HISTORY OF INDIA FROM C. 1206-1707
IGNOU BHIC 133 Solved Free Assignment
BHIC 133 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024
Q. 1. Who were zamindars? Discuss their rights and perquisites.
Ans. The zamindars acquired the most significant position in the agrarian structure of Mughal India. Before the Mughal era, the word zamindar has been used inthe sense of the chief of a territory.
From Akbar’s reign onwards, the term zamindar was used for any person with any hereditary claimto a direct share in the produce of the peasant.
There were many terms that were used interchangeably with zamindarsin contemporary accounts. The areas without zamindars were called as raiyati (peasant held).
The zamindars according to Nurul Hasan were divided into three categories.
(a) Primary zamindars: These zamindars had some proprietary rights over the land
(b) Secondary zamindars: These zamindars had the intermediary rights and assisted the statein land revenue collection and
(c) Autonomous chiefs: This category possessed the autonomous rights in their territories and paid afixed amount to the Mughal State.
The zamindar gained their rights because of the historical tradition of control. The zamindars spossessed the settled villages and distributed its land among the peasantry.
The zamindari rightswere not created by the ruling classes, but preceded them. The rights of the zamindars were realized by the medieval rulers.
The zamindar was entitled to get a share of the total revenue collected. The position zamindar was described differently at different places of the country.
The zamindars also asked for a number of petty perquisites from the peasantry.
Some cesses were dastarshumari (turban tax), house tax (khanashumari), cesses on marriage and birth, etc. The zamindars collect taxes from weekly markets and also collected toll tax.
A part from the zamindars, there were chiefs or chieftains-the rajas, raos, ranasand rawatas- who were more or less autonomous in their estates.
The share that they received amounted to the difference between what they collected from the peasants andwhat they paid to the king as peshkash.
Military Strength of Zamindars
The zamindars recruited their own footmen and cavalry who helped them inthe realisation of land revenue and subjugation of peasantry.
Chaudhury is An important role was played by the zamindar in the collection of land revenue.
They were also designated as chaudhuri for the purpose of collection of revenue and were supposed to collect the revenue from other zamindars of the pargana.
Unlike thezamindar, the chaudhuri was recruited by the state and could be removed forimproper functioning.
There were many other officials in each village and headman was the most important of them and was responsible for the collection of land revenue and maintenanceof law and order in the villages.
He was given a part of the village land revenue-free for the services provided by him and was also entitled to receive some amount of produce from peasants.
The muqaddam was assisted by the village accountant. The patwari was assigned the job of maintaining a record (bahi) of the revenue collected from the individual peasants and its payment to the state authorities.
He was also remunerated by the grant of revenue-free land or by afixed commission in the total revenue collected.
This section deals with the study of the main producingclasses. The main agrarian class was the peasantry and the peasants constituted the primary class in rural society and the revenue collected from them helped in sustaining of the whole state apparatus.
Land Rights of Peasantry
After the debates of the historians about the land rights of the peasants, it was deduced that the peasants hadall the rights over land as long as he cultivated it and were not evicted from the land as long as he cultivated the land and paid the revenue.
The period also reflects that the proprietary rights in land were not quite developed during the Mughal period. The peasants moved away from peasantry because of oppression or other problems.
Stratification of Peasantry
The peasants who owned bigger lands cultivated on bigger plots of land and even employed labourers on his fields and enjoyed a huge share in the produce of other peasants.
There were richer and poor peasants who were named differently in different regions.
The land revenue in the many parts of India had to be paid in cash, the peasantsand cultivators were supposed to carry their produce to the markets or sell it to merchants or moneylenders on the eve of harvest.
The cash crop cultivation involved much expense like good seeds, better fertilisers, irrigation facilities andalso more productive soil and therefore, not much peasants were involved in the cash crop cultivation.
Apart from the economic inequalities as the basis of divisions within the peasantry, they were also divided between the permanent residents of the village (khudkashtin Northern India, mirasdarin Maharashtra and thalvaikor thalkar in the Deccan) and the temporary residents (pai/pahikasht in Northern India; upari in Maharashtra).
There were other menial workers below the class of peasants that formed a significant portion ofthe rural population of India.
This category included the cheap source oflabour for the peasants and zamindarsto work on their fields during the sowingand harvest seasons.
This class was therefore, suppressed and exploited which was in the interest of both of them.
Q. 2. Discuss personnel of trade and commercial practices under the Mughals.
Ans. The surplus agricultural produce was to be sold which was mainly purchased by the banjaras-the traditional grain merchants who in turn, carried it to other towns and markets.
The sources reveal that there was a saraf or money-changer in every big market. There were markets in every locality and also the periodic markets called as hats and penths where people from the villages could exchange or buy things of their daily need.
There was a network of the small and big markets hats, penths, mandis, andthe merchants in their individual capacities took care of the commercial activitiesin various localities.
All these local trading centres were connected to the bigger commercial centres. These bigger centres served as the nodal centres for all the commodities produced invarious parts of the suba.
There were a number of merchants, brokers and sarrafs and also sarais (rest houses) for the convenience of merchants and travellers. There were some towns which were famous for the specific commodities.
The trade was at a developed stage during the period of our study. The goods were carried from one place to another for the purposes of trade.
The main commodities transported were foodgrains and various sorts of textiles and some luxury items and metals and weapons were also transported over long distance.
Some of the important trading centres of Bengal were Hugli, Dacca, Murshidabad, Malda, Satgaon, Tanda, Hijili, Sripur and Sonargaon.
Bengal supplied food grains to all parts of the country and received rice and sugar from Patna and textiles of all sorts from Bihar, Benaras and Jaunpur could be bought in Bengal.
The silk manufacture in Gujarat and Bihar was dependent on the raw silk from Bengal. There were trade links between Bengal and Agra, Benaras and various other towns in the north.
The supply of pepper and spices was received by Gujarat from Malabar coast. Textiles were taken from Gujarat to Multan and Lahore.
Gujarat also received lac from Bengal indigo was also taken from Gujarat to all parts of India. gal and the Sarkhej There was a large scale trade relationship between the towns of Gujarat, Konkan and Malabar.
Carpets and textiles from the Awadh region were taken to Gujarat, Bengal, Patna, Lahore and Multan.
From Kashmir, the materials like saffron, wood products, fruits and woollen shawls, etc. reached the northern parts of the country.
Paper from Shahzadpur (near Allahabad) was taken to all parts of India. Rajasthan was famous for marble and was transported to all parts of the country, especially to Agra and Delhi.
Food grains from north were taken to Gujarat. Diamonds from Golconda mines were takento all parts of India.
The metals and minerals were also transported to various parts of the country and salt produced mainly in Rajasthan and Punjab was takento all parts of north and south India.
Gwalior was rich in iron and good quality steel was made in Cutch in Gujarat, some places in Deccan and South India. The bulk of copper was produced in Rajasthan.
Exports and Imports
There were trading relations between India and other foreign countries over centuries. The coming of the Europeans increased India’s foreign trade manifold.
The trade was mainly in the form of exports of Indian goods and the imports werevery small.
The important import items were textiles, saltpetre and indigo and items like sugar, opium, spices and other sundry commodities.
The period also saw the growth of the textile production in India. The main purchasers of Indian cotton textiles were the Mughals, Khorasanis, Iraqis and Armenians who carried them to Central Asia, Persia and Turkey before the Europeans entered the market.
Some of the important varieties of the cotton fabrics were baftas, Samanis, calico, Khairabadi and Dariabadi, Amberty and Qaimkhani and muslin and other cotton cloths.
The most favourite items of export in cotton was Chintz or printed cotton textiles.
Salt petre, one of the important ingredients for making gun powder was much in demand in Europe.
The first half of 17th century saw the export of the product from Coromandal, Gujarat and Agra to the Dutch and the English and in the second half of the 17th century, its trade from Bihar via Orissa and Bengal ports started. Later on the demand of the product was increased.
Indigo Indigo for blue dye was created in most of northern India like Punjab, Sind and Gujarat.
For the export purpose, the indigo from Sarkhej (Gujarat) and Bayana (near Agra) was much in demand and large quantities of this commodity were exported to the Persian Gulf from Gujarat, and to Aleppo markets from Lahore.
Later on, the Dutch, English, Persians, Mughals and Armenians competed to procure the commodity.
There were some other commodities that were exported from India like opium that was bought by the French, the Dutch andthe English Companies.
Also, the Bengal sugar, Ginger, turmeric, aniseed or saunf were exported at a large scale. India was also famous for brightly coloured cotton cloth and chintz.
Another important item of import was silver, copper, lead and mercury. Silk and porcelain were imported into India by the English.
The items like wine, carpets andperfumes were brought from Persia and glass, watches, silver utensils, woollen cloths and small weapons from Europe.
The horses were also imported from Central Asia in large number for military uses. Musk was brought from Nepal and Bhutan to India and Borax from Tibet and Nepal.
Q. 3. How was the Portuguese trade in India was financed?
Ans. The estimation made by an Italian in 1506 was that the total investment needed for conducting the trade with the East was 170,000 ducats every year.
Around 1/4th of this amount was raised by the king of Portugal and the rest by the merchants and financiers.
The revenues from various other sources also provided funds for the conduct of trade with European Merchant Financiers Italians gained an important position among the financiers in the 16th century.
These Italian financiers concluded contracts with the Portuguese king and gave cash or materials to the king at Lisbon.
The commodities bought by the king from India were given to these financiers at Lisbon in view of the contracts signed.
The second half of the 16th century witnessed the joining both the Welsers and Fuggers along with Giraldo Paris and Juan Battista Rovalesco for thepurchase of 30,000 quintals of pepper directly from India and agreed to send anamount of 170,000 crusados to India annually.
The firms like those of Herwarts and Imhof were interested in trading various sorts of precious stones and diamonds from Vijaynagar.
Some Portuguese merchants traded with India during the 16th century. The Portuguese officials had some rights to take certain quantity of commodities to Portugal, in lieu of remuneration in cash.
Indian Merchants and Rulers
There were many Indian merchants who supplied the commodities to the Portuguese on credit whenthey did not have the cash or commodities to furnish in exchange.
The Portuguese king was also persuaded to grant some privileges to such merchants. The Portuguese possessed the armed vessels plying in the Indian Ocean and the Arabiansea.
The rulers who were defeated in the fights were forced to pay tributes to the Portuguese, either in cash or kind.
Another source of income was the passes (Cartaz) from the Portuguese for which a fee was charged. Thus, Portuguese adopted a number of ways of organizing funds for the running of their trade.
Q. 4. Give a brief account of the Sufi orders in India during he Sultanate period.
Ans. Let us now discuss some of the sufi silsilah that became popular in India during the Sultanate period.
The Suhrawardi Silsilah
The founder of the Suhrawardi silsilah in India was Shaikh Bahauddin Zakariya (1182-1262). There were many other Khalifas who were designated by Shaikh Shahabuddin Suhrawardi to spread the Suhrawardi silsilah in India.
Shaikh Jalaluddin Tabrizi was one of them. The three important centres of the Suhrawardi activity were Punjab, Sind and Bengal.
The Chishti Silsilah
The two phases in which the growth of the Chishti order in India took place were as follows:
The Chishti order was introduced in India by Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti (d. 1236) and was succeeded by Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (d. 1235).
Shaikh HamidduddinNagauri (d. 1274), another Khalifa of Shaikh Muinuddin Chishti. Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki was succeeded in Delhi by his Khalifa, Khwaja Fariduddin Masud (1175-1265).
The most celebrated disciple of Baba Farid and the greatest sufi saint of the 14th century was Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya (1236-1325).
Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya saw the reigns of seven successive Sultans of Delhi. Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya had many spiritual successors or Khalifas.
One of them was Shaikh Burhanuddin Gharib (d. 1340) who was one of those sufis who were forced by Sultan Muhammed Tughlaq to migrate to the Deccan.
Decline of the Chishti Order in Delhi During the Later Tughlaq and Saiyyid Period Some scholars believe that the decline of Delhi as a centre of the Chishtiorder was due to the attitudes and policies of Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq.
The sufi activities in many khanqahs were restored after the death of Muhammad Tughluq when his successor Firoz Shah Tughlaq showered gifts on them.
Shaikh Nasiruddin died without appointing a spiritual successor. The dispersal of the Chishti order in different parts of the country was accompanied by many important changes in the attitudes and practices of the Chishti sufis.
The second phase began with the death of Shaikh Nasiruddin and itssubsequent dispersal in various regional kingdoms.
Shaikh Burhanuddin Gharib introduced the Chishti order during the reign of Muhammad Tughlaq. The most prominent of these Chishtis was Muhammad Banda Nawaz, Gesudaraz (c. 1321-1422).
The end of the 15th century also witnessed the beginning of the Chishti tradition in the Deccan.
The second phase also witnessed the flourishing of the Chishti centres in Malwa and Bengal.
The Naqshbandi Silsilah KhwajaBaqi Billah (1563-1603), the seventh in succession to Khawaja Bahauddin Naqshbandi (1317-1389), introduced the Naqshbandi order into India.
Shah Waliullah (1702-1762) was a noted scholar and a saint of the Naqshbandi order who tried to reconcile the two doctrines of wahdat-ulwujudand wahdat-ulshuhud.
Khwaja Mir Dard, the famous Urdu poet, was another mystic of the Naqshbandiorder and a contemporary of Shah Waliullah. The Sufis established their centres in almost all the parts of India.
Other Sufi Orders
Some other Sufi orders were the Firdausi, the Qadiri, the Shattari, the Qalandari, etc. which were introduced in India during this period.
The Firdausi order was a branch of the Suhrawardi and the Qadiri was the important sufi order in the Central Islamic countries. The Rishi order of sufism flourished in Kashmir during the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Mahdavi Movement
The Mahdavis lived in Daeras where they practised the laws of the Shariat. The Mahdav is believed that the ordinance of the Quran was divided into two groups: Commandments explained by the last of the Prophets associated with the Shariat; and commandments of the last of the walis, i.e., Mahdi.
When Syed Muhammadof Jaunpur died, several Daeras sprang up to disseminate the teachings of Mahdi. The preachers in these Daeras were called khalifas.
Q. 5. Briefly discuss the common characteristic features associated with monotheistic movements.
Ans. There were certain common characteristics in the teachings of the saints associated with monotheistic movement which are as follows:
(i) The monotheists belonged to the ‘low’ castes mostly and were aware of each other’s teachings and influences.
They have also mentioned each other and their predecessors in such a way as to suggest a harmonious ideological affinity among them.
(ii) Most of the monotheists were influenced by the Vaishnava concept of bhakti, the Nathpanthi movement andsufism.
They did not accept the element of these traditions in their original form and made many innovations and adaptations which gave new meanings to old concepts.
(iii) The monotheists believed that there was only one way of establishing communion with God: it was the way of personally experienced bhakti. Similar was the method of the Vaishnava bhakti saints.
(iv) The monotheists followed a path which was independent of both religions dominating at that time-Hinduism and Islam.
They were against the superstitions and orthodox elements of both the religions and began a vigorous ideological assault on the caste system and idolatry. They also rejected the authority of the Brahmans and their religious scriptures.
(v) They used the popular language to compose their poems. Some of them used a language which was a mixture of different dialects spoken in various parts of North India.
They also made use of popular symbols and images to propagate their teachings.
(vi) Them onotheistic saints also led worldly life and were married and lived and preached among the people.
(vii) They travelled from one place to another in order to propagate their beliefs.
(viii) The popularity of the monotheists broke territorial barriers.
(ix) The followers of each one of the major figures in themonotheistic movement like Kabir, Raidas and Nanak gradually organized themselves into exclusive sectarian orders called panths such as Kabirpanth, Raidasi panth, Nanak panth, etc.
Q. 6. Alauddin Khalji’s market control measures.
Ans. There were various measures that were taken by Alauddin Khalji to introduce price control which are as follows: He took strong steps to check inflationery price rise and reduce prices. These were:
(1) Prices of most commodities were fixed e.g. for grain, pulses, meat, fish, vegetables, sugarcane, dry fruit, cloth, cattle and horses, needles, etc.
(2) Strict action was taken against hoarders, speculators, and black marketeers. On receiving any complaint about violation of these regulations, thorough investigation was made and harsh punishment given to violators of these regulations.
(3) Dalals and middlemen who raised prices artificially were eliminated. Only those traders registered with the state were allowed to purchase grain, etc from peasants and other producers.
(4) Godowns were established where grain was stored in reserve to be released in times of scarcity e.g. famine
(5) A department called Diwan-e-Riyasat was set up to enforce these regulations
(6) Daily reports of prices had to be submitted to the Sultan who kept a watch on prices.
Q. 7. Bairam Khan’s Regency.
Ans. When Bairam Khan was accepted as the regent, the nobles wanted to share power and influence with Bairam Khan but Bairam Khan was determined to exercise power rigidly.
There were tension and conflicts in the nobility so much that it was on the verge of crisis bythe second battle of Panipat.
The imperial forces led by Tardi Beg were unsuccessful to defend themselves against the Afghan forces at the battle of Tughlaqabad.
At this point, Bairam Khan, without the consent of theemperor, ordered the execution of Tardi Beg on the charges of treachery. This createddissension in the nobility.
Bairam Khan was in complete control of the affairs within the six months of the execution of Tardi Beg.
The nobility resented the strengthening of the power of Bairam Khan and the exercise of de facto authority by him was resented by the nobility.
Q. 8. English East India Company.
Ans. East India Company, also called English East India Company, formally (1600-1708) Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies or (1708-1873) United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies, English company formed for the exploitation of trade with East and Southeast Asia and India, incorporated by royal charter on December 31, 1600.
Starting as a monopolistic trading body, the company became involved in politics and acted as an agent of British imperialism in India from the early 18th century to the mid-19th century.
In addition, the activities of the company in China in the 19th century served as a catalyst for the expansion of British influence there. The company was formed to share in the East Indian spice trade.
That trade had been a monopoly of Spain and Portugal until the defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588) by England gave the English the chance to break the monopoly.
Until 1612 the company conducted separate voyages, separately subscribed. There were temporary joint stocks until 1657, when a permanent joint stock was raised.
Q. 9. Military Technology.
Ans. We will study about the following three things regarding military technology:
(ii) Horseshoe and
(i) Stirrup: The ‘big toe stirrup’ and ‘suspension hooks’ were used in India but stirrup proper was the contribution of the Muslims.
The stirrup was first used in China and then later diffused into Persia and other Islamic countries during the next century.
(ii) Horseshoe: There were some equipments like simple bridle, bitted bridle, saddle with pommel and cantle and, of course, the stirrup that were needed apart from the domestication of the horses.
The new entry in the list was nailed horseshoe. The tamed and domesticated horses require shoeing, specially in moist latitudes.
There were two advantages of shoeing i.e., it gives a better grip on soft ground and the hooves get protection on rough ground.
The horses hoes were foreign importations. When the stirrups were not introduced, the seat of the rider was precarious.
Before the invention of the stirrup, the spear was wielded at the end of the arm and the blow was delivered with the strength of shoulder and biceps.
A more effective attack was now possible with the stirrup. The stirrup gave a lateral support in addition to the front and back support offered bypommel and cantle, effectively welded horse and rider into a single fighting unit capable of aviolence without precedent.
(iii) Gunpowder and Fire-arms: Gunpowder was made up of saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal and was first invented in China. The immigrant Turks brought gunpowder to India perhaps in late 13th or early 14th century.
The use of fire-arms was done for the first time during the second half of the 15th century in some regions of India like Gujarat,Malwa and the Deccan. The guns and canons were used by Babur in battles against the Rajputs and Afghans.
These guns were actually matchlocks.
Europeans also gave pistols in gifts to Indians and Cannons of various sizes were manufactured in India for the Indian rulers.
The other defensive mechanisms that were used were the traditional weapons like swords, spears, daggers, bows and arrows, shields and armours,etc.
Q. 10. Quranic Calligraphy.
Ans. Calligraphy was used as adecorative feature both on stone and on paper. The position of the calligrapher was above the illuminator and painter.
The earliest known copy of the Quran was calligraphed at Gwalior and has a variety of ornamental motifs.
The important features are:
- The work produced were similar to the Iranian tradition.
- The script used is Kufi.
- The illumination of geometrical frontis pieces was the important aspect of this school.
Calligraphy: The Quranic sayings are inscribed on buildings in an angular, sober and monumental script, known as Kufi.
This can be seen in any part of the building-frames of the doors, ceilings, wall panels, niches etc., and in variety of materials- tone, stucco and painting.