Write a Short Essay (About 250-300 Words) on the Following:-
Identify the elements that went into the making of the Mughal ideal of kingship.
(i) According to Akbar's court poet, Abu’l Fazl Mughal kingship as the highest station in the hierarchy of objects receiving light emanating from God (farr-i- izadi). According to this idea, there was a Hierarchy in which the Divine Light was transmitted to the king (Mughal Emperor) who then became the source of spiritual guidance for his subjects.
(ii) Mughal chronicles present the empire as comprising many different ethnic and religious communities – Hindus, Jainas, Zoroastrians, and Muslims. As the source of all peace and stability, the emperor stood above all religious and ethnic groups, mediated among them, and ensured that justice and peace prevailed.
(iii) Abu’l Fazl describes the ideal of sulh-i kul (absolute peace) as the cornerstone of enlightened rule. In sulh-i kul all religions and schools of thought had freedom of expression but on condition that they did not undermine the authority of the state or fight among themselves The ideal of sulh-i kul was implemented through state policies – the nobility under the Mughals was a composite one comprising Iranis, Taranis, Afghans, Rajputs, Qeccanis – all of whom were given positions and awards purely on the basis of their service and loyalty to the king.
(iv) Akbar abolished the tax on pilgrimage in 1563 and jizya in 1564 as the two were based on religious discrimination. Instructions were sent to officers of the empire to follow the concept of sulh-i kul
(v) All Mughal emperors gave grants to support the buildings and maintenance of places of worship. However, it was during the reign of Aurangzeb, the jizya was re¬imposed on non-Muslim subjects.
(vi) Abu’l Fazl defined sovereignty as a social contract. According to him, the emperor protects the four essences of subjects, namely, life (Jan), property (mal), honor (narnus) and faith (din), and in return demands obedience and a share of resources from the people. Only sovereigns were thought to be able to honour the contract with power and Divine guidance.