In this article, we describe the Rajput Policy of Akbar. Further, We explore Akbar’s efforts to assimilate the Rajputs into his administration, how he balanced power-sharing arrangements with their traditional autonomy and the long-term impact of this policy on Mughal-Rajput relations.
The Rajput Policy of Akbar aimed to bring the independent and often defiant Rajput states under the control of the Mughal Empire through diplomacy, marriage alliances, and military conquests. By cultivating relationships with Rajput rulers and incorporating them into the Mughal administration, Akbar was able to extend Mughal rule over a vast area of India and maintain peace and stability in the region.
Further, this policy is considered to be one of the key factors in the expansion and success of the Mughal Empire during Akbar’s reign.
|Policy||Rajput Policy of Akbar|
|Implemented by||Akbar the Great|
|Lasted from||1556 to 1605|
|Objectives||Expansion, Stability, Cultural Integration, etc.|
Overview of the Rajput Policy of Akbar
Akbar needed the cooperation of Rajputs to establish Mughal power permanently. Akbar told by his behavior that he was neither in favor of joining his princely states in the Mughal Empire nor did he want to interfere in their religious, political, and social activities. Thus, it formed the Rajput policy of Akbar.
With the help of Rajputs, Akbar tarnished the foreign color of Mughal power and gave it a national form. According to RP Tripathi, Akbar wanted only their allegiance to the new imperial confederacy, for which four things were required.
- The main bases of Akbar’s Rajput policy:
- Rajputs will not consider themselves as individual units and should be considered an integral part of the Mughal Empire.
- Rajput rulers will have to pay a certain amount of Kharaj.
- They will not have the freedom to fight with neighboring states.
- If necessary, they will have to send a certain number of troops.
- Used force against the Rajputs who did not follow the policy of reconciliation and treated them with respect and honor towards those who accepted submission after defeat.
- This was done to keep the friendship with the Rajputs permanent, but if any ruler rejected this temptation, Akbar would have given an exemption in this matter.
- If it was necessary to capture a fort from the point of view of the empire’s security, then its ruler was given jagir at some other place.
- Akbar kept Rajputs together in administration and wars, they were also given high Mansab.
Objectives & Features of the Rajput Policy of Akbar (UPSC)
The objectives of the Rajput Policy of Akbar were:
- Establishment of Harmonious Relationships with Rajput States: The main objective of the Rajput Policy was to establish a peaceful and cooperative relationship with the powerful Rajput states. This was achieved through diplomacy, marriages, and political concessions.
- Expansion of Mughal rule: The Rajput Policy allowed the Mughal Empire to expand its territories and gain control over the independent Rajput states. By incorporating the Rajput rulers into the Mughal administration, the Mughal Empire was able to extend its rule over a vast area of northern and western India.
- Maintenance of peace and stability in the region: By establishing a harmonious relationship with the Rajput states, the Mughal Empire was able to maintain peace and stability in the region. This helped to prevent internal conflicts and rebellions, which allowed the Mughal Empire to focus on other important tasks, such as administration and economic development.
- Cultural and religious integration: The Rajput Policy also aimed to promote cultural and religious integration between the Muslim Mughal rulers and Hindu Rajputs. This was achieved through intermarriage and the appointment of Rajput nobles to key positions within the Mughal administration.
- Economic benefits for the Rajputs: By incorporating the Rajput states into the Mughal Empire, the Rajput rulers and their subjects benefited from increased economic prosperity and opportunities for trade and commerce.
- Jizya was removed, pilgrimage tax was also abolished so that the feeling of discrimination in the minds of Rajputs would go away.
- Established marriage relations to reduce distances.
- Akbar himself married Jodha Bai, the eldest daughter of King Bihari Mal of Jaipur in 1562.
- Due to this marriage, Akbar gave Mansab to Bharmal’s son Bhagwan Das and his son Mansingh.
- Married the princesses of Bikaner and Jaisalmer in 1570.
- Further, Salim was married to the daughter of Bhagwan Das in 1584.
Difference between the Afghan and Rajput Policy of Akbar:
|Rajput Policy of Akbar||Afghan Policy of Akbar|
|Even after revolting, the Rajput dynasty was not merged into the Mughal Empire, but the ruler was removed from the throne and another person of the same dynasty was made the ruler who had a friendly attitude.||While the Afghan dynasties of Bihar, Bengal, and Malwa were abolished and merged into the Mughal Empire. Moreover, the Afghan Sardars were forced to accept subordination by giving them high positions.|
Reason to form Rajput Policy of Akbar
- The period of 1562-67 was the period of the Uzbek rebellion.
- The revolt of the Uzbek nobles, most of whom were Turanians, was led by a man of Iranian origin named Aliquli Khan.
- Therefore, between 1562-67, Akbar tried to get the cooperation of Khurasani, Indian Muslims, and Rajputs to reduce the power of Turani nobles.
- But soon after the suppression of the Uzbeks (1562-67), there was a change in Akbar’s policy of establishing friendly relations with the Rajputs.
- Akbar now resorted to an aggressive policy to subdue them.
Akbar & Rajputs Conflict
- Maharana Pratap of Mewar raised the voice of obstruction in Akbar’s Rajput policy.
- When Rana Pratap ascended the throne after the death of his father Rana Udai Singh in 1572, his younger brother Jagmal went to seek help from Akbar, where Akbar gave him Jagir and showed generosity.
- Akbar had no intention of interfering in the politics of Mewar, nor did Rana Pratap have any intention of fighting with Akbar.
- But Akbar realized that in the coming time, Rana could become an obstacle in his Gujarat victory, so he sent messengers.
- Reasons for the battle between Akbar and Maharana Pratap:
- Rawada was the main center of commerce between Delhi, Agra, and the west coast.
- Further, there was little or no monsoon rainfall in this region.
- This route was convenient for the Haj pilgrims to reach the ports of Gujarat. Moreover, this was also an easy way to enter the Deccan.
- Battle of Haldighati and its Results:
- In 1576, the Battle of Haldighati took place between the Mughal army and Maharana Pratap.
- Under the leadership of Hakim Khan, the Afghans, and Rajputs had created havoc in the Mughal army with the arrival of Akbar in the battle, and the balance of the war was now in the favor of the Mughals.
- The Rana had to flee from there and then continued the war for a few years with guerrilla tactics.
- Akbar had to go to Lahore in 1585 and no campaign was sent against Maharana Pratap, taking advantage of which the Rana regained control over the border areas.
- Maharana Pratap could not occupy Chittor, he made Chavand near Dungarpur his new capital and died in 1597.
- Logic and realism in place of sentimentality was the reason for Rajputs to go in favor of Akbar.
- RP Tripathi says that this war was not a Hindu-Muslim conflict but a problem between the Mughal Empire and Mewar.
- Rana Pratap placed a part of his army under the leadership of Hakim Khan Sur and Akbar placed his army under the leadership of Mansingh.
- Even if Mewar was under Muslim, Akbar would have treated him in the same way, the purpose of the struggle was purely political.
Akbar’s Rajput Policy – Review
- Akbar declared the fall of Chittor as a victory of Islam over the infidels.
- The remarkable thing is that except for Bharmal of Amer, all the Rajputs accepted Akbar’s submission only after the fall of Chittor.
- Thus 1562-67 failed to entice the Rajputs to the side of the Mughals, whereas the same period was a period of liberal ideas and religious tolerance towards the Hindus.
- In spite of religious bigotry in the Mughal court during the period 1567-79, the Rajput chieftains voluntarily subjugated the Mughals and obtained a large number of positions in the Umra class.
- Akbar took full care that no Rajput state could flourish. That’s why Akbar did not try to end the traditional struggle of Mewar-Marwar.
- Rajput chieftains and rulers were appointed outside Rajasthan, Bhagwan Das was made the joint governor of Lahore and Mansingh was given the governorship of Kabul, Bihar, and Bengal.
- Thus the Rajput rulers were deprived of their original power center.
- Overall, with the Rajput policy of Akbar, the Rajput princely states were merged into the administrative system of the Mughals.
In conclusion, the Rajput Policy of Akbar was a visionary and effective strategy that allowed the Mughal emperor to establish a harmonious relationship with the powerful Rajput states. Through diplomacy, marriages, and military conquests, Akbar was able to expand Mughal rule over a vast area of India and maintain peace and stability in the region.
This policy not only strengthened the Mughal Empire but also paved the way for further cultural and religious integration between the Muslim Mughal rulers and Hindu Rajputs. The Rajput Policy of Akbar remains an important chapter in the history of the Mughal Empire and is still studied and analyzed by historians today.
What was the Rajput Policy of Akbar?
The Rajput Policy of Akbar was a strategy implemented by Akbar to establish peace and cooperation between the Mughal Empire and the powerful Rajput states in northern and western India.
What were the objectives of the Rajput Policy of Akbar?
To establish peace, expand Mughal rule, maintain stability, promote cultural integration, and provide economic benefits for the Rajputs.
How did the Mughal Empire benefit from the Rajput Policy of Akbar?
The Mughal Empire expanded its territories and gained control over the Rajput states, maintained peace, and focused on administration and economic development.
What was the impact of the Rajput Policy on the Rajput States?
The impact of the Rajput Policy of Akbar on the Rajput states was both positive and negative. On the one hand, the Rajput states benefited from increased economic prosperity and opportunities for trade and commerce. On the other hand, they lost their independence and became part of the Mughal Empire, which led to some loss of autonomy.