Themes In Indian History - Important Questions

Book: Themes In Indian History - Important Questions

Chapter: 8. Peasants Zamindars and the State

Subject: History - Class 12th

Q. No. 9 of Long Answer (4 Marks)

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In spite of the limitations, the Ain-i-Akbari remains an extraordinary document of its time.

The Ain-i-Akbari, written by Abu’l Fazl, who was one of the nine gems residing in the Mughal emperor Akbar’s court is considered as one of the most important sources of information of the time period. The book comprises of 5 different parts or daftars. The first three books are called manzil-abadi, sipah-abadi and mulk-abadi, and they explain about the administration. the last two books describe the religions, and the literary and cultural traditions prevalent in India during that time.

Thus, the detailed information about the social, political, economic and cultural aspects of the people who lived during the Mughal period have been recorded in Ain-i-Akbari. It allows historians to understand the structure and organisational hierarchy of the Mughal period. The book unlike other treatises of that time did not limit itself to wars and politics. It contains information on the empire through the study of its population.

The book is limited to a certain extent as historians have felt that data regarding various aspects were not collected from all provinces. The author concentrated on the province of Agra for data related to prices and wages. This makes quantitative data inaccurate and presents a skewed picture of the era. The author also ignored the richer areas and not much is known about the prices and wages prevalent in such areas.

In spite of these limitations, the Ain-i-Akbari provides a picture of the people, their occupation, trade and commerce and also the imperial establishment of the empire and thus, managed to become one of the most invaluable sources of information regarding the Mughal empire.


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