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Books > History > Advanced Study in The History of Medieval India (Set of 3 Volumes)
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Advanced Study in The History of Medieval India (Set of 3 Volumes)
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Advanced Study in The History of Medieval India (Set of 3 Volumes)
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About the Book

This second revised edition gives an analytical and critical account of the political and military history of early medieval India. contemporary and near contemporary literary sources are liberally utilised for the reconstruction of the past.

The author lays special emphasis on the national aspect of history and gives an incisive analysis of the Indo-Muslim polity of the times. Historical facts have been reorganised and reinterpreted through clear and illuminating expositions, refreshing characterisation of historic personalities and objective assessment of events and movements. Together with maps, appendices, glossary and an elaborate index, lthe volume makes a rich contribution to the advancement of modern historical literature.

 

About the Author

J.L. Mehta, a specialist in Medieval and modern Indian History, and a prolific writer, with proficiency in Urdu, Persian and Tibetan, Besides Hindi, Punjabi and Sanskrit, has published a number of books, articles and monographs.

At Present he is Reader in the Postgraguate Department of History, Panjabi University Evening College, Chandigarh.

 

Preface to the Second Revised Edition

The Second revised edition of the book is being presented to the readers with a sense of fulfillment by the author. The task of its revision was made comparatively easy by pleasure and satisfaction derived from correspondence with scholars and teachers of the subject and by the challenge of press opinion.

Dr. Suryanath U. Kamath pointed out, in the Deccan herald, that the Bahmanids and the Vijayanagar empire had been given a sketchy treatment in the book. This deficiency has now beenmade good by the addition of a full-fledged chapter, serial number ten. It explains the circumstances leading to the origin and part played by them in the political life of the country in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Section three of the chapter discusses the nature of the Bahmani rule and its impact on the society and culture of the Deccan; the contribution made by the Bahmanids towards the development of education and learning, and art and architecture, have been especially highlighted. Similarly, an attempt has been made, in section four of the chapter, to sketch the life and condition of the people in the Vijayanagar state. Chapter nine of the book has, accordingly, been recast by deleting redesignated as “northern India in the fifteenth century.

On the suggestions received from many quarters, yet another chapter, serial number twelve, entitled “Architectural monuments of the sultans”, has been added. It attempts to explain the rationale of the building activity of the sultans, analyses the main points of difference between the indigenous and Islamic architectural traditions, and elaborates the various stages in which synthesis between two took place during the Sultanate Period, Leading, ultimately, to the emergence of what has been called the indo-Islamic Architecture.

Thus the revised edition of the book contains twelve chapters instead of ten. The intensive revision of the text resulted in a number of a additions and alterations in matters of factual information and on points of critical analysis and assessment.

The revision and enlargement of the text necessitated revision of the Index as well , which has now been made much more comprehensive than before; besides index in historical names and places, it also refers to the contemporary historiographers and their works, used in the body of the text.

The readers would be glad to know that this publication has been approved by the Government of India as a “university-Level text Book” and that the National Book Trust, India, has undertaken to subsidies its ‘low-priced paperback for the benefit of the students .’ The author owes a debt of gratitude of his revered teacher, Professor Hari Ram Gupta and all those scholars who have been helpful to him in enhancing the academic value of this study. All suggestion for its further improvement would be highly appreciated.

 

Preface to the First Edition

The Chronological division of History into ancient, medieval and modern periods is a European concept, applicable primarily to the western civilization; it came in to vogue from about the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The writers of European history used the term ‘medieval’ not merely in a descriptive but also qualitative or cultural situation which was inferior from the ancient or ‘classical’ values and characteristics. The medieval period of Indian history does not, however correspond exactly with the ‘middle age’ of Europe, also dubbed as ‘the dark age of the European civilization’; according to one definition, it covered a period between 476 and1500 A.D. from the breakdown of the roman empire in the West to the beginning of Renaissance and the Reformation. These dates cannot be taken up as a working hypothesis either for the beginning some historians to classify Indian period. An attempt made by Muslim (medieval) and British (Modern) periods was still more unfortunate, because it employed religion and race as the criteria which had serious repercussions on the subsequent political developments; it sowed the seeds of communal disharmony and led to the ‘partition’ of the country in 1947. Whatever criterion that may be adopted for reperiodisation of Indian history, one thing is clear; the traditional equations of ‘medieval’ with ‘Muslim’ Indian history’ with the era of ‘Muslim rule in India’ are not valid have rightly been discarded by most of the modern historians of Indian history.

The author takes the eleventhcentury to be the beginning of early medieval period in the history of India. It land us into the so-called ‘rajput period’ of ancient Indian civilization. The ‘age of imperial kanauj’ was over with the death f harsha vardhana (606-47); the efforts made by its ex-feudatories and other princes, Rashtrakutas of the Palas of Bengal, the re-unify India under one national government bore no fruit. India, in the beginning of the eleventh century, was parceled out into over one hundred regional kingdoms and petty principalities whose rulers identified themselves with their dominant rulling clans, tribes or communities, lacked overall national consciousness and freely dulged in self-destructive and suicidal warfare with one another. The system, in hernent socio-religious defect and economic in balance which created a gulf between the masses and the socio-political leadership, carried ipso. Facto the seeds of its own destruction. Toynbee holds that ‘’the self stultified Hindu civilization; of the period ‘was not assassinated’ by the turks; the latter simply gate it a coup d’ grace. The period of stress and strain, covering the eleventh and twelfth centuries of the Indian history forms the subject matter of the first four chapters of this study. The opening twilight of ancient India. Chapter 2dealswith the Indian expeditions of sabotaging and Mahmud of Ghazni which shook the political fabric of northern and western India, albeit the Ghanavid inroads ‘did not cut deeper into the flesh’ of the contemporary Indian politics and had no more serious effect upon the course of its History than Alexander’s invasion in 326-25 B.C. The third chapter draws a pen portrait of northern India when it enjoyed a respite for over a century and a quarter (1030-1175) from foreign invasions. This offered a golden opportunity and more than enough time to the Indian socio-political to rally itself and be prepare to defend its independence by setting its house in order on national considerations. To the misfortune of the country, the rajputs had learnt nothing and forgotten everything of their earlier encounters with the Turks; they exhibited a total lack of imagination in tackling the problem of political unity and national defense. Torn by mutual jealousies, dissensions and self-destructive tendencies, as ever before, the Indian princes failed to take concerted action against the turks by Muhammad Ghori and, as a consequence, tendencies, against before the Indian princes failed to take concerted action against the turks dust in quick succession under the iron heels of the invaders. The story of the ‘second holocaust’ (1175-1205) has been described in chapter 4. Muhammad Ghori and his Turkish ‘slave’ generals conquered northern India in the last quarter of the twelfth century and laid the foundations of the Turkish rule in Delhi.

 

Introduction

Indian Historiography-an Islamic Heritage

Ancient Indians had no taste for historiography; their scholars cared more for religious, spiritual and philosophical studies. Indian historiography is essentially an Islamic heritage; it were the muslim ulama and chroniclers who showed a ken sense of history and wrote detailed accounts of the day-to-day happenings and political upheavals. Their primary object in doing so was of course, the glory of Islam; they took pride in the military exploits of an amir ul momnin who attempted to transform dar ul harab into dar ul Islam by the conversion of ‘infidels;’ to the faith. Even otherwise, they were men of this world who valued their world who valued their material possessions and strove hard to multiply their worldly gains; this instinct helped them in keeping track of the events, past and present.

The muslim monarchs employed chroniclers, diarists and count historians who maintained profuse records of their activities, very often in systematic and chronological order, though usually exaggerated. The scholars produced books and poets composed masnav is on the dynastic, regional or general Histories of the Islamic world ; the writer penned biographical sketches of high and low and recorded historical anecdotes and chronological accounts of events, private or public; they wrote not only for literary fame, reward or edification of their patrons but also to satiate their intellectual hunger and inner urge for writing their observations and experiences. The educated among the rulers and nobility wrote memoirs or maintained personal diaries. Historiography, therefore, flourished in all of its form during the Sultanate period; the age produced a number of professional historians, chroniclers and men of letters who bequeathed to posterity a rich treasure of historical literature.

The Chroniclers of early medieval India were mostly turks or afghans of foreign pedigree who were interested primarily in recording the military and political and political exploits of their martial leaders, and states. They dealt mostly with matters which did not concern the general public; seldom did they pay attention to the socio-economic conditions of the country. The medieval system of education being 'theologically oriented', most of the writers traced the origin of every branch of knowledge to the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad. In order to use their material, therefore, it" is essential to have 'a clear understanding of the mentality of the men? who wrote it. They were not scientific historians; therefore, their works need to be handled with discretion and care. Their accounts have to be checked up and verified on the touchstone of modern research methodology before accepting them as historical facts. Of course, the military and political history is well" preserved in these literary sources. The study of numismatic evidence, monuments and representative specimens of art also helps in reconstructing the history of the times even though such sources are usually of a• secondary importance tending to corroborate or confirm the literary evidence.

 

(Part-II )
About the Book

Second in the series, this volume (1526-1707: Mughal Empire) gives a descriptive, analytical and critial survey of the Mughal Empire. The main thesis of the author is that the Mughals were foreign conquerors, albeit Akbar transformed his ruling house into a national monarchy and laid the foundations of a secular nation-state in India.

Historical facts have been reorganized and reinterpreted through clear and illuminating expositions, refreshing characterisation of historic personalities and objective assessment of events and movements. Together with maps, a detailed survey of sources, glossary and an elaborate index, the volume makes a notable contribution to the advancement of modern historical literature.

 

Preface to the First Edition

This is the second of the three-volume study on medieval Indian history, the first volume of which was publisher two year ago; it give a descriptive, analytical and critical account of the political and military history of the age of the imperial Mughals, from Babar to Aurangzeb (1526-1707). Their period of rule constitutes a glorious era in the annals of medieval Indian history. Babar, though a foreign conqueror, adopted Indian as the country of the domicile while his worthy descendants not only showed fondness for being thoroughly Indianite, even in blood and breed, but also displayed nationalistic sentiments and identified their interests with those of the sons of the soil. The Mughal period was marked by two centuries of freedom from external in visions and an enduring peace within the empire. It enabled the empire. It enabled the Great Mughals to bring about political unifications of India by the corporate activity of the nationalist forces, Including Hindus and muslims, under their benign control. The political unity was consolidated by the evolution of uniform system of administration, good government, and the steel-frame of all India services. Beginning with Akbar, the Mughals strengthened the forces of National integration and solidarity through equitable treatment towards their subjects, religious toleration and the secular state policy. It provided a requisite. It provided a requisite environment for the socio-cultual advancement, economic prosperity an alround development of the country n every walkout its national life. The Mughals played a premier role in effecting a healthy synthesis between the exotic Islamic traditions and ancient Indian culture, thus bringing into existence a new social order, called the Indo-Muslim culture, which was neither Hindu Nor Muslim but it a synthetic culture of the medieval age. They made invaluable contributions towards appreciation rather ‘fascination,’ for a really good stuff in print. The author is beholden to them for their valued opinions about the academic merit of his books and owes a special debt of gratitude to them for enabling him to bring about improvements therein ion the light of the suggestions made by them.

The author has been told by the publishers that his books have been put on the export list and that these have started earning foreign exchange. It is really encouraging to note that a reconstruction had interpretation of Indian history by son of the soil should measure up to the international academic standards and find favor with the scholars of advanced countries, albeit, in his humble opinion, the author attributes this success equally to the resourcefulness and enterprise of sterling Publishers but for whose dedication and professional expertise it would not have been possible to bring out the books in the shape in which these have been placed in the hands of the scholars.

The readers would be glad to know that the first two volumes of this publication have recently been approved by the Government of India as ‘University-Level Text Books’ and that the second revised edition of the second volume is being subsidized by the Central Government through National Book Trust as ‘Low –Priced Paperback’ for the benefit of the students.

Thus author is highly obliged to the Reviewer of the National Book Trust for having made many a useful suggestion for the improvement of the book. In accordance with his advice, the entire chapter on ‘Aurangzeb’ has been thoroughly revised and re-written so as to bring it in line with the last researches on the subject; and the author wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness for all sources of information an used by him in the reconstruction of the narrative.

 

Preface to the second Edition

The author had, while sending the manuscript of the third volume of this serial publication, Advanced Study in History of Medieval India, to the Press in August last, exhibited ‘a sense of fulfillment and great satisfaction’ on the conclusion of the project. This feeling of relief proved very short-lived , however. Close upon its heels, he received a warning-short from the publishers that he should start revising the text of the first two volumes as their first edition had nearly been exhausted. He was as yet half-way through the first volume in his attempt to revise it, when the publishers had to bring out its reprint in revise in the mid-session to meet the persistent demand from students and scholars from all over the country; for want of time, even and scholars from all over the country; for want of time , even the revision carried out be the author could not be incorporated therein. Nevertheless, it provided an opportunity to him to concentrate his attention on volume II, entitled, The Mughal empire, which is now being presented to the readers in the form of a second, revised and enlarged edition.

The task preparing the revised edition was made comparatively easy by the pleasure and satisfaction derived from the correspondence with the readers and by the challenge of press opinions and constructive criticism from students and scholars from various parts of the country. Needless to say, the author to now maintains a separate file on such correspondence, pertaining to his three-volume publication, which has been growing in bulk beyond all expectations. Whereas, it indicates, on the one hand, the growing popularity of his books among the postgraduate students and researchers in the history of medieval India as also among those preparing for the competitive examinations of the Union Public Service Commission and those of the various states, on the other hand, it shows the intellectual hunger of the Indian readers and their sense of the growth and development of the Indo-Muslim society and left an indelible mark on the socio-political institutions of the times. An humble attempt has been made in the foregoing pages of this study to reconstruct the saga of their political and military exploits, and review their achievements and failures on the national front, as objectively as humanly possible. Of course, the author lays special emphasis on the countrywide or national aspect of history and strives to give a critical analysis of the Indo-Muslim polity of the times.

 

Introduction

Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad, Known to history as Babar whose ‘guns sounded the death-knell of the Sultanate of Delhi’ in the first historic battle of April 21,1526 laid the foundation of the Mughal rule in India. It proved by far the most notable even in the annals of medieval history as it brought ‘a new people upon the stage, heroes and heroines of different stamp from the turks and Afghans of the preceding age. The Mughals played a predominant role in the history of Asia as a whole. The establishment of the Mughal empire in India was not an isolated even constituted but a link in the chainof the mighty Mongol empires which sprange up in the amphitheatre of Asian politics and left a deep imprint on its political and socio-cultural institutions in the medieval age.

Babar’s father Umar Sheikh Mirza was a petty chieftain of Ferghana (Fergana) which ones formed but a fragment of Amir Timur’s vast central Asian empire in the fourteenth century. Babar was born at Andizhan (Andijan), thecapial of Ferghana,on February 14,1483. These days, major part of the valley of Ferghana is included in the soviet socialist Republic of Uzbekistan, which occupies ‘first place’ among the central Asian republics of the soviet Russia for Size of population and the level of economic development. Baber was a worthy descendent of Amir Timur, the Turk, and changez Khan, the Mongol-the two world-famous military generals and empire-builders of central Asia. The use of termUzbekistan, viz; ‘The Uzbeks’, for the birthplace nomadic tribe of the turks (Turkiculus), like the Timurids, who derived their name from Uzbek Khan, a chief of the golden horde who diedin1340. The term Uzbek was used in the fifteenth century to indicate Muslim as opposed to Shamanisti or Buddhist Turkish tribes. The Uzbeks were bygone days. It was shaibani Khan Uzbek were defeat to beabar at the battle of Sar I pul in1502 snatched Samarqand and ferghana from his hand expelled him from his ancestral land for good. Babar sought shelter in Afghanistan as fugitive though he was destined to became the king of Kabul so on afterwards. The Uzbeks over numerous Timuried states, gradually established their dominance over other Turkish and Mongol tribes and planted their name over the region now known as Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan is situated in the heart of the central Asian republics of the Soviet Russia. It is bounded on the northwest and north by Kazakhistan while its share of the Ferghana valley is surrounded on the north, east and south by Kirghizia. The southeastern neigh bur of Uzbekistan is Tajik SSR, while on the south it is bounded by Turkmen SSR and forms an internationalvborder with Afghanistan. The Uzbeks live in ancient to ashes that have beenformed around rivers;vcoming down from various mountain ranges and flowing indifferent directions. Scattered over a he area, these oases, including the Tashkent, the Ferghana, the Zarafshan, the Kashka-darya, the Surkhan-darya. And the Khorezm (old Khwarizm) are separated from one another by arid steppes, deserts, and mountainranges; and, in the past their only links were occasional chains of tiny oases ‘with orchards clinging to the banks of brooks.

 

Part-III

 

Preface to the Second Edition

The three-volumes publication entitled avanced Study in the History of Medieval India has caught the imagination of the readers. The Growing Popularity of these books among the post-graduate students and researchers in the history of medeval India is evidenced by the ever increasingcorrespodence of the authr with them as also by the challenge of press reviews and constructive criticism from scholars from various parts of the country. The author highly appreciates comments on and critica evaluation of his books bythose interested in the subject; he always bears in mind their valuable suggestions for qualitative imrovement f the material, wherever necessary.

The author has been toldby the publishersthat hisbooks have been put on the export list and that these have started earning foreign exchange. It is really encouraging to note that a reconstruction andinterpretatxon of Indian History by ason of the soil should measure up to the international academic standards and find favour with the scholars of advanced countries, albeit this success may be attributed equally to the resourcefulness and enterpriseof Sterling Publ;ishers but for whose dedicationand professional expertise it would not have been possible to bring out the books in the shape in which these have been placed in the hands of the scholars.

We arepassing through a very serious socio-cultural and national crisis today. The rising tide of fundamentalism, regional and parochial outlook, and theracial and linguisticcontroversies threaten they very fabric ofcomposite Indian culture and the conncept of secular nationstate, evolved laboriously by one of our ancestors-Akbar the Great and so fondly cherished by themoern Indian leadership This book does not have a direct bearing onall these aspects; nevertheless, it may provide, in historical perspective, aninsightinto the causes and remedies of some of these problems to the readers.

 

Preface to the First Edition

With a sense of fulfilment and great satisfaction , the author presents to his readersthe third and concluding part of his Advanced Studyin the History of Medieval India, the first two volumes of which were brought out in 1979 and 1981 respectively. It gives a glimpse of the medieval Indian society and culture during the period 1000 to 1707 A.D., the political and military history of which has been given in the preceding volume. The subject-matter of this book emerges, like the flowering of a plant, from the political ackground provided by the two volumes of the series.

Socio-cultural development is a continus phenomenon, a slow and steady process, for the study of which periodisaton on the basis of poitical and military episodes or upheavals is not always feasible. No military action or political change, however suddenor violent, can mark either the abrupt ending of cultural state or pinpoint the transplantation of new socio-cultural trends among the people affected by it. The author is, thereore, conscious of the fact that the arab conquest of sind or invasions of Mahmud of Ghazni or Muhammad Ghori singal neither the beginning norultimate outcome of the multifarious social forces at work in the life of the Indians; these events or political developments can, nevertheless, earmarked asimportant milestones in thelong and chequered course of the Indian social stream like that of the Ganges from Kailashto the bosom of the Indian Oceans. In his attemptto understand the socio-cultural development of medieval Indian society in its historical perspective, the author was actually confronted with the intriguing problems of the forceful and continuous temporal dynamicsof socio-religious and cultural change in India. Sometimes these political developments gave birth to or accelerated the forces of social change while the others were themselves the outcome of such forces at work in the preceding period. The statedoes play an important role in shaping the character and life of its people, and the author has taken pains,in the first chapter of this study, to explain how the socio-cultural development of a people canbe understood better within the framework of a political system to which they belong. It is in this context that he strives to point out the social content in the state policies, military compaigns and administrative set-up of the mamluk sultans, the Khaljis, the tughluks, the rulers of Bahmani and vijayanagar kingdoms, and the imperial mughal respectively. An appreciation of this line of approach may make the unconventional chpapter-plan of this volume intelligible to the readers and enable them to find out the explicit and implicit elements of the madieval Indian socirty and culture as it finally assumed the shape during the age of Akbar,Jahangir and Shah Jahan.

A brief resume on the survey of the sources which precedes the text in all of the three volumes of this study by way of an introduction, may give an idealto the scholars of history, particularly the subject-specialists, of the deep involvement of the author in the field of his study and research. As a matter of fact, it reveals but a tip of the iceberg of the source-material on medieval Indian history which the author has built over the lasttwenty-five years of his academic career. It may require yet another set of three fairly big volumes to be reproduce in print, and the author wonders if any privae publisher would undertake its publication without a substantial grant from UGC, ICHR or some other agency. The readers would to prepare and pile up this material and uch besides in the files and packets marked: To be Published Posthumously; of course, sometimes he does succeed in pushing a handfulof the stuff through the press.

Let it berecorded once againby way of a pledge that the authr is fully concious of his duty towards the Society and the posterity toconduct himelf as anhonest and objectiv historiographer and teacher;it i inthis spirit that hehasdedicated this three-volume studyto his maternal grandchildren, Paras and daisy-the twoinnocent children to angelic virtues, thecustodians offuture Indian the hope of mankind in the twenty-first century. They provided him with mch-needed relief and recreation in the midst of his tire some studies and inspire him tocarry on his yog-sadhana as a karamyogi.

In the end, the author regards it as his plasant duty to express his gratitude to Shri O.P. Ghai, chairman, stering publisher, who undertook the publication of this three-volume study; but for the keen interest taken by him personally inthis costly enterprsie, it might not have been possible topresentitto the readers in such decently produced and handy volumes in beautiful print as has been done.

 

Introduction

The advent of Islam was anepoch-making event in the history of the world: it exercised a profound effect on the political, religious and socio-cultural life of India as well. The invasions of Muhammad bin Qasim (711-12), Mahmud of Ghazni (1000-1027 ) and Muhammad Ghori (1175-1205) markednot only the clash of arms between the rajputs-'the sword-arm of India', and the muslim in vaders but also the violent contat between the two strong religious thoughts andstreams of cultural forces. From confrontation to cooperation, followed by interaction and synthesis between the two forces, constitute the various stages in the long and chequered socio-cultural history of medieval India which forms the theme of this volume. The hindu society, with its'glorious 'rajput culture, giving placeto the Indo-Muslim Society and Culture which was neither hindu nor muslim but Indo-Muslim, to be very precise.

Ancient India presented a very dismal picture on the eveof the muslim invasions. Its disintegration had setin with the death of skanda Gupta (555-67); the exit of Harsha vardhana (606-47) and Pulakesin II (c.610-42) closed the era of national unity asalso of ancient India civilisation andculture. Abortive attempts weremade by number of individuls, backed by their respective clans and communities, to revive imperial traditions at Kanauj or elsewhere. On the ruins of Harsha's empire, one Yasovarman (c.700-70) tried to reuinite northern India underone government with head quarters at Kanauj he was a contemporary of king Dahir of Sind. After the conquest of Sind by the arabs, Yasovarman and king Lalitaditya of Kashmir (725-55) stemmed the tide of their advance in northern India. It seems that, soon after wards, the two princes fell out with each other and Yasovarman was killed in a battle by his adversary. With his death, there started a triangular contest for the occupation of Kanauj among the rashtrakutasof Deccan, the Gurjara-pratiharas of Malwa and the palas of Bengal. Ultimately, a gurjara-Pratihara chief, Nagabhatta (725-40) conquered Kanauj and laid the foundation of the imperial dynasty of his clain;is successors revived the imperial glory of Kanauj to a limited extent. Rajyapala, (1018-19) and was put to death by the princes of gwalior and kalinjar forhaving shown cowardicein acknowledging the overlordship of the invader.

Absence of Central Authority

Apart from the tottering kingdom of Kanauj, India on the eveof the muslim invasions, was parcelled out into numerous regional states and petty principalities, most of whose chiefs and ruling elite, irrespectiveof their race, caste, community ortribehave usually been referredto as the rajputs. For instancne, dahir, the first great rajpt chief who facedthe arabinvasion of Sind (711-12)was a brahman by caste. The heroicresistance put up by him and his entire family, incuding the women folk,in the defence of their tiny little state, constitutes a glorious chapter in the defence of their tiny little state, constitutes a glorious chapter in the history of Rajputs period (647-1200). The rajputs of Zabulistan(Southern Afganistan),who encounteredthearab invaders through Siestan and the Bolan pass in 867-70, belonged to the bhatti clan, whereas, Jaipal and Anangpal, the Hindushahi rulers of Kabul and Pujba, on the eve of the turkish invasions, were brahmans; they acted as a bulward for a long time. The feudal rajput states were usually identified with their ruling clans, tribes or communities. Their love for personal freedom, vanity and inflated ego did not permit the rajputstosubordinate their interests or py obedience to their more capable leaders. They, in general, lacked political foresight and displayed absence of an overall national consciousness. Terms like 'patriotism', 'motherland' and 'the state' had assumed narrow parochial or regional connotations with the rajputs. As a result, there were constant wars and clannish feuds among them which hampered the growth of national unity and the emergence of a strong national statein India. The various clans or the feudal lords went to warorfought the duels simply to show of their military prowess or muscle power respectively. The rajputs converted mutual warfare into a sort of sport in which valuable resources in menand material were laid waste and military strength neutralised. Because of these self-destructive and rather suicidal tendencies, they failed to take concerted action aginst the muslim invaders. They frequent changes in the ruling dynasties or princes within the same ruling house were not conductive towards them among the arge mass of their subjects. In the face of territorial claims and counter claims of the rival cheiftains,'might' became the supreme right' and the dispute as to what was right was decided 'by the arbitrament of war'. A petty principality, on having got an ambitious and capable prince, would throw off the overlordship of its might neighbour and, inturn, claim some sort of dominance over the weaker and smaller states. Such claims of paramountcy were seldom well-defined and usually not pushed beyond tolerable limits. They weaker states, therefore, did not always dispute or offer much resistance tthe vague imperial claim of their powerful neightbours. The whole process had a demoralising effect country strong enough t keep the warring princes incheck and coordinate their ctivities against foreign aggression.

 

Contents

 

Part-I

 

  Preface to the Second Edition vi
  Preface to the First Revised ix
  Introduction : Contemporary Sources of History 1
1 Twilight of Ancient India 29
2 Ghaznavid Inroads 47
3 Northern India Between the Two Holocausts (1030-1175) 64
4 The Second Holocaust (1175-1205) 74
5 Foundation of the Delhi Sultanate (1206-90) 86
6 KhaJji Imperialism 125
7 Tughluq Dynasty 187
8 Decline and Disintegration of the Sultanate 239
9 Northern India in the Fifteenth Century 259
10 Babmani and Vijayanagar Kingdoms 266
11 Administration of to be Sultanate 292
12 Architectural Monuments of the Sultans 313
  Conclusion 325
  Appendices 327
  Glossary 332
  Index 332

 

Part-II

 

  Preface to the First Edition V
  Preface to the Second Revised Edition VII
  Introductory 1
1. The Homeland of Babar 1
2. Ancestors of Babar 6
3. Survey of the Sources 19
1. Pre-Mughal India 81
1. Disintegration of the Sultanate of Delhi 81
2. Military Condition 100
3. Socio-Cultural Condition 101
4. Babar's Description of India 102
2. Babar 119
1. Early Career 119
2. Conquest of India 124
3. Character and Personality 142
3. Humayun 146
1. Accession and Early Difficulties 146
2. Struggle to Maintain the Heritage 150
3. Humayun in Exile (1540-55) 157
4. Restoration and Death (1555-56) 160
4. The Afghan Interlude 162
1. Rise of Sher Shah Sur 162
2. Administrative Reforms and other achievements 171
1. Akbar The Great 186
2. Recovery of the Parental Heritage 186
3. Rise and Fall of Bairam Khan 196
4. Triumph of absolute Monarchy 207
5. Akbar's Imperialism: Political Unification of India 207
  Evolution of Akbar's Imperialist Policy 220
(a) Conquest of Rajasthan 221
(b) Completion of the Conquest of Northern India 246
(c) North-West Frontier Policy of Akbar 258
(d) Conquest of the Deccan 258
(d) North-West Frontier Policy of Akbar 268
5. Akbar and Religion 278
6. Concluding Years of Akbar's Life 305
7. Character and Personality of Akbar 312
6. Mughal Administration 325
1. Akbar-The Real Founder Administrative System 325
2. Central Administration 330
3. Provincial and Local Administration 340
4. Mansabdari system 348
5. Land Revenue Sysfem 363
5. Land Revenue Sysfem 363
6. Law and Justice 373
7. Jahangir 374
1. Early Career and Accession 374
2. Revolt of Prince Khusrau. (April-May 1606) 380
3. Nur Jahan: Her Emergence as Power Behind the Throne 380
4. Chronicle of Jahangir's Reign (1611-27) 388
8. Shah Jahan 418
1. Main Event., Political Developments and State Policy 418
2. War of Succession (1657-58) 443
3. Achievements of-Shah Jahan's Reign 458
4. Aurangzeb 474
5. Early Career and Accession 474
6. Imperialism, Religion and State Policy 483
7. Hindu Reaction and Struggle Against Religious Tyranny of Aurangzeb 499
8. Aurangzeb and the Deccan 525
10. Decline of the Empire 565
1. Disintegration and its causes 565
2. An Assessmentand the Legacy 573
  Conclusion 580
  Glossary 583
  Index 587

 

Part-III

 

>

  Prefaceto second Edition V
  Preface to First Edition VII
  Introductory 1
1. Medieval India-0the Meeting Ground of Two Cultures  
2. Survey of the Sources  
I The State and Society 41
II Pre- Muslim Indian Society 61
III Emergence of Muslims as a Social Factor 73
1. Early Muslim Settlements in India  
2. Era Conflict Between The Two cultures  
3. Muslim Social Structure  
IV Role of the Sultans in Socio-Economic Development 97
V Educational Development 145
VI Architectural Monuments of the Sultans 171
VII Religious Reform Movements 183
VIII Socio-Cultural Development in Bahmani and Vijayanagar Kingdoms 209
IX Babar's Description India 232
X Akbar as a National Ruler 241
XI Heydays of Medieval Indian Society 265
1. The Logic of Chronological Demarcation  
2. Salient Features of Medieval Indian Society  
3. Education and Learning  
4. Development of Art and Architecture  
5. Mutual Impact of Hinduism and Islam  
6. The Anti - Climax  
  Conclusion 303
  Glossary 306
  Index 311

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Advanced Study in The History of Medieval India (Set of 3 Volumes)

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2015
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About the Book

This second revised edition gives an analytical and critical account of the political and military history of early medieval India. contemporary and near contemporary literary sources are liberally utilised for the reconstruction of the past.

The author lays special emphasis on the national aspect of history and gives an incisive analysis of the Indo-Muslim polity of the times. Historical facts have been reorganised and reinterpreted through clear and illuminating expositions, refreshing characterisation of historic personalities and objective assessment of events and movements. Together with maps, appendices, glossary and an elaborate index, lthe volume makes a rich contribution to the advancement of modern historical literature.

 

About the Author

J.L. Mehta, a specialist in Medieval and modern Indian History, and a prolific writer, with proficiency in Urdu, Persian and Tibetan, Besides Hindi, Punjabi and Sanskrit, has published a number of books, articles and monographs.

At Present he is Reader in the Postgraguate Department of History, Panjabi University Evening College, Chandigarh.

 

Preface to the Second Revised Edition

The Second revised edition of the book is being presented to the readers with a sense of fulfillment by the author. The task of its revision was made comparatively easy by pleasure and satisfaction derived from correspondence with scholars and teachers of the subject and by the challenge of press opinion.

Dr. Suryanath U. Kamath pointed out, in the Deccan herald, that the Bahmanids and the Vijayanagar empire had been given a sketchy treatment in the book. This deficiency has now beenmade good by the addition of a full-fledged chapter, serial number ten. It explains the circumstances leading to the origin and part played by them in the political life of the country in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Section three of the chapter discusses the nature of the Bahmani rule and its impact on the society and culture of the Deccan; the contribution made by the Bahmanids towards the development of education and learning, and art and architecture, have been especially highlighted. Similarly, an attempt has been made, in section four of the chapter, to sketch the life and condition of the people in the Vijayanagar state. Chapter nine of the book has, accordingly, been recast by deleting redesignated as “northern India in the fifteenth century.

On the suggestions received from many quarters, yet another chapter, serial number twelve, entitled “Architectural monuments of the sultans”, has been added. It attempts to explain the rationale of the building activity of the sultans, analyses the main points of difference between the indigenous and Islamic architectural traditions, and elaborates the various stages in which synthesis between two took place during the Sultanate Period, Leading, ultimately, to the emergence of what has been called the indo-Islamic Architecture.

Thus the revised edition of the book contains twelve chapters instead of ten. The intensive revision of the text resulted in a number of a additions and alterations in matters of factual information and on points of critical analysis and assessment.

The revision and enlargement of the text necessitated revision of the Index as well , which has now been made much more comprehensive than before; besides index in historical names and places, it also refers to the contemporary historiographers and their works, used in the body of the text.

The readers would be glad to know that this publication has been approved by the Government of India as a “university-Level text Book” and that the National Book Trust, India, has undertaken to subsidies its ‘low-priced paperback for the benefit of the students .’ The author owes a debt of gratitude of his revered teacher, Professor Hari Ram Gupta and all those scholars who have been helpful to him in enhancing the academic value of this study. All suggestion for its further improvement would be highly appreciated.

 

Preface to the First Edition

The Chronological division of History into ancient, medieval and modern periods is a European concept, applicable primarily to the western civilization; it came in to vogue from about the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The writers of European history used the term ‘medieval’ not merely in a descriptive but also qualitative or cultural situation which was inferior from the ancient or ‘classical’ values and characteristics. The medieval period of Indian history does not, however correspond exactly with the ‘middle age’ of Europe, also dubbed as ‘the dark age of the European civilization’; according to one definition, it covered a period between 476 and1500 A.D. from the breakdown of the roman empire in the West to the beginning of Renaissance and the Reformation. These dates cannot be taken up as a working hypothesis either for the beginning some historians to classify Indian period. An attempt made by Muslim (medieval) and British (Modern) periods was still more unfortunate, because it employed religion and race as the criteria which had serious repercussions on the subsequent political developments; it sowed the seeds of communal disharmony and led to the ‘partition’ of the country in 1947. Whatever criterion that may be adopted for reperiodisation of Indian history, one thing is clear; the traditional equations of ‘medieval’ with ‘Muslim’ Indian history’ with the era of ‘Muslim rule in India’ are not valid have rightly been discarded by most of the modern historians of Indian history.

The author takes the eleventhcentury to be the beginning of early medieval period in the history of India. It land us into the so-called ‘rajput period’ of ancient Indian civilization. The ‘age of imperial kanauj’ was over with the death f harsha vardhana (606-47); the efforts made by its ex-feudatories and other princes, Rashtrakutas of the Palas of Bengal, the re-unify India under one national government bore no fruit. India, in the beginning of the eleventh century, was parceled out into over one hundred regional kingdoms and petty principalities whose rulers identified themselves with their dominant rulling clans, tribes or communities, lacked overall national consciousness and freely dulged in self-destructive and suicidal warfare with one another. The system, in hernent socio-religious defect and economic in balance which created a gulf between the masses and the socio-political leadership, carried ipso. Facto the seeds of its own destruction. Toynbee holds that ‘’the self stultified Hindu civilization; of the period ‘was not assassinated’ by the turks; the latter simply gate it a coup d’ grace. The period of stress and strain, covering the eleventh and twelfth centuries of the Indian history forms the subject matter of the first four chapters of this study. The opening twilight of ancient India. Chapter 2dealswith the Indian expeditions of sabotaging and Mahmud of Ghazni which shook the political fabric of northern and western India, albeit the Ghanavid inroads ‘did not cut deeper into the flesh’ of the contemporary Indian politics and had no more serious effect upon the course of its History than Alexander’s invasion in 326-25 B.C. The third chapter draws a pen portrait of northern India when it enjoyed a respite for over a century and a quarter (1030-1175) from foreign invasions. This offered a golden opportunity and more than enough time to the Indian socio-political to rally itself and be prepare to defend its independence by setting its house in order on national considerations. To the misfortune of the country, the rajputs had learnt nothing and forgotten everything of their earlier encounters with the Turks; they exhibited a total lack of imagination in tackling the problem of political unity and national defense. Torn by mutual jealousies, dissensions and self-destructive tendencies, as ever before, the Indian princes failed to take concerted action against the turks by Muhammad Ghori and, as a consequence, tendencies, against before the Indian princes failed to take concerted action against the turks dust in quick succession under the iron heels of the invaders. The story of the ‘second holocaust’ (1175-1205) has been described in chapter 4. Muhammad Ghori and his Turkish ‘slave’ generals conquered northern India in the last quarter of the twelfth century and laid the foundations of the Turkish rule in Delhi.

 

Introduction

Indian Historiography-an Islamic Heritage

Ancient Indians had no taste for historiography; their scholars cared more for religious, spiritual and philosophical studies. Indian historiography is essentially an Islamic heritage; it were the muslim ulama and chroniclers who showed a ken sense of history and wrote detailed accounts of the day-to-day happenings and political upheavals. Their primary object in doing so was of course, the glory of Islam; they took pride in the military exploits of an amir ul momnin who attempted to transform dar ul harab into dar ul Islam by the conversion of ‘infidels;’ to the faith. Even otherwise, they were men of this world who valued their world who valued their material possessions and strove hard to multiply their worldly gains; this instinct helped them in keeping track of the events, past and present.

The muslim monarchs employed chroniclers, diarists and count historians who maintained profuse records of their activities, very often in systematic and chronological order, though usually exaggerated. The scholars produced books and poets composed masnav is on the dynastic, regional or general Histories of the Islamic world ; the writer penned biographical sketches of high and low and recorded historical anecdotes and chronological accounts of events, private or public; they wrote not only for literary fame, reward or edification of their patrons but also to satiate their intellectual hunger and inner urge for writing their observations and experiences. The educated among the rulers and nobility wrote memoirs or maintained personal diaries. Historiography, therefore, flourished in all of its form during the Sultanate period; the age produced a number of professional historians, chroniclers and men of letters who bequeathed to posterity a rich treasure of historical literature.

The Chroniclers of early medieval India were mostly turks or afghans of foreign pedigree who were interested primarily in recording the military and political and political exploits of their martial leaders, and states. They dealt mostly with matters which did not concern the general public; seldom did they pay attention to the socio-economic conditions of the country. The medieval system of education being 'theologically oriented', most of the writers traced the origin of every branch of knowledge to the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad. In order to use their material, therefore, it" is essential to have 'a clear understanding of the mentality of the men? who wrote it. They were not scientific historians; therefore, their works need to be handled with discretion and care. Their accounts have to be checked up and verified on the touchstone of modern research methodology before accepting them as historical facts. Of course, the military and political history is well" preserved in these literary sources. The study of numismatic evidence, monuments and representative specimens of art also helps in reconstructing the history of the times even though such sources are usually of a• secondary importance tending to corroborate or confirm the literary evidence.

 

(Part-II )
About the Book

Second in the series, this volume (1526-1707: Mughal Empire) gives a descriptive, analytical and critial survey of the Mughal Empire. The main thesis of the author is that the Mughals were foreign conquerors, albeit Akbar transformed his ruling house into a national monarchy and laid the foundations of a secular nation-state in India.

Historical facts have been reorganized and reinterpreted through clear and illuminating expositions, refreshing characterisation of historic personalities and objective assessment of events and movements. Together with maps, a detailed survey of sources, glossary and an elaborate index, the volume makes a notable contribution to the advancement of modern historical literature.

 

Preface to the First Edition

This is the second of the three-volume study on medieval Indian history, the first volume of which was publisher two year ago; it give a descriptive, analytical and critical account of the political and military history of the age of the imperial Mughals, from Babar to Aurangzeb (1526-1707). Their period of rule constitutes a glorious era in the annals of medieval Indian history. Babar, though a foreign conqueror, adopted Indian as the country of the domicile while his worthy descendants not only showed fondness for being thoroughly Indianite, even in blood and breed, but also displayed nationalistic sentiments and identified their interests with those of the sons of the soil. The Mughal period was marked by two centuries of freedom from external in visions and an enduring peace within the empire. It enabled the empire. It enabled the Great Mughals to bring about political unifications of India by the corporate activity of the nationalist forces, Including Hindus and muslims, under their benign control. The political unity was consolidated by the evolution of uniform system of administration, good government, and the steel-frame of all India services. Beginning with Akbar, the Mughals strengthened the forces of National integration and solidarity through equitable treatment towards their subjects, religious toleration and the secular state policy. It provided a requisite. It provided a requisite environment for the socio-cultual advancement, economic prosperity an alround development of the country n every walkout its national life. The Mughals played a premier role in effecting a healthy synthesis between the exotic Islamic traditions and ancient Indian culture, thus bringing into existence a new social order, called the Indo-Muslim culture, which was neither Hindu Nor Muslim but it a synthetic culture of the medieval age. They made invaluable contributions towards appreciation rather ‘fascination,’ for a really good stuff in print. The author is beholden to them for their valued opinions about the academic merit of his books and owes a special debt of gratitude to them for enabling him to bring about improvements therein ion the light of the suggestions made by them.

The author has been told by the publishers that his books have been put on the export list and that these have started earning foreign exchange. It is really encouraging to note that a reconstruction had interpretation of Indian history by son of the soil should measure up to the international academic standards and find favor with the scholars of advanced countries, albeit, in his humble opinion, the author attributes this success equally to the resourcefulness and enterprise of sterling Publishers but for whose dedication and professional expertise it would not have been possible to bring out the books in the shape in which these have been placed in the hands of the scholars.

The readers would be glad to know that the first two volumes of this publication have recently been approved by the Government of India as ‘University-Level Text Books’ and that the second revised edition of the second volume is being subsidized by the Central Government through National Book Trust as ‘Low –Priced Paperback’ for the benefit of the students.

Thus author is highly obliged to the Reviewer of the National Book Trust for having made many a useful suggestion for the improvement of the book. In accordance with his advice, the entire chapter on ‘Aurangzeb’ has been thoroughly revised and re-written so as to bring it in line with the last researches on the subject; and the author wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness for all sources of information an used by him in the reconstruction of the narrative.

 

Preface to the second Edition

The author had, while sending the manuscript of the third volume of this serial publication, Advanced Study in History of Medieval India, to the Press in August last, exhibited ‘a sense of fulfillment and great satisfaction’ on the conclusion of the project. This feeling of relief proved very short-lived , however. Close upon its heels, he received a warning-short from the publishers that he should start revising the text of the first two volumes as their first edition had nearly been exhausted. He was as yet half-way through the first volume in his attempt to revise it, when the publishers had to bring out its reprint in revise in the mid-session to meet the persistent demand from students and scholars from all over the country; for want of time, even and scholars from all over the country; for want of time , even the revision carried out be the author could not be incorporated therein. Nevertheless, it provided an opportunity to him to concentrate his attention on volume II, entitled, The Mughal empire, which is now being presented to the readers in the form of a second, revised and enlarged edition.

The task preparing the revised edition was made comparatively easy by the pleasure and satisfaction derived from the correspondence with the readers and by the challenge of press opinions and constructive criticism from students and scholars from various parts of the country. Needless to say, the author to now maintains a separate file on such correspondence, pertaining to his three-volume publication, which has been growing in bulk beyond all expectations. Whereas, it indicates, on the one hand, the growing popularity of his books among the postgraduate students and researchers in the history of medieval India as also among those preparing for the competitive examinations of the Union Public Service Commission and those of the various states, on the other hand, it shows the intellectual hunger of the Indian readers and their sense of the growth and development of the Indo-Muslim society and left an indelible mark on the socio-political institutions of the times. An humble attempt has been made in the foregoing pages of this study to reconstruct the saga of their political and military exploits, and review their achievements and failures on the national front, as objectively as humanly possible. Of course, the author lays special emphasis on the countrywide or national aspect of history and strives to give a critical analysis of the Indo-Muslim polity of the times.

 

Introduction

Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad, Known to history as Babar whose ‘guns sounded the death-knell of the Sultanate of Delhi’ in the first historic battle of April 21,1526 laid the foundation of the Mughal rule in India. It proved by far the most notable even in the annals of medieval history as it brought ‘a new people upon the stage, heroes and heroines of different stamp from the turks and Afghans of the preceding age. The Mughals played a predominant role in the history of Asia as a whole. The establishment of the Mughal empire in India was not an isolated even constituted but a link in the chainof the mighty Mongol empires which sprange up in the amphitheatre of Asian politics and left a deep imprint on its political and socio-cultural institutions in the medieval age.

Babar’s father Umar Sheikh Mirza was a petty chieftain of Ferghana (Fergana) which ones formed but a fragment of Amir Timur’s vast central Asian empire in the fourteenth century. Babar was born at Andizhan (Andijan), thecapial of Ferghana,on February 14,1483. These days, major part of the valley of Ferghana is included in the soviet socialist Republic of Uzbekistan, which occupies ‘first place’ among the central Asian republics of the soviet Russia for Size of population and the level of economic development. Baber was a worthy descendent of Amir Timur, the Turk, and changez Khan, the Mongol-the two world-famous military generals and empire-builders of central Asia. The use of termUzbekistan, viz; ‘The Uzbeks’, for the birthplace nomadic tribe of the turks (Turkiculus), like the Timurids, who derived their name from Uzbek Khan, a chief of the golden horde who diedin1340. The term Uzbek was used in the fifteenth century to indicate Muslim as opposed to Shamanisti or Buddhist Turkish tribes. The Uzbeks were bygone days. It was shaibani Khan Uzbek were defeat to beabar at the battle of Sar I pul in1502 snatched Samarqand and ferghana from his hand expelled him from his ancestral land for good. Babar sought shelter in Afghanistan as fugitive though he was destined to became the king of Kabul so on afterwards. The Uzbeks over numerous Timuried states, gradually established their dominance over other Turkish and Mongol tribes and planted their name over the region now known as Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan is situated in the heart of the central Asian republics of the Soviet Russia. It is bounded on the northwest and north by Kazakhistan while its share of the Ferghana valley is surrounded on the north, east and south by Kirghizia. The southeastern neigh bur of Uzbekistan is Tajik SSR, while on the south it is bounded by Turkmen SSR and forms an internationalvborder with Afghanistan. The Uzbeks live in ancient to ashes that have beenformed around rivers;vcoming down from various mountain ranges and flowing indifferent directions. Scattered over a he area, these oases, including the Tashkent, the Ferghana, the Zarafshan, the Kashka-darya, the Surkhan-darya. And the Khorezm (old Khwarizm) are separated from one another by arid steppes, deserts, and mountainranges; and, in the past their only links were occasional chains of tiny oases ‘with orchards clinging to the banks of brooks.

 

Part-III

 

Preface to the Second Edition

The three-volumes publication entitled avanced Study in the History of Medieval India has caught the imagination of the readers. The Growing Popularity of these books among the post-graduate students and researchers in the history of medeval India is evidenced by the ever increasingcorrespodence of the authr with them as also by the challenge of press reviews and constructive criticism from scholars from various parts of the country. The author highly appreciates comments on and critica evaluation of his books bythose interested in the subject; he always bears in mind their valuable suggestions for qualitative imrovement f the material, wherever necessary.

The author has been toldby the publishersthat hisbooks have been put on the export list and that these have started earning foreign exchange. It is really encouraging to note that a reconstruction andinterpretatxon of Indian History by ason of the soil should measure up to the international academic standards and find favour with the scholars of advanced countries, albeit this success may be attributed equally to the resourcefulness and enterpriseof Sterling Publ;ishers but for whose dedicationand professional expertise it would not have been possible to bring out the books in the shape in which these have been placed in the hands of the scholars.

We arepassing through a very serious socio-cultural and national crisis today. The rising tide of fundamentalism, regional and parochial outlook, and theracial and linguisticcontroversies threaten they very fabric ofcomposite Indian culture and the conncept of secular nationstate, evolved laboriously by one of our ancestors-Akbar the Great and so fondly cherished by themoern Indian leadership This book does not have a direct bearing onall these aspects; nevertheless, it may provide, in historical perspective, aninsightinto the causes and remedies of some of these problems to the readers.

 

Preface to the First Edition

With a sense of fulfilment and great satisfaction , the author presents to his readersthe third and concluding part of his Advanced Studyin the History of Medieval India, the first two volumes of which were brought out in 1979 and 1981 respectively. It gives a glimpse of the medieval Indian society and culture during the period 1000 to 1707 A.D., the political and military history of which has been given in the preceding volume. The subject-matter of this book emerges, like the flowering of a plant, from the political ackground provided by the two volumes of the series.

Socio-cultural development is a continus phenomenon, a slow and steady process, for the study of which periodisaton on the basis of poitical and military episodes or upheavals is not always feasible. No military action or political change, however suddenor violent, can mark either the abrupt ending of cultural state or pinpoint the transplantation of new socio-cultural trends among the people affected by it. The author is, thereore, conscious of the fact that the arab conquest of sind or invasions of Mahmud of Ghazni or Muhammad Ghori singal neither the beginning norultimate outcome of the multifarious social forces at work in the life of the Indians; these events or political developments can, nevertheless, earmarked asimportant milestones in thelong and chequered course of the Indian social stream like that of the Ganges from Kailashto the bosom of the Indian Oceans. In his attemptto understand the socio-cultural development of medieval Indian society in its historical perspective, the author was actually confronted with the intriguing problems of the forceful and continuous temporal dynamicsof socio-religious and cultural change in India. Sometimes these political developments gave birth to or accelerated the forces of social change while the others were themselves the outcome of such forces at work in the preceding period. The statedoes play an important role in shaping the character and life of its people, and the author has taken pains,in the first chapter of this study, to explain how the socio-cultural development of a people canbe understood better within the framework of a political system to which they belong. It is in this context that he strives to point out the social content in the state policies, military compaigns and administrative set-up of the mamluk sultans, the Khaljis, the tughluks, the rulers of Bahmani and vijayanagar kingdoms, and the imperial mughal respectively. An appreciation of this line of approach may make the unconventional chpapter-plan of this volume intelligible to the readers and enable them to find out the explicit and implicit elements of the madieval Indian socirty and culture as it finally assumed the shape during the age of Akbar,Jahangir and Shah Jahan.

A brief resume on the survey of the sources which precedes the text in all of the three volumes of this study by way of an introduction, may give an idealto the scholars of history, particularly the subject-specialists, of the deep involvement of the author in the field of his study and research. As a matter of fact, it reveals but a tip of the iceberg of the source-material on medieval Indian history which the author has built over the lasttwenty-five years of his academic career. It may require yet another set of three fairly big volumes to be reproduce in print, and the author wonders if any privae publisher would undertake its publication without a substantial grant from UGC, ICHR or some other agency. The readers would to prepare and pile up this material and uch besides in the files and packets marked: To be Published Posthumously; of course, sometimes he does succeed in pushing a handfulof the stuff through the press.

Let it berecorded once againby way of a pledge that the authr is fully concious of his duty towards the Society and the posterity toconduct himelf as anhonest and objectiv historiographer and teacher;it i inthis spirit that hehasdedicated this three-volume studyto his maternal grandchildren, Paras and daisy-the twoinnocent children to angelic virtues, thecustodians offuture Indian the hope of mankind in the twenty-first century. They provided him with mch-needed relief and recreation in the midst of his tire some studies and inspire him tocarry on his yog-sadhana as a karamyogi.

In the end, the author regards it as his plasant duty to express his gratitude to Shri O.P. Ghai, chairman, stering publisher, who undertook the publication of this three-volume study; but for the keen interest taken by him personally inthis costly enterprsie, it might not have been possible topresentitto the readers in such decently produced and handy volumes in beautiful print as has been done.

 

Introduction

The advent of Islam was anepoch-making event in the history of the world: it exercised a profound effect on the political, religious and socio-cultural life of India as well. The invasions of Muhammad bin Qasim (711-12), Mahmud of Ghazni (1000-1027 ) and Muhammad Ghori (1175-1205) markednot only the clash of arms between the rajputs-'the sword-arm of India', and the muslim in vaders but also the violent contat between the two strong religious thoughts andstreams of cultural forces. From confrontation to cooperation, followed by interaction and synthesis between the two forces, constitute the various stages in the long and chequered socio-cultural history of medieval India which forms the theme of this volume. The hindu society, with its'glorious 'rajput culture, giving placeto the Indo-Muslim Society and Culture which was neither hindu nor muslim but Indo-Muslim, to be very precise.

Ancient India presented a very dismal picture on the eveof the muslim invasions. Its disintegration had setin with the death of skanda Gupta (555-67); the exit of Harsha vardhana (606-47) and Pulakesin II (c.610-42) closed the era of national unity asalso of ancient India civilisation andculture. Abortive attempts weremade by number of individuls, backed by their respective clans and communities, to revive imperial traditions at Kanauj or elsewhere. On the ruins of Harsha's empire, one Yasovarman (c.700-70) tried to reuinite northern India underone government with head quarters at Kanauj he was a contemporary of king Dahir of Sind. After the conquest of Sind by the arabs, Yasovarman and king Lalitaditya of Kashmir (725-55) stemmed the tide of their advance in northern India. It seems that, soon after wards, the two princes fell out with each other and Yasovarman was killed in a battle by his adversary. With his death, there started a triangular contest for the occupation of Kanauj among the rashtrakutasof Deccan, the Gurjara-pratiharas of Malwa and the palas of Bengal. Ultimately, a gurjara-Pratihara chief, Nagabhatta (725-40) conquered Kanauj and laid the foundation of the imperial dynasty of his clain;is successors revived the imperial glory of Kanauj to a limited extent. Rajyapala, (1018-19) and was put to death by the princes of gwalior and kalinjar forhaving shown cowardicein acknowledging the overlordship of the invader.

Absence of Central Authority

Apart from the tottering kingdom of Kanauj, India on the eveof the muslim invasions, was parcelled out into numerous regional states and petty principalities, most of whose chiefs and ruling elite, irrespectiveof their race, caste, community ortribehave usually been referredto as the rajputs. For instancne, dahir, the first great rajpt chief who facedthe arabinvasion of Sind (711-12)was a brahman by caste. The heroicresistance put up by him and his entire family, incuding the women folk,in the defence of their tiny little state, constitutes a glorious chapter in the defence of their tiny little state, constitutes a glorious chapter in the history of Rajputs period (647-1200). The rajputs of Zabulistan(Southern Afganistan),who encounteredthearab invaders through Siestan and the Bolan pass in 867-70, belonged to the bhatti clan, whereas, Jaipal and Anangpal, the Hindushahi rulers of Kabul and Pujba, on the eve of the turkish invasions, were brahmans; they acted as a bulward for a long time. The feudal rajput states were usually identified with their ruling clans, tribes or communities. Their love for personal freedom, vanity and inflated ego did not permit the rajputstosubordinate their interests or py obedience to their more capable leaders. They, in general, lacked political foresight and displayed absence of an overall national consciousness. Terms like 'patriotism', 'motherland' and 'the state' had assumed narrow parochial or regional connotations with the rajputs. As a result, there were constant wars and clannish feuds among them which hampered the growth of national unity and the emergence of a strong national statein India. The various clans or the feudal lords went to warorfought the duels simply to show of their military prowess or muscle power respectively. The rajputs converted mutual warfare into a sort of sport in which valuable resources in menand material were laid waste and military strength neutralised. Because of these self-destructive and rather suicidal tendencies, they failed to take concerted action aginst the muslim invaders. They frequent changes in the ruling dynasties or princes within the same ruling house were not conductive towards them among the arge mass of their subjects. In the face of territorial claims and counter claims of the rival cheiftains,'might' became the supreme right' and the dispute as to what was right was decided 'by the arbitrament of war'. A petty principality, on having got an ambitious and capable prince, would throw off the overlordship of its might neighbour and, inturn, claim some sort of dominance over the weaker and smaller states. Such claims of paramountcy were seldom well-defined and usually not pushed beyond tolerable limits. They weaker states, therefore, did not always dispute or offer much resistance tthe vague imperial claim of their powerful neightbours. The whole process had a demoralising effect country strong enough t keep the warring princes incheck and coordinate their ctivities against foreign aggression.

 

Contents

 

Part-I

 

  Preface to the Second Edition vi
  Preface to the First Revised ix
  Introduction : Contemporary Sources of History 1
1 Twilight of Ancient India 29
2 Ghaznavid Inroads 47
3 Northern India Between the Two Holocausts (1030-1175) 64
4 The Second Holocaust (1175-1205) 74
5 Foundation of the Delhi Sultanate (1206-90) 86
6 KhaJji Imperialism 125
7 Tughluq Dynasty 187
8 Decline and Disintegration of the Sultanate 239
9 Northern India in the Fifteenth Century 259
10 Babmani and Vijayanagar Kingdoms 266
11 Administration of to be Sultanate 292
12 Architectural Monuments of the Sultans 313
  Conclusion 325
  Appendices 327
  Glossary 332
  Index 332

 

Part-II

 

  Preface to the First Edition V
  Preface to the Second Revised Edition VII
  Introductory 1
1. The Homeland of Babar 1
2. Ancestors of Babar 6
3. Survey of the Sources 19
1. Pre-Mughal India 81
1. Disintegration of the Sultanate of Delhi 81
2. Military Condition 100
3. Socio-Cultural Condition 101
4. Babar's Description of India 102
2. Babar 119
1. Early Career 119
2. Conquest of India 124
3. Character and Personality 142
3. Humayun 146
1. Accession and Early Difficulties 146
2. Struggle to Maintain the Heritage 150
3. Humayun in Exile (1540-55) 157
4. Restoration and Death (1555-56) 160
4. The Afghan Interlude 162
1. Rise of Sher Shah Sur 162
2. Administrative Reforms and other achievements 171
1. Akbar The Great 186
2. Recovery of the Parental Heritage 186
3. Rise and Fall of Bairam Khan 196
4. Triumph of absolute Monarchy 207
5. Akbar's Imperialism: Political Unification of India 207
  Evolution of Akbar's Imperialist Policy 220
(a) Conquest of Rajasthan 221
(b) Completion of the Conquest of Northern India 246
(c) North-West Frontier Policy of Akbar 258
(d) Conquest of the Deccan 258
(d) North-West Frontier Policy of Akbar 268
5. Akbar and Religion 278
6. Concluding Years of Akbar's Life 305
7. Character and Personality of Akbar 312
6. Mughal Administration 325
1. Akbar-The Real Founder Administrative System 325
2. Central Administration 330
3. Provincial and Local Administration 340
4. Mansabdari system 348
5. Land Revenue Sysfem 363
5. Land Revenue Sysfem 363
6. Law and Justice 373
7. Jahangir 374
1. Early Career and Accession 374
2. Revolt of Prince Khusrau. (April-May 1606) 380
3. Nur Jahan: Her Emergence as Power Behind the Throne 380
4. Chronicle of Jahangir's Reign (1611-27) 388
8. Shah Jahan 418
1. Main Event., Political Developments and State Policy 418
2. War of Succession (1657-58) 443
3. Achievements of-Shah Jahan's Reign 458
4. Aurangzeb 474
5. Early Career and Accession 474
6. Imperialism, Religion and State Policy 483
7. Hindu Reaction and Struggle Against Religious Tyranny of Aurangzeb 499
8. Aurangzeb and the Deccan 525
10. Decline of the Empire 565
1. Disintegration and its causes 565
2. An Assessmentand the Legacy 573
  Conclusion 580
  Glossary 583
  Index 587

 

Part-III

 

>

  Prefaceto second Edition V
  Preface to First Edition VII
  Introductory 1
1. Medieval India-0the Meeting Ground of Two Cultures  
2. Survey of the Sources  
I The State and Society 41
II Pre- Muslim Indian Society 61
III Emergence of Muslims as a Social Factor 73
1. Early Muslim Settlements in India  
2. Era Conflict Between The Two cultures  
3. Muslim Social Structure  
IV Role of the Sultans in Socio-Economic Development 97
V Educational Development 145
VI Architectural Monuments of the Sultans 171
VII Religious Reform Movements 183
VIII Socio-Cultural Development in Bahmani and Vijayanagar Kingdoms 209
IX Babar's Description India 232
X Akbar as a National Ruler 241
XI Heydays of Medieval Indian Society 265
1. The Logic of Chronological Demarcation  
2. Salient Features of Medieval Indian Society  
3. Education and Learning  
4. Development of Art and Architecture  
5. Mutual Impact of Hinduism and Islam  
6. The Anti - Climax  
  Conclusion 303
  Glossary 306
  Index 311

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