Identify the elements that went into the making of the Mughal ideal of kingship.

The elements that went into the making of the Mughal idea of kingship were:

1. A Divine Light – Mughal chronicles shows that the power of Mughal kings comes directly from god. Abul Fazal places Mughal kingship as the highest station in the higher hierarchy of objects receiving light emanating from god, who then become the source of spiritual guidance for his subjects. Therefore Mughal artist, from the 17th century onwards, began to portray emperors wearing the “Halo”.

2. A Unifying Force – The Mughal Emperor is portrayed as a great unifying force by the Mughal chronicles. In the empire their lived many ethnic and religious communities, Hindus, Jains, Zoro Christians and Muslims, but the Mughal emperors stood above all religious and ethnic groups, mediated among them, and ensured that peace and justice prevailed, and ensured that peace and justice prevailed. This was the ideal of Sulh-i-kul (absolute justice and peace) and it was the cornerstone of enlightened Mughal rule.

3. Just Sovereignty as Social Contract – Abul Fazal defined Mughal sovereignty as a social contract: the emperor will protect the four essences of his subject, namely – life (jaan), property (maal), honour (hames), and faith (din) and in return demands obedience and share in resources (tax).

Only just sovereign were thought to be able to honour the contract with power and divine guidance.

4. Justice – The highest virtue of Mughal monarchy was the idea of justice and a number of symbols were created for visual representation of the idea of Justice.

As an example, one of the favourite symbols used by the artist was the motif of lion and the lamb peacefully resting to each other. This was meant to signify a realm where both the strong and the weak could exist in harmony.