India From 16th to Mid 18th Century (Set of 9 Books)

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Item Code: NAG290
Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Open University
Language: English
Edition: 2010
Pages: 472
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 11 inch X 8 inch
Weight 1.40 kg
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Book Description

About the Book


Book 1: India in the 16th Century

Book 2: Mughal Empire: Polity

Book 3: Regional Powers and the Mughals

Book 4: Political Ideas and Institutions

Book 5: State and Economy

Book 6: Production and Trade

Book 7: Society and Culture I

Book 8: Society and Culture II

Book 9: India at the Mid 18th Century


Book 1: India in the 16th Century


The present Block introduces you to the political and economic contours of the Indian sub-continent and the states towards her western borders, as a curtain raiser to the study of the Mughal Empire.

The first Unit deals with the geography, and, political formations in Persia and Central Asia under the Safavis and the Uzbegs.


The second Unit examines the Lodi and the Sur Empires in North India in their political and administrative context. A rapid survey of the economy is also offered in this Unit.


The third Unit proposes to study the polity and economy in Deccan and South India.


The fourth Unit is concerned with the coming of the Portuguese and the trading world of Asia. In Block 6 of EHI-03 we discussed the Portuguese advent in the Asian waters, though very briefly. In this Unit, you will learn the details of Portuguese trading activities.


Book 2: Mughal Empire: Polity


Block 1 of this course (India from 16th to mid-18th century) put before you a rapid survey of the political, and economic situation of India and her adjacent regions (Central and West Asia), including the advent of the Portuguese, on the eve of the establishment of the Mughal Empire.


The present Block carries the story further. It contains three units (5, 6 and 7). Unit 5 traces the background and growth of the Mughal Empire upto 1556 (from Babur to the accession of Akbar). You will learn about the difficulties of Babur in his homeland, the courses of his success in north India and his relations with the Rajputs, Afghans, etc. Also, it deals with the three main problems of his son Humayun, that is, confrontations with Sher Shah, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and his own brothers. It recounts the circumstances that forced him to leave India for Persia and, then, it tells us how he was able to re-establish himself at Delhi.


Unit 6 narrates the process of expansion and consolidation of the Mughal power in different parts of India upto 1707.


Unit 7 examines the relations of the Mughal state with the Safavi sovereigns of Persia and the Uzbeg rulers of Central Asia.


Book 3: Regional Powers and the Mughals


In Block 2 you read about the growth, expansion and consolidation of the Mughal Empire as well as. the relations between the Mughals and Persia and Central Asia. In the present Block, you would study about the regional states in India and the policy of the Mughal Empire towards them.


There are four Units in Block 3. The first (No. 8) narrates the story of the origin and growth of three Deccan states: Bijapur, Golkonda and Ahmednagar. These three were "segmentary" states ruled by Muslim dynasties (both sunni and shia). You would learn how a state comes into existence and grows through sheer political chicanery, disgusting intrigues, unscrupulous defections, internecine feuds and murders. But all this was not exclusive to the Deccan states: it was true of the Marathas and the Rajputs also.


The second Unit (No. 9) examines the relationship between the Mughals and the Deccan states. It seeks to discover the motives and objectives of the Mughals in their dealings with them. Slowly but surely, the compulsion of circumstance pushed the Mughals to exploit the situation and finally annex the three states into the Mughal Empire.


The third Unit (No. 10) traces the rise of the Marathas and the formation of a Maratha state under the amazing leadership of Shivaji. The latter was a military adventure who after a series of conflicts managed to carve out an independent Maratha kingdom. However, the story of the Marathasduring the seventeenth century cannot be appreciated properly in isolation from the Deccan states and the Mughals.


The fourth Unit (No. 11) focuses on the rise of the Rajput states in Rajasthan and elsewhere. The treatment is a very detailed one to give you a broad understanding of the subject. You would come across some unusual observations relating to the varying patterns of relationship between the Mughals and the Rajput states. Who gained what and how much all this is for you to conclude.


Book 4: Political Ideas and Institutions


Every human settlement formulates some basic laws and rules of conduct to sustain itself for long. These laws and rules are not eternal: they go on changing according to the dew needs of the humans.


The Mughal polity, too, was the result of certain set of laws, institutions and concepts with some occasional changes to cope with ever emergent problems during the course of time.


The present Block (No. 4) is mainly concerned with the two aspects of the Mughal polity - political ideas and institutions. The first Unit (No. 12) in this Block explore the terrain of ideas in terms of the Mughal perception of state and sovereignty. It first takes into account the Central Asian traditions to understand its impact on the Mughal concept of sovereignty. It. is necessary to do this exercise since the Mughals came from the Central Asian culture-area. It is a rather tough Unit, but we hope you will enjoy to learn about the funny human ego as to who was the "the strongest of all". This laughable trait still continues in the world. Just ponder over what is happening in our own courtyard!


The second Unit (No. 13) deals with the Mughal ruling class: Its composition, its status in the polity and the lifestyle of its elite members. Apparently it was an 'international' (7) feudal-bureaucracy, but the undercurrents of ethnic strife and jealousies started undermining the so-called centralised Mughal Empire.

The Unit 14 goes into some detail of the Mughal Administration at the central, provincial and local levels. You will come across numerous important officers upon whose efficiency depended the stability of the Empire.

The fourth Unit (No. 15) is concerned with the two most basic institutions of the Mughal Polity: mansabdari and jagirdari. The Mughal ruling class owed its existence to both the institutions. In fact, the Units 13, 14 and 15 are interrelated and, therefore, these three should be studied at one go.


Book 5: State and Economy


You have already read Block 4 ('Political Ideas and Institutions') wherein we have presented material relating to the concept of Mughal Sovereignty composition of the ruling groups, Mughal central and provincial administration including the working of the mansab system.


The mansab system was an integrate part of the Mughal land revenue policies and administration. In fact, land revenue system was the foundation of the Mughal power, pomp and splendour as long as it worked in a rational manner. A crisis in this system generated a crisis in its superstructure, that is, mansabdari as well as the military strength of the Empire'.


The present Block offers you five Units. The Unit 16 deals with the various aspects- of the Mughal land revenue system-methods of assessment, fixation of the revenue amount to be paid by the peasants, mode of payment (cash or kind), personnel connected with- revenue collection, relief measures, etc.

In Unit 17, you would learn about the position of the agrarian groups and their mutual relations. You will meet the zamindar, chaudhuri, muqaddam and patwari. You will also read about the peasants' rights and the village community.


The Units 18 and 19, deal with the lane revenue policy of the Marathas, Deccan and South Indian States, and also the agrarian relations that existed in these territories.

In Unit 20 some aspects of fiscal and monetary, system as well as prices have been discussed.


Book 6: Production and Trade


Like Block 5, this Block, too, is very important. It carries five Units.

In Unit 21, you would learn about the various crops, etc. that were raised in the agricultural sector. Some new crops were introduced into India by the Europeans (for example: tobacco). Old crops like indigo got a boost because of its great demand in Europe.


Non-agricultural production is taken note of in Unit 22. It is interesting to discover that many commodities produced in the "non-agricultural" sector of economy had their base in agricultural production (cotton for textiles, blue dye from indigo, sugar from sugarcanes, oil from oil-seeds, etc). This Unit also deals with diamond, saltpetre and metallurgy, etc.


The Unit 23 dwells upon inland trade (regional and interregional) and foreign trade (overland and sea-borne). This Unit is further elaborated on the next one, that is, Unit 24 wherein the role and functions of the diverse mercantile groups are described (moneylender, sarraf, broker, small and big merchants). You would also come to know about the commercial practices or institutions like usury and rate of interest, insurance, and bottomry.

The last Unit (25) to this Block presents you with glimpses of the European trading Companies that came to India during the 16th and 17th centuries. It dears with" their formation, objectives, internal organization and their role in the commercial and political World of India.


Book 7: Society and Culture I


This Block deals with many aspects of the social and cultural life in Medieval India. -The first Unit (26) tries to explore the demographic contours by the end of the sixteenth century. Since we do not possess any direct data on population in Medieval India; scholars adopted strategems to use other data to yield some information on this problem. From Moreland to Irfan Habib, this exercise has been going on. Each scholar has worked out hislher own estimate of the number of people in A.D. 1600. -In this debate you will notice that Abul Fazl's Ain-i Akbari has become a great focus of attention. You will also note that in the course of this debate scholars have been trying to establish the validity of their individual methodology and results.


Units 27 and 28 are less controversial, they deal with the rural and urban classes and their life-styles. Studies on urbanisation in Medieval India is a recent trend which is very welcome.

Religious ideas and movements are taken into account in Unit 29. You get an opportunity for observing the panorama of sectarian ideas, especially of the mystics- both' the Hindus and Muslims. What prompted them to launch separate groups of their own cannot be explained satisfactorily. By and large, the mystics thought and 'spoke in terms of human values in the backdrop of the belief in a Supreme Being. However, you would realise that "truth" is not the monopoly of anyone group. In the midst of diversities of religious ideas and movements, the goal of peace and harmony cannot be missed by you.


In Unit 30, a very sensitive aspect has been taken up. The theme "State and Religion" has generated much heat amongst the modern scholars of Medieval Indian history" The debate over it has even percolated to the common people today. The religious policy of the Mughal rulers is one clear example of the past penetrating into the present. Scholars have been surveying this theme often with emotional and ideological overtones, thereby causing confusion and tumult in the society. Attempt has been made here to put before you some relevant facts, pertaining to this 'topic. Youare free to draw your 9wn conclusions.


Book 8: Society and Culture II


In Blocks 5 and 6, you were introduced to the agrarian system, production and trade, etc. that is, the economy of Medieval India. Now, in this Block (8), you would learn about Society and Culture. A part of this theme has already encovered in Block 7.


There are four Units in this Block. The first deals with the development of diverse Indian languages and literature that took place in various regions of India. You would realize that the stimulus came from the numerous sections of the society; the scholars, the mystics and the common people.


The second Unit offers glimpses of the level of Science and Technology in Medieval India. While no breakthrough was made in science, we ftnd some improvements and innovation in matters concerning technology. A special note has been taken of the Indian response to European technology.


In Unit 33, you will read about the numerous facets of Architecture and regional variations with examples of the extant monuments.


Painting and Fine Arts have been examined in Unit .34. You would come to know how the Mughal school of painting originated, evolved and came to maturity. The impact of European Art on Mughal School has also been discussed. Also, the main features of regional schools (Rajput and Deccan) have been highlighted.


Book 9: India at the Mid 18th Century


This is the final Block of your course EHI-04. There are only three Units in it.

Unit 35 critically surveys the question of the fall of the Mughal Empire. You would come to know that scholars do not agree with each other when they engage themselves in an in-depth exploration of the causes of the decline. Many expound their own hypothesis in tune with their ideological constraints and personal perceptions. It is a very important theme, and we hope you would enjoy reading it.


Unit 36 picks up the thread from where Unit 35 leaves by looking into the emergence of regional powers as a result of the weakening of the Mughal Empire and other factors.


In Unit 37, you are introduced to another intensely debated theme, that is, whether the Medieval Indian economy possessed the capacity of capitalist development; in other words, whether Medieval India could have on its own replaced its feudal bureaucratic structure by a new Capitalist social relations.





Block 1 India in The 16TH Century



Political Formations in Central and West Asia



Polity and Economy in North India



Polity and Economy in Deccan and South India



The Trading World of Asia and the Coming of the Portuguese



A Note on Sources



Some Useful Books for this Block



Block 2 Mughal Empire: Polity



Growth of Mugbal Empire: 1526-1556



Expansion and Consolidation: 1556-1707



Relations with central' Asia and Persia



Some Useful Books for this Block



Block 3 Regional Powers and the Mughals



Ahmednagar, Bijapur and Golkonda



" The Deccan States and the Mughals


'UNIT 10

Rise of the Marathas in the 11th Century



Rajput States



Some Useful Books for this Block



Block 4 Political Ideas and Institutions



Mughal Theory of Sovereignty



Mughal Ruling Class



Mughal Administration: Central, Provincial and Local



Mughal Administration: Mansab jagir



Some Useful Books for this Block



Block 5 State And Economy



Mughal Land Revenue System



Agrarian Relations: Mughal India



Land Revenue System: Maratha, Deccan and South India



Agrarian Relations: Deccan and South India



Fiscal and Monetary System, Prices



Some Useful Books For This Block



Block 6 Production and Trade



Agricultural Production



Non-Agricultural Production



Inland and Foreign Trade



Personnel of Trade and Commercial Practices



The European Trading Companies



Some Useful Books for This Block



Block 7 Society And Culture-I



Population in Mughal India



Rural Classes and Life-style



Urbanisation, Urban Classes and Life-style



Religious Ideas and Movements



State and Religion



Some Useful Books for This Block



Block 8 Society And Culture-II



Indian Languages and Literature



Science and Technology






Painting and Fine Arts'



Some Useful Books For This Block



Block 9 India in the Mid-18th Century



Decline of the- Mughal Empire



Rise of Regional Powers



Potentialities of Economic Growth: An Overview



Some Useful Books for this Block



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