Get complete information on the social condition of Mughal India

It is difficult to write about the social and economic conditions of Mughal India as the material on the subject is scanty. Contemporary writers, particularly Mohammadan Historians, teH I us practically nothing of the man in the street and his ways of living.

V.S. Smith rightly points, out that the Mohammadan Writers confine their record to "a chronicle of kings, courts and conquests, rather than one of national and social evolution." From one point of view, the History of the Mughal Empire can be regarded as little more than the history of the rulers of the three towns of Lahore, Delhi and Agra.

It is rightly pointed out that there was not mych to write about the life of the people of the villages as the same was hopelessly dull and monotonous. The various aspects of the social life of the people may be studied under the following heads:

King :

Society in/Mughal times was organised on a feudal basis and the head of the social system was the king. He enjoyed an unparalleled status. He was the ultimate authority in everything. I Wasteful expenditure was nobles. There was room for a Persian, a Turanian, an Afghan, a Musalmaan. The king did everything in his power for his kiths and kins. They were given allowances and stipends from the royal exchequer. Every one tried to win over the goodwill of the king as success in life depended upon his goodwill.

The king was the fountain of honours and favours. The Mughil Rulers were notorious for their large harems. It is stated that Akbar maintained as many as 5,00C wives. There was a separate staff of women officers to look after them. A big kitchen was run by the king.

Feasts and festivities were common; Pleasures, amusements and recreations were a big drain on the time of the king. There are references to musical concerts, dancing, Jashans and elephant-fights. Hunting was also in fashion but in course of time it became very expensive.

Nobles :

The Mughal Nobles monopolised most of the jobs in the country. They enjoyed the goodwill and patronage of the king. They demanded and commanded great honour and dignity in society. No wonder, every talented person in contemporary society aspired to become a nobleman one day.

There were men of every type and nationality among the Mughal Nobles. There was room for a Persian, a Turanian, an Afghan, a Muslim of Hindustan and a Hindu in the group of nobles. The title of Mirza was generally reserved for the princes or the immediate relatives of the King.

Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur received this title as a relation of the King and he was called Mirza Raja Jai Singh. Sadullah Khan, who was a Wazir of both Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, began his life as a clerk but by dint of ability and honesty, he rose to be a Minister.

Most of the nobles lived a life of extravagance. They maintained large establishments and most of their income was wasted on them. They were required to give costly presents to the king on various occasions. They were fond of foreign goods which were a very big drain on their resources. Drinking was very common among them. They wasted their fortunes in drinking and many of them died of excessive drinking. This vice they shared with the Mughal Emperors.

With the exception of Aurangzeb, all the Mughal Emperors drank a lot. The nobles also followed the example of the king and maintained a large number of mistresses and dancing girls. They were fond of sumptuous dinners and dainty dishes. Sir Thomas Roe has given us a beautiful description of the dinner given by Asaf Khan, brother of Nur Jahan, to him. The number of dishes was not 10, 20 or 30 but much more.

The use of meat was common but cow was also respected. It is stated in the Ain-i-Akbari that "cow was held in high esteem because by means of this animal tillage is carried on, the sustenance of life rendered possible and the table of the inhabitants is filled with milk and butter." Fresh fruits were brought from Bukhara and Samarqand. The use of ice was a luxury.

The nobles were generally corrupt They felt no hesitation in giving and taking bribes which ultimately ruined them. A reference is made to the law of escheat by the foreign travellers who visited India during the Mughal Period. It is stated that when a nobleman died, all his property was taken over by the king.

It is pointed out that this had a salutary effect on the nobles as they would hesitate to collect money by fair or foul means as the same was sure to be taken away by the king after their death. However, this law had also an unhappy effect. It encouraged extravagance. As the nobles knew that everything after their death would go to the king, they never cared to save. No nobleman was allowed to take away his riches outside India.

About the nobility, Dr. Satish Chandra says: "The nobility of the Mughals, although it suffered from a number of internal weaknesses, was on a broad view, a remarkable institution which welded into a homogeneous and harmonious whole men belonging to different regions and tribes, speaking different languages and professing different religions and with differing cultural traditions.

The Mughals succeeded in imbuing the nobles with a sense of common purpose and loyalty to the reigning dynasty and in imparting to them a distinctive cultural outlook, and in creating traditions of high efficiency and endeavour in administration. It was, thus, a definite factor in securing for a century and a half a remarkable degree of unity and good government in the country.

"During the later part of the seventeenth and in the early part of the eighteenth century, stresses were placed on the nobility which, combined with its internal weaknesses, led to growing factionalism in the nobility and disrupted the empire.'"

Middle Class:

The middle class was heterogeneous in composition. It included the wealthy merchants, professional men and petty Mansabdars. It is stated that the merchants usually concealed their wealth as there was always the danger of the same being forcibly taken away by the local governor or Faujdar. Terry tells us that. "It was not safe for them to appear rich because there was every likelihood of their being used as filled sponges.

Bernier also says that "The commercial classes lived in a state of 'studied indigence." However, this did not apply to the merchants on the west coast. The latter did business on a large scale and enjoyed their riches without fear of losing them. They maintained a high standard of living. European Travellers tell us that they made a greater use of luxuries. Usury was very common.

The Petty Mansabdars tried to copy the big Mansabdars in their extravagance and pomp and show. They did not hesitate to borrow to maintain outward show. In order to maintain their I. Parties and Politics at the Mughal Court-1707-1740 - Dr. Satish Chandra - Page 33-34.

position, they resorted to all kinds of malpractices such as bribery and extortion. The Petty Mansabdars did not play any significant part in society.

Lower Class:

The lower classes comprised of the cultivators, artisans, small traders, shop-keepers, household servants, slaves, etc. Most of them were condemned to live a hard and unattractive life. Their clothings were scanty. They did not use woollen clothes at all. Very few of them could afford to use shoes. Their lives were simple and their belongings were limited. Financially, the petty shop­keepers were better off.

The servants attached to the officers were arrogant in their dealings with the public on account of the backing of their masters. They demanded tips as a right. The lives of the artisans were hard. They had to work in different villages to maintain themselves as there was not enough of work in one village.

There was no scarcity of food except in times of famine. Consequently, there was practically no starvation in normal circumstances. The condition of the peasants in the time of Akbar was not bad. The share of the state demand was fixed. The officers and the Government also took into consideration their welfare. However, things became bad when the officials became corrupt later on.

Sati was common among the Hindus. Child marriage was also prevalent. Both the Hindus and Muslims spent a lot of money on ornaments. The use of liquor, opium, etc., was common and no effective check was put on them. There was no scheme of popular education for the people

The Hindus believed in the purity of the water of the Ganges. They believed that a dip in the Ganges was sure to purify them of all their sins. No wonder, they covered long distances to have a dip in the Ganges. Pilgrimages were popular among the Hindus in spite of the difficulties of the means of communication and transport in Mughal India.

Up to the Reign of Akbar, it was customary for the Muslim Rulers to levy a tax on pilgrims and that brought a lot of revenue. However, the pilgrim tax was abolished by Akbar in 1563 throughout his dominion as it was considered by him to be contrary to the Divine Will to levy dues from people assembled to worship the Creator.

Abul Fazal tells us that "The abolition of the pilgrim tax resulted in a loss of millions of rupees to the royal exchequer." There may be some exaggeration in this statement, but it proves the fact that the number of the pilgrims among the Hindus must have been very large.

It is true that the Jizya was reimposed by Aurangzeb, but he does not seem to have re-imposed the pilgrim tax. However, there is reason to believe that the number of the pilgrims must have fallen on account of the Anti-Hindu policy followed by Aurangzeb.

The pilgrimage to Mecca was an annual event of great importance in Mughal India. As early as the 15th century, Nicolo Conti and other travellers notices very large Indian built vessels on the west coast which were maintained solely for Haj purposes. There were about 6 of them in existence. They started annually from Surat and other ports of the Gulf of Cambay. The number of the pilgrims was very large.

Captain Saris wrote in 1612 that "The ship that usually went from Surat to Mecca was unusually very big, and carried as many as 1,700 pilgrims who went to Mecca not for profits but out of devotion to visit Mecca and Medina." It is stated that during the early years of his reign, Akbar showed considerable interest in the pilgrimage to Mecca and was prepared to give all kinds of assistance to the pilgrims.

In 1575, he issued a general order that anyone who wished to go on Haj Pilgrimage would be paid from the royal treasury. As a matter of fact, a large number of Muslims availed of this opportunity. Akbar also started the system of pilgrim-caravans in charge of a leader, well supplied with money for the expenses of the whole party. He appointed Sultan Khwaja to be Mir Haji or pilgrim leader.

In 1576, he himself was anxious to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca but he was not allowed to do so by his ministers. However, he availed of the opportunity of the departure of the caravan and put on the dress of a pilgrim and walked some paces with Sultan Khwaja as the latter set forth on his to get rid of the ministers or nobles, who were considered tobe undesirable for any reason. In 1560, Akbar informed

Bairam Khan that he should go on pilgrimage to Mecca. It cannot be denied that the zeal of Akbar became less in this direction towards the end of his reign.

The pilgrim ships going to Mecca had to come into contact with the Portuguese and other European Nations who were struggling for supremacy in the Indian Ocean. The result was that occasionally there were troubles. The foreigners took the pilgrim ships as a sort of ransom and dictated their terms.

As the Mughal Emperors had no navy of their own, they accepted those terms willy nilly. We are told that in 1665, the pilgrim ship called Ganja Sawai was captured by the notorious pirate John Avery. When the news reached India, the Mughal Governor of Surat arrested all the English Residents including the President of the factory and put them in irons. Aurangzeb held the English Company responsible for the misbehaviour of their piratical, compatriots and on one occasion in 1680 ordered the Sidi to attack Bombay in revenge for piracies committed on Mughal Pilgrim ship.

The caste was determined by birth and not by profession. Each caste had developed its own rituals and practices. There was strictness in inter-dining and intermarrying.

Customs:

Custom also played an important part. The important rites observed by the Hindus were Chhati, Mundan, Chatavan, Vidyarmbha, Vivah and Shraddha. Chhati means sixth day after birth, Mundan means the shaving of the head and Chatavan means the taking of cereal for the first time by the child.

Vidyarambha means the beginning of education, Vivah means marriage and Shraddha means ceremony after death. The Muslims also observed their own rites of Aquiqah, Bismillah, Marriage ceremony and Chahlum. Aquiqah was a rite connected with the birth of a child, Bismillah was the beginning of education and Chahlum was observed on the 40th day after death.

A European Traveller has left the following description of a Muslim marriage: "In arranging the match neither the boy nor the girl were consulted. This is a matter which is settled either by the parents or other elderly persons in the family. The immediate relatives of the boy visited the girl's house and proposed the match. If the girl's side agreed the other side sent a ring and other gifts, After this the girl's side sent pan, handkerchief and some other articles. This is the betrothal ceremony.

The two families indulged in great rejoicings, drums were beaten and there was a good deal of activity. After some time a date was fixed to celebrate the marriage. The bridegroom and his parents accompanied by a large party proceeded to the bride's house. The party included all the relations of the family.

Sweetmeats, candy sugar, almonds, raisins and other dry fruits were carried in wooden trays along with a sum varying from one hundred to one thousand rupees according to the status of individuals. This sum was distributed among the bride's relations. The marriage party was accompanied by a band of musicians and drums and carried lumps and torches. The bride's relations brought colourful dresses for the bridegroom and flower laden boats and ships made of paper.

These were left on the roof. Then the ladies joined together in applying the Ubatna to the bridegroom. Then Hinna or Mehandi which came from the bride's home was applied. Next day the marriage ceremony was completed. The bridegroom was clothed in red, and his face covered with Sehra flowers.

A While the ceremony was on, the bridegroom sat' almost dumb. Both in the Zananah and the men's part of the house dance and music were in full swing. Earlier in the night, there was a display of fireworks. Then the Qazi performed the Nikah Ceremony, after whicji guests were treated to a banquet. Music and Dance were then resumed. The bride's dowry was exhibited. Then the bridegroom returned to his house accompanied by the bride and her dowry."

Fairs and Festivals:

The Hindus and Muslims observed certain fairs and festivals. The important festivals of the Hindus were Holi, Basant Panchami, Dussehra. Diwali, Shivaratri and Sankranti. To begin with, Holi was celebrated by the cultivators only but later on it came to be observed by all. It was celebrated in the month of Phalgun or March. There was a lot of sprinkling of colour and the smearing of faces with Gulal. Basant Panchami fell in the month of Magh or February. It was considered to be a harbinger of spring. Dussehra was celebrated by all. The Kshatriyas particularly worshipped their arms on this occasion.

Diwali was the most popular in the commercial community. On that occasion, the businessmen worshipped the goddess of wealth and opened their new account books. The evil connected with this festival of lamps and illuminations was that of gambling. 'Sankranti and Purnimah were considered to be auspicious days and a dip in some river on that day was considered to be a pious act. People went to places of pilgrimage such as Pushkar, Kurukshetra, Kashi, Prayag, Puri etc. The Fair of Kumbh was also celebrated by the Hindus who assembled in millions on that occasion.

The important Muslim Festivals were Id-uI-Zuha, Id-ul-Fitrs, Shab-i-Barat, Muharram and Milad-un-Nabi. Id-ul-Zuha fell on the 10th day of the last month of the Islamic Calendar. It was a thanks-giving celebration and animals were sacrificed on that occasion. Id-uI-Fitr fell on the 1st of the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. It was started by the Prophet in the 2nd year of the Hijri era. Shab-i-Barat was observed on the 14th night of the month of Shaban which was eighth month of the Muslim Calendar.

The Muslims believed that the lives and fortunes of the mortals for the coming year were fixed and registered in heaven. On this day there were fire­works and illuminations of houses and mosques. The Muharram Festival marked the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the younger son of the daughter of the Prophet.

This was observed by the Shia Muslims. Tazia processions were taken out and the decorations were ultimately buried at the Qarbalas. Although Aurangzeb put a ban on Muharram processions, the practice of carrying the Tazias was never given up completely. It is being followed even today. Milad-un- Nabi or Bara Wafat was associated with the birth of Prophet Mohammad. It fell on the 12th day of the third month of the Islamic Calendar.

In addition to the above, Nauroz was celebrated in the aristocratic circles with great pomp and show. It was usually celebrated in large gardens or parks on the river-side. The state banquets were given on that occasion. The Muslims also celebrated the Urs of the various Sufi saints.

Outdoor Sports

The Early Mughal Emperors inherited a taste for outdoor exercise and sport. Although Babar was pre-occupied with wars throughout his life, he was still able to find time for hunting. He was also fond of swimming. As a matter of fact, he swam across every river that came in his way.

Only a year before his death, he swam the Ganges. He tells us that "counting every stroke, I crossed it with thirty-three, then, without resting, swam back again. I had swum the other rivers, the Ganges had remained to do." Humayun was addicted to opium but he also possessed a lot of daring and rashness.

Akbar devoted a lot of time to hunting. He knew all about horses, camels, elephants and dogs. He was a fine rider and was able to control the fiercest elephant. It is said about him that before starting a military campaign, he organised a hunting expedition. "He took great pleasure in chasing antelopes with specially trained leopards (Cheetas).

He was ready to encounter any beast, however fierce, tiger, lion or other and as prepared to undergo any amount of fatigue in order to run down the game." It is stated that once in the Bikaner desert he came across a herd of wild asses and while pursuing them, he got separated from his attendants and nearly died of thirst. Akbar also liked hawking.

Abul Fazal tell us that "His Majesty, from motives of generosity and from a wish to add Splendour to his court, is fond of hunting with falcons, though superficial observers think that merely hunting is his object." Ralph Fitch was very much impressed by the number of the hawks, birds and animals maintained by Emperor Akbar.

William Hawkins also says that "Jahangir maintained a large number of birds. He was also fond of hunting. On one occasion, he hunted continuously for 2 months and 20 days. A record was kept of the animals killed by the Emperor and Jahangir refers to as many as 17,167. Antelope-hunting was also popular under Jahangir."

Shah Jahan was also fond of hunting. Bernier refers to the hunting expeditions of Aurangzeb. We are told that the killing of the lion by the king was considered to be a favourable men, but if the animal escaped, that was considered to be a sign of trouble for the future.

Animal-fighting was also popular with the Mughal Emperors and their courtiers. Elephants, Buffaloes, Rams and other beats and birds took part in those contests. Foreigners were very much impressed by elephant fights.

Tom Coryat tells us that "twice every week, elephants fight before him, the bravest spectacle in the world. Many of them are thirteen feet and a half high; and they seem to justly together like two mountains; and were they not parted in the midst of their fighting by certain fireworks, they would exceedingly gore and crenate one another by their murdering teeth."

Edward Terry describe the elephant fights in the reign of Jahangir. In the time of Akbar, elephant fights frequently ended in the death of the riders but things changed in the time of Jahangir when the drivers were rarely hurt. Akbar was also fond of seeing gladiatorial contests between men and this kind of amusement was continued during the reign of Jahangir and Shahjahan.

There were also fights between men and animals, Hawkins tells us that "Jahangir ordered a Pathan to wrestle with a savage lion and after the man had been killed he sent for 10 more men to wrestle with the beast. All the 10 were seriously wounded and three of them lost their lives."

The other outdoor amusements popular at that time were wrestling, polo and pigeon-flying. It is stated that the imperial establishment in the reign of Akbar included wrestlers and boxers from Persia and Turan, as well as from northern and western India. Abul Fazal has given a list of the famous wrestlers of his day. He tells us that two well-matched pairs used to wrestle before the emperor every day for rewards.

Polo known as Chugan or Chaugan was introduced into India by the early Mohammadan Rulers of Delhi. It is well-known that Kutb-ud-Din Aibak met with his death while playing Polo. Akbar also was very fond of it.

Abul Fazal says: "Superficial observers regard the game as a mere amusement and consider it mere play; but of more exalted view see in it a means of learning promptitude and decision. Strong men learn, in playing the game, the art of riding; and the animals learn to perform feats of agility and to obey the reins. It tests the value of a man and strengthens bonds of friendship.

Hence His Majesty is very fond of this game. Externally, the game adds to the splendour of the court; but viewed from a higher point, reveals concealed talents." Again, "for the sake of adding splendour to the game, His Majesty has knobs of gold and silver fixed to the tops of the Chaugan sticks. If one of them breaks, any player that gets hold of the pieces may keep them."

We are told that in 1564, Akbar played Polo continuously for many days. This was done particularly on dark nights when luminous balls made of the wood of Dhak or Palas tree were used. The Mughal courtiers were expected to attend regularly, both to play and watch the game. They were also allowed to bet on the result of the game. It appears that this game lost its popularity during the reign of his successors.

Pigeon-flying was also popular. It is stated that Akbar learnt the art of pigeon-flying from one of his tutors. After his coming to the throne, Akbar kept more than twenty-thousand pigeons. They were divided into ten classes. Akbar was never tired of watching their antics which he called Ishakbazi or love play.

This amusement continued in the time of Jahangir also. Hawkins tells us that Jahangir kept a large number of birds of various kinds, including ten thousand pigeons. We have no evidence on record to show the popularity of this amusement later on. However, pigeon- fighting was a popular game with the common people. Even the poor people managetd to keep a few pigeons in their huts.

Chess was also popular during the Mughal Period. Writing in the Reign of Jahangir, Edward Terry says: "In their houses they play much the most ingenious game, we call chess or else at tables." Another popular game was Chaupar or backgammon. It is stated in Ain-i-Akbar; this game was played on a cloth board in the form of a cross, each arm of the cross being divided into 24 squares in three rows of 8 each.

This board also served the purpose of 3 other games were named Phansa, Pachisi and Chandel-Mandal. Phansa was played with dice and Pachisi was played with Kawries, Abul Fazal has given description of the playing cards used in die Mughal Mujra and Mushaira were also very popular. Mujra means the performance of singers dancers in private assemblies. Mushaira means the gather of the poets. The Bajigars moving from place to place also added to the pleasures of the peoples. Folk singing was also common. Cow fights, Bull-fights and Ram-fights were also popular.

Dress:

The royal family and the nobility spent a lot of their income on dress, which, consisted a large coat, tight trousers, a turban or cap and a silk scarf tied at the waist with the ends hangit down. The nobles also put on daggers, necklaces, ear-tops, sandals, etc. The material used in preparation of the dress varied from individual to individual according to his status and the mons in his pocket. Silver, velvet and brocades of different colours and varieties were fashionable.

The ordinary people could not afford to put on expensive dresses. The dress which was the mo I common among the people was the Dhoti. Sometimes, the Muslims used a Pyjayama and a Kurt .

Most of the people were virtually half naked. They managed to put on good clothes on festival occasions. The dress of the Hindu ladies was Dhoti or Sari. The Muslim women used the Pyjayama or Gharara with jacket Kurtas. Their head-dress was a scarf. The use of ornaments was practical I universal.

Food:

There was no uniformity in India with regard to the food habits. While the Hindus well mostly vegetarians, the Muslims were generally non-vegetarians. Milk was a very important pal of the diet of the people in the villages.

Epidemics:

Cholera existed in India during the 17th century. It spread through out the country more or less epidemic form periodically. This must have been so particularly at the places of pilgrimage such as Haridwar, Prayag and Puri. Plague also visited India on many occasions. In 1616, I suddenly appeared in Punjab.

About this disease, Mohammad Khan, Author of Iqbal Nam says: "When the disease was about to break out, a mouse would rush out of its hole as he mad and striking itself against the door and the walls of the house, would expired immediately after this signal the occupants left the house and went away to the jungle, their lives were saved; if otherwise, the inhabitants of the whole village would be swept away I the hand of death."

The plague which started in the Punjab in 1616 spread to almost every part of Northern and Western India. It lasted for 8 years. There was another visitation of this diseases in 1689 at Bijapur and in 1703-04 in the Deccan. Abul Fazal refers to "a strong wind oH destruction" which prevailed in 1575 in the Eastern Provinces of the Empire.

The disease was particularly violent at Gaur. Badaoni tells us that "things came to such a fast that the living were unable to bury a dead and threw them head foremost into the river." Another epidemic swept through Ahmedabad in 1618 and was responsible for the deaths of both Indian and Europeans. Floods also were responsible for a lot of destruction.

Women

Women occupied a high position in the family. They commanded respect. Most of theil led a life of dignity and respect. They lived devoted lives. They lived a life of sacrifice. The welfare of the family depended upon their care, love, benevolence and dedication. Polygamy will very common among the Muslism. In some cases, the Hindus also married many wives. Talaq or divorce and re-marriages were common among the Muslims. There was no Talaq among the Hindus.

Sati System was common among the Hindus. Here is an eye-witness account of Sati System left by a European Traveller: "The husband of a girl of eighteen died. She announced that she would burn with the body of her husband. Dressed like a bride she proceeded to The Governor's House with a musical band to obtain his permission.

The Governor took great pains to explain to her it was futile to die as Sati; he even went so far as to offer her an annuity of Rs. 500 only if she abandoned the idea of perishing with her dead husband. When the remained firm, the Governor permitted her according to the Royal Farman.

Then she proceeded towards the funeral pyre. She removed her ornaments as she came near the pyre, and handed them over to her relations. She kissd her child, after which she mounted the pure and was burnt to death along with her dead husband."

Observations by Foreign Travellers:

The forein travellers who visited India have made certain references to the social condition of the people De Laet tells us that "The nobles were well off and their luxury was beyond description. Their only concern in life was to secure a surfeit of every kind of pleasure."

Sir Thomas Roe says that "The nobles were nothing but voluptuousness and wealth confusedly intermingled.

Pelsaert says that "There were three classes of people whose status was little removed from slavery. They were the workmen, peons or servants and shopkeepers. The workmen were not paid adequate wages and their services were not voluntary. They could be made to work in the house of a noble or an officer and they were bound to accept whatever was paid to them as their remuneration. They took only one meal a day and that was in the form of Khichri.

Their houses were made of mud with thatched roofs. There was practically no furniture in those houses. They number of the servants was large as their wages were low. When these servants were attached to a powerful officer, they oppressed the pople and "sinned on the strength of their master's greatness."

They were not honest and they demanded and got what was called Dasturi to supplement their income. The shopkeepers adopted all kinds of devices to conceal their wealth because informers "swarmed like flies round the Governors and gave false information." The shopkeepers were required to supply goods to the king and his officers at a rate which was less than the market rate.

Most of the business was in the hands of the Hindus. The only thing done by the Muslims was dyeing and weaving. The Hindus and Muslims believed in astrology. The Muslims worshipped a number of priests and prophets. There was so great hatred between the Sunnis and Shais that they called each other Kafirs. Beggary was common."

Tavernier praises the Hindus for their thrift, sobriety and honesty. To quote him, "Hindus are morally well. When married they are rarely unfaithful to their wives. Adultery is rare among them and one never hears unnatural crimes spoken of."

Towards the end of the Reign of Aurangzeb, there was decline in society. Mughal Aristocracy lost its moral stamina. The sons of the nobles were brought up in the company of women and eunuchs and they acquired all their vices. There was corrupation everywhere.

The Muhatsibs appointed by Aurangzeb failed to improve the lives of the people. There was practically no originality and intellectual vigour among the people. Eunuchs were freely made and sold. The standard of public morality fell. Bribes were accepted without shame or scruples.