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This is an important piece on our Constitution. Especially important for students sitting for government exams. Refer to the clip attached.
India is a country whose history is filled with communal acts of violence. This is due to many reasons such as its independence from the British, its relationship with neighboring countries etc. In this essay, we will introduce some key terms that will help you understand the topic better and then we will look at some of the ways in which we can stop communal violence in this country. 1. VIOLENCE AS A POLITICAL ORDER Political violence is a term which is used to describe a scenario in which either a single person or even whole governments use violence in order to gain political power or to achieve political goals. In India, we follow a multi-party system and because of that, there is a lot of competition in terms of getting votes. In order to get these votes, most political parties either give false promises to the people, use bribery as a means to get votes, threaten to either kill or beat up people who will go against them etc. It is not only the political parties that are responsible for political violence in India. The public too is responsible as there have been many scenarios where the public uses force in order to express their opinion on political matters. They are responsible for mobs, looting, arson etc. There are also many non- state organizations such as a terrorist group who use extreme ways such as bomb blasts as ways of communicating their displeasure.  Now we ask the question of what is state-related violence? 2. STATE- RELATED VIOLENCE State-related violence is when an organized group or the government itself uses violence either against another state or against civilians. For the purpose of this essay, we will be focusing on the latter part which is violence against civilians. There are many types of violence the state can do against civilians such as using armed forces to subdue an uprising. An example of this would be the Maoist movement in North- East India and how the Indian government is using the Indian army as a means of subduing them. What we will be focusing on in this essay is state-related genocide or ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing is a process in which violent acts are carried out against a particular group of people based either on their caste, color, religion etc. This can also be called communal violence. What is communalism? 3. COMMUNALISM We can say that communalism “ in its most commonly perceived form, is the phenomenon of religious differences between groups often leading to tension and even rioting between them.( Mukhia 1983, p.1664). Communalism is a product of British rule in India as the Britishers separated India into separate communities for their own benefit.  In India, religious conflicts have been mainly between Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. It all stems back to pre-independent India, where during the 19th century, there was the cow protection movement. Hindus worship cows and thus killing cows was not acceptable to them and thus began the long conflict between Hindus and Muslims through which numerous lives had been lost. Several pictures and motifs started to appear in broadcast appeals such as “the representation of the Muslim- and to a lesser extent the Englishmen, the Indian Christian and others- as the killer cows and, hence, the enemy of Hinduism”( Pandey 1999, p.310)  and “ other pictures more simply portrayed a (Muslim) butcher ready to slaughter a cow, and Hindus of several different castes crying out to him to desist”( Pandey 1999, p.310). This was just the start of the violence between Hindus and Mulims. The partition only deepened the wound as communal violence between the claimed close to 1 million lives. How do we stop communal violence? 4. COMMUNALISM WITHOUT VIOLENCE Communalism does not mean communal violence as “ Communal violence is a consequence of the spread of communal ideology. But it is not the crux of the communal situation at all.”( Chandra 1990, p.38)  There are many ways in which communal violence can be stopped. One of the most important ways is to either abolish all communal parties or to make sure that none of them come to power. As previously said, communalism was a product of colonization by the British. Due to this, there was a lot of different communities and each community had their own interests. Thus, to express those interests, each community made their own communal political party and “ The Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha of the pre-Independence India are the king examples of such communal organizations” ( Mukhia 1972, p.46) All communal parties have a religious ideology and they would like to implement the elements of those ideologies and that is a real threat to Secularism in India. In many cases, this leads to communal violence between two or more communities. This is also not an opinion but is a fact because there have been many cases of this over the last century. It was the Muslim League who had come up with the two-nation theory and had demanded that another country is formed just for Muslims as they thought that they were second-class citizens in India. That lead to the partition of India which resulted in the lives of close to 1 million people.  Another example would be when in 1984 Indra Gandhi attacked the Golden Temple in Amritsar with the help of the Indian army in order to capture the Sikh militants who had taken refuge in the temple.  This was not taken well by the Sikh community as the Golden Temple has religious sentiment to them and Indra Gandhi was later assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards as vengeance for her act of violence. This later lead to anti- Sikh riots in which close to 3000 Sikhs, including woman and children, were either burned alive or killed and thousands became homeless. Even today there are many communal parties. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ( RSS) is a Hindu nationalist party who promotes the ideology of Hindutva.  If this party were to come to power then it would not be good for people of other religions as they would be treated as second-class citizens. Another communal party is Bhartiya Janata Party( BJP) who share a similar ideology to RSS.  Both these parties are also responsible for inciting communal violence as it was their rally that caused the activists and the supporters to demolish the Babri Masjid in 1992.  This turned into riots in which more than 2000 Hindus and Muslims were killed. Another incident in which BJP was suspected to be involved with communal violence was in 2002 in Gujrat, when a train full of  Hindu pilgrim or  ‘ karsevaks’ was burned and the people suspected that such an act could only be done by Muslims.  This had again led to anti- Muslim riots in Gujrat and around 1000 people dead with more than 2000 people either injured or missing, with most of them being Muslim. The then chief minister of Gujrat, Narendra Modi, who was also of BJP, was accused of starting or initiating the riots. From the examples we just discussed we know how dangerous it could be if a communal party is in power although it might not be true in all cases.  If a communal party has state power then it means “above all, control of education, it means control of media, it means control of ideological State apparatuses in general”( Chandra 1990, p.43). Through this power, the party might bring good to the society, or else it could use the media and manipulate the education system to spread its ideology. Another method to remove communal violence is through the right kind of education. As previously mentioned, most communal parties spread wrong ideologies and one of the reasons that people believe them so easily is because they have not received the right kind of education. That is because in some states the children are brainwashed at a young age as the curriculum in their schools spread their religious ideologies. The previous statement is supported by K. N. Panikar  who says “. Much before the M.P. and U.P. governments took steps to rewrite textbooks these books were in circulation, imparting to in young minds Hindu religious consciousness and communal ideology” ( Panikar 1993, p.28).  He also says “The focus of these books is religious and their message communal. Extracts from Hindu scriptures, stories from Hindu mythology and the heroism of Hindu kings against Muslim rulers are their main content.”( Panikar 1993, p.28).  With the right kind of education, the children can learn the positive sides of every community and not participate in violence rather than being subjected to only the negatives of every other community other than their own. Continuing with the previous argument, better education would mean a better understanding of other communities. This could be used to promote inter-communal marriage. Due to the lack of proper education in many places, religious orthodoxy remains an issue and there have been cases in which a couple from different religions either get exiled by their communities or are hunted down by their communities. This could be changed by proper education as this may get rid of previously mentioned radical approaches. If two families from different communities are joined together by marriage, then this could be followed by other families in other communities too. Through this, they will be able to ‘discover’ more about the other communities and might realize that whatever they had been told about the other community was in fact wrong. This system of inter-communal marriage is already taking place across India in big cities but it will really make a difference if also done in small cities and rural areas. One of the very important reasons of why communal violence takes place mostly between Hindus and Muslims is due to how media portray Muslims. Due to the history between the two communities because of the violence that ensued during the partition and the recent Muslim attacks in the name of Islam all over the world, the media has somewhat demonized Muslims. Due to all this, the term Islamophobia is used. Islamophobia can be “ observed in its various forms such as racial or cultural prejudice, hatred towards Muslims and Islam and their depiction as a threat to world peace”( Iqbal 2010, p.82). There have also been many attacks in India by Pakistan. Pakistan has been blamed for using militant forces on India and has also been held responsible for trying to turn the Muslim population in India against India. An example of this would be when after the independence of India, the dispute over who Kashmir belonged to arose. In an attempt to get a hold of Kashmir, Pakistan sent militants to Kashmir to take it by force. It was only when Kashmir formally became a part of India when India troops arrived and drove the militants away. That is not the only case when India was attacked by Islamic terrorists. In 2005, a group of terrorists, whose base was in Pakistan attacked Mumbai. The attacks lasted 4 days and over 150 people were killed. It is due to these reasons that there are misconceptions about Muslims such as that all ‘Muslims are terrorists’. As previously said, Pakistan targets the Muslim community in India in attempts to turn them against their own country. This leads to some problems for the Muslim population as “some significant groups in the population find it difficult to reconcile their primordial background with the new-found civic order and hold higher allegiance to the subnational groupings'.” ( Azam 1976, p.26). With the help of the media, we can get rid of these preconceived notions. So from all the above arguments and examples, we can say that communalism is nothing but a false ideology and that the impression it has on people is of a wrong reality which will be harmful to the society. The above reasons could hamper India’s position at a global level. If we try to accomplish the above ways through which we can eradicate communal violence, then we will certainly be able to  have a better society and build towards a better future. REFERENCES- 1. Mukhia, Harbans. 1983. “Communalism and Indian Politics”. Economic and Political Weekly 18( 39): 1664 2. Pandey, Gyanendra 1999. “Communalism as Construction”. Politics in India edited by Sudipta Kaviraj, New Delhi: OUP, pp. 349-364 3. Chandra, Bipin. 1990. “Communalism and the State : Some Issues in India.” Social Scientist 18( 8/9): 38-47 4. Mukhia, Harbans. 1972. “ Communalism: A Study in Its Socio- Historical Perspective”. Social Scientist 1(1): 45-57 5. Panikar, K.N.  1993. “ Culture and Communalism”. Social Scientist 21 (3/4) : 24-31 6. Iqbal, Zafar. 2010. “Islamophobia or Islamophobias: Towards Developing A Process Model”. Islamic Studies 49 (1): 81-101 7. Azam, Kousar J. 1976. “THE INDIAN MUSLIMS— THE QUEST FOR IDENTITY”. The Indian Journal of Political Science 37 (3): 24-42
The Mughal empire was one of the greatest and one of the most influential empires that ever existed. The Mughal empire lasted for more than 300 years and covered much of the Indian subcontinent. Acquiring and maintaining such an empire for so long is often credited towards the administration prevalent during the Mughal period. In this essay, however, I will bring into focus the active military labor market that was present during the Mughal period and how that played an important role for not only the Mughals themselves but also their enemies in acquiring territories. The role of mercenaries in the military labor market and their ethnic composition will also be discussed in this paper. In this essay, we will see what kind of military labor market existed during the Delhi Sultanate, the changes that occurred in it with the oncoming of the Mughals, and its significance in determining the relationship between the nobles and the peasants.  The Mughals being referred to in this essay are only the first six of the Mughal rulers from Babur to Aurangzeb. The main objective of this essay is to analyze the ethnic composition of the military labor market. There is no original data collected for this essay and I will be analyzing the texts of different historians. Before the emergence of the Mughal empire in the 16th century, the Delhi Sultanate was the dominant empire in the Indian subcontinent. They had their own military labor market. We know this as Kaushik Roy informs us that, “Until the fourteenth century, the dominant mode of military recruitment in India was the Mamluk system.” ( page 1, from mamluks etc) The soldiers comprising the mamluk system were mainly slave soldiers that were brought from the Muslim countries in the Middle-east such as Turkestan, Persia, and Transoxiana. Due to the political fluctuations caused by Mongol invasions, the Delhi Sultanate had to resort to hiring free-flowing mercenaries from Hindustan itself. Also, “One way to maintain and expand the size of the army was to hire indigenous mercenaries as well as to utilize the forces of the defeated chiefs. The free-floating mercenaries had their own horses, armor, and equipment. They were paid in cash and they also had a right to the loot taken from the defeated enemies.”( page 89, Mamluks) Thus we can see how the military labor market shifted from accquiring slave soldiers from the Middle East to hiring mercenaries from the Indian subcontinent itself. Due to the invasion from Timur during the 14th and the 15th century, the Delhi Sultanate weakened, which provided the perfect opportunity for other Central Asian rulers such as Babur to invade India. Babur is credited to be the founder of the Mughal Empire. We can see some similarities and some differences in the military labor that was adopted by Babur when compared to the Delhi Sultanate. Unlike the Delhi Sultanate, Babur preferred to have a household standing army, which comprised of soldiers that joined Babur’s army due to family and clan connections. Unlike the mercenaries, these soldiers did not break on the battlefield and were used by Babur to perform daredevil manoeuvrers of the battlefield. But just like the Delhi Sultanate, even Babur had decided to include mercenaries into his army.  According to Kaushik Roy, many mercenaries that joined Babur were from Mongol descent, as he says “Babur mentions that the Mongol settlers in Central Asia were organized in various tribes. Many Mongol tribes who had no blood relation to Babur joined him. Each Mongol tribe at that time comprised 3,000-4,000 families.” ( page 90, Mamluks) It is important to know that Babur himself is from Mongol descent. Thus from this, we can see that the Mongol mercenaries joining Babur could be categorized as an ethnic mercenary sort of military employment in which mercenaries join a ruler because they have the same ethnic background. Babur’s ancestors were Timur and Chengiz Khan, who were famous rulers of the Timurid and the Mongol dynasties, which occupied much of Central Asia. When Babur came to India, he decided to adopt the military tactics used in Central Asia and he used them to defeat the rulers of the Delhi Sultanate.  At the battle of Panipat, “ He protected his right by resting it on the city of Panipat, and on the left,  dug a ditch with branches of felled trees so that the cavalry could not cross it. In front, he put together 700 carts, some from his baggage train, and some procured locally. These carts were joined together by ropes of rawhide, and between every two carts, short breastworks were put up behind which matchlockmen could stand and fire.  Babur called this method of stringing carts the Ottoman ( Rumi) devise because along with cannons it had been used by the Ottoman Sultan in the famous battle with Shah Ismail of Iran at Chaldiran in 1514. But Babur added a new feature. At a bow shot apart, gaps were left, wide enough for fifty or hundred horses to charge abreast” ( page 29, Satish Chandra) Babur is also credited with introducing guns and gunpowder to India. Thus he had also incorporated two Ottoman mercenaries, Ustad Ali and Mustafa, who were master gunners. Babur also claimed that these two mercenaries were invaluable on the battlefield and also went as far as appointing Ustad Ali as the master of the ordinance. Thus we can see that Babur kept hiring mercenaries from mostly Central Asia as he was using the tactics that were being used in that area and thus the mercenaries would already be accustomed to such military tactics and thus would prove most effective. The Mughals were not the only ones who were hiring mercenaries. The military labor market was open to all those who could afford mercenaries, which included the rivals of the Mughals. In fact, “Babur’s opponent at the First Battle of Panipat, Sultan Ibrahim Lodi (r. 1517-1526) depended on the indigenous mercenaries. Ibrahim Lodi, being an Afghan, preferred Afghan soldiers.” ( page 91, Mamluk) Many times the defeated chieftains were forced to join the rival army if they were defeated in battle.  The previous claim is supported by the following quote which is- “After being victorious at First Panipat, many Afghan chieftains in India (who were either semi-autonomous or in Lodi service) joined Babur as tributaries with their retainers (some of the bands numbering up to 3,000- 4,000 men each).54 In many cases, they were forced to join Babur after being defeated in battle.” ( page 91 Mamluk) Even after Humayun came into power, mercenaries were still being used to oppose the Mughal rule. For example, Bahadur Shah of Gujrat hired African mercenaries commonly known as Abbysinians and also hired tribal mercenaries. In fact, “ Bahadur Shah provided 20 crores of Gujarati coins to one of his nobles, Tatar Khan, who with this money hired 40,000 Afghan mercenary cavalries. Some Muslims of Gujarat also joined his artillery branch as mercenaries.” ( page 92). After Humayun defeated Bahadur Shah and some other Afghan chieftains, they were forced to join Humayun’s army with their retainers. However, similar to the mercenaries, they proved disloyal towards Humayun and deserted him and instead joined his enemy Sher Shah, who was an afghan. Another example of mercenary disloyalty and desertion is the case of Rumi Khan, who was initially under the employment of Bahadur Shah of Gujrat. Rumi, Khan, “, the commandant of the Gujarat Sultanate’s artillery department, deserted Sultan Bahadur Shah and joined Humayun in 1533. Rumi Khan was a military engineer and was considered an expert in siege warfare. In 1537, he advised Humayun in conducting the siege of Chunar Fort held by Sher Shah.” ( page 99, mollusks) From this, we can conclude that there were some stark similarities between mercenaries and the chieftains and their retainers who were defeated in battle. Even though the former was voluntary and the latter was involuntary, desertion was common and they also did not have any loyalty towards their employees or captives and thus abandoned them if any political fluctuations occurred in that demographic area. Many mercenaries from Central Asia became attracted by the wealth that India had to offer and the prospect of looting it made them join Humayun’s cause on a mostly seasonal contract. Mercenaries hired on a seasonal contract were less likely to desert as compared to those who were hired for a longer contract. There were also cases where the children of mercenaries would follow in their parent's footsteps and serve the ruler of the same dynasty. such was the case with the son of Ustad Ali Quli Khan’s son, M.K Rumi, who fought beside Humayun and was in charge             Mogul guns and carriages at the battle of Kanauj.  Just like Babur, Sher Shah also utilized the military labor market and incorporated soldiers from his ethnic background. We know this as “ Sher recruited Afghans from Bihar, and many Rajput chieftains with their clansmen also joined his banner. While the Rajputs in his army were mercenaries, the Afghans were mobilized through tribal/clan networks. Sher called the Afghan qaum (community) to mobilize against the alien Moguls.” ( page 92-93) Thus we can say that it was an instance of ethnic conscription for the Afghans in Sher Shah’s army. Things took a drastic turn when Akbar came into power. After his victory in the second battle of Panipat, he established a stronghold in Northern India.  Thus the base for Mughal operations was no longer Afghanistan, as it was with Babur and Humayun, but instead, it was now northern India. This was a setback in terms of military recruitment.  This is because now Akbar would not be able to tap up the Turkish and the other central Asian tribes and include them in his army as he was now established in India. Due to this, he had to come up with a new military recruitment system. The system which he introduced was the mansabdari system, which changed the military labor market for the Mughals for the coming decades. The mansabdari system comprised of nobles who held ranks called mansabs and they were called mansabdars and each of them held jagirs. The way in which it transformed the military labor market was that “The mansabdari system was also partly a case of the tributary form of military employment. After being defeated, the chieftains belonging to different principalities were encouraged and at times coerced to serve in the Mogul army and in return were rewarded with jagirs. When Akbar established himself at Agra, a large number of principalities were under the control of autonomous and semi-autonomous hereditary chieftains. The latter was known as rajas, ranas, rawats, or rais. They were also known as Rajputs, and the Mogul chroniclers called them zamindars.” ( page 96) They were different from traditional mercenaries as mansabars were usually given lifelong employment, unlike the mercenaries who were usually given a season-long contract. Also, the commitment of the mansabdars to the emperor was absolute and thus they were not given much freedom in leaving the service. As previously mentioned, foreign mercenaries played a very important role in determining battles. One of the main reasons for this was their knowledge of guns and gunpowder. As the use of cannons and the muskets were widespread throughout the West, European mercenaries always had a special place in the military labor market and their services were used by both the Mughals and their rivals alike. In fact, European mercenaries were so in demand that “from the second half of the seventeenth century, the Mogul artillery was manned by Portuguese, British, Dutch, German, and French mercenaries. These foreigners were deserters from European ships and entered Mogul dominion through Goa for higher pay” ( page  100).  Even mercenaries from Africa found employment in India. One of the most common of these were the Abbysinians. We are informed that “. In the Ahmadnagar Sultanate in western Deccan, Abyssinian military slaves and Abyssinian mercenaries played an important role. The Abyssinians (also known as Habshis in India) were African Muslims from Ethiopia who either came to India as free-born adventurers or were imported as slaves.” ( page 101). As we have seen, the military labor market in Mughal India comprised of a vast number of soldiers from different ethnic backgrounds. While they may have their advantages, there are a few historians who claim that the dependency of the rulers on the military labor market had led them to not maintain a proper standing army. We get to know that “since supply exceeded demand, there was no point in maintaining a big standing army year after year. Rather, during emergencies, infantry and cavalry were raised at short notice and sent to the trouble spots.” ( page 103) . Thus the Mughals lacked a disciplined and properly drilled standing army that could be used to win battles decisively. Instead “treachery, diplomacy, bribery, and a show of force resulted in the absorption and assimilation of enemies” ( page 84). This claim can be used to justify the disintegration of the Mughal empire, as, after Aurangzeb, the entire administration and the military structure had begun to fall apart. This was due to mainly both internal and external conflicts, which with the use of a proper standing army, could have been controlled. As we have seen throughout this essay, the military labor market throughout the Mughal empire always comprised of soldiers-cum- mercenaries of different ethnic backgrounds. As the Mughals mostly depended on them for military recruitment, we can sense that there was some heterogeneity in the army in terms of religion, culture, and nationality. This is one of the ways in which we get to know about the liberal nature of the Mughals when concerned with the army. It is important to know that all of the emperors from Babur to Aurangzeb deemed it necessary to employ foreign mercenaries into their armies, especially European mercenaries. The reason behind this could be due to the advancement of cannons and muskets in Europe during the 16th and the 17th century and thus hiring mercenaries with the knowledge of these advancements would certainly be beneficial to the Mughals. Thus we say that their expansion in the Indian subcontinent was due to the ethnic diversities of the soldiers that comprised the Mughal armies and the different skills and the ability that they brought with them. During the 18th century, the power of the Mughal empire lowly diminished, mainly due to the emergence of the East India company. The British established their rule in India after the battle of Plassey in 1757. This led to the extinction of the existent mansabdari system. Since then, the entire military labor market was operated by the British Raj. The main breeding grounds of military recruitment for the British were Bengal, Madras, and Bombay. The ethnic composition of the British army mainly comprised of Indian soldiers called as ‘sepoys’ and only a minority were white British soldiers. In his book The Garrison State: Military, Government and Society in Colonial Punjab, 1849-1947, Tan Tai Yong analyzes the dynamics of the military labour market in Punjab from the revolt of 1857 to 1947 and talks about how after the revolt of 1857, Punjab became a militarized bureaucracy and became a supply ground of men and weapons for the British. Thus we can see through this paper on how with the emergence of a new political power in India, it led to the extinction of a pre-existent military labor market. To put this into context, the Mamluk system during the time of the Delhi Sultanate became extinct with the emergence of the Mughals. Similarly, the mansabdari system vanished after the establishment of the imperial raj. Through all this, we can safely conclude that the military labor market in India was never rigid or constrained, but was instead not bound by anything and extremely free-flowing. BIBLIOGRAPHY- Roy. Kaushik. 2013. “From the mamluks to the mansabdars:A social history of military service in South Asia, c. 1500 to c. 1650”. Fighting for a Living Book Subtitle: A Comparative Study of Military Labour 1500-2000. 81-114 Chandra. Satish. 2005. Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals Part 2. New Delhi. Publications Pvt. Ltd.  
The Bhakti movement was a religious movement that started a theistic devotional trend that emerged in the 8th century in the southern part of India. It was started by the Alvars and the Nayanars, who were the followers of Vishnu and Shiva respectively, so it developed around Vaishnavism and Shaivism. This movement can be considered as an influential reformation against orthodox Hinduism as it worked with the recontextualisation of ancient Vedic traditions. Thus, it gave the people an alternative path to devotion which was not caste specific and did not require any sort of rituals and it preferred doing praying through songs and poems. It is because of this that it was an invocation of the public and it was this movement that brought mass identities into the frame. Also, this movement should not be considered to be a monolithic or a homogeneous movement. The Bhakti movement had an important part to play in the social context at the time. According to Rekha Pande, “ The Bhakti movement of the medival period was an idealistic manifestation of the socio-economic realities of the time.” ( The social context of the Bhakti movement- A study in Kabir, Rekha Pande 1985.  p. 230) The social front at the time was characterized by brahminical oppression. With orthodox Hinduism being prevalent at the time, it was the caste system that affected the poor people. According to the Brahmins, those who did not fit into their rigid caste system, should be excluded from the society. Thus, those who did not fit into the traditional Varna system, were termed as chandals and outcastes. As previously mentioned, the Bhakti movement was against orthodox Hinduism and the rituals that were done by the Brahmans and thus “ in doing away with rituals it was fighting the brahminical domination and the injustices of the caste system”.( The social context of the Bhakti movement- A study in Kabir, Rekha Pande 1985.  p. 232).   This way it was trying to establish a direct relation between the devotee and God. The majority of the bhakti saints were from the lowest strata of the society, who were despised and downgraded by the upper castes. As these saints had done away with rituals, the common people found another way of praying as “the bhakti movement was a sublimation of terrible worldly suffering, pain and misery that found natural outlet in spontaneous, sweet-sad and poignant devotional songs.”( Gohain 1987, p.1970) Many followers of this movement also decided to abandon Sanskrit altogether, as it was considered to be the language of the Vedas and thus had a sense of purity about it, and instead preffered to sing in the local language that was spoken by the common people. More and more people from the lower castes and professions such as village artisans were also accommodated within the Bhakti movement. Due to this, the artisans found their place in the existing social structure and began to cater a wider clientele. Money transactions also replaced the existing barter system. The increase in productivity and the flow of commodities also led to the expansion and the creation of new cities and towns. The Bhakti movement also had a major impact in the political sphere at that time. The movement was widespread during the rule of the Mughal empire and thus was in many ways influenced by Islam. The heterodox bhaktas “owed a lot to Muslim sufis, who mixed with the down-trodden, illiterate masses without pretence and presumption, and practised the fellow-feeling for the creatures of god that they preached” ( Gohain 1987, p.1971).  Even the Mughal rulers were influenced by the Bhakti movement. As previously mentioned, there were significant changes that had taken place in the economic section due to the Bhakti movement which had led to an increase in circulation of commodities. According to some reports made by Abdul Fazl, “Akbar the Great took special care to fix the prices of essential commodities throughout his realm on the basis of periodic studies of the market, and taxes on the people including the artisans had also been similarly fixed” ( Gohain 1987, p. 1971). Thus we can say that Akbar’s concern showed a relatively progressive role of the state in his time. The emergence of Sufism, which had also influenced the bhakti movement, also influenced Akbar to abandon Muslim orthodoxy through its new spiritual and intellectual currents. Akbar’s great grandson, Aurangzeb, on the other hand, had the opposite view.  Due to the huge demands of the state on their earnings, the working class people were barely left with anything to live upon. Also, “ The alienation of the court and the feudal ruling orders from the people from his time onwards is thus suggested by such trend” ( Gohain 1987, p.1971-72)  He also persecuted some of the new sects and the sufi saints. Aurangzeb’s views also influenced others as Hindu princes at the time also persecuted such new liberal trends in favour of the more rigid caste system. The Bhakti movement has also been compared to the Protestant movement of the west as even in that movement, the common people were against orthodox Christianity. One of the most famous Bhakti saints was Kabir. Even though he grew up in a family of Muslim weavers, he renounced both orthodox brahminism and orthodox Islam. According to him, aestheticism, fasting and giving alms to the poor were useless unless they were accompanied by worship. He was also unbiased towards both Hindus and Muslims and imparted his beliefs to both of them. Also, “ By criticizing the practices and rituals of both the hindus and the muslims, he showed that their differences were only at a very superficial level.” ( The social context of the Bhakti movement- A study in Kabir, Rekha Pande 1985.  pp. 233-234)  he also refused to acknowledge the caste system and also refused to recognize the six major schools of philosophy. Thus he was going against the domination of the Brahmins and thus we can say that for him, it was a revolt lower caste against another upper caste. Through this he rallied the masses that were the most oppressed under the brahminical dominion.    In conclusion, the Bhakti movement included both Hindus and Muslims especially from the lower strata of the society and with the help of Sufism, influenced people to express their devotion to God through songs and poem and not through rituals. REFERENCES 1. Gohain, Hiren. 1987. The Labyrinth of Bhakti: On Some Questions of Medieval Indian History. ‘Economic and Political Weekly’. 22: pp. 1970-1972 2. Pande, Rekha. 1985. The Social Context of the Bhakti Movement : a study of Kabir. University of Hyderabad: pp. 230-235.  
Babur’s invasion of India marked the start of a dynasty which would rule India for centuries to come. Ibrahim Lodi’s defeat to Babur in the battle of Panipat in1526 ended the rule of the Delhi Sultanate and started the rule of the Mughal empire. The early Mughal rulers faced many challenges while they were attempting to consolidate their position in India.  In this essay, we will see what kind of challenges were faced my Babur and his successor Humayun. One of the first challenges faced by Babur came from his own men. His men thought that as the conquest was over, they had no reason to stay in India and wanted to go back. This above statement is supported by Satish Chandra who informs us that, “Many of his begs and armymen thought that their struggles had been amply rewarded and it was time to return home! As it was,  they found little in India to attract them”( Chandra 2007.  p. 31). There was also a lot of discontent between the local population and Babur’s men. Babur’s begs found India as a foreign country in every way as they were not used to the hot climate and “ Neither ( baked) bread, nor the hamams ( public baths), or social intercourse of the type they were accustomed to were available in India” ( Chandra 2007, p.32). Babur dealt with this challenge by calling a council meeting and informing his men that he would refuse to leave India. However, he told his nobles that if they wanted to go back they could. Fortunately for him, only one of his nobles went away. He also faced challenges from his own brothers and the Timurid princes as they had wanted to follow the Timurid tradition of partioning the empire. Babur also faced external challenges during his time in India, from Rana Sangha and from the Afghans that had occupied the eastern part of India. It is important to know that it was Rana Sangha who had initially invited Babur to invade India as he thought that Babur would come to India, defeat the Afghans, loot their cities and go back home, just like his predecessors had done. Rana’s strategy took a major blow went he found out that Babur had decided to stay in India and establish an empire. He saw this as a bigger threat than the Afghan and thus , “ After the battle of Panipat,  Sangha began to  make efforts to gather around a grand coalition which would either compel Babur to leave India, or confine him to Punjab” ( Chandra 2007, p. 33)  Even though Rana Sangha formed a Rajput-Afghan alliance, he suffered a disastrous defeat at the hands of Babur in the battle of Khanua on 16 March 1527. He dies in 1528 when he was poisoned by his own sardars as Rana Sangha wanted to restart his conflict with Babur and they thought that this plan was suicidal. Babur also defeated the Afghans who were led by Biban and Shaikh Bayazid in the battle of Ghagra on 5 May 1529, and thus gave a complete victory to the Mughals. After Babur’s death, his son Humayun faced an uphill task in trying to continue his fathers' legacy. One of the major concerns was the administration of the empire. Babur’s system of administration “ implied leaving the task of day to day administration largely in the hands of his begs who were given large tracts in the assignment ( wajh).” ( Chandra 2007, p. 47). Humayun wanted to centralize the administration.  Humayun was very conquest-oriented and thus paid most of his attention towards expanding his empire and paid little focus towards the administration. Like Babur, even Humayun had internal conflicts during his reign. After his brother Kamran captured Punjab, it amounted to a de facto partition of the empire. This showed weakness in Humayun and because of that many expected his two older brothers, Askari and Hindal, to also stake their claims. During his reign, Babur had also harbored some Timurids who had fled from the Uzbeks. After Babur’s death, even these Timurids wanted to take advantage of Humayun and pressed to have a dominion of their own. There was more as “ Along with these internal difficulties the most serious external problem Humayun faced was that of the Afghans of the east U.P and Bihar, and that of Bahadur Shah of Gujrat”( Chandra 2007, p. 50) Bahadur Shah was a serious threat to Humayun’s reign. He was the ruler of Gujrat and he carefully monitored Humayun. There were also a lot of Afghan and Timurid refugees who had taken shelter under him and they also taught him the Ottoman's offensive and defensive strategy that had been so successful for Babur. Humayun dealt with this situation fairly well and when both their armies met at Mandsor, he cut off all the food supplies to Bahadur Shah’s camp which led to a severe food shortage and eventually led to him abandoning his camp. Thus, Bahadur Shah’s strategy was turned against himself.  Bahadur Shah was on the run from then on and was eventually killed in a fracas with the Portuguese. The Gujrat campaign had a lot of positives as “ This campaign not only showed Humayun as a vigorous leader and intrepid commander, but destroyed the threat to the Mughals from the side of Bahadur Shah” ( Chandra 2007, p. 61). The same cannot be said for the Bengal campaign. Humayun was against a Sher Khan, who was a better general and a more skillful tactician than the former. For all of Sher Khan’s achievements, Humayun grossly underestimated him and did not see him as a real threat.  He could not be more wrong as he was promptly defeated by Sher Khan at the battle of Chausa (26 June 1539) which severely weakened him and demoralized his army.  The battle of Kannauj ( 17 May 1940) proved to be the decisive blow for Humayun as his forces were routed and thus Sher Khan was in the pole position of expelling the Mughals from India.  After an unsuccessful attempt to find allies in India, Humayun fled to Iran where he was sheltered by Shah Tahmasp. He did eventually return to capture Delhi in 1555 but died in 1556. It was also harder for Humayun as administering the empire is much harder than just occupying it. Thus, both Babur and Humayun found it extremely hard to establish an empire in India. BIBLIOGRAPHY:- Chandra, Satish. 2007. Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals Part Two ( 1526-1748). New Delhi: Har Anand Publications
The Mughal period is a very important part of the rich history of India. Looking at such a period objectively is the only way we can truly learn about the Mughal empire. This is not always the case as there are times when an individual has pre-conceived notions due to their religious beliefs and that affects their judgment as they are no longer unbiased. My argument is supported the by Nurul Hassan who says that “ Only too often there is a tendency to look at the history this period through the colored glasses of communalism” ( p.25, Religion, State, and Society in Medieval India, Nurul Hassan). An example of this instance is how numerous western historians have tried to study Mughal Historiography. Due to the fact that Indian history has been riddled with conflicts between Hindus and Muslims, including the partition of 1947, many westerners may use that as a foundation when going through Muslim historiography. The previous is supported once again by Nurul Hassan as he so rightly mentions that “ It was hoped that with the end of British rule in India, the imperialist attempt to present medieval Indian history as a story of an unending struggle between different communities would also end ( p.27, Religion, State, and Society in Medieval India, Nurul Hassan). Thus, we can say that a communal outlook mixed with pre-conceived notions is a very dangerous combination. The Mughal Empire was one of the grandest empires in its day and thus it was common for foreign travelers to visit the country. The written works of these travelers are also very important for us to learn more about the Mughal Empire. But what happens when even these travelers are biased in their opinion? This was also a very real problem as “ it is not always easy to judge how far their statements have been colored by their political, religious or social prejudices, or their sources of reliable information (p.34, Religion, State, and Society in Medieval India, Nurul Hassan). It is also very hard to distinguish whether what the statements that the travelers wrote were of their own personal opinion or that they were facts. Thus a lot of material has been lost due to the beliefs of individuals. All of the above claims can also be supported by the fact that some of the Mughal rulers actually strived towards making a multi-cultured environment in their courts. An example of this is Akbar’s relationship with the nobility and how “ Akbar had succeeded in removing the dependence of the sovereign on the Muslim nobility alone” ( p. 64, Mughal India, M. Athar Ali). Also, Akbar’s marriage to the Rajput princess Jodha was a religious and a political move as it would have helped in the unification of the two religions and it also would have reduced communal violence. Through the written record of the time, we have also come to have known of the Mughal policy of ‘ Sulal Kul’, which meant for the peaceful coexistence of communities and it has often been credited for being a key factor of the vitality of the Mughal empire.  
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