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The Later Mughals (1707-1803).-By WILLIAM IRVINE, Bengal Civil
· Service. (Retired). .
In continuation of the articles in Part I of the Journal for 1896, Vol. LXV, pp. 136-212, and 1898, Vol. LXV.II, pp. 141-66.
Table of Contents.
(March 1713-April 1714).
1713–July 1714). 16. Renewal of quarrel with the Sayyads (September
December 1714). 17. Farrukhsiyar's marriage to Ajit Singh's daughter
(May-December, 1715). 18. Fight between the retainers of, Muhammad Amin
Khan and Khan Dayrān (April 21st, 1716).
THE STATE OF PARTIES AT COURT.
The names, Mughal, Turāni, and Irāni, appear so frequently in our narrative, and so much turns upon the relation to each other of the various groups into which the army and officials were divided, that a few words of explanation will be necessary for a clear understanding of what follows. Ever since the Mahomedan conquest of India, adver. turers from the countries to the west and north-west flocked into it as to a Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. The establish ment of a dynasty, of which the founder, Bābar, was a native of Trang, Oxiana, gave a further stimulus to this exodus into India, where fighting men from the fatherland of the imperial house were always welcome. They formed the backbone of the army of occupation. Their
J. 1. 5
numbers were increased still further during the twenty-five years or more, from 1680 to 1707, during which 'Alamgir waged incessant war in the Dakhin, first with the local Mahomedan states and then with the Mahrattahs.
These foreigners, at least the greater number of them, were either Afghāns or Mughals; if the latter, they were known as either Turāni or Irāni Maghals. In using this term Mughal, I vouch in no way for its accurate application, ethnographically or otherwise. It must be under stood to be an unquestioning acceptance of the term as employed by Indian writers of the period. Every man from beyond the Oxus or from any of the provinces of the Persian kingdom was to them a Mughal. If his home was in Turān, north of the Oxus, he was a Turāni; if south of it, in the region of Irān, he was an Irāni Mughhal. The Torānis were of the Sunni sect, the prevalent belief of Mahomedan India, and came from the old home of the reigning dynasty. For these reasons, they were highly favoured by the Indian emperors, and owing to their great numbers and the ability, military and civil, of their leaders, formed a very powerful body both in the army and the state generally. The Irānis were Shi'ās and were not so numerous as the Turānis; yet they included among them men of good birth and great ability, who attained to the highest positions, many of the chief posts in the State having been filled by them. Shirāz, in the Persian province of Färs, furnished much the largest number of these Persians; most of the best physicians, poets, and men learned in the law came from that town. Owing to the difference of religion, principally, there was a strong feeling of animosity, ever ready to spring into active operation, between the Turānis and the Irānis; but as against the Hindūstānis the two-sections were always ready to combine.
Men from the region between the Indus on the east, and Kabul and Qandahār on the west, were called Afghāns. Those from the nearer hills, south-west of Peshāwar, are sometimes distinguished by the epithet Rohelah, or Hill-man. But Indian writers of the eighteenth century never use the word Pathān, nor in their writings is there anything to bear out the theory that the Afghān and the Pathān are two different races. The part of the Afghān country. lying nearest the Indus furnished the majority of the Afghān soldiers who resorted to India; and, as might be expected from their comparative nearness to India, they probably outnumbered the Mughals. In any case, they seem to have hand.a. talent for forming permanent settlements in India, which neither the Mughal nor the Persian has displayed. All over Northern India, Pathān villages are numerous to this day. As instances, Qasûr near
| H. W. Bellew, Inquiry (1891); p. 206,
Lāhor, numerous villages between Dihli and Ambālah, the town of Jalālābād, the city of Farrukhābād, and other places in the JamnahGanges Dūābah, also many villages and towns in Rohilkhand, come to mind at once. But the Afghāns, in spite of their numbers and their hold on the land, hardly played any part in the political history of the day until 'Ali Muhammad Khān, Dāūdzai, established himself as a ruler in Bareli and Anwalah, and Muhammad Khan, Bangash did the same in Farrukhābād. But, after the fifteen years' rule of Sher Shāh and his successors (1540–1555), the Afghāns were much prized as valiant soldiers. Their weakness was too great love of money, and too great a readiness to desert one employer for another, if he made a higher bid. They were too rough and illiterate to obtain much distinction in civil life. It is said that during Shāhjahān's reign (1627–1658), Afghāns were discouraged and employed as seldom as possible. It was not until ‘Alamgir began his campaign in the Dakhin (1681-1707) that they again found favour; those nobles who had Afghan soldiers receiving the most con, sideration,
Other foreigners, serving in small numbers in the Mughal service, were the Arabs, Habshis, Rūmis, and Farangis. As soldiers these men were found almost entirely in the artillery. Arabs were, of course, from Arabia itself; Habshis came from Africa, mostly negroes; Rūmis were Mahomedans from Constantinople or elsewhere in the Turkish empire; Farangi, that is Frank, was the name of any European. Eunuchs were generally of Habshi race, and the chief police officer of Dihli was frequently a Habshi. There were some Frank, or Farangi, physicians; one of the name of Martin, or Martin Khān, probably a Frenchman, died at Dihli about the middle of the eighteenth century, after living there for many years.
In opposition to the Mughal or foreigo, was the home-born or Hindūstāni party. It was made up of Mahomedans born in India, many
of them descended in the second or third generation from foreign immigrants. Men like the Sayyads of Barhah, for instance, whose ancestors had settled in India many generations before, came, of course, under the description of Hindūstāni or Hindustan-zā (Indian-born). To this class also belonged all the Rājpāt and Jāt chiefs, and other powerful Hindū landowners. Naturally, too, the very- numerous and in. dustrious body of Hindūs, who filled all the subordinate offices of a civil nature, attached themselves to the same side. Panjāb Khatris were very numerous in this official class ; - nost of the rest were Āgarwal
1 Bhim Sen, 1736.
* Habsh is the name for Abyssiuia, but the name Habshi was used in a more general sense for all Africans,