Political Condition of India at the Time of Babur's Invasion



On the basis of Tuzuk-i-Baburi and other Historical Sources, the political conditions of India on the eve of Babur's invasion can be described in brief under the following headings:

(1) Innumerable small Independent Kingdoms: There were innumerable, small, independent kingdoms which often fought with each other. According to Dr. Ishwari Prasad, "India was a congeries of states at the opening of the 16th century and likely to be the easy prey of an invader who had the strength and will to attempt her conquest."

Babur writes in his memoirs that when he invaded India there were seven important States-Five Muslim and Two Hindus. Besides these states mentioned by Babur there were several other States which were also playing a considerable role in the politics of India. In Northern India, the main States were Delhi, Punjab, Bengal, Jaunpur, Gujarat, Mewar, Malwa, Orissa, Sindh, Kashmir and Khandesh.

(2) No Powerful Central Authority: There was no powerful Central Authority to unite all the small States against a foreign invasion.

(3) Political condition of Southern India was also weak: The political condition of southern India was also very deteriorating. The Bahmani kingdom had broken up into five small principalities. These were-Beejapur, Golkunda, Beedar, Brar and Ahmadnagar.

Although all these States were ruled by Shia Rulers still they used to fight against each other. The Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar in South was under Krishandev Rai. He was very powerful but he was having not good relations with Bahmani Kingdom and was only interested in the politics of Deccan.

(4) There were no feeling of Modern Nationalism: The people of India were lacking the feeling of Modern Nationalism. They were more loyal to their local rulers than the symbolic central Power of Delhi.

(5) Views of Historians about the Political condition of India: According to S.M. Jaffar, "The condition of that time was serious. India, indeed, was a group of small states and it would be invaded by any invaders very easily."

According to Lane-Poole, "A caste of invaders gathered in the form of a crowd of unsatisfieds who always quarrelled for the throne but nobody had the power to take care of royal sculpture."

According to Rashbrooke Williams, "India of that time has no history and India had been divided into many small groups."

Babur also described the condition of India in Tuzk-i-Baburi (Turkey) or Babur Nama (Persian).

In order to form an idea of the political condition of Northern and Southern India on the eve of Babur!s invasion, a brief Survey of these States would be very helpful. Some major States of that time were those as given below: