545, Humayun organized a wrestling bout where he wrestled with Imam Quli Quchi who was one of his nobles. This was un-imaginable in 1540!

He came in drinking parties and played cards in sharp contrast to the early period. But he had also become very exacting on his demands upon the nobles. He dealt with, particularly the Abbysinian nobles who were comparatively prominent, in a most stern manner. During this period Humayun had the tendency to punish these nobles severely even on slightest suspicion of disaffection. During this period he was also responsible for executing a large number of senior nobles. He made the beginning in this regard with a prince of royal blood – Mirza Yadgar Nasir who was put to death in 1546 on the suspicion that he was planning to cross over to Kamran. Similarly 14 other highly placed nobles were also put to death. Amongst them were Qarachar Beg, Dindar Beg, Haji Muhammad Khoki and his brother Shah Muhammad Khoki. They were punished for crimes committed not only in the present time but also those committed before 1540. Thus a mention was also made of disloyalties which they had committed before 1540.

Most interesting case is that of Haji Mohd Khoki who had instigated Kamran to proclaim, rebelled in Gujarat, but remained with Humayun after 1541 and had accompanied him to Persia. In 1551 when Haji Muhammad was suspected of having links with Kamran, he was arrested from his charge of Ghazni and personally interrogated by Humayun. During his interrogation, Haji Mohd argued of being loyal and the charge being false. To this Humayun replied that alright, I want to take final decision on this but I would ask one known enemy to prepare a list of insubordination to me, while you prepare a list of distinctive services you did to the emperor. If the lsit of crimes is larger than your list, you would be put to death. Eventually the crimes were more than the services and he was put to death. His brother was also executed.

Jauhar Aftabchi says that at one occasion, Humayun was on the march, he came across a water channel near Qipchak:

“His Majesty drove his horse into the channel, but nonr of the troops accompanying him followed his example. All the troops remained on the bank of that rivulet. HM said to them ‘Ill-mannered ones [ay be tamizan] at one occasion Shah Ismail had dropped his handkerchief from the top of the hill. His ten thousand Qurchi’s jumped after that handkerchief and then got themselves killed. On the other hand, not even one soldier amongst you thought it fit to go along with his king. With this sort of troops how can things improve?”

Thus we find that Humayun tried to impose the model way rigorously. He meant business this time. This changed mood of Humayun and the model relationship was a very important new factor which accounted for the elimination of high placed nobles between 1549-51.

His struggle with Kamran was by proxy a struggle with his nobility. In the course of this struggle, senior nobles gradually were eliminated from the scene – some were executed by Humayun, some by Kamran, others fell to natural death, while some became casualties in the civil war. Net result was that the entire senior group was eliminated from the scene. Those who remained were devoted to him. In fact only two survived Humayun – Bairam Khan and Tardi Beg. Tardi Beg had also eclipsed between 1547-53 and regained again in the last one year of Humayun’s reign (1554).

In place of this group, Humayun promoted a new group of younger officers to the top-most positions. They were mainly Turanis promoted from the ranks of petty nobles. A number of Iranis were also recruited in the nobility during his stay in Persia. In fact we can give a whole list of such officers: Munim Khan Chaghtai, Khwaja Jalaluddin Beg, a Khurasani, Ali Quli and Bahadur, the two Uzbeks recruited in Persia. Husain Quli sultan of Persia in 1545 and then a number of new Turani names not mentioned earlier or who were petty officers, e.g., Balku Beg, Haider Muhammad Khan etc.

Thus now in his new nobility:

1) Some were Iranis

2) Majority were Turanis who hade been raised by Humayun from low ranks to high during this period.

This set of nobles was a composite set of very young nobles who remained throughout loyal to him.

It was with the help of this new section that after his return from Persia, Humayun was able to crush Kamran and the senior nobles conspiring for him.

These nobles had an entirely different outlook in the sense that being Humayun’s own creation, they were loyal to him.

Another important aspect is that as a result of their experiences during the period of Humayun’s exile & civil war, they had come to the conclusion that their own interest would be served only if the Mughal Empire was re-established on a firm footing. Humayun had tried to get Balkh, but had failed.

If they had to survive as a group, they had no option but to help Humayun. This is fully borne out by the manner in which these nobles behaved.

We know that when in 1553 Humayun decided to invade Kashmir, these loyal nobles went to him en mass and pleaded that he should not allow the Mughal resources to be wasted in expeditions like that. They insisted for the conquest of Hindustan. They were so determined that when he tried to make them go to Kashmir, they flouted his orders and forced him to withdraw them.

It was this section which helped in re-establishing the Mughals and survival of the Mughals in India. The case in point can be Bairam Khan and his regency.

• Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi

Revisiting Aurangzeb [Urdu]

• Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi

Translation: Dr Enayatullah Khan


The original article was published in The Frontline, 3rd August 2018. The Urdu translation by Dr Enayatullah Khan, Assistant Professor, Aliah University, Kolkata is being presented before you:

کیا اورنگ زیب ایک متعصب حکمراں تھا یا ایک ایسا حکمراں تھا جو کہ اسلام مذہب کا پیرو کار تھا اور ہندو مذہب کے ساتھ ہی ساتھ دوسرے مذاہب کو ختم کرنا چاہتا تھا؟- اور کیا اس نے مذہب کا استعمال اپنی سیاسی رسوخ کو بڑھانے کے لیے کیا؟ اس پس منظر میں نو آبادیاتی مو رخ (Colonial historians) جو سیف ڈیوی کننگھم Joseph Davey Cunningham سے لیکر سر جادو ناتھ سرکار، رام سرن شرما اور محمد اطہر علی ما ضی میں اسطرح کے سوالات اٹھا تے رہے ہیں- دور جدید کی مورخ اودرے ٹرسچکی Audrey Truchke نے بھی اس طرح کے سوالات کو اٹھا تے ہو ئے ‘ماخذ کے حوالے سے جواب دینے کی کوشش کی ہے-

تاریخ کے ما خذ کے مطا لوہے کے بعد اورنگزیب پر اسطرح کے جو الزامات لگا ئے جاتے رہے ہیں اس سے اورنگ زیب کو متشنی نہیں کیا جا سکتا- تاہم مزید تحقیق سے پتہ چلتا ہے کہ اورنگ زیب، اگرچہ ایک متعصب نہیں تھا، لیکن اپنے سیاسی مقاصد کو پورا کرنے کے لیے مذہب کا استعمال کرتا تھا- اس کے بر عکس اس نے میواڑ کے مہا رانہ’ رانا راج سنگھ، کو ایک نشان(خط) لکھ کر یہ اطلاع دی کہ وہ اکبر کے دور میں جس طرح کی پالیسی پر عمل درآمد کرتا تھا اسی پر کرتا رہے-

اورنگ زیب War of Succession کے بعد تخت نشیں ہوا تھا اور تخت نشینی کے پہلے دس سال تک جیل میں مقید باپ سے مسلسل اسے لڑنا پڑا، کیونکہ شاہ جہاں کا حیات سے رہنا اورنگ زیب کے لیے ایک مستقل خطرہ بنا ہوا تھا-

جانشیینی کی جنگ کا بغور مطالعہ کرنے پر پتہ چلتا ہے کہ یہ جنگ نہ تو فر قہ وارانہ بنیاد پر لڑی گئی اور نہ ہی دارہ شکوہ کی روا دارانہ پا لیسی، اور نہ ہی اورنگ زیب کی ہندو مخالف پا لیسی کی بنیاد پر لڑی گئی-

اورنگ زیب نے کبھی یہ دعویٰ نہیں کیا کہ وہ اسلام کا دفاع کر نے جا رہے ہیں، اور نہ ہی اسے یہ محسوس ہوا کہ اسلام کو شاہ جہاں یا دارہ شکوہ سے کوئی خطرہ لاحق ہے- لہذا جانشینی کے جنگ کے بعد ہندؤں اور راجپوتوں کے خلاف کسی بھی طرح کے امتیاز کا ذکر نہیں ملتا ہے۔

تخت سنبھالنے کے فوراً بعد اورنگ زیب نے راجہ رگھو ناتھ سنگھ کو اپنی سلطنت کا دیوان Diwan مقرر کیا جو کہ کھتری تھا- راجہ تو ڈر مل کی وفات کے بعد اورنگ زیب نے پہلی مرتبہ ایک ہندو کو دیوان مقرر کیا تھا جہانگیر کے دور میں راجہ مان سنگھ کے علاوہ کسی بھی غیر مسلم کو اہم صوبہ کا صو بیدار نہ تو جہانگیر کے دور میں مقرر کیا گیا اور نہ ہی شاہ جہاں کے دور میں-
اورنگ زیب نے دو اہم غیر مسلموں کو تقرری دی، جس میں ایک مہا راجہ جسونت سنگھ اور دوسرے مرزا راجہ جئے سنگھ، جس میں جسونت سنگھ کو گجرات کے صوبیداری کا عہدہ دیا جو کہ دھرمت کی جنگ Battle of Dharmat میں اورنگ زیب کے خلاف تھا اور خجواہا کی جنگ Battle of Khajua اورنگ زیب کے ساتھ غداری کیا تھا- گجرات اسوقت مغلیہ عہد میں معسیت کا مر کز رہا ہے اس کے باوجود مر زا راجہ جئے سنگھ، کو دکن کا وائسرائے بنایا جو کہ اسوقت صرف بادشاہ کے وارث کے لیے معین تھا- اس سے پتہ چلتا ہے کہ اورنگ زیب تعصب پسند نہیں تھا بلکہ وہ اہم عہدے پر لوگوں کی صلاحیت کی بنیاد پر مقرر کر رہا تھا- اس کے علاوہ دیگر امراء کے منصب کو بڑھایا گیا اور انہیں سلطنت کے اہم صوبے یعنی بنگال، گجرات اور بہار میں ہندو امراء کو بحیثیت دیوان مقرر کیا-

اورنگ زیب کے عہد میں دکنی افغا نوں کے علاوہ مر ہٹوں کو بھی حکومت سازی کے کام کے لیے مقرر کیا گیا، جس کی وجہ سے تورانی اور راجپوت امراء ناراض تھے۔ کیونکہ مرہٹوں اور افغا نوں کی تقرری سے کہیں نہ کہیں تو رانی امراء کا نقصان ہو رہا تھا-
مر ہٹوں اور افغا نوں کی بڑھتی شمولیت سے مغل افسر شاہی کو تقویت ملی- پروفیسر ایم اطہر علی کی تحقیق سے پتہ چلتا ہے کہ اورنگ زیب کے دور اقتدار میں کل 31% غیر مسلم حکومت کے مختلف شعبے میں کار کردگی انظام دے رہے تھے اس کے بر عکس کبر کے عہد میں ان کی کل تعداد 22% تھی-

اورنگزیب کے عہد کے دوسرے نصف میں مر ہٹوں کی انتظامی امور میں شمولیت سے مراد یہ بالکل نہیں تھا کہ اورنگ زیب، اکبر سے زیادہ سیکولر تھا- یہ ایک انتظامی ضرورت تھی اور اس امر کے ذریعے دکن کے ریاستوں کو مغل ریاستوں میں ملحق کر نا تھا اور یہ مغل بادشاہوں کی سیاسی ضرورت تھی-

ہمیں اس بات کو بھی یاد رکھنا چا ہیے کہ مغل بادشا ہوں میں اورنگ زیب واحد ایک ایسا بادشاہ ہے جس نے مندروں کو سب سے زیادہ امداد دیا، جس کی ایک مشال ورنداون کا مندر ہے-

اورنگ زیب نے خود کو اپنے والد(شاہ جہاں ) سے زیادہ تخت کا حقدار شابت کرنے کے لیے اس نے فتح کی پا لیسی شروع کی- لیکن بد قسمتی سے اورنگ زیب کی زیادہ تر اسطرح کی پالیسی نا کامیاب رہی’ جس میں میر جملہ آسام میں لڑتے ہوئے مارا گیا، اور دکن میں شیواجی نے شاہستہ خان کے خواب گاہ میں حملہ کر دیا- حالانکہ مر زا راجہ جئے سنگھ 1665 میں شیواجی کے ساتھ پو سندھی کا معاہدہ کرنے میں کامیاب تو ہو گیا، لیکن معاہدہ اسوقت ختم ہو گیا جب شیواجی آگرہ سے فرار ہو گیا-

اورنگ زیب کی جب Military expedition نا کام ہوئیں تو یکےبعد دیگر ے کئی بغاو تیں ہو ئی، جیسے 1667 میں یو صفزئی بغاوت، 1669 میں جاٹ بغاوت، 1672میں ستنامی بغاوت، 1674 میں آفریدی بغاوت کا سامنا کرنا پڑا، اور 1675 مت شیواجی نے خود کو بادشاہ علان کر دیا- لہذا یہ عیاں ہو جاتی ہے کہ اورنگ زیب کو سیاسی محاذ میں کوئی خاطر خواہ کامیابی نہیں ملی-

اورنگ زیب کو اس بات کا بھی احساس ہو چکا تھا کہ اس کے بہت سے عمل کی وجہ سے Institution of Monarchy کو ٹھیس پہنچی ہے- لہذا جب سیاسی محاذ پر نا کامیابی کا سامنا کرنا پڑا تو اسے چھپانے کیلئے اس نے شریعی قانون پر زور دیا-

اورنگ زیب اپنے سیاسی مفادات کو پورا کرنے اور اپنی نا کامیابیوں پر پردہ ڈالنے کے لیے مذہب کا استعمال کر نا شروع کر دیا تھا’ جب ۱۶۷۵ میں شیواجی’ خود کو دکن کے بادشاہت کا علان کر دیا- ٹھیک اسی سال کشمیر اور پنجاب کے علاقے میں ایک مسئلہ پیش آیا، وہ مسئلہ یہ تھا کہ کشمیر اور پنجاب میں اورنگ زیب کے اہلکاروں نے غیر مسلموں کو اسلام قبول کر نے پر مجبور کر نے کی کوشش کی، جسکی گرو تیغ بہادر نے مخالفت کی اور اورنگ زیب کے خلاف لوگوں کو ورغلایا، اور گرو تیغ بہادر نے ان لوگوں کے خلاف کارروائی بھی کی جو اسطرح کی حرکتوں میں ملوث تھے اور اورنگ زیب کے خلاف بغاوت پر آما دہ ہو گئے-جوابی کاروائی میں’گرو تیغ بہادر کو گرفتار کیا گیا اور بالاخر ۱۶۷۵ میں پھانسی دے دیا گیا-

جو سف ڈیوی کننگھم (Joseph Davey Cunningham ) کے مطابق، اس واقع کو سمجھنے کے لیئے اس وقت کے تاریخی واقعات سے واقف ہونا ضروری ہے کہ جب تیغ بہادر اپنے والد گرو ہر گوبند کو نظر انداز کر کے، گرو ہر کشن کی موت کے سات سال بعد سکھوں کا سربراہ بنا-
گرو ہر کشن کے دور میں، ان کے بڑے بھائی رام رائے نے، جو کہ خود گرو بننا چاہتا تھا ان کے خلاف مسلسل سازشیں کر تا رہا اور سر کردہ سکھ رہنماؤں کے ساتھ مل کر لوبنگ (Lobbying) کی اور کسان برادری کو یہ باور کرانے کی کوشش کی کہ وہی در حقیقت گرو نانک کے عقیدہ کا وارث ہے- موت کے قبل گرو ہر کشن نے یہ تاثر بھی دیا کہ گرو تیغ بہادر اگلے ‘گرو’ ہو نگے، لہذا حالات کا فائدہ اٹھا تے ہوئے ، گرو تیغ بہادر نے چارج سنبھالا اور سیاسی اتحاد بنانے کے ساتھ ہی ساتھ اپنی آمدنی میں اضافہ کر نے کی کوشش میں لگ گئیں، تاکہ “Guruhood” کا جو دوسرے لوگ دعویٰ کر رہے تھے انکا مقابلہ کیا جا سکے- کننگھم کے مطابق، گرو اور انکے شاگردوں نے ” ہانسی اور ستلج ندی کے درمیان لوٹ مار کر کے انہیں (گرو تیغ بہادر) کو کسانوں میں غیر مقبول بنا دیا “، اسکے علاوہ ان لوگوں نے “ایک شدت پسند مسلم، آدم حافظ کے ساتھ بھی اتحاد کیا اور امیر ہندووں اور مسلمانوں کو چندہ دینے کے لئے مضبور کیا”-

کننگھم مزید فرماتے ہیں کہ گرو نے فرار یوں کو بھی پناہ دیا تھا- اور تیغ بہادر کے خلاف رام رائے نے بھی شہنشاہ سے شکایت کی تھی۔ اور اسطرح سے گرو ہر کشن کی طرح گرو تیغ بہادر پر بھی ” Pretender to Power” کا الزام لگایا گیا- اسطرح گرو تیغ بہادر کو پھانسی بلاشبہ مذہبی اختلاف کی وجہ سے دیا گیا، کیونکہ گرو نے اورنگ زیب کے اہلکاروں کے ذریعے تبدیلی مذہب کے خلاف آواز بلند کیا تھا-

ہم لوگ جانتے ہیں کہ اورنگ زیب نے جسطرح سے تخت پر بیٹھا تھا اس سے Institution of Monarchy کمزور ہوا تھا لہذا، اسطرح کے واقعات سے بچنے کے لیئے اورنگ زیب کو چاہیے تھا کہ Institution of Monarchy کے وقار کو بحال کرتا، جسے وہ نہیں کر پا یا لہذا اسی وجہ کر اورنگ زیب نے مذہبی تقدس کو باد شا ہت کے ادارے سے جو ڑنے کی دانستہ کوشش کی-
لہذا اورنگ زیب نے اپنے آپکو “عا لمگیر” (دنیا کو فتح کرنے والا) اور ” زندہ پیر” (Living Saint) کہلا نا پسند کیا- فوجی مہم (Military Expedition ) کے ذریعے اورنگ زیب خود کو طاقتور شابت کرنے کی کوشش تو کی، لیکن وہ اس میں ناکام رہا کیونکہ شاہ جہاں کے دور سے ہی قدرتی جغرافیائی رکاوٹیں آنے لگی تھی- اسطرح جب وہ سیاسی محاذ پر ناکام رہا، تو اسکے خلاف لگاتار بغا و تیں ہونے لگی(جسکا ذکر قسط-۱ میں کیا گیا ہے) – لہذا اسنے اپنی نا کام پالیسیوں پر پردہ ڈالنے کے لئے شر یعت کا استعمال بطور ڈھال کیا- بلا آخر ۱۶۷۹ میں شہزادہ اکبر (اورنگ زیب کا چھوٹا بیٹا ) نے اپنے والد کے خلاف بغاوت کر دی اور اپنے والد کو نہایت ہی سخت لہذا میں خط لکھ کر کہا کہ ” شاہ شجاع، دارہ اور دیگر لوگوں کی موت کا ذمہ دار آپ (اورنگ زیب ) ہیں۔ اور آپ ہی اخلاقیات کی تعلیم دے رہے ہیں ” آخر کار شہزادہ اکبر کے ایران جاتے ہی اسکی بغاوت ختم ہو گئی- یہ اس بات کی حتمی شبوت ہے کہ اورنگ زیب نے شرعی قانون کا استعمال کر کے مسلم اشرافیہ/امراء کو مغلیہ تخت سے جوڑنے کی کوشش کی-

اسی سال (۱۶۷۹) میں اورنگ زیب نے ‘جزیہ’ کو لا گو کیا تھا- سوال یہ بھی اٹھتا ہے کہ اورنگ زیب نے ۱۶۵۸-۱۶۷۹ تک جزیہ کیوں نہیں لگایا؟ اسے اچانک سے لگانے کی کیا وجہ تھی؟
جزیہ ایک امتیازی ٹیکس تھا، لیکن مغلوں کی خدمت میں شامل راجپوت اور بر ہمن اس سے مستشنٰی تھا- جزیہ وصولی کے کئی قسمیں تھی- جیسے امیر ترین لوگوں سے بارہ روپیہ، اور اس سے کمتر آمدنی والے سے آٹھ روپیہ سا لانہ ادا کر نا پر تا تھا- جادو ناتھ کے مطابق اسکی تین قسمیں تھی- اول 3 1/4 ‘دوئم 6 2/3’ اور سوئم 3 1/3 روپے سالانہ ادا کر نا پڑتا تھا- جزیہ کا سب سے سخت پہلو یہ تھا کہ یہ کم آمدنی (غریب) سے ایک ماہ کا تنخواہ بطور ٹیکس ادا کر نا پر تا تھا-

۱۶۷۹ میں اورنگ زیب نے جزوی طور پر، راٹھو ڑ کی بغاوت (Rathor Rebellion) کی وجہ کر مندروں کو منہدم کر نے کا حکم دیا اور جس کے نتیجہ میں جودھپور میں متعدد مندروں کو منہدم کر دیا گیا تھا- اسکے علاوہ دوسرے مقامات پر بھی کچھ مشہور مندروں کو منہدم کیا گیا جیسے سومناتھ کا مندر(گجرات ) ، وشوناتھ مندر (وارانسی ،سابق بنارس) اور کیشو رائے مندر (متھرا ) شامل ہے۔ جنوری ۱۶۸۰ میں اورنگ زیب نے اودے ساگر جھیل کے کنارے موجود تین مندروں کو بھی منہدم کرا نے کا حکم صا در کیا- مشہور مورخ رام سرن شرما کے مطابق صرف اودے پور میں ۱۷۲ اور چتور میں کل ۶۳ مندروں کو اس درمیان منہدم کیا گیا-
اس حقیقت سے انکار نہیں کیا جا سکتا کہ، ‘جزیہ’ اور ‘مندروں کے منہدم’ کر نے حکم امتیازی پالیسی پر منحصر تھا- کیونکہ ساتھ ہی ساتھ وہ مندروں کو اسکی دیکھ بھال کے لیے وظیفہ(مالی امداد ) بھی دیا رہا تھا، جسکے دستاویز ات مختلف جگہوں پر موجود ہیں- اس کے ساتھ ہی ساتھ ایسے بھی دستاویزات موجود ہیں جس میں اورنگ زیب نے مندروں کی دیکھ بھال اور پجاریوں کے لیے گرا نٹ (وظیفہ/مالی امداد ) میں متعدد گاؤں دئیے-جس کی ایک اہم مشال ورنداون کے مندروں اور پجاریوں کے لئے دیا گیا گرانٹس ہے جس کی کا پی ابھی بھی چیتنیا گروہ کے مہنتوں کے پاس محفوظ ہے، جسے کئی دہائی قبل مورخ تارا پدا مکھرجی (Tarapada Mukherjee) اور عرفان حبیب(Irfan Habib) نے اپنی تحقیق کے ذریعے عوام الناس کو روشناس کرایا ہے۔ اسطرح کی ایک اور مشال بہرائچ میں موجود نو نی دھارا(Nonidhara Temple) بھی ہے، جسے اورنگ زیب نے وظیفہ (مالی امداد) دیا تھا-

ان تمام اقدامات کا حتمی نتیجہ کیا نکلا؟ یعنی کیا اس سے راجپوت، جو کہ ہندو تھے، اورنگ زیب کے تعلوقات میں کوئی فرق پڑا؟ نہیں! کیونکہ راجپوت، اورنگ زیب کے ذریعہ اٹھا ئے گئے اقدامات یعنی مندروں کو منہدم کرانا، کو ایک سیاسی عمل سمجھتے تھے- یہی وجہ ہے کہ راجپوت، سلطنت کے آخری ایام تک اورنگ زیب کے ساتھ رہے- ۱۶۹۸-۱۷۰۷ یعنی دس سالوں کے درمیان تین اہم جنرل، رام سنگھ ہڈا، دلپت بنڈیلا، اور جئے سنگھ سوائی، جنہوں نے اپنی افواج کے ساتھ مر ہٹوں سے جنگ لڑی- یعنی درج بالا تینوں امراء اپنی اپنی فوجوں کے ساتھ شہنشاہ کی خدمت ایمانداری کے ساتھ کرتے رہے اور انکو وطن جاگیر کا مراعات حاصل تھا-
ایک دفعہ کا واقع ہے کہ شہزادہ اعظم کی اہلیہ، شہزادی نادرہ بیگم ڈولی سے اسلام پور سے (جہاں اسوقت اورنگ زیب موجود تھے) گلگٹ جا رہی تھی کہ اچانک مرہٹوں کی افواج ، جس کی تعداد تقریباً ایک ہزار تھی، شہزادی کو اغوا کرنا چاہتے تھے تاکہ اورنگ زیب کو جھکا یا جا سکے- یہ خبر جیسے ہی رام سنگھ ہڈا کو لگی وہ سات سو پچاس سپاہیوں کے ساتھ شہزادی کی حفاظت کے لئے پہنچ گئے- شہزادی کیونکہ پردے کا احتمام کر تی تھی لہذا پردے کا خیال رکھتے ہوئے شہزادی کی ڈولی سے کچھ فاصلہ بنا کر، ہڈا کا دستہ پیدل ڈولی کے پیچھے پیچھے شہزادی کی حفاظت کے لیے چلتا رہا- اسی درمیان نادرہ بیگم نے رام سنگھ کو بلا یا اور کہی ” چغتا ئیوں کی عزت، راجپوتوں کی ہی طرح ہے”- رام سنگھ فارسی سمجھ تو سمجھتا تھا پر فارسی بول نہیں سکتا تھا لہذا اسنے ٹوٹی پھوٹی فارسی میں شہزادی کو جواب دیا ” ملیچھوں (نا پاک مر ہٹہ) کو ڈولی کی طرف دیکھنے کی بھی ہمت نہیں ہوگی، تو قریب آنے کا سوال ہی نہیں ہوتا “-
سترہویں صدی میں مر ہٹوں کو کبھی بھی اس قسم کی سخت مزا حمت کا سامنا نہیں کر نا پڑا جو رام سنگھ اور اسکے ہڈا افواج نے اسے دی- نادرہ بیگم کی حفاظت میں رام سنگھ نے اپنے بیٹوں کے ساتھ ہی ساتھ تقریباً تین سو راجپوت سپاہیوں کی موت ہو ئی، مرہٹوں کے ساتھ مڈبھیڑ میں- اور آخر کار رام سنگھ کو کا میابی ملی اور اس نے جیسا شہزادی سے کہا تھا کہ ” نادرہ بیگم کی ڈولی کی طرف کوئی نظر تک نہیں ڈال سکتا ” اپنے قول کو شہزادی کی حفاظت کر کے پورا کیا- اسطرح راجپوت اور مغلوں کے درمیان آپسی اعتماد اور محبت کا شبوت ملتا ہے کہ کیسے اور کس حد تک بحران کے وقت راجپوت بادشاہ تو دور ایک شہزادی کی حفاظت کے لئے جا سکتا ہے-

درج بالا واقع ۱۶۹۹ میں رونما ہوا تھا اور اس واقعہ کے مطالعہ سے پتہ چلتا ہے کہ راٹھور کی بغاوت اور اورنگ زیب کے امتیازی پالیسیوں کے با وجود اورنگ زیب نے راجپوتوں کا اعتماد نہیں کھو یا تھا-

ازدواجی تعلقات اور جذباتی وابستگیوں کے علاوہ مغلوں اور راجپوتوں کے تعلوقات فطری طور پر یکساں تھے-اور مغلیہ سلطنت کی تو سیع کے ساتھ ہی ساتھ راجپوت ریا ستیں بھی ترقی اور خوشحال ہو تی رہی- اور اٹھا رویں صدی میں جب مغلیہ سلطنت کا زوال شروع ہوا، اسکے ساتھ ہی مر ہٹوں نے راجپوتوں کے عظیم الشان محلوں کو لوٹ لیا- راجپوتوں اور مغلوں کی تعلوقات کا عمیق مطالعہ سے پتہ چلتا ہے کہ سولہویں، سترہویں، اور اٹھارویں صدی میں مغل اور راجپوت ایک ساتھ مل جل کر ترقی کرتے رہے اور مغلوں کے زوال کے ساتھ ہی ساتھ راجپوتوں کا بھی زوال ہو گیا-

مضمون نگار: سید علی ندیم رضوی، پروفیسر، شعبہ تاریخ، علی گڑھ مسلم یو نیورسٹی، علی گڑھ

مترجم: عنایت اللہ خان، عا لیہ یو نیورسٹی، کولکاتہ