9. Abul Fazl: Governance and Administration Kamla – Indian Political Thought, 2nd Edition

9

Abul Fazl:Governance and Administration

Kamla

Introduction

Medieval India had many eminent historians and among them Sheikh Abul Fazl (1551–1602) occupies a place of distinction. This is mainly because of the predominance of intellectual elements in his writings, his unfailing appeal to reason against religious and cultural traditions, broader view of history and a new methodology which he sought to apply to his task. His interpretation of history was integrally linked to the political, social, economic and religious realities of that period.1

At the beginning of the Mughal period, India was divided into many smaller kingdoms, and this frequently led to a great deal of political instability. This ended with the victory of the Mongol ruler Babar over Ibrahim Lodi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. The Mughals eventually conquered much of India resulting in an integrated and vast Mughal Empire2 which had many new characteristics. It had a hierarchical administrative structure, strong monetary policies, centralized governing system and new methods of military organization, and there was an emergence of fresh ideas in the cultural and religious fields. These new structures gave rise to a novel integrated culture that had elements from both Hindu and Muslim thoughts, an idea that found a clear expression in the tradition of Bhakti and Sufi movements. The primary message was that no religion is inferior to any other, God can be found without blind belief in superstitions, that all humans are equal and that there is a basic unity and equality in all religions.3

Political ideas in Islam have various sources. A part of it can be traced to pre-Islamic sources and a substantial part was based on the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. The concept of one God and the universality of the laws of the Quran fostered the doctrine of equality, which forms the basis of Islamic brotherhood. Politically, however, the Islamic belief was that ‘some are born to rule and others to obey’, an idea that was closer to the Greek belief of superior and inferior.4 The three basic principles, however, which governed all subsequent political thinking were: (a) the divine law, the Shariat based on the Quran and the Prophet’s tradition (b) the historical traditions of the early years of Islam, and (c) the consensus and solidarity of the Islamic community.5

Abul Fazl, a contemporary of Abdul Qadir Badauni, was a courtier, historian and also a friend to Akbar, the greatest of all Mughal rulers. He finished his massive and definitive work, the Akbar Nama and Ain-i-Akbari, in the waning years of the sixteenth century. It marks a decisive and schematic departure from the predominant historiographic format of the time, as it does in several other aspects of the construction of an alternative world view. The Akbar Nama opens with the praise of Allah, for sure, and then moves to Adam and traces Akbar’s lineage back to fifty-three generations of his ancestors. It dislocates the historiographic axis from the groove of Islam and seeks to construct an alternative teleology of universal history in which Akbar is the heir not of Muhammad and the caliphs, but of Adam himself, the first human being, and thus the ruler of all humanity.6 The text therefore promotes the idea of a powerful sovereign and a centralized state structure.

Akbar Nama and the Ain-i-Akbari together constitute a single book. The first part of the Akbar Nama contains an account of Akbar’s ancestors, including that of his father Humayun. The second part gives the most complete account of Akbar’s reign up to the 46th year, in a chronological order. The work was undertaken in 1595 and, after five revisions, completed in 1602. The Ain-i-Akbari is the third part of the book. It is a unique compilation of the system of administration and control over the various departments of government in a great empire. It faithfully and minutely records, to the minutest detail, a wide array of facts illustrating its extent, resources, condition, population, industry and wealth as the abundant material supplied from official sources could furnish.7 It also contains an account of the religious and philosophical systems of the Hindus, as described in their ancient books, and of their social customs and practices. Thus, Abul Fazl widened the range and scope of history as no medieval historian before him had done and his work is considered the most comprehensive account of Mughal administration and state structure.

Methodology

Abul Fazl had a rational and secular approach to history. He also applied a new methodology to collect facts and marshal them on the basis of critical investigation. These are the hallmarks of his writings. He widened the scope of history by recording a mass of facts pertaining to political, social, economic and cultural life, and by incorporating chapters on administrative regulations, procedures and topographical accounts of various provinces. He laboured hard for the collection of material, selected important facts after careful enquiry and investigation, and then presented them in a clear and systematic manner. He questioned the validity of a source and accepted it only when it satisfied the principles of historical investigation formulated by him. In other words, he created a new idiom for understanding and interpreting history, widened its range and scope and laid down the principles of historical investigation. It may, therefore, be suggested that in Abul Fazl’s writings we can discover a philosophy of history, i.e., a definite concept about the nature and purpose of history, principles for its interpretation, and the critical apparatus for the collection and selection of facts of history.8

Abul Fazl realized and recognized the importance of original sources and gave his utmost attention and care to its study. He did not depend on a single source or account in order to ascertain a fact, but obtained as many versions as he could. They were put to a critical examination before they were accepted. He states that he has formulated a set of questions which were put to the reporter of an event or fact. This procedure, he points out, is of great help to the historian in ascertaining the truth.9 His source material consisted of accounts of events written by eye-witnesses. Reports, memoranda, minutes prepared by the offices, imperial Farmans, and other records were carefully consulted.10

Governance and Sovereignty

In the political field, Abul Fazl can be compared with Barani of Delhi Sultanate. While both of them were concerned with social stability, Abul Fazl’s method of handling this concept was different. Ain-i-Akbari creates a theory of sovereignty promised on social contract. He drew a picture of society that existed before and then explained how sovereignty emerged.11

Divine Theory of Padshahat (Badshahat) and the Concept of Royalty

According to Abul Fazl, the term Padshahat (Badshahat) meant ‘an established owner’ where Pad stands for stability and shah stands for owner. Padshah therefore, means powerful, established owner who cannot be eliminated by anyone.12 The Badshah had a superior place in the Mughal Empire. He was the ultimate authority on all social, economic, political and judicial powers. This theory of Badshahat was a combination of Mongol, Turkish, Iranian, Islamic and Indian political traditions. According to Abul Fazl, ‘Badshahat is the light derived from God which has been sent by God himself. God throws his kindness on Badshah; who works as the agent of god’.13 A Badshah considered himself as the father and his subjects were his children. So it was his duty to make every effort for the welfare of his people and take care of every aspect of their life, be it economic, social, political, religious and so on. He should always treat his people equally to maintain peace and harmony in his empire.14

It is evident in the writings of Abul Fazl that Akbar was interested in establishing the authority of the Badshah over all other elements of the state. In 1579, through a decree named mazhar, Akbar gained a great deal of authority to interpret law. But he was not satisfied with this limited power. This remained controversial as he was compared with the great Muslim jurists like Imam Abu Hanifa, Hambal and others. Akbar, after some time, lost interest in the position of king of Islam. He wanted a wider concept of religion. He sought for a new justification of religious thoughts and Abul Fazl provided this to him. Abul Fazl told him the new meaning of sovereignty as a divine light. Later on Akbar portrayed himself as an agent of god who worked on his behalf.15 According to Abul Fazl, sovereignty was in nature, a divine light (farr-i-izadi) and with this statement he seems to dismiss as inadequate the traditional reference to the king as the shadow of God (zill-I Ilahi).16

Sovereignty in Badshahat

The king established his sovereignty by considering himself an agent of god and used his absolute powers according to the rule of controller, guide and state.17 Abul Fazl considered Badshah as the father of his people so it was the duty of people to respect him and obey his orders. But if the Badshah discriminated on the basis of caste, religion and class then he could not be considered a good king. According to him, the king had been given miraculous powers, it was impossible to challenge him and nobody could share his power. During the Delhi Sultanate, the king was the final authority in governance, administration, agriculture, education and in other fields but he had no say if they were related to religious matters18 but when Akbar acquired kingship he made himself the final authority even in religious disputes vis-à-vis the Imam-e-Adil19 because he followed the order of God and He could not be wrong. Therefore people must follow his order. It is clear that Akbar was the ideal king for Abul Fazl and that’s why he looked at Akbar as a ‘complete man who could never be wrong’.

Toleration and Sulh-I-Kul- Doctrines of Peace

The agent of God could not practice discrimination among the various faiths present in the society. A doctrine for justifying the tolerant religious policy was now the need of the hour. Sovereignty was not restricted to any particular faith. It became overarching. They believed all religions were, in essence, the same but only the paths varied. Abul Fazl carried this logical thought to Islam and Shariat. He could not find any justification for their sovereignty over others while Barani did so.20 He believed that in a poly-religious country like India the theory of monarchical sovereignty was more relevant. Here sovereignty was not to be related with any particular religion as the monarch was above all the religions. He promoted the good values of different religions and thus assembled different faiths for maintaining peace everywhere. He had to sustain those qualities by adopting an appropriate religious status. He provided relief to himself and his people by giving them freedom from bound thoughts. After evaluating Abul Fazl we can conclude that a sovereign must have the quality of tolerance for the existing beliefs and he should not reject the traditional ways of his people which were necessary and complementary. Abul Fazl justified the views of Akbar by promoting him as having a rationalist approach to social reforms. Fazl argued that he did so, as he wanted to construct a ‘Hindustan’ that could stand out in the world with greater confidence.21

Division of Society

Abul Fazl gave the concept of sovereignty and state in the context of the needs of society. On that basis he classified human beings into four categories22 as the warriors, artificers and merchants, the learned (religious class viz., Brahmans, Ulamaa), the husband men and labourers. He put the learned class in the third place. He downgraded this class on the basis of existing social reality of his time. He also classified human beings into three classes on the basis of Greek tradition, based on their qualities as noble, base, and intermediate.23 Nobles were those who had pure intellect, sagacity, capacity of administration or composition of eloquence and personal courage for military duty. The base and intermediate sections included various professions. These were the qualities of those who were self centered and did their activities more for themselves than for any other.24

According to Satish Chandra, ‘Abul Fazl’s view about human being, particularly the lower classes called the base or the ignorable reflected in large measure the prejudices of the contemporary upper classes. It was implied that the lower orders should not aspire for a share in state power, and that the task of administering the state should be the preserve of those belonging to noble families, and to the upper castes. Prevalence of evil sections in society was a justification for royal despotism, for only a king who possessed the necessary qualities could control these sections. Secondly, it was necessary for a king endowed with Farr-i-Izidi to establish social stability by not permitting the dust of sectarian strife to arise. It was also obligatory for him to put each of these (sections) in its proper place, and by uniting (their) personal ability with due respect for others, to cause the world to flourish. Thus stability even dignity implied the maintenance of one’s due station in life. Akbar is quoted as saying that the Daroghas should be watchful to see that no one from covetousness abandons his own profession. Elsewhere we are told that Akbar quoted with approval Shah Tahmasp’s statement that ‘When a menial takes to learning he does so as at expense of his duties’.25

The divinity of sovereignty clearly defied any restraints on the power and authority of the sovereign. Of his several classifications of human beings in different contexts, Abul Fazl divides one of them into three groups: The noblest souls are those, whose loyalty to the king, Akbar, is absolute, unquestioning and undemanding, a virtue in itself. Placed below them are ones whose display of loyalty is on par with tangible gain, those who have made traffic of their service. The worst never show any sign of loyalty. Rebellion, rebelliousness and their synonyms are the most damning language of abuse in medieval court literature; defeating rebels becomes a cleansing operation. For Abul Fazl the rebellious were not merely the ones who defied imperial authority; even those like Rana Sangram Singh and Mahmud in Bihar, who refused to surrender to Mughal conquering power, were rebels; they defied the divine destiny manifest in history’s teleology.26

Akbar as an Ideal King

Abul Fazl mentioned in Akbar Nama that Akbar always worked wisely for the welfare of his people. He had tolerance, broad mindedness and a strong sense of justice. He provided stability to the state and gave good governance to ensure economic prosperity, peace and safety of his people. He provided religious freedom to all. His political views were clear and were intended for the expansion of the state boundaries. Therefore, Abul Fazl justified his policy of imperialism on moral grounds.27

According to Harbans Mukhia, Abul Fazl envisions the sovereign essentially as paterfamilias, and bestows absolute power to them. Everything that the ruler does, all gifts Mansabs or rewards bestowed by him upon his nobles, princes or subjects are favours; nothing is gained by anyone as a matter of right. On the other hand, Abul Fazl’s binds the ruler with bestowing paternal care to his subjects. Subjects are entrusted to the king by God, seems to be Abul Fazl’s favourite phrase for the king, as also the metaphors of shepherd, gardener and physician. The king as father motif is of course almost universal and has been prevalent across regions and civilizations since ancient times. It is seen in almost all cultures and streams of thought from Buddhist to Greco-Roman, ancient Egyptian, Assyrian and biblical. Enumeration of the requisite qualities of a ruler has understandably been of central concern to medieval political thought. For Zia Barani, a strong determination to conquer and govern nearly exhausted these qualities. For Babur, good governance implied that the town walls be solid, subjects be thriving, provisions be in store and the treasury be full. But the running thread in Abul Fazl’s several discussions of kingship is the composition of a paternal love towards his subjects, the priceless jewel of justice and fair play, and observance of absolute peace, Sulh-i-Kul, without discrimination; other conditions vary with the context, at times out of step with one another. There is a grander vision to Abul Fazl’s conception of sovereignty than enumerating a king’s qualities: The true’ King must understand the ‘spirit of the age’.28

Justice

It was also the duty of the king to provide justice to his people and always punish the wrongdoers and ensure that justice helped the innocent people.29 According to him, a king should be kind and harmonious while dispensing justice and treat his people as his children and himself as their father. He should keep it in his mind that he was sent by God on earth to ensure peace and justice for all. He is a medium for their welfare. He should always remain indifferent and take care that nobody was hurt by him. His decisions should be transparent and he should always try to make his reign a civilized society. He should take care of the basic needs of people. The king should try to place himself in the criminal’s shoes at the time of judgment. He should consider every aspect of those circumstances in which crime had occurred and give his decision only after that. If the king wanted to increase goodness of his state he should always give rewards to good people and punish the wrongdoers to inspire them to do good work.30

Abul Fazl’s basic premise was that the ruler should not depend on any religious person. His moral level should be high and should know the moral and spiritual qualities. He tried to show this concept of state and sovereignty in terms of Iranian traditions. According to him in a poly religious state the concept of justice for all should be free from any bias irrespective of birth. He favored abolition of Juzyah. He convinced us that Akbar’s conquests were not based on spiritual or religious differences but they were necessary for justice as Indian politics was based on justice and tolerance and he called it Dar-ul-Sulh.31

Abul Fazl’s Views on Administration

Humayun did not have the time to revise the old administration. It was Akbar who revised it and gave it a structure of government and administration based on his knowledge of the Delhi Sultanate. He did not make any changes in administration at the district and sub-district levels. His land revenue system was almost the same.32 An important question arises here as to what was different or new that made the Mughal Empire stronger than the Delhi Sultanate? What were those new policies by which Akbar could govern such a large, stable, long-lasting political and administrative structure?33 As we know a strong and well planned administrative structure is a sound link of great governance. It is also necessary for welfare and peace of the state that people should not fear an enemy’s attack. All this could not have been possible in Akbar’s empire if intelligent, and loyal officers and army were not present, as the state could defeat the enemy with their help only. In reality Mughal polity was not a complete continuation of the Delhi Sultanate. He changed the designation of the officials. His important contribution was the development of a provincial administration, patterned on the central system of government. Detailed rules and regulations were made for better control.34 In his administrative views Abul Fazl gave supreme place to advocates among all the officers. According to him advocates should have those qualities which could solve both private and social problems of the king.35

As we see in Kautilya’s Arthashashtra, the state was divided into many levels and each level had many officers of various kinds. All of them were responsible for the administration of the state and answerable to the ruler directly and hence they always worked for the betterment of the public. We can find the same concept in the Ain-i-Akbari. Akbar divided his empire into Subas, Sarkars and Mahalls. He appointed a chain of officers at various levels who were controlled by ministers at the centre. In this system, the religion of the officers could not interfere in their administrative work, so this system was also followed by his successors. Akbar wanted a sovereign rule so he gave importance to it. He systematized and centralized his administration. There were small landlords under the king who were known as Zamindars or Jagirdars. The king often used their forces to curb other chieftains (landlords). There was also a class called Bhumia which got some land from the Jagirdars. The Bhumia were the owners of the land and did not have to pay duty for it. But his land was always inferior to that of the Jagirdari land. There also existed a Khalsa land which was under the direct control of the king. This land would be mostly in the vicinity of the capital. This system had flourished even during the Sultanate and the Mughals did not disturb it as the landlords (chieftains) kept the lands with those who were allied with the king of Delhi.36

The Mughal state had a vast centralized patrimonial system. In this system they bestowed various kinds of ranks and hierarchies borrowed from the Mansabdari system of Persia (In Persian Mansab means rank). These ranks had two parts comprising zat and sawar. Each Mansabdar had some rights (zat) and a force of horses to command (Sawar). The ruler provided him the grant of his strength. The Ain-i-Akbari mentions sixty-six ranks. At that time, the system granted gifts to the deserving. All the Mansabdars reported directly to the ruler. They also collected revenue on the behalf of the king and received salaries in cash.37

Abul Fazl gave three classifications for the Mansabdars: first, those who had 500 and above Mansabs, second, those who had 400 to 200 Mansabs and third, those who had 150 to 10 Mansabs.38 This system gave rise to a community with various grades between the people and the ruler and a hierarchical system came into existence. Summing up, in medieval times, Indian society had a complicated system of rank and status on the basis of military power. The military power became a status symbol and the whole framework was designed around it. The Mughals also followed this pattern for peace in their kingdom and they did not try to change it.39

Abul Fazl had a strong belief in hierarchy but he was more concerned about the need of talent for the kingdom. He did not bother about the social background of a talented person. It is for this reason that he stated that Akbar was moved by the spirit of the age, for he knew the values of talent, honoured people of various classes with appointments in the rank of army and raised them from the position of a common solider to the dignity of a grandee.40 Mughals did not interfere in the Indian caste system and also did not try to change the basic frame work of Indian society. They also did not interfere in the distribution of justice and the economy management of the Jagirdari system.41

Abul Fazl wanted the Hindus and Muslims co-exist peacefully. But according to him the Hindus wrapped themselves up in their own cocoon. He wrote this on the basis that very few matters of the Hindus came up in courts. The matters were settled by panchayats or by caste courts.42 The Mughals did not interfere in the existing framework of society. The panchayat and caste courts existed and therefore the Zamindars were loved like parental figures. The land belonged to the family and was transferred from father to son. So the theory that the land belongs to king was only rational. All land belonged to the peasant families, the Zamindar and the king. This communal ownership prepared a ground for the development of canals, common grazing grounds and so on. It also helped in developing trade and commerce in village and society.43

Land Revenue and Army Structure

Akbar’s administration was a continuation of the Delhi Sultanate, and so was his land revenue system. Akbar’s provinces were divided into Sarkars and Parganas. Each Sarkar was divided into a number of Parganas. For general administration there was a Shiqdar and an Amil for assessment and collection of land revenue. There were many other posts as well like a treasurer, a Qanungo and so on. There was a large army of people who were appointed to look after the matters of production, i.e., the produce at the time of harvest and demanding the state’s share of it. The land revenue system was the basis of the financial system of the state. Dahsala or a ten year system was the basis of Akbar’s revenue policy. It was the logical evolution of the system of measurement adopted by Sher Shah which continued to operate in Hindustan, i.e., the region between modern day Lahore and Allahabad. On the basis of this system, state demand was expressed as a cash rate based on local produce and local prices. The Dahsala did not mean a ten years settlement but was an average of the production and prices of the last ten years. The productivity and local prices during the past ten years were worked out afresh on the basis of information, and then averaged in cash. On the basis of this evaluation it is clear that the land revenue demand was undoubtedly the heaviest demand. It put a lot of pressure on the peasants. This was the heaviest demand which the peasants had to meet under threat of severe action, including ejection and loss of life, if he failed to meet it.44

The Dahsala system which was based on measurement or Zabt was introduced in many places like Lahore, Allahabad, Gujarat, Malwa, Bihar and Multan. The second method was crop sharing. There were many other methods in different areas for collection of revenue. All these methods needed a large number of intelligent inspectors to check them.45

Abul Fazl narrates that Akbar during his reign started a system of collecting tax on individual basis. This system allowed the farmer to pay his tax based on his individual harvest. He only had to pay the tax on whatever produce he got. This system was different from the previous one found in the Mughal Empire, where a whole village had to pay the tax collectively. In this system, every farmer had to pay the tax whether he had a good produce or not because everyone had to share the tax equally. So, when Akbar became ruler, he changed this system, taking a step to reform the condition of farmers. But this system, in which a farmer could pay his tax according to what he produced or according to his financial condition did not prove to be beneficial for the farmers, as the authority of collecting the tax was in the hands of the zamindars or landlords and the ameer. They exploited the farmers and compelled them to pay the tax in conditions of droughts, floods or other natural calamities. Although Akbar had directed them not to collect tax during natural calamities the zamindars and landlords did not heed his advice. Akbar took some preventive measures to stop this exploitation of farmers. He kept a watch on the zamindars to know who exploited and who did not., As a result of which he succeeded, to some extent, in returning the money to the farmers who had paid the tax under force46 but despite all this, he was not able to keep a watch over his whole kingdom, and this exploitation of the peasantry became common among the landlords. This practice continued in many parts of India in Akbar’s reign.

Akbar had a large and strong army for the smooth working of governance and administration. The Mughal army consisted of cavalry, infantry, artillery, elephants and camels. There was no easy way to assess the strength of Akbar’s army. Troops were maintained by the Mansabdars according to their obligations denoted by their sawar rank. According to Montserrat writing in 1581, ‘There were forty-five thousand cavalry, five thousand elephants and many thousands infantry, paid directly from the royal treasury’.47

Religious Views

Abul Fazl was not a blind supporter of Islam. This was the reason that he respected the Hindu religion and supported the participation of Hindus in governance and administration. It can also be said that Abul Fazl was influenced by composite culture of his time. He argued that Hindus also believed in the theory of monotheism (one god) like Muslims but most Muslims get them wrong because they do not read their religious scriptures and so their criticism springs from ignorance.48 In fact Fazl did not think that Islam was superior to all religions while Barani and other thinkers regarded it as supreme. This was the reason that many people called Abul Fazl a rebel, a Kafir, Hindu or Agnipujak etc.49 His religious thoughts were based on secularism which considered all religions equal and believed in religious fraternity and Sulh-i-Kul (peace everywhere).50 He was considered an intellectual, a thinker who believed in the goodness of all religions. He liked rationality and innovations in every field. He did not like orthodox, traditional and customary values. He said if traditions were sufficient for all the times then why the Prophet brought new thoughts. He argued that change in law and religion must be initiated with the passage of time.51 His modernity and religious rationality were reflected in the thoughts of Akbar who also declined to be a traditionalist himself and started innovative policies and customs in his reign. We can find its glimpse in Sulh-i-kul and Deen-i-Ilahi.

People from different religions and sects lived in India in the medieval age. It was not that easy to unite all of them under one umbrella. The Sultans of Delhi did not try to unite them during their reign, and this was the reason that Delhi Sultanate was not as tolerant and liberal, for the most part, as Mughal period was. Akbar conducted many new experiments to please people of different religious groups. Though he was not completely successful he did manage to unite them during his reign. Policies like Sulhkul and Din-i-Ilahi gave strength to his governance and administration but these new experiments were not as successful as Akbar hoped.

Conclusion

Abul Fazl was Akbar’s trusted courtier however; he had a genuine adulation and reverence for Akbar. His firm belief in religious tolerance owed its origin to his formative years, when he and his family experienced the worst type of persecution at the hands of the orthodox Ulama. This proved to be the basis of a lasting friendship with Akbar. Moreover, few could doubt that Akbar possessed the highest and noblest qualities of head and heart. No wonder that Abul Fazl found in Akbar the qualities of a king, philosopher and hero. Abul Fazl’s official position, as well as his personal views on religion and politics, required that he should defend, justify and extol Akbar and his activities.52

Kings like Akbar and Ashoka had to fight a series of battles at the start of their rule to consolidate their position and expand their empires. But when they achieved stability they proposed the ideas of peace, religion and friendship; be it the Dhamma of Ashoka or Sulh-kul or Dini-i-Ilahi of Akbar. Here some questions arise: Why did Akbar need Sulh-kul in his kingship? Wasn’t he able to run his administration efficiently? Did he really need to introduce Deen-i-Ilahi? Wasn’t he successful in maintaining peace and order in his large empire? It was perhaps, to make his subjects happy and to instill confidence in the other groups like Rajputs and Marathas; he created the concept of Sulh-kul and Deen-i-Ilahi.

Abul Fazl rarely discusses the failures of Akbar or the shortcoming of his policies yet he was undoubtedly one of the greatest thinkers and scholars that India has produced. One may pick holes in his theory of social contract and more in his theory of divine origin of sovereignty since the two theories are not logically compatible with each other. Indeed, he may be said to have tried to ride two horses, and combined (in anticipation) the views of Hobbes and James I (and he went much beyond James I in his claim for the sovereign). Yet the essential bedrock of rationality in Abul Fazl’s thought commands respect, even admiration. Certainly no one after him in India debated the issues of sovereignty at the same high level of reason and abstraction.53

Notes and References

  1. Mohibbul Hassan, Historians of Medieval India (New Delhi: Meenakshi Publication, 1983), p. 129.
  2. M. Athar Ali, Mughal India: Studies in Polity, Ideas, Society and Culture (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006).
  3. V.R. Mehta, Foundations of Indian Political Thought (New Delhi: Manohar, 1996), pp. 134, 144–146.
  4. Ibid., pp. 134–135.
  5. Ibid., pp. 136–137.
  6. Harbans Mukhia, The Mughals of India (U.K.: Blackwell, 2005), p. 17.
  7. Ibid., p. 17.
  8. Mohibbul Hassan, op. cit., p. 130.
  9. Abul Fazl, Akbar Nama, Text ed. Ahmed Ali and Abdur Rahim in 3 Vols. English tr. by H. Beveridge, 3 vols. Calcutta, 1902–39, Vol. II, pp. 367–92.
  10. Ibid., vol. I, pp. 9–10.
  11. M. Athar Ali, op. cit., pp. 124–125.
  12. Abul Fazl, Akbar Nama, p. 7.
  13. M. Athar Ali, op. cit., p. 126.
  14. Abul Fazl, Akbar Nama, p. 255.
  15. M. Athar Ali, op. cit., p. 125.
  16. Ibid., p. 125.
  17. Abul Fazl, Akbar Nama, pp. 2–3.
  18. Sushma Yadav, Ram Avatar Sharma, Bhartiya Rajya, Utpatti aevam Vikas, (Delhi: Aakar Publication, 2000), pp. v1–v11, 338–39.
  19. Ibid., p. 345.
  20. M. Athar Ali, op. cit., pp. 125–126.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Satish Chandra, Medieval India; from Sultanat to the Mughals, Mughal Empire (1526–1748), Part II (New Delhi: Har Anand Publication, 2007), pp. 132–133.
  23. Ibid., pp. 132–133.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid., p. 133.
  26. Harbans Mukhia, op. cit., p. 50.
  27. Mohibbul Hassan, op. cit., p. 133.
  28. Harbans Mukhia, op. cit., pp. 51–54.
  29. Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbari, p. 774.
  30. A. Appodoroy, Political Thoughts in India, (Delhi: Khama Publication, 2002), p. 180.
  31. Satish Chandra, op. cit., pp. 132–134.
  32. M. Athar Ali, p. 62.
  33. Satish Chandra, op. cit., pp. 134–135.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Harbans Mukhia, op. cit., p. 50.
  36. V. R. Mehta, op. cit., p. 149.
  37. Abul Fazl, Akbar Nama, vol. I, p. 283, vol. II, p. 41–42.
  38. Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbari, p. 250.
  39. V. R. Mehta, op. cit., pp. 150–151.
  40. Satish Chandra, op. cit., p. 133.
  41. V. R. Mehta, op. cit., p. 152.
  42. Ibid., p. 148.
  43. Ibid., p. 152–153.
  44. Satish Chandra, op. cit., pp. 147–152.
  45. Ibid., pp. 152–153.
  46. Ibid., pp. 147–157.
  47. Ibid., pp. 162–165.
  48. Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbari, pp. 2–4; Abul Fazl, Akbar Nama, vol. III, pp. 654–660.
  49. Mohibbul Hassan, op. cit.
  50. M. Athar Ali, op. cit., pp. 162–164.
  51. Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbari, p. 179.
  52. Mohibbul Hassan, op. cit., pp. 141–42.
  53. M. Athar Ali, op. cit., pp. 125–126.