Jahangir continued the Rajput policy of his father Akbar in a similar manner. Jahangir was the son of a Rajput princess, and very liberal and broadminded in his religious outlook.
The temporary breakup of his relations with Raja Man Singh on the Khurram episode did not have any adverse impact on Rajput policy of Jahangir. Raja Man Singh lost influence at the imperial court but not so his position, status or the fortunes. Jahangir too entered into matrimonial relations with Rajputs and had married a number of Rajput princesses, and he maintained very cordial relationship with the Rajput ruling houses.
Jahangir’s successor Prince Khurram, was born of a Rajput princess, daughter of Raja Udai Singh of Jodhpur (Marwar). The imperial court was adorned by generals, scholars and artists of all communities as ever before, and the doors of civil and military services were wide open for the Hindus.
War and Peace with Mewar
At the time of the accession of Jahangir, Mewar was in a state of war with the Mughal Empire. There was a general notion that the continued existence of an independent Mewar was partly due to the folly of Jahangir himself because, during his career as a prince, he had refused to obey his father’s order to undertake the task of its subjugation.
Therefore, the conquest of Mewar became a matter of prestige with Jahangir; the existence of a rebellious principality in the heart of an all-powerful Mughal empire was annoying him.
Consequently, immediately after his accession to the throne, he ordered the despatch of a military expedition to Mewar under the command of prince Parvez assisted by Asaf Khan Jafar Beg, an imperial minister against Rana Amar Singh of Mewar.
The imperialists were accompanied by Sagar, an uncle of Rana Amar Singh, who had deserted his people and was residing at the Mughal court as a pensioner. A bloody but indecisive battle was fought between the Rana and the imperial troops at the pass of Dewar. The Mughals installed Sagar as their protege at Chitor with the purpose of creating a rift between the Rajputs of Mewar although the people refused to acknowledge the traitor as their rana and Sagar had to vacate Chitor in disgrace soon afterwards. The Mughal armies were recalled by Jahangir from Mewar on the sudden outbreak of Khusrau’s revolt. It marked the end of the first phase of struggle between Mewar and the Mughal Empire during the reign of Jahangir.
After settling Khusrau’s affair, Jahangir directed his attention once again to the problem of Mewar. From 1608 to 1615 CE, he sent as many as four military expeditions for its subjugation. In 1608 CE Mahabat Khan led the imperial armies into Mewar and invaded its territories of the plains although the Rana held out in the forested hills and valleys of Mewar; Mahabat Khan was recalled to the court. In 1609 CE, Abdullah Khan attacked Mewar but in vain. In 1611 CE Mirza Aziz Koka and prince Khurram were directed to lead the imperial troops against Mewar but their mutual disputes resulted in the failure of the expedition.
Finally, Jahangir made up his mind, in 1613 CE, to launch a continual military campaign against Mewar under his personal supervision. He shifted his headquarters to Ajmer, and directed the entire might of the imperial arms against Mewar. Prince Khurram was credited with the exclusive command of the army of invasion. He adopted a scorch-earth policy in Mewar. He ravaged the towns, razed the villages to the ground and destroyed the standing crops. The areas infested and defended by the Rajputs were put under a state of blockade. All supplies from outside to those areas were stopped. To add insult to the injury, Mewar was engulfed in famine and epidemic. Consequently, the people living in the plains of Mewar were uprooted and threatened with annihilation. The conflict between the tiny state of Mewar and the mighty Mughal Empire was unequal and even undesirable. Hard-pressed, Rana Amar Singh and his associates, ultimately, realized the futility of prolonging the struggle which had destroyed the whole state and brought untold miseries on its people.
In 1615 CE, the Rana sent his maternal uncle Shubh Karan for peace negotiations with Jahangir on honorable terms. The prince as well as Jahangir were delighted to see a turn in the tide; on the recommendations of the former, the emperor ratified a treaty of peace with Mewar on the most liberal terms ever granted to any Rajput vassal state by the Mughals.
As per the terms of the treaty, Rana Amar Singh recognized Jahangir as his suzerain. The Mughals restored all the territories of Mewar to Rana, including Chitor, which had ever been annexed by them since the beginning of the conflict with Mewar under Akbar. Although, no limit was imposed on the armed forces to be kept by the Rana. As a point of prestige for the Mughal Empire, it was agreed by the Rana that the fort of Chitor would not be repaired or fortified so that it might not be used as a stronghold against the imperial government in the future. Rana Amar Singh was not obliged to attend the imperial court or join the imperial service. He was also not required to enter into a matrimonial alliance with the Mughals. Jahangir himself records in his memoirs that, when Rana Amar Singh visited prince Khurram in his military camp somewhere in Mewar, the prince ‘behaved to him with perfect kindness.’
According to Jahangir there was prevalent a custom among the Rajputs that the son who is the heir-apparent should not go with his father to pay his respects to a king or prince. “As per this custom the Rana did not bring with him Karan, his son, who had received the tika’. Therefore, Karan came to pay homage to prince Khurram after some time, and was received with equal warmth. He accompanied prince Khurram to pay personal respects to Jahangir at Ajmer. The affectionate treatment meted out to Karan, the crown prince of Mewar, by Jahangir exhibits not only a great stroke of diplomacy and statesmanship but also his honest and sincere desire like Akbar to win over the love and cooperation of the Rajputs.
Unsurprisingly, the Treaty of Peace with Mewar (1615 CE) was a major breakthrough in the history of the Mughal rule in India. It marked the ultimate success of the policy of political unification of the country and establishment of a nation-state of India on secular lines, as envisioned by Akbar in 1562 CE. The Rajput policy of Jahangir was crowned with success. Jahangir and his son prince Khurram (later the emperor Shah Jahan) had correctly imbibed the national policy of Akbar, and they pursued it in the right spirit. Jahangir deserves every credit for having secured the submission of Mewar by pursuing very liberal and friendly policy towards it. Mewar enjoyed complete autonomy during the reigns of Jahangir and Shah Jahan and professed loyalty to the Mughal throne till the last quarter of the 17th century. However, Aurangzeb reversed the liberal and secular policy of his ancestors which compelled many subordinate Hindu chiefs, including Kana Raj Singh of Mewar, to revolt and break away from the Mughal empire.
Jahangir continued the Rajput policy of his father Akbar in a similar manner.
The temporary breakup of his relations with Raja Man Singh on the Khurram episode did not have any adverse impact on Rajput policy of Jahangir.
Jahangir too entered into matrimonial relations with Rajputs and had married a number of Rajput princesses, and he maintained very cordial relationship with the Rajput ruling houses. At the time of the accession of Jahangir, Mewar was in a state of war with the Mughal Empire.
Immediately after his accession to the throne, Jahangir ordered the despatch of a military expedition to Mewar. However, the Mughal armies were recalled on the sudden outbreak of Khusrau’s revolt.
From 1608 to 1615 CE, Jahangir sent as many as four military expeditions to Mewar for its subjugation.
Ultimately in 1615 CE there was a Treaty of Peace with Mewar which was a major breakthrough in the history of Mughal rule in India.
The Rajput policy of Jahangir was crowned with success. Mewar enjoyed complete autonomy during the reigns of Jahangir.