History Optional Paper-1 Solution – 1995: Q.6 (d)
Q.6 (d) “Changes in the composition of nobility from Akbar to Aurangzeb.” Comment.
The Mughal ruling class was composed of Turanis (Central Asian), Persians (Iranis), Afghans, Rajputs, Shaikhzadas (Indian Muslims belonging to certain lineages like Saiyads, Barhas, Kambus) and Khanzadas (descendants of mansabdars already in service).
Nearly 70 % of Akbar’s nobility was of foreign origin and dominant section was Persian.
Akbar broadbased nobility, following his Sulh-i-Kul policy; but also because he did not want any particular section to be able to take advantage of their privileged position. He inducted a large number of the Hindus (particularly Rajputs) into the service. They constituted nearly 22% of the total nobility. A very small percentage constituted the accounting class like Khatris and Kayasthas.
The Kachhawshas Rajputs dominated among Rajput nobles. This exclusive representation of Kachhawahas in the service was corrected when Jahangir acended the throne.
Afghan constituted a minor part, as they could not be trusted because previous regime was of Afghans and also they were famous for rebellion. Indian Muslims were also under-represented.
Under Jahangir and Shahjahan
Among thr Iranis and Turanis, the Iranis made substantial gains under Jahangir and maintained their position under Shahjahan. Both under Jahangir and Shahjahan, the Iranis almost monopolised the positions like diwan, mirbakshis, mir saman and also advanced steadily in occupying the post of provincial governors. Hence, Akbar’s policy of looking upon the Iranis as better administrators than the Turanis continued.
During Jahangir, Afghan also began to be recruited in the nobility and Indian Muslims also given service.
During Shahjahan time the position of Afghans considerably diminished because of the rebellion by Khan Jahan Lodi.
Unlike Akbar, Jahangir did not appint any of Rajputs as provincial governor after Mansingh term as Bengal governor ended in 1607.
Shahjahan modified this policy. Jai Singh was appointed governor of Agra and Jaswant Singh as governor of Ajmer. These posts were few compared to Akbar time. However the prestige of the Rajputs remained high.
Marathas began to be recriuted in nobility mainly from the time of Shahjahan.
During Aurangzeb’s period, as the Mughals penetrated into Deccan, the new class of Deccans started coming into service – Iranis of Deccan states like Ahmednagar & Golconda and Marathas.
Thus the dominance of Persian continued and also the percentage of Hindus increased to 32% all this despite the fact that Aurangzeb was orthodox Sunni Muslim. Moreover, Jaswant Singh a d Jai Singh recieved high appointment as 7000 zat / 7000 sawar and important postings. Though Aurangzeb had shown restrain in promoting Rajputs.