Central Administration

  • The development of Mughal administration was primarily the work of Akbar. The ideas and principles on which it evolved were different from those of the Delhi Sultanate.
  • Due to lack of time and opportunity in case of Babur and lack of inclination and ability in case of Humayun, an elaborate system of civil government remained a myth. It was largely due to the establishment of an administrative apparatus by Sher Shah that Akbar could lay the edifice of a systematic structure in administration.
  • The Mughal state was essentially military in nature where the word of the emperor was law. The administrative structure was highly centralized in nature.

Emperor

  • Our ancient traditions have always supported a strong ruler. Thus, the concept of divine origin by monarchy could easily find credence among the Indian people.
  • It is in line with this that the Mughals publicized the Jharokha darshan in which the emperor appeared before the general public at an appointed hour. Large number of people assembled daily to have a glimpse of the ruler and to present petitions to him which was attended to immediately or in the open darbar (diwan-i-am) which followed and lasted till midday.
  • The emperor being the head of administrative machinery enjoyed the final authority in civil, military and judicial matters. All administrative officers under the Mughals owed their power and position to the Emperor.
  • Though the king enjoyed absolute power, he appointed a number of officers in different departments of the government for the transactions of the multitudinous affairs.

Wazir

  • The institution of Wazir enjoyed both civil and military powers both under Delhi sultans and the Mughals. The position of the wazir revived under the early Mughals.
  • Babur’s wazir was Nizamuddin Muhammad Khalifa enjoyed both the civil and military powers; Humayun’s wazir Hindu Beg also virtually enjoyed great powers. It was under Bairam Khan’s regency that the wazir saw unprecedented rise in power.
  • Akbar retained the post of Wazil but stripped of all its power and hence it became largely decorative. The post was given to important nobles from time to time, but they played little part in administration.
    • The head of revenue department continued to be the Wazir. He was no longer the principle adviser to the ruler but an expert in revenue affairs.
    • To Emphasise this point Akbar in his eighth regnal year took away the financial powers of the wakil and entrusted it into the hands of the Diwan-i-kul (Finance Minister).
      • However, the wakil continued to enjoy the highest place in the Mughal bureaucratic hierarchy despite reduction in his powers.

Diwan-i-Kul

  • The Diwan was the finance minister responsible for collection of revenue and remittance of it to the imperial treasury and check all accounts.
  • Akbar strengthened the office of the diwan by entrusting the revenue powers to the diwan. He was responsible for all incomes and expenditure held control over Khalisa, jagir and inam lands.
    • He personally inspected all transactions and payments in all departments. His seal and signatures were necessary for the validation of all official papers involving revenue.
    • The entire revenue collection and expenditure machinery of the Empire was under his charge. No fresh order of appointment or promotion could be affected without his seal.

Mir Bakshi

  • The Mir Bakshi was the paymaster – general and the administrator of the army. All orders of appointments of mansabdars and their salary papers were endorsed and passed by him.
  • He personally supervised the branding of the horses (dagha) and checked the muster-roll (chehra) of the soldiers.
  • It was Mir Bakshi and not the diwan who was considered the head of the nobility. The mir bakshi was also the head of the intelligence and information agencies of the empire. Intelligence officers (barids) and news reporters (waqia-navis) were posted to all ports of the empire.
  • Mir Bakshi placed all matters pertaining to the military department before the Emperor. His duty was to check whether proper places were allotted to the mansabdars according to their rank at the court. His darbar duties considerably added to his prestige and influence.

Mir Saman

  • The Mir Saman was the officer incharge of the royal karkhanas. He was the chief executive officer responsible for the purchase of all kinds of articles and their storage for the royal household.
  • Another important duty was to supervise the manufacture of different articles, be it weapons of war or articles of luxury.
  • He was directly under the Emperor but for sanction of money and auditing of accounts he was to contact the diwan. Only nobles who enjoyed the complete confidence of the emperor were appointed to this office.

Sadr-us Sudur

  • The Sadr -us-Sudur was the head of the ecclesiastical department. His chief duty was to protect the laws of the Shariat.
  • He was also connected with the distribution of charities – both cash and land grant. He also looked into whether the grants were given to the right persons and utilized properly.

Chief Qazi

  • The Judicial department was headed by chief Qazi.
  • This post was sometimes combined with that of Sadr-us sudur. It was a post which considerable power and patronage.

Provincial Administration

  • The empire was divided into several provinces known as Subas for smooth administration and revenue collection. The administrative structure of the province during Mughal rule was exactly the miniature of the central government.
  • The head of a Suba was Subedar who was appointed directly by the emperor. He was the head of the civil as well as military administration of each Suba. There were similar departments in the province under a governor who was appointed by the emperor.
  • Each suba was divided into a number of sarkars and these were further divided into parganas and mahals.
  • Mughals through their administrative structure ensured homogeneity in governance throughout the empire. All the provinces of the empire were governed in the same manner, followed same official language, currency etc.

Provincial Governor

  • Subedar (the governor of a suba) was directly appointed by the Emperor. His essential duties were the maintenance of law and order, to ensure smooth and successful collection of revenue and execution of royal decrees and regulations.
  • Apart from other duties, he looked after the welfare of the people and the army. He also encouraged agriculture, trade and commerce in the province. He also took up various welfare tasks like construction of sarais, gardens, wells, water reservoirs, etc.

Diwan

  • He headed the revenue department in a province. It is to note that he was appointed by the emperor and not the subedar, and therefore acted as an independent officer answerable to the center.
  • He supervised the revenue collection in the suba and maintained accounts of all expenditure incurred in the form of salaries of the officials and subordinates in the suba. He also had to take steps to increase area under cultivation and boost the state coffers.
  • The Mughals, by making the diwan independent of the subedar were successful in checking the subedar from becoming independent.

Bakshi

  • Bakshi was appointed by the imperial court at the recommendation of the Mir Bakshi. His functions at the provincial level were same as that of Mir Bakshi at the central level.
  • He was responsible for checking and inspecting the horses and soldiers maintained by the mansabdars in the suba. It was his duty to inform the center about the happenings in his province.

Daroga-i-Dak

  • He was tasked with developing communication network throughout the empire. The postal system ensured communication was sent to and fro to the far flung areas of the empire.
  • For this purpose, a number of dak chowkis were maintained throughout the Empire where runners were stationed who carried the post to the next chowki.
  • Horses and boats were also used to help in speedy delivery.

Secret Services

  • The emperor received regular reports from waqia-navis and waqainigars who were recruited at the provincial level. Besides them, there were also Sawanihnigar to provide confidential reports to the Emperor.
  • Mughal emperors paid frequent visits to the provinces, transferred the officials after a period of three years on an average but the possibility of rebellion always existed and, therefore, constant vigil through an organized system of intelligence network was established.

Local Administration

Sarkars

  • The Subas were further divided into Sarkar, Pargana and village. The Fauzdar and Amalguzar were the two important functionaries at the Sarkar level.
  • Fauzdar was the executive head of the Sarkar. His duty was mainly to take care of rebellions, and law and order problems. His area of influence was more complex and his jurisdiction was decided according to the needs of the region.
    • He was not only appointed at the sarkar level, but sometimes within a sarkar a number of faujdars existed, and at times their jurisdiction spread over two full sarkars.
  • The Amalguzar was responsible for the revenue collection in a Sarkar. Amalguzar was supposed to increase the land under cultivation and induce the peasants to pay revenue willingly without coercion. He maintained all the accounts and sent regular reports to the provincial diwan.

Pargana Administration

  • The parganas were the administrative units below the sarkar.
  • The shiqqdar was the executive officer of the pargana and assisted the amils in revenue collection. The amil looked after the revenue collection at the pargana level also. His duties were similar to those of the Amalguzar at the sarkar level.
  • The village was the lowest administrative unit headed by muqaddam while the patwari took care of the village revenue record.

Kotwal

  • Kotwal appointed by the imperial court was entrusted the duty to safeguard the life and property of townsmen. He can be compared with the modern day police officers and had to maintain a register of people coming and going out of the town.
  • Outsiders have to take permits from him before entering or leaving the city. He ensured fair trade practices like standard weights are used by the merchants and shopkeepers; no illicit liquor is manufactured in his area etc.

Qiladar

  • He was the officer in charge of the forts (quila) built throughout the Mughal empire.
  • Each quiladar was entrusted the responsibility of one quila.

Military System

  • The Mughal Empire followed a complicated military system. The emperor depended upon four different classes of troops i.e. mansabdars, dakhili, ahadis and the chiefs for the maintenance of order and the defense of the empire’s borders instead of going for a large standing army.
  • Apart from troops, artillery was an important component of the imperial army and recognizing its importance Akbar gave special attention to it. European gunners were employed later on in appreciable numbers.
  • Little technical improvement in the reign of later Mughals contributed to the decline of the empire. They were also unsuccessful at the naval front. They had no large fighting vessels, and the ships that they maintained were primarily for the furtherance of the commercial operations of the state.

Mansabdari System

  • The word Mansab means a place, a position, an honour and a rank, which happened to be an integral part of the Mughal bureaucracy. The mansabdari system introduced by Akbar was a unique feature of the civil and military administrative system of the Mughal Empire.
  • Under this system every officer was assigned a rank (mansab). The lower rank was 10 and highest was 5000 for the nobles; towards the end of his reign it was raised to 7000. Higher mansab were allotted to the princes of blood.
  • Mansab decided the status of the holder in the graded official hierarchy, it also fixed the pay of the holder or the Mansabdar and it also made it obligatory to maintain a specified number of contingent with horses and necessary equipment.

Dual Ranks: Zat and Sawar

  • The ranks (mansab) under the mansabdari system were divided into two: zat and sawar.
    • The word zat means personal. It fixed the personal status of a person, and also the salary due to him.
    • The sawar rank indicated the number of cavalrymen a person was required to maintain.

Classes of Mansabdars

  • There were three categories in every mansab (rank):
    • First category: A person who was required to maintain as many sawars as his zat rank.
    • Second category: A person who maintained half or more sawars as his zat rank; and
    • Third category: If he maintains less than half number of sawars as his zat rank.
  • To reward those who maintained a large quota of sawars for the state, an additional allowance of rupees two was added to zat’s salary. No one could have a higher quota of sawar than his zat rank.

Appointment of Mansabdars

  • All mansabdars were appointed by the emperor, who also granted promotions on the basis of gallantry in military service and merit.
  • Akbar appointed many of Rajput chiefs as mansabdars after their submission to the Mughal authority.
  • The number of mansabdars kept on increasing from the reign of Akbar to Aurangzeb.

Payment and maintenance of troops

  • The Mughal mansabdars were paid very handsomely, in fact they at that time were amongst the highest paid in the world. A mansabdar holding a rank of 100 zat received a salary of rupees 500, those with a rank of 5000 zat received rupees 30,000. They had to spend nearly half of their salary for the administration of the jagirs and the upkeep of the animals.
  • Immense care was taken to ensure that the sawars recruited were well experienced. For this purpose a system of branding of horses, called dagh and chehra (horse branded with imperial marks) was followed. Only good quality Arabic and Iraqi horses were employed in the service.
  • Two features of the sawar system may be noted.
    • For every contingent of ten men, the mansabdar was supposed to maintain twenty horses. Since the cavalry was the main arm, replacements during war or during march was considered vital. This system was known as 10-20 rule.
    • Secondly the Mughals favored mixed contingents with men drawn in fixed proportions from Irani, Turani, Indians, Afghans, and Rajputs etc. This was to break the tribal or ethnic exclusiveness.
  • Apart from cavalrymen, bowmen, musketeers (bandukchi), sappers and miners were also recruited in the contingents. Akbar kept a large part of cavalrymen as his bodyguards. He kept a big stable of horses. He also maintained a body of gentleman troopers. They were answerable only to the emperor and had a separate muster-master.

Jagirdari System

  • The Jagirdari system was an administrative system through which the land revenue was assigned in lieu of a salary which was called the jagir. The jagirdari system did not affect the hereditary rights of the intermediaries who were collectively known as the zamindars.
    • Such practice also existed during Delhi Sultanate period and such assignments were called Iqtas and the holders Iqtadars.
  • It is to be remembered in this connection that it is not land that was assigned but the right to collect revenue or income from the piece of land.
  • The Jagirdari system was an integral part of the mansabdari system which developed under Akbar and all the Mughal mansabdars were paid through assignment of jagirs.

Organisation and Management of Jagirs

  • The Mughal emperor allocated jagirs to the mansabdars. The Mansabdar made his own arrangement for the revenue collection. The higher mansabdar kept their own staff consisting of the amils, writers etc. The smaller mansabdars used to farm out the revenue of their jagirs known as the ijara system. When a jagir was transferred or so long as it remained unassigned, it was kept as paibaqi and remained in the charge of the Central Diwan.
  • In order to ensure exactness in assigning jagirs, the standing estimates of the average annual income from revenues, known as jamadanis were prepared for every administrative division right down to the villages.
  • Khalisa or the land not assigned in jagirs was the main source of income of the king’s treasury, and the king’s officers were responsible for its collection. The size of the khalisa was not constant.
  • The ranks or mansabs they held were usually not inheritable. However, normally such ranks were conferred on sons and relations of nobles or higher mansab holders. Also the allocation of jagirs was temporary in nature. Promotions and demotions from time to time required revisions of the mansabs and each such alteration in mansab required a change in the mansabdar’s jagir.

Types of Jagirs

  • There were various types of Jagirs:
    • Jagirs, which were given in lieu of pay known as Tankha Jagir,
    • Jagirs given to an individual on certain conditions called Mashrut Jagirs,
    • Jagirs with no involvement of obligations of service and were independent of rank known as Inam Jagirs, and
    • Jagirs, assigned to Zamindars in their home lands called Watan Jagirs.
  • Of these varieties, Tankha Jagirs were transferable for every three or four years. Watan Jagirs were hereditary Jagirs and non-transferable. Yet, all these types of Jagirs were liable for conversion. Thus, the Jagirdars were allowed to collect only the stipulated amount fixed by the king.

Economic Administration

  • The Mughal Empire was predominantly agricultural and tax on it was the core support base for its economy.
  • The administration took steps to bring more area under cultivation, increase the land productivity and fertility of land. Mughal farmers were growing and exporting large quantities of highly valued agricultural commodities such as tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, pepper , ginger , indigo, opium, and even silk.
  • Apart from land revenue, taxation on commodities, merchant’s income, custom and transit tax, currency minting charges etc. also boosted state coffers.

Land Revenue

  • The central feature of the agrarian system under the Mughals was the alienation from the peasant of his surplus produce i.e. produce over and above the subsistence level, in the form of land revenue which was the main source of state’s income.
    • Early British administrators assumed the land revenue as rent of the soil because they had a view that the king was the owner of the land, but studies of Mughal India have shown that it was a tax on the crop and was thus different from the land revenue as conceived by the British.

Methods of Land Revenue Assessment

  • Separate assessment was done for kharif and Rabi crops. After the assessment was over a written document called patta was issued in which the amount or the rate of the revenue demand was mentioned. The assessee was in return supposed to give qabuliyat (acceptance) of the obligation imposed upon him, stating when and how he would make the payments.
  • Officials called Karoris were appointed all over north India. They were responsible for collection of crore of dams (Rs 2,50,000) and also checked the facts and figures.
  • Following are the few commonly used methods:
    • Ghalla-Bakshi (Crop-sharing):
      • Under this method, the crop was divided between peasant and state and both shared the risks of the seasons equally.
      • It was expensive from the viewpoint of the state since the latter had to employ a large number of watchmen, else there were chances of misappropriation before harvesting.
      • When Aurangzeb introduced it in the Deccan, the cost of revenue collection doubled simply from the necessity of organizing a watch on the crops.
    • Kankut or Dambandi:
      • The word kankut is derived from the words Kan and kat. Kan denotes grain while kat means to estimate or appraisal. Similarly, dam means grain while bandi is fixing or determining anything.
      • It was a system where the grain yield (or productivity) was estimated. In kankut, at first, the field was measured either by means of a rope or by pacing. After this, the per bigha productivity from good, middling and bad lands was estimated and the revenue demand was fixed accordingly.
    • Zabti or Dahshala system:
      • This system of land revenue collection was introduced by Akbar to alleviate the problems arising due to fixing prices every year and doing settlements of revenues of previous years.
      • Under this system average produce of ten years was derived. One third of this average produce was fixed in Rupees per bigha and fixed as share of the state (Mai), rest two third share was left to the cultivators (Kharaj).
      • The origin of this practice is traced to Sher Shah and it was brought to Mughal administration by Raja Todarmal, the able finance minister of Akbar. This system prevailed from Lahore to Allahabad and in the provinces of Malwa and Gujarat.
    • Nasaq:
      • Another system which was widely in use was Nasaq. It meant a rough calculation of the amount payable by the peasants on the basis of what he had been paying in the past.
      • Hence some historians think that this was merely a system of computing the peasant’s dues not a different system of assessment.

Land Revenue Fixing

  • Land which remained under cultivation almost every year was called polaj.
  • Uncultivated land was called parati (fallow).
  • Land which was fallow for two or three years was called chachar.
  • And if longer than chachar then it was called banjar.

These lands were assessed on concessional rates, the revenue demand gradually rising till the full or polaj rate was paid in the fifth or the eighth year. In this way the state helped in bringing virgin and uncultivated wasteland under cultivation.

Collection of Land Revenue

  • The process of land revenue collection has two stages: (a) assessment, and (b) actual collection.
    • Assessment was made to fix the state demand. On the basis of this demand, actual collection was done separately for kharif and Rabi crops.
    • Under the Galla Bakshi system, the state’s share was seized directly from the field.
    • In other systems, the state collected its share at the time of harvest.
  • Abu Fazl maintains that collection should begin for Rabi from holi and for kharif from Dussehra.
  • Usually, the revenue was deposited in the treasury through the Amil or revenue collector, though Akbar encouraged the peasants to pay directly to the treasury and get the receipt.

Land Revenue Administration

  • The available Mughal literature gives ample information about the administration about the khalisa lands but lacks sufficient information on the administration of jagirs. As the jagirdars were transferred every two or three years, they possessed little information about the local revenue collection, so they were assisted by the following type of officials:
    • Officials and agents of jagirdars;
    • Permanent local officials many of whom were hereditary. They were generally not affected by the frequent transfers of the Jagirdars, and
    • Imperial officials to help and control the Jagirdars.
  • At the rural level there were many revenue officials like karori (incharge of both assessment and collection of the revenue), amin (assessed the revenue), qanungo (local revenue official of the pargana), shiqdar (incharge of revenue collection and maintained law and order ), muqaddam (village headman) and patwari (maintained state and economy records of the village land, the holdings of the individual cultivators, variety of crops grown and details about fallow land) etc.

Zamindars

  • In the available Mughal literature, the term zamindar was used in a very wide sense. It covered petty landholders in the villages, descendants of old ruling families who retained small portions of their ancestral lands as well as the Rajput and other chiefs who exercised autonomous administrative authority in their principalities.
  • They possessed hereditary right of collecting land revenue from a number of villages called zamindari. For this purpose they got a share from the collected revenue which at times could go up to 25 percent of the revenue collected. He did not own the lands under his zamindari, but only had the right of revenue collection from the peasants as long as they paid it on time. The difference between the collected revenue and the amount sent to the state was his personal income. They exercised considerable local influence in administrative and social affairs.
  • Politically, there was a clash between the Mughal government and the zamindars and yet zamindars as a class remained the mainstay in the functioning of the empire. The zamindars often commanded large army and fortresses and as a result sometimes the state had to use military force against defiant zamindars for the realisation of revenue.

Taxes other than Land Revenue

  • The main sources of revenue were tolls and levies on craft production, market levies, customs and road tax both on inland and overseas trade, and also mint charges.
  • The state treasury received huge contributions by way of war booty, tributes and gifts from various quarters. Taxes were levied on the articles sold in the market. Artists and merchants were also subjected to taxation.

Rahdari or Transit Tax

  • It was the road tax levied on both inland and overseas trade. This tax was collected on river routes also.
  • There was no fix rate for rahdari and could be charged per maund, per or load, per cart, or even lump sum amount was charged sometimes.
  • The emperor sometimes gave orders for the remission of rehdari to comfort the people and alleviate their distress.

Katraparcha

  • It was the tax levied from merchants, artisans on their products. The articles under this included all sorts of cotton, silk and wool cloth, indigo, saltpeter and salt etc.

Custom Taxes

  • It was levied when the goods were taken from one place to another. All merchandise brought via ports was charged with custom taxes.
  • Abu Fazl gives some information about the rates prevailing during Akbar ’s reign. A rate of 2.5 percent was charged during Akbar’s time which increased to 4-5 percent during the seventeenth century.

Methods of Collection of these taxes

  • The state maintained separate accounts for income from land revenue and taxes other than land revenue. For this purpose, the taxes were classified into two:
    • mal-ojihat (related to land revenue) and
    • sair-jihat (taxes from merchandise and trading)
      • and separate fiscal divisions called mahalat-isair or sairmahals were created in big cities and towns for convenient assessment and collection.
  • The mahal was a purely fiscal division and was different from the pargana which was both a revenue and territorial division.
  • Mutasaddi was the chief official responsible for the collection of taxes at the ports. Mushrif, tahwildar, and darogha-i-Khazana are some of the officials working under the mustasaddi to assist him in valuation and realization of custom dues and maintaining accounts. The market rate was determined by the merchants and the custom house.

Currency System

  • Coins of an empire are the manifestation of the culture and the economic state of affairs of the time.The Mughals had a well-organized and sophisticated monetary system. The imperial coinage was unprecedented both in quantity as well as in quality. The usage of coins started during the reign of Babur and continued during Humayun. The credit for attempting to establish a coinage free from any trace of debasement goes to Sher Shah, but it was under Akbar that the currency system fully matured.
  • Mughal Empire had a tri-metallic currency of gold, silver and copper with a high level of purity and uniformity throughout their vast empire. However, the silver coin was the base of the Fiscal and Monetary System.
  • Although silver coins had a long pre Mughal history of use during the Delhi sultanate, it was Sher Shah who for the first time standardized the silver coin. It was call rupiah and had a weight of 178 grains. For minting purposes, an alloy was added which was kept below 4 percent of the weight of the coin. Akbar continued the rupiah as the basic currency with more or less the same weight. Under Aurangzeb the weight of the rupiah was increased to 180 grains. The silver rupiah was the main coin used for business and revenue transactions.
  • The Mughals issued a gold coin called muhar, it weighed 169 grains. This coin was not commonly used in commercial transactions as it bore high intrinsic value and was used as gifts. The most common coin used for small transactions was the copper dam which weighed around 323 grains. The weight of the copper dam was reduced by one third during Aurangzeb’s reign presumably because of the shortage of copper. Coins of smaller denomination, of which Nisar was the most common were also stuck by the Mughal emperors. Furthermore, in coastal areas kauris were used for petty transactions.
  • Primarily, heavy weight coins were common and the light weight coins were rare but with time the light weight coins became popular and the heavy weight coins became rare. The exchange value of gold, silver and copper coins kept fluctuating depending on the supply of these metals in the market.
  • The Mughals followed a free coinage system i.e. anyone could come with a bullion and get it coined at the mint. The state had the sole authority to issue coins and no other person could issue them. A very strict standardization was followed to maintain the purity of coins. A large number of mints were established throughout the empire in big cities.
  • Every coin carried the name of the issuing mint, and the year of minting and ruler ’s name. Newly minted coins in the currency were called Taza sikka while the coins minted in the earlier reigns were called Khajana. Except for the Taza sikka all other coins were subjected to reduction in value.

Judiciary

  • The Judicial system of the Mughals was very similar to that of the sultanate. The disputes were speedily settled, often on the basis of equity and natural justice, though of course in the case of Muslims the injunctions and precedents of Islamic law applied where they existed. The aim of the judicial system was primarily to settle individual complaints and disputes rather than to enforce a legal code, as is indicated by the fact that the criminal court was normally known as the diwan-i-mazalim, the court of complaints.
  • All foreign travelers have commented on the speedy justice of the Mughal courts and the comparatively few cases coming before them. The latter was partly due to the general prejudice against litigation, but even more to the fact that a large number of disputes, particularly those affecting the Hindus, were settled by the village and caste panchayats, and did not come before the official courts.
  • The emperor was supreme in all matters of justice. At the imperial level was the emperor’s court – the court of final appeal. It dealt with both civil and criminal cases, and had appellate and revisional powers. Akbar used to spend several hours of the day disposing of judicial cases, and governors followed the same procedure in the provinces.
  • There were separate courts for military matters. There were courts specifically dealing with revenue cases. The chief revenue court was presided by the imperial Diwan. At the provincial level was the diwan-i-suba who dealt with appeals against the Amil’s orders. He also had original powers in revenue cases. Similarly there were courts at the Sarkar and the Pargana levels. The lower courts functioned hierarchically as follows in regard to civil and criminal cases:
    • Subah: At this level, there was the nazim’s court with original, appellate and revisional authority and the qazi-i-subah’s court which tried canon law cases.
    • Sarkar: The district courts were presided over by the qazi-i-sarkar, from whose decisions appeals lay to the qazi-i-subah, and he faujdari adalat for law and order cases.
    • Pargana: The adalat pargana had a qazi-i-pargana as its presiding officer, from whose decisions appeal lay to the qazi-i-sarkar .

Policy of Succession

  • The Mughal policy of succession is cited to be one of the major reason for the fall of the empire. They did not follow any law of succession like the law of primogeniture where the eldest son inherits his father’s estate. Rather they followed the Mughal and Timurid tradition of coparcenary inheritance, or a division of the inheritance amongst all the sons.
    • Consequently, each time a ruler died, a war of succession between the brothers for the throne started. Sons revolted against fathers to capture the throne. Brothers fought the wars of succession. Jahangir, as prince Salim, revolted against his father Akbar, Shah Jahan revolted against Jahangir, Aurangzeb revolted against Shah Jahan. The fratricidal wars among the brothers were of a more serious nature. Shah Jahan killed his brother for power; Aurangzeb came to the throne by killing his brothers.
  • This weak policy of succession weakened the Mughal Empire, and the disease became more serious especially after Aurangzeb. For a Mughal Prince, there were only two alternatives, namely, either the throne or the coffin.
  • Gradually, the nobles grew much powerful by siding with one of the contenders. This weakened the empire internally and gave vent to the personal interests of nobles.
Administrative UnitIncharge
Suba (Province)Sipahsalar /Subedar /Nizam – Head Executive,
Diwan – lncharge of revenue department
Sarkar (District)Fauzdar – Administrative Head,
Amal/ Amalguzar – Revenue collection
Pargana (Taluka)Siqdar – Administrative Head Amin,
Qanungo – Revenue officials
Gram (Village)Muqaddam – Headman,
Patwari – Accountant

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments