(Notes) Civil Services (Prelims) Examination : Mughal Empire - V Quick Revision Notes (I)

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Quick Revision Notes


Mughal Empire - V : Indian History

Mughal Empire - V (Jahangir) :
Jahangir was born to Maryam-uz-Zamani and Akbar on August 30, 1569. He was named Sultan Muhammad Salim after Shaikh Salim Chishti of Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar, however, called him Shaikhu Baba.

2. Abdur Rahim Khan Khana, a profound scholar of Arabic, Turki, Persian, Sanskrit and Hindi, as also a soldier and diplomat of no mean order influenced Jahangir the most and moulded his thoughts. Most of Jahangir’s education took place under Abdur Rahim.

3. At the age of 15, Jahangir was married to his cousin Manbai, daughter of Raja Bhagwan Dass of Amber. The ceremony was performed both according to Hindu and Muslim rites.

4. Jahangir gave Manbai the title of Shah Begum. She committed suicide in 1604 owing to her son Khusrav’s unfilial conduct towards her husband.

5. Jagat Gosain or Jodhabai, daughter of Mota Raja Udai Singh was also among the most important of several wives of Jahangir.

6. Salim’s loose morals and addiction to wine and other degrading pleasures enraged Akbar, who then tried to bring him round by threat of punishment. The estrangement led to open revolt by Salim. When Akbar set out of South to reconquer Khandesh, Salim made a dash for Agra in order to capture the huge treasure. He was, however, foiled in his attempt and subsequently went to Allahabad and set up his court there. He brought a part of Bihar under his control and set himself up as an independent king.

7. Akbar sent Khwaja Muhammad Sharif, a playmate and friend of Prince, to Allahabad on a mission of peace. But Salim won him over and appointed him chief minister.

8. The fact that Akbar’s second son, Murad, was already dead and his third son, Daniyal, was visibly dying made Akbar weak and forced him to take forget and forgive Salim’s follies. Salima Begum, Jahangir’s step-mother, ultimately persuaded the prince to return to his path of duty.

9. After Akbar’s death in 1605, Prince Salim acceded to the throne and assumed the title of Nuruddin Mohammad Jahangir Padshah Ghazi.

10. Immediately after coronation, Jahangir prohibited levy of many cesses, called tamgha, mir bahri, etc.

11. Jahangir also abolished the punishment of cutting nose and ears.

12. Jahangir also prohibited the slaughter of animals on certain days in the year and two days in every week, that is, Thursday, which was his accession day, and Sunday, the day of Akbar’s birth.

13. Jahangir caused a gold chain with bells to be hung between the Shah Burj in the Agra Fort and a post on the road near the bank of Yamuna, so as to enable suitors for justice to ring the bell and approach the emperor without the mediation of any officer or servant.

14. Within a few months of Jahangir’s accession his eldest son Khusrav revolted. Due to the past conduct of Khusrav, Jahangir had confined him to one corner of Agra fort. On April 6, 1606, on the pretence of a visit to Akbar’s mausoleum at Sikandra, Khusrav proceeded rapidly towards Delhi. On his way he was joined by Husain Beg Badakhshi. Passing by Delhi, he made his way towards Lahore and on the way was joined by Abdur Rahman, the diwan of that province. At Taran Taran, the prince obtained benediction of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru of Sikhs.

15. On reaching Lahore, Khusrav found the fort put in a state of defence by the governor Dilawar Khan. Jahangir sent a contingent of troops under Shaikh Farid, as also proceeded himself towards Lahore. The parties engaged in a fight on the plain of Baharowal. Khusrav was defeated and forced to flee towards Kabul. He was, however, captured by Jahangir’s forces, along with Husain Beg and Abdur Rehman.

16. Jahangir imposed a fine of Rs two lakh on Guru Arjan Dev for bestowing benediction to Khusrav. The Guru, however, refused to pay and was consequently put to death. The Guru’s death estranged Sikhs from the Mughals and led to their rebellion in the time of Aurangzeb.

17. The most fateful consequence of Khusrav’s rebellion, followed by internal disturbances in the country, was the encouragement of the Shah of Persia to make a bid for the capture of fortress of Kandhar.

18. Kandhar was a bone of contention between Persia and India during the medieval age. Kandhar was a gateway and a natural base of operations for a Persian or Central Asian invader. Its commercial importance was no less great. It connected the principal trade routes from India to Central Asia and Europe. Babur, who was aware of Kandhar’s importance, captured it in 1522. After the death of Humayun, Kandhar passed out of Mughal control, but Akbar recovered it in 1594.

19. In 1611, Jahangir married a widow named Mehrun- nisa, who was given the title of Nur Mahal, subsequently changed into Nur Jahan. She began exercising unbounded influence on the emperor and the administration of Mughal empire.

20. Nur Jahan was daughter of Ghiyas Beg, a Persian adventurer in Akbar’s court, who was honoured with the title of Itimad-ud-daulah.

21. Within a few years of her marriage, Nur Jahan organized a party of her own and took the reins of the government in her hands. The party was known as Nur Jahan Junta and consisted of herself, her parents, her brothers and prince Khurram, who was the husband of her niece.

22. Nur Jahan exercised healthy influence on Jahangir. It was owing to her influence that Jahangir restrained himself from excessive drinking. Her influence over Jahangir was good and benefited the poor and the needy, as also the votaries of letters and art.

23. On political and administrative affairs the influence of Nur Jahan was negative. Her dealings with Prince Khurram and Prince Shahryar almost convulsed the empire in a civil  war.

24. Akbar could not conquer the whole of Mewar due to stiff resistance from Rana Pratap. Infact, Rana Pratap was able to recover a considerable portion of his territory before his death in 1597. In 1605, Jahangir deputed his second son Parwez to reduce Rana Pratap’s son Rana Amar Singh to submission. A tough battle was fought at the pass of Dewar but it proved indecisive.

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