Consequence of Jahangir’s War with Mewar

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It is well-known that Maharana Pratap carried his struggle against Akbar for the whole of his life. When he died in 1597, he was succeeded by Amar Singh. He was not disturbed by Akbar for the rest of his reign. However, when Jahangir came to the throne, he re-started the war with Amar Singh and sent a force under Mahabat Khan. The Rajputs put up a stiff resistance and Mahabat Khan failed to achieve anything. Abdulla Khan was sent against Amar Singh, but he also did not achieve anything substantial.

In 1614, prince Khurram was sent against Amar Singh and he pushed on the campaign so vigorously that the Rajputs were made to come to terms. Amar Singh acknowledged Jahangir as his overlord. Jahangir also treated Amar Singh generously and tried to soften the humiliation of his defeats. All the country conquered by him since the invasion of Akbar was restored to him. He was also given the assurance that he would not be compelled to attend the court in person.

Karan Singh, the son of Amar Singh, was raised to the Mansab of 5,000. After some time, Jahangir is said to have done special honour to Amar Singh and Karan Singh by directing the artists at Ajmer to fashion their full sized statues in marble. Those statues were removed to Agra and set up in the garden of the palace below the audience window.

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About the end of the war with Mewar, Dr. R.P. Tripathi observes: “Thus came to a close the long protracted duel between the Houses of Timur and Chitor, which began in 1526, but became serious and continuous after 1567. The history of this war of resistance for half-a-century is full of the most thrilling events, prodigious valour, amazing loyalty, wonderful sacrifice, extraordinary endurance, nobility of character and high patriotism. Never before was the Rajput valour and idealism put to so severe a test and never did it shine forth with so much glory and splendour.

It requires far nobles qualities to fight a losing battle against heavy odds for five decades, suffer untold miseries and sacrifice all comforts for a sentiment and a cause. If all the Rajput states had shown even half of that enthusiasm for independence, the History of the Mughal Empire would have been different for good or evil. But few outside the orbit of the Mewar Group regarded this struggle as rational or were disposed to recognize it as a war between the Hindus and the Muslims, or a war of Hindu independence.

“Looking at the whole affair in cold historical perspective, it is a matter of regret that the refusal of Maharana Pratap Singh to recognize the fact of the superior military power and unlimited resources of the Delhi Emperor, cost so much bloodshed and suffering and continued to inspire the conflict for twenty years more after his death. It is equally unfortunate that the diplomacy of the Mughal Emperors, even of Akbar, failed to inspire any confidence in the Ranas.

If Rana Pratap had offered the terms which his successor offered to Jahangir, in all probability, Akbar would have gladly welcomed them. Whatever pride Jahangir might have taken in his achievements, he ought never to have forgotten that Mewar under Amar Singh was considerably weaker than what it was under Rana Pratap, and that it was not till the nobles and the Crown-prince had urged to make peace, that Amar Singh finally laid down his arms.

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It was after spilling the noblest blood of Mewar that its ruler and nobles realized that ‘the peace of the people of Mewar demand peace at the sacrifice of independence, as that sacrifice meant nothing more than bare recognition of Imperial suzerainty’. The rulers of Mewar strained every nerve and spared no pains humanly possible to keep the crimson banner of state independence flying. Therein lies their glory.

But their inability to appreciate the force of facts produced nothing except a brilliant romance, which all lovers of chivalry will undoubtedly treasure. The struggle proved the vitality of the work done by Rana Kumbha; Rana Sanga and Maharana Pratap. Much credit is due to Jahangir, who treated the brave descendants of Mewar with chivalry and offered them a generous treatment which contrasts with the vulgarity of their co-religionists, the Marathas.”

According to Dr. G.N. Sharma, “The treaty of 1615 A.D. terminated almost a century-old struggle between the ruling houses. It must be regarded as a political triumph for Jahangir and a personal triumph for Khurram. The treaty between Amar Singh and Jahangir stands on a different plain from that between a Mughal Rulers and any other Rajput Chief of Rajasthan. Whereas other Rajput Rulers were required to attend the Imperial Darbar in person, the Rana was exempted and it was agreed to by the emperor that he would be represented by his crown prince.

The humiliating practice of a matrimonial alliance which other Rajput Chiefs had entered with the Mughal Ruling Family was not included in the terms of the treaty. These were the special concessions which were made to the Rana of Udaipur on account of his pre-eminent position among the Rajput Rulers. An insistence on them too would have prolonged the century-old war between the Mughals and the Sisodias. The treaty not only accorded special treatment to the Rana but at the same time it reflected statesmanship and generosity on the part of Jahangir and his son Khurram.

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“Some casual observers find fault with Amar Singh for giving up the struggle and entering into a treaty with the Mughals. According to them the restoration of Chittor was hedged with conditions and, therefore, was worse than useless. The sending of a Rajput contingent at the Mughal Court from Mewar was a humiliation to the people of the state and betokened subservience.

“The above criticism is based on sentiment and ignores the suffering to which Mewar had been subjected by the prolonged warfare. The country had to pay price for peace, and that was the recognition by the ruler of the nominal suzerainty of the Mughals whose policy was not to !.. <rfere in the internal affairs of the vassal states of Rajasthan. The loss occasioned by the recognition of Mughal Sovereignty was more than compensated by peace for two generations- a peace without humiliations, for the emperor did not insist on the presence of the Rana in the court and sending a ‘Dola’ to his harem.

Those who condemn the treaty do not seem to realise the consequences of the prolonged struggle. It was an unequal war in which eventually Mewar was bound to perish sooner or later. If, as the critics say, war was bound to recur, two generations of peace gave the Rana enough of strength to fight with a better chance of success. Hence barring sentimental satisfaction, the treaty proved to be beneficial for Mewar.”

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