History Optional Paper-1 Solution – 2015: Q.8 (a)

History Optional Paper-1 Solution – 2015: Q.8 (a)

Q8.(a) ”In medieval Indian history Akbar was unique for his religio-political ideas and policies. ”Analyse this statement.


Uniqueness of Akbar’s religio-political ideas and policies:

(1)The philosophy of ”Sulh-i-kul”

It means peace with all. It stands for social harmony and an end to the social conflict. This philosophy is reflected in his policies like ban on forceful conversion to Islam, abolition of jiziya and pilgrimage tax, prohibition on enslavement of war prisoners, granting freedom of conscience etc.

(2) Policy of ”Din-i-Ilahi” also called Tauhid-i-ilahi

It was inspired from the ”Tauhid-i-wajudi” of great Arab philosopher Ibn-i-Arabi. It represents the philosophy of unity of being i.e. the unity of Haq(creator) and khalq(created ones) which means all beings are the same and the manifestations of the divine substance. It was an order of which anyone could become a member irrespective of his religion. eg- Birbal (a Hindu) was a member of this order.

(3) Construction of Ibadat khana for debate

The purpose was debate, discussion and discourse over the religious issues. He invited representatives of all the religions like Hinduism, Islam, Christainity, Jainism etc. It strengthened his conviction that truth is not confined to one religion and behind the multiplicity of names is one god.

(4) Issuing of Mahzar

It was royal order or decree to proclaim the supreme position of the king in conflicting interpretation of Islam. It subordinated the positions of the theologians and proclaimed the king as not only political head but also spiritual head.

(5)Introduction of Jharokha-e-darshan, prostration before king etc

(6) He created provincial system that is suba system.

(7) He created mansabdari and jagirdari system. He created a composite nobility based on talents.

(8) Rajput Policy

(a) Rajputs as mansabdar, Subedar (provincial governors) and military commanders,
(b)Matrimonial alliances and the freedom to the Rajput wives to practice their religion.
(9)Deccan policy

(a) Diplomatic missions to Deccan
(b)Military campaigns and annexation of Khandesh and parts of Ahmednagar.

Though many of his ideas and policies were unique but there are also elements of similarity:

(1)According to Badayuni, Akbar reimposed Jiziya in 1575.
(2) In the fatahnama of chittor in 1568, he declared war against the Rajputs as Jihad and took pride in destroying temples and killing kafirs.
(3) Balban also introduced the practice of prostration before the king.
(4) His early policies were similar to Sher Shah and other early rulers.

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