Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-20] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Fatehpur Sikri; Kitab-ul-Hind; Al-Biruni; François Bernier; Ibn Battuta’s account; The Virashaiva tradition in Karnataka; Khanqahs and silsilas; Amara-nayakas; Land Revenue System during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar; The Akbar Nama; The Badshah Nama;
By IASToppers
March 26, 2020

 

 

The first Jesuit mission reached the Mughal court at__________ in 1580. a) Fatehpur Sikri OR b) Delhi

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Answer: Fatehpur Sikri

Enrich Your Learning:

Tension and political rivalry in Mughal arising from competing regional interests:

The Safavids and Qandahar:

  • The political and diplomatic relations between the Mughal kings and the neighbouring countries of Iran and Turan hinged on the control of the frontier defined by the Hindukush mountains that separated Afghanistan from the regions of Iran and Central Asia.
  • All conquerors who sought to make their way into the Indian subcontinent had to cross the Hindukush to have access to north India.
  • A constant aim of Mughal policy was to ward off this potential danger by controlling strategic outposts – notably Kabul and Qandahar.
  • Qandahar was a bone of contention between the Safavids and the Mughals. The fortress-town had initially been in the possession of Humayun, reconquered in 1595 by Akbar.
  • While the Safavid court retained diplomatic relations with the Mughals, it continued to stake claims to Qandahar.
  • In 1613 Jahangir sent a diplomatic envoy to the court of Shah Abbas to plead the Mughal case for retaining Qandahar, but the mission failed.
  • In the winter of 1622, a Persian army besieged Qandahar. The ill-prepared Mughal garrison was defeated and had to surrender the fortress and the city to the Safavids.

The Ottomans- pilgrimage and trade:

  • The relationship between the Mughals and the Ottomans was marked by the concern to ensure free movement for merchants and pilgrims in the territories under Ottoman control.
  • This was especially true for the Hijaz, that part of Ottoman Arabia where the important pilgrim centres of Mecca and Medina were located.
  • The Mughal emperor usually combined religion and commerce by exporting valuable merchandise to Aden and Mokha, both Red Sea ports, and distributing the proceeds of the sales in charity to the keepers of shrines and religious men there.
  • However, when Aurangzeb discovered cases of misappropriation of funds sent to Arabia, he favoured their distribution in India which, he thought, “was as much a house of God as Mecca”.

Jesuits at the Mughal court:

  • Europe received knowledge of India through the accounts of Jesuit missionaries, travellers, merchants and diplomats. The Jesuit accounts are the earliest impressions of the Mughal court ever recorded by European writers.
  • Following the discovery of a direct sea route to India at the end of the fifteenth century, Portuguese merchants established a network of trading stations in coastal cities.
  • The Portuguese king was also interested in the propagation of Christianity with the help of the missionaries of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).
  • The Christian missions to India during the sixteenth century were part of this process of trade and empire building.
  • Akbar was curious about Christianity and dispatched an embassy to Goa to invite Jesuit priests.
  • The Jesuits spoke to Akbar about Christianity and debated its virtues with the ulama. Two more missions were sent to the Mughal court at Lahore, in 1591 and 1595.
  • The Jesuit accounts are based on personal observation and shed light on the character and mind of the emperor. At public assemblies the Jesuits were assigned places in close proximity to Akbar’s throne.
  • They accompanied him on his campaigns, tutored his children, and were often companions of his leisure hours.
  • The Jesuit accounts corroborate the information given in Persian chronicles about state officials and the general conditions of life in Mughal times.

 

 

Who wrote the Akbar Nama and the Badshah Nama?

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Answer:

Abul Fazal wrote the Akbar Nama and Abdul Hamid Lahori wrote the Badshah Nama.

Enrich Your Learning:

The Akbar Nama:

  • Beginning in 1589, Abu’l Fazl worked on the‘Akbar Nama’ for thirteen years. The Akbar Nama is divided into three books:
  • The first book dealt with Akbar’s ancestors.
  • The second recorded the events of Akbar’s reign.
  • The third is the Ain-i Akbari.It deals with Akbar’s administration, household, army, the revenues and geography of his empire.
  • In the early twentieth century, the Akbar Nama was translated into English by Henry Beveridge.

The Badshah Nama:

  • It is a genre of works written as the official history of the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan’s reign.
  • These works are among the major sources of information about Shah Jahan’s reign.
  • Lavishly illustrated copies were produced in the imperial workshops, with many Mughal miniatures.
  • Although military campaigns are given the most prominence, the illustrations and paintings in the manuscripts of these works illuminate life in the imperial court, depicting weddings and other activities.
  • The most significant work of this genre was written by Abdul Hamid Lahori, the pupil of Akbar’s biographer Abdul Fazal, in two volumes.

 

 

Define the term Polaj during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar.

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Answer:

Polaj is land which is annually cultivated for each crop in succession and is never allowed to lie fallow.

Enrich Your Learning:

Land Revenue System:

  • Revenue from the land was the economic mainstay of the Mughal Empire.
  • It was therefore vital for the state to create an administrative apparatus to ensure control over agricultural production, and to fix and collect revenue from across the length and breadth of the rapidly expanding empire.
  • This apparatus included the office (daftar) of the diwan who was responsible for supervising the fiscal system of the empire. Thus, revenue officials and record keepers penetrated the agricultural domain and became a decisive agent in shaping agrarian relations.
  • The Mughal state tried to first acquire specific information about the extent of the agricultural lands in the empire and what these lands produced before fixing the burden of taxes on people.
  • The land revenue arrangements consisted of two stages – first, assessment and then actual collection. The jama was the amount assessed, as opposed to hasil, the amount collected.
  • In his list of duties of the amil-guzar or revenue collector, Akbar decreed that while he should strive to make cultivators pay in cash, the option of payment in kind was also to be kept open.
  • While fixing revenue, the attempt of the state was to maximise its claims. Both cultivated and cultivable lands were measured in each province.
  • The Ain compiled the aggregates of such lands during Akbar’s rule. Efforts to measure lands continued under subsequent emperors.

Classification of lands under Akbar:

The following is a listing of criteria of classification excerpted from the Ain:

  • The Emperor Akbar in his profound sagacity classified the lands and fixed a different revenue to be paid by each.
  • Parauti is land left out of cultivation for a time that it may recover its strength.
  • Chachar is land that has lain fallow for three or four years.
  • Banjar is land uncultivated for five years and more.
  • Of the first two kinds of land, there are three classes, good, middling, and bad.
  • They add together the produce of each sort, and the third of this represents the medium produce, one-third part of which is exacted as the Royal dues.

 

 

The amara-nayakas were military commanders who were given territories to govern in which Empire?a) Maratha Empire OR b) Vijayanagar Empire

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Answer:

Vijayanagar Empire

Enrich Your Learning:

Amaranayakas in the Vijaynagar Kingdom:

  • The amara-nayaka system was a major political innovation of the Vijayanagar Empire.
  • It is likely that many features of this system were derived from the Iqta system of the Delhi Sultanate.
  • They were military commanders who were given territories to govern by the raya.
  • They collected taxes and other dues from peasants, craftspersons and traders in the area.
  • They retained a part of the revenue for personal use and for maintaining a stipulated contingent of horses and elephants.
  • These contingents provided the Vijayanagar kings with an effective fighting force with which they brought the entire southern peninsula under their control.
  • Some of the revenue was also used for the maintenance of temples and irrigation works.
  • The amara-nayakas sent tribute to the kings annually and personally appeared in the royal court with gifts to express their loyalty.
  • Kings occasionally asserted their control over them by transferring them from one place to another.

 

 

In terms of Sufism, Shaikh/Pir/murshid established rules for spiritual conduct and interaction between inmates as well as between laypersons and the master. True OR False.

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Answer: True.

Enrich Your Learning:

The Growth of Sufism:

  • In the early centuries of Islam, a group of religious minded people called sufis turned to asceticism and mysticism in protest against the growing materialism of the Caliphate as a religious and political institution.
  • They were critical of the dogmatic definitions and scholastic methods of interpreting the Qur’an and sunna (traditions of the Prophet) adopted by theologians.
  • They laid emphasis on seeking salvation through intense devotion and love for God by following His commands, and by following the example of the Prophet Muhammad whom they regarded as a perfect human being.
  • The sufis thus sought an interpretation of the Qur’an on the basis of their personal experience.

Khanqahs and silsilas:

  • By the eleventh century Sufism evolved into a well-developed movement with a body of literature on Quranic studies and sufi practices.
  • The sufis began to organise communities around the hospice or khanqah (Persian) controlled by a teaching master known as shaikh (in Arabic), pir or murshid (in Persian).
  • He enrolled disciples (murids) and appointed a successor (khalifa). He established rules for spiritual conduct and interaction between inmates as well as between laypersons and the master. Sufi silsilas began to crystallise in different parts of the Islamic world around the twelfth century.
  • The word silsila literally means a chain, signifying a continuous link between master and disciple, stretching as an unbroken spiritual genealogy to the Prophet Muhammad.
  • It was through this channel that spiritual power and blessings were transmitted to devotees. Special rituals of initiation were developed in which initiates took an oath of allegiance, wore a patched garment, and shaved their hair.
  • When the shaikh died, his tomb-shrine (dargah, a Persian term meaning court) became the centre of devotion for his followers.
  • This encouraged the practice of pilgrimage or ziyarat to his grave, particularly on his death anniversary or urs (or marriage, signifying the union of his soul with God).
  • This was because people believed that in death saints were united with God, and were thus closer to Him than when living.
  • People sought their blessings to attain material and spiritual benefits. Thus, evolved the cult of the shaikh revered as wali.

Outside the khanqah:

  • Some mystics-initiated movements based on a radical interpretation of sufi ideals. Many scorned the khanqah and took to mendicancy and observed celibacy.
  • They ignored rituals and observed extreme forms of asceticism. They were known by different names – Qalandars, Madaris, Malangs, Haidaris, etc. Because of their deliberate defiance of the shari‘a they were often referred to as be-shari‘a, in contrast to the ba-shari‘a sufis who complied with it.

 

 

The Virashaiva tradition is derived from vachanas (literally, sayings) composed in_________ language by women and men who joined the movement. a) Tamil OR b) Kannada

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Answer:

Kannada

Enrich Your Learning:

The Virashaiva tradition in Karnataka:

  • The twelfth century witnessed the emergence of a new movement in Karnataka, led by a Brahmana named Basavanna (1106-68) who was initially a Jaina and a minister in the court of a Chalukya king.
  • His followers were known as Virashaivas (heroes of Shiva) or Lingayats (wearers of the linga).
  • Lingayats continue to be an important community in the region to date. They worship Shiva in his manifestation as a linga, and men usually wear a small linga in a silver case on a loop strung over the left shoulder.
  • Those who are revered include the jangama or wandering monks. Lingayats believe that on death the devotee will be united with Shiva and will not return to this world. Therefore, they do not practise funerary rites such as cremation, prescribed in the Dharmashastras. Instead, they ceremonially bury their dead.
  • The Lingayats challenged the idea of caste and the “pollution” attributed to certain groups by Brahmanas. They also questioned the theory of rebirth. These won them followers amongst those who were marginalised within the Brahmanical social order.
  • The Lingayats also encouraged certain practices disapproved in the Dharmashastras, such as post-puberty marriage and the remarriage of widows.

 

 

The terms great and little traditions were coined by a which sociologist in the twentieth century to describe the cultural practices of peasant societies?

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Answer:

The terms great and little traditions were coined by a sociologist named Robert Redfield in the twentieth century to describe the cultural practices of peasant societies.

Enrich Your Learning:

“Great” and “little” traditions:

  • Robert Redfield found that peasants observed rituals and customs that emanated from dominant social categories, including priests and rulers. These he classified as part of a great tradition.
  • At the same time, peasants also followed local practices that did not necessarily correspond with those of the great tradition. These he included within the category of little tradition.
  • He also noticed that both great and little traditions changed over time, through a process of interaction.
  • While scholars accept the significance of these categories and processes, they are often uncomfortable with the hierarchy suggested by the terms great and little.
  • The use of quotation marks for “great” and “little” is one way of indicating this.

 

 

It appears from Ibn Battuta’s account that there was considerable differentiation among slaves during Fourteenth century in India. True OR False.

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Answer: True.

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Women Slaves, Sati and Labourers:

  • Travellers who left written accounts were generally men who sometimes took social inequities for granted as a “natural” state of affairs.
  • Slaves were generally used for domestic labour, and Ibn Battuta found their services particularly indispensable for carrying women and men on palanquins or dola.
  • The price of slaves, particularly female slaves required for domestic labour, was very low, and most families who could afford to do so kept at least one or two of them.
  • Contemporary European travellers and writers often highlighted the treatment of women as a crucial marker of difference between Western and Eastern societies.
  • Bernier chose the practice of sati for detailed description. He noted that while some women seemed to embrace death cheerfully, others were forced to die.
  • It seems unlikely that women were confined to the private spaces of their homes because their labour was crucial in both agricultural and non-agricultural production.

 

 

Francois Bernier was a French Traveller to the Mughal Empire in the reign of which Mughal Emperor?

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Answer:

Francois Bernier was a French Traveller to the Mughal Empire in the reign of fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

Enrich Your Learning:

François Bernier:

  • He was a physician by profession. He was attached to the court of Shah Jahan and was witness to the fierce war of succession among the sons of Shah Jahan.
  • His ‘History of the Late Rebellion in the States of the Great Mughal’, describing the war of succession, was published in 1670.
  • After the battle of Samugarh, Francois Bernier successively joined the services of Mirza Raja Jai Singh of Amber, the Portuguese of Goa and Sultan Abul Hassan Qutb Shah of Golconda.
  • He later moved to Madras, where he died in 1717. His book, Travels in the Mughal Empire, is one of the most valuable sources of the Mughal Empire.
  • Bernier often travelled with the army.
  • In virtually every instance Bernier described what he saw in India as a bleak situation in comparison to developments in Europe.
  • His book, Travels in the Mughal Empire, is one of the most valuable sources of the Mughal Empire.

 

 

Kitab-ul-Hind was written by which traveller in Arabic language?

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Answer:

Kitab-ul-Hind was written by Al-Biruni in Arabic language.

Enrich Your Learning:

Kitab-ul-Hind:

  • Kitab-ul-Hind was a voluminous text written in simple and lucid language, divided into 80 chapters on subjects such as religion and philosophy, festivals, astronomy, alchemy, manners and customs, social life, weights and measures, iconography, laws and metrology.
  • Generally (though not always), Al-Biruni adopted a distinctive structure in each chapter, which began with a question, following this up with a description based on Sanskritic traditions, and concluding with a comparison with other cultures.
  • Some present-day scholars have argued that this almost geometric structure, remarkable for its precision and predictability, owed much to his mathematical orientation.

Al-Biruni:

  • Al-Biruni was born in 973, in Khwarizm in present-day Uzbekistan. Khwarizm was an important centre of learning, and Al-Biruni received the best education available at the time.
  • He arrived as a hostage to Ghazni when Sultan Mahmud invaded Khwarizm in 1017. He gradually developed a liking for the city, where he spent the rest of his life until his death at the age of 70.
  • His works are probably intended for peoples living along the frontiers of the subcontinent. He was well versed in several languages: Syriac, Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Sanskrit.

He was also familiar with translations and adaptations of Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit texts into Arabic which ranged from fables to works on astronomy and medicine.

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Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020
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