IV (3). Centrally directed economic systems

 3. Akbarnama

There was also some kind of central direction during the Moghul rule (1526-1707)

ABUL FAZL, the prime minister of emperor Akbar, propounds a theory of monarchy approved by the emperor in the form of “AKBARNAMA” In this text he has given the classical achievements of Emperor Akbar.

Akbarnama states “If royalty did not exist, the storm of strife would never subside, nor selfish ambition disappear ” .- ” A king is therefore the origin of stability and possession.” “Kingship is a gift of God”. From such statements one gets a picture of Akbar ;as an enlightened monarch who set the state power in the direction of economic change.

Emperor Akbar used the government resources for the welfare and happiness of all his subjects without any religious discrimination.

He undertook the construction of public buildings forts, schools, places of worship, gardens, roads, tanks, canals, wells etc.

In agriculture, Akbar encouraged cultivation and much of the waste land was reclaimed.

He abolished the intermediaries (Jagris) and fixed the land revenue to be paid in kind or cash (dam). The government dealt directly with the agriculturist.

In times of famines, droughts, advances were made to cultivators and public works were undertaken to provide relief to the poor people.

The state encouraged production in ‘Karkhanas’ (industries) where valuable kinds of stuffs were prepared

Abul Farl states that Akbar paid good deal of attention to various kinds of stuffs and employed skillful masters and workmen to teach people and improved the system of manufacture.

Imperial workshops of Lahore, Agra, Fatehpur and Ahmedabad turned out excellent work.

Cloth was privately manufactured e.g. shawls in Lahore, Carpets in Fatehpur Sikri and cotton cloth in Gujarat, Burhanpura and Dacca were famous for its delicate fabrics.

The finance ministers or the imperial” DIWAN” decided how the resources i.e. the crown land and the other land (given as jagirs to military officers) and labour of the nation should be allocated in between activities.

India has permitted the import of luxuries but merchants were forbidden to carry them out of the country.

However a considerable part of his empire remained under the rule of the existing hereditary chiefs and was not directly administered by the imperial government. But many of them had to supply military levies to the imperial army, pay annual tribute etc.

Therefore the economic arrangement as it existed then, do indicate that the state controlled and regulated economic life.

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