Mughal Emperor Akbar Essay

Mughal Emperor Akbar Essay

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Mughal Emperor Akbar

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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Lamb, Beatrice Pitney., India: A World in Transition,
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Ratman, T., Report on India,
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Rawlinson, H.G., India: A Short Cultural History,
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Thapar, Romila., A History of India, vol. 1,
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