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Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India The Mughal Empire (Vol. II 1526-1707)

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Item Code: BAD233
Author: J.L. Mehta
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9788120710153
Pages: 604
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 710 gm
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Book Description
About the Author
J.L. Mehta, a specialist in medieval and modern Indian history, and a prolific writer, with proficiency in Urdu, Persian and Tibetan, besides Hindi, Punjabi and Sanskrit, has published a number of books, articles and monographs.

At present he is Reader in the Postgraduate Department of History, Panjab University Evening College, Chandigarh.

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION THIS is the second of the three-volume study on medieval Indian history, the first volume of which was published two years ago; it gives a descriptive, analytical and critical account of the political and military history of the age of the imperial Mughals, from Babar to Aurangzeb (1526-1707). Their period of rule constitutes a glorious era in the annals of medieval Indian history. Babar, though a foreign conqueror, adopted India as the country of his domicile while his worthy descendants not only showed fondness for being thoroughly Indianised, even in blood and breed, but also displayed nationalistic sentiments and identified their interests with those of the sons of the soil. The Mughal period was marked by two centuries of freedom from external invasions and an enduring peace within the empire. It enabled the Great Mughals to bring about political unification of India by the corporate activity of the nationalist forces, including Hindus and Muslims, under their benign control. The political unity was consolidated by the evolution of uniform system of administration, good government, and the steel-frame of all- India services. Beginning with Akbar, the Mughals strengthened the forces of national integration and solidarity through equitable treatment towards their subjects, religious toleration and the secular state policy. It provided a requisite environment for the socio-cultural advancement, economic prosperity and all-round development of the country in every walk of its national life. The Mughals played a premier role in effecting a healthy synthesis between the exotic Islamic traditions and ancient Indian culture, thus bringing into existence a new social order, called the Indo-Muslim culture, which was neither Hindu nor Muslim but a synthetic culture of the medieval age. They made invaluable contributions towards appreciation, rather 'fascination,' for a really good stuff in print. The author is beholden to them for their valued opinions about the academic merit of his books and owes a special debt of gratitude to them for enabling him to bring about improve- ments therein in the light of the suggestions made by them.

The author has been told by the publishers that his books have been put on the export list and that these have started earning foreign exchange. It is really encouraging to note that a reconstruction and interpretation of Indian history by a son of the soil should measure up to the international academic standards and find favour with the scholars of advanced countries, albeit, in his humble opinion, the author attributes this success equally to the resourcefulness and enterprise of Sterling Publishers but for whose dedication and professional expertise it would not have been possible to bring out the books in the shape in which these have been placed in the hands of the scholars.

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION THE author had, while sending the manuscript of the third volume of his serial publication, Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India, to the press in August last, exhibited 'a sense of fulfilment and great satisfaction' on the conclusion of the project. This feeling of relief proved very short-lived, however. Close upon its heels, he received a warning-shot from the publishers that he should start revising the text of the first two volumes as their first edition had nearly been exhausted. He was as yet half-way through the first volume in his attempt to revise it, when the publishers had to bring out its reprint in the mid-session to meet the persistent demand from students and scholars from all over the country; for want of time, even the revisions carried out by the author could not be incorporated therein. Nevertheless, it provided an opportunity to him to concentrate his attention on volume II, entitled, The Mughal Empire, which is now being presented to the readers in the form of a second, revised and enlarged edition.

The task of preparing the revised edition was made comparatively easy by the pleasure and satisfaction derived from the correspondence with the readers and by the challenge of press opinions and constructive criticism from students and scholars from various parts of the country. Needless to say, the author now maintains a separate file on such correspondence, pertain ing to his three-volume publication, which has been growing in bulk beyond all expectations. Whereas, it indicates, on the one hand, the growing popularity of his books among the postgraduate students and researchers in the history of medieval India as also among those preparing for the competitive examinations of the Union Public Service Commission and those of the various states, on the other hand, it shows the intellectual hunger of the Indian readers and their sense of the growth and development of the Indo-Muslim society and left an indelible mark on the socio-political institutions of the times. An humble attempt has been made in the foregoing pages of this study to reconstruct the saga of their political and military exploits, and review their achievements and failures on the national front, as objectively as humanly possible. Of course, the author lays special emphasis on the countrywide or national aspect of history and strives to give a critical analysis of the Indo-Muslim polity of the times.

THE HOMELAND OF BABAR Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad, known to history as Babar, whose 'guns sounded the death-knell of the Sultanate of Delhi" in the first historic battle of April 21, 1526, laid the foundation of the Mughal rule in India. It proved by far the most notable event in the annals of medieval history as it brought a new people upon the stage, heroes and heroines of a different stamp from the Turks and Afghans of the preceding age." The Mughals played a predominant role in the history of Asia as a whole. The establishment of the Mughal empire in India was not an isolated event; it constituted but a link in the chain of the mighty Mongol empires which sprang up in the amphitheatre of Asian politics and left a deep imprint on its political and socio-cultural institutions in the medieval age.

Babar's father Umar Sheikh Mirza was a petty chieftain of Ferghana (Fergana) which once formed but a fragment of Amir Timur's vast central Asian empire in the fourteenth century. Babar was born at Andizhan (Andijan), the capital of Ferghana, on February 14, 1483. These days, major part of the valley of Ferghana is included in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Uzbekistan, which occupies 'first place' among the central Asian republics of the Soviet Russia 'for size of population and the level of economic development'.

Babar was a worthy descendent of Amir Timur, the Turk, and Changez Khan, the Mongol-the two world-famous military generals and empire-builders of central Asia. The use of the term Uzbekistan, viz; 'the Uzbeks', for the birthplace of Babar, therefore, calls for explanation. The Uzbeks were also a nomadic tribe of the Turks (Turkic ulus), like the Timurids, who derived their name from Uzbek Khan, a chief of the golden horde who died in 1340. The term Uzbek was used in the fifteenth century to indicate Muslim as opposed to Shamanistic or Buddhist Turkish tribes. The Uzbeks were staunch Enemies of the Timurid Turks and the Mongols in bygone days. It was Shaibani Khan Uzbek who gave a crushing defeat to Babar at the battle of Sari Pul in 1502, snatched Samarqand and Ferghana from his hand expelled him from his ancestral land for good. Babar sought shelter in Afghanistan as a fugitive though he was destined to become the king of Kabul soon afterwards. The Uzbeks overran numerous Timurid states, gradually established their dominance over other Turkish and Mongol tribes and planted their name over the region now known as Uzbekistan.

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