Economic Condition of India On The Eve of Babur’s Invasion


Though the condition of farmer was good at that time, yet it was deplorable. It is said that Sultans did not try much for the increase of industries. Babur wrote that the poor people lived almost nude. The gents wore only underwears and ladies covered their bodies only by a single cloth.

On the other hand he also described about the excess of gold and silver. According to Amir Khusaro a peer of the royal throne was a drop of blood shed by the teared eyes of poor peasants. According to Abudullah, the writer of Tarikh-i-Daudi, “India was prosperous at the time of Babur.

The things of daily use were cheap. It seems that poor and rich both groups were present at that time. The richness of the country was enough to attract any invader. Over all, the economic condition was attractive and political and social condition was deplorable.”


The Beginning of a New Age

The beginning of the Mughal Rule in India in 1526 is considered by some scholars as the beginning of the Modern and the ending of the Medieval Period of Indian History. There are others who are of the view that the Modern Period of Indian History begins with the War of Indian Independence in 1857. However, the Medieval Period is generally extended up to 1707, 1748 or 1761. This shows that most of the scholars do not regard the year 1526 as a dividing line between Medieval and Modern Period. In spite of this, it cannot be denied that a New Age began in Indian History with the establishment of Mughal Rule in India.

It is pointed out that before the Mughals, the Muslim Rulers of Delhi called themselves the Sultans and they recognised the authority of the Caliph. The Mughal Rulers beginning with Babur repudiated the authority of Caliph and called themselves Padshah. They took up titles which were formerly used by the Caliph alone. The Mughal Rulers started the system of Jharokha Darshan.

Before the Mughals, the Sultans of Delhi followed a very narrow sectarian policy. The Hindus were looked down upon and they were not given a fair deal. A large number of social, religious and political disabilities were imposed on them. The Mughals started a new policy in this direction. A beginning was made by Babur who did not treat the Afghans and Rajputs harshly even after their defeat.


Babur married two of his sons to the daughters of Medini Rao. There was a virtual revolution in this field in the time of Akbar. By his kind treatment of the Hindus in general and Rajputs in particular, he was able to win them over and it is they who fought for his glory and greatness even against their co-religionists. The policy of religious persecution followed by Aurangzeb was an exception.

There was also an unprecedented growth in the field of fine arts. During the Sultanate Period, no encouragement was given to painting, but Babur and his descendants made painting a living art by means of Royal Patronage. There was a virtual revolution in this field. It is true that architecture was not completely ignored by the Sultans of Delhi, but the contribution of the Mughals was unique in this field.

Moreover, Mughal Architecture represents a happy synthesis of Indo-Muslim Art traditions and that was not the case with the Sultans. Music also received a lot of encouragement during the Mughal Period. Such a thing did not exist in the Sultanate Period.

During the Mughal Period, there was a greater spirit of toleration between the Hindus and the Muslims. That was partly due to the fact that the Hindus and Muslims came into closer contacts with each other in different walks of life. That created feelings of sympathy and respect for each other. Great musicians, painters, sculptors, caligraphists, etc., were drawn from both the Hindus and Muslims. Both the Hindus and Muslims participated in the fairs and festivals of each other.


There was also the growth of local languages during the Mughal Period. Independent local dynasties started patronising religious languages and those languages were given the status of official languages. These languages were also used by the religious reformers, for the spread of their ideas. They wrote their books in those languages. The result was that the local dialects became religious languages during the period.

It was also during this period that European Trading Companies established themselves on the India Soil. The Portuguese set up their posts in India. They were followed by the Dutch, the Danes, the English and the French. They were not able to make much headway up to the time of Aurangzeb. However, the field became clear for them after the death of Aurangzeb. For all these factors it is said that with the coming of the Mughals, a new age started in the History of India.

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