What were the Four Basic Features of Mughal Administration?



Role of the king

Administration was personalised. It has aptly been described as paternalistic. The entire administrative service in the modern machinery revolved around the king who was viewed as a 'father figure' or a 'despot' by his people.

Most of the company, during of the time the king was seen as a benevolent despot who worked for the welfare of his people. The revenue and maintain theory upheld was that of absolute monarchy based on the divine right to rule.

The king was everything secretariat, and to his people. He was the source of all authority and the fountain-head of justice. The administrative a nucleus of system was highly centralised and personalised factory writers.


Organisation of the administrative machinery was unstable. It depended on the whims and fancies of the king. Recruitment was on the basis of caste, kin, heredity and personal loyalty to the king. Adminis­tration was based on fear of force. In the name of the king, the officials struck terror in the hearts of people.

They wielded much awe and respect among the people. Every officer of the State held a mansab or official appointment of rank and profit and was expected to supply a certain number of troops for the military service of the State. Hence, bureaucracy was essentially military in character.


The army must be understood largely in terms of the Mansabdari system. In addition, there were the supplementary troopers and a special category of "gentlemen troops" who were horsemen owing exclu­sive allegiance to the king.

The army had cavalry which was the most important unit, the infantry, made up of townsmen and peasants and artillery with guns and navy. The Mughal army was a mixture of diverse elements. As it grew in numbers it became too heterogeneous to be manageable.


In the rural areas, policing was undertaken by the village headman and his subordinate watchmen. This system continued well into the 19th century. In the cities and towns, police duties were entrusted to Kotwals. Among their many duties Kotwals had to arrest burglars, undertake watch and ward duties, regulate prices and check weights and measures.