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Mughal’s Rajput policy vs Afghan policy

Akbar and his successor’s were not in favour of ending Rajput ruling families. They aimed at converting them into subordinate allies. They opposed if ever individuals rather than ruling houses and in case of rebellion or intransigence on the part of a Rajput family. They seemed to have decided to retain Rajput ruling families as an integral part of their political system.

But the Afghans were treated differently. Towards them the Mughals were more stiff and unrelenting. Under stress of circumstances an Afghan prince might be temporarily tolerated as vassal but this was never a part of their general policy.

In Malwa Bihar, Bengal and Orissa a uniform policy was followed – deposition of the ruling Afghan family occupation of as much of their territory as possible and securing the submission of subordinate Afghan nobles by the lure of office and jagir but insisting on the imperial right to transfer them to other jagirs or fresh jobs.

The difference in the policy was due to the fact that the Rajputs were true to their word and once they had submitted they regarded rebellion or treachery unworthy of their honour and family pride. But the Afghans being essentially selfish could not always be relied upon. Secondly the Rajputs might have kept the possibility of the establishment of an all –India Empire as a cherished goal in the realm of thought but in practice they were satisfied with mere local autonomy.

The Afghans on the other hand had been the masters of an extensive north-Indian empire and could not wholly divest their political ambition of it. Consequently it was far more difficult for them to become sincerely loyal to their dispossessors. Akbar was conscious of the fact that he had seized sovereignty from the Afghans towards whom strong sections of the people had some tenderness of feeling. Hence continuance of their ruling dynasties was fraught with serious danger to the security of the empire. Akbar never accorded to any non-Rajput ruling family whether Hindu or Muslim the generous treatment reserved exclusively for the Rajputs.