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. 12 of Long Answer (6 Marks)

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“Revenue was the economic mainstay of the Mughal Empire”. Explain in context of agriculture and trade.

The main source of income for the government during the Mughal period was land revenue. Its importance is observed from the fact that the state found it imperative to have an administrative apparatus to ensure control over agricultural production. This administrative feature was implemented all over the country for the purpose of collecting revenue. The fiscal system of the Mughal empire was supervised by the Dafter (office) of the Diwan. The decisive agents in the shaping of agrarian policies and relations were the revenue officials and the record keepers. The fiscal policies including taxation were determined after the officials acquired specific information regarding the extent of agricultural lands under the empire and their production capacity. The state attempted thus, to maximise their profits while collecting land revenue.

Two important stages were there for the collection of revenue –

• Assessment of revenue which was called Jana.

• Collection of revenue which was called Hasil.

The Mughal emperor Akbar had passed a decree which stated that the responsibility of making the cultivators pay in cash was the duty of the revenue collector (amil-guzar). This made monetary transactions a significant part of the Mughal era economy.

This period saw the arrival of a huge amount of silver bullion from Europe to India because of trade relations. This was a benefit for India, as the country did not have natural silver resources. Metal currency or the silver rupya was now easily available in a stable and profitable manner. This allowed an unprecedented expansion of minting of coins and their subsequent increased circulation in the economy. This also allowed the taxes and revenues to be paid in cash.


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