What were the contribution of the Mughal emperor Akbar to the creation of an Indian national Identity? What were the greatest obstacles to his achievement in this?
The greatest of the Mughal’s emperors, Akbar, attempted the creation of a
national identity for India by his numerous reforms, literal and cultural
development, and policies of integration and organization. His reforms
included a liberal policy toward the non-Muslims, religious innovations, the
land revenue system and the famous Mansabdari system. His policy of
religious toleration became the most significant aspect during his reign.
Akbar established a new religion, the Din-i-Ilahi. But Akbar’s attempt to
create a national identity and a social equilibrium through his religious
and political innovations was met with many obstacles and much
Akbar’s approach to the problem of effectively governing a vast empire,
made up of various ethnic groups, was to identify his interests with those
of the country and set himself to unite all his subjects. Akbar introduced a
policy of reconciliation and assimilation of Hindus, who represented the
majority of the population. Akbar understood the importance of tolerance,
which was paramount to his dynasty’s long-term viability. The Hindus
could only be reconciled by equality of treatment and respect for their
institutions. Their employment was beneficial to the empire, as many
were better businessmen than the Muslim invaders who were uneducated.
Having defeated the Rajputs, the most militant of the Hindu rulers, he
allied himself with them, by recruiting many capable Hindu chiefs with the
highest ranks in government and by conferring honours upon them. To
further build alliance with the Rajputs, he encouraged intermarriages
between Mughal and Rajput aristocracy, setting himself as an example by
marrying daughters of three leading Rajput chiefs.
Akbar’s acts of tolerance were aimed at the Hindu community as a whole
and not just at the Rajputs, who became one of the pillars of the empire.
His efforts to win over the Hindu population included reforms like, allowing
all Hindus to practice their own religion without disturbance, and Akbar
further flattered them by personally participating in the ...
... middle of paper ...
...letely destroyed by his great-grandson, Emperor Aurangzeb .
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