NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 9: Kings and Chronicles

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Chapter9. Kings and Chronicles The Mughal Courts
TextbookThemes in Indian History-II
CategoryNCERT Solutions for Class 12

It is important to use NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History as they can give students a clear understanding of the syllabus. Class 12 History has fifteen chapters, and our NCERT Solutions are a detailed guide that covers each of them. It provides step-by-step solutions to all the questions in the textbook. On this page, we have provided you with complete Solution of Chapter 9 – Kings and Chronicles.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 9

Kings and Chronicles Solutions

Q1) Describe the process of manuscript production in the Mughal court.

Answer) Process of manuscript production in the Mughal court included the following:

  • Paper-maker’s responsibility was to prepare the folios of the manuscript.
  • Skill writer, i.e. scribes or calligrapher copied the texts.
  • Guilders, illuminated the pages of the manuscript.
  • Miniature painter illustrated the scene from the text.
  • The book binders gathered the folio and gave it to the original shape of a book.

Q2) In what ways would the daily routine and special festivities associated with the Mughal court have conveyed a sense of the power of the emperor?

Answer) The daily routine and special festivities associated with the Mughal court observed the following:

  • By representing the status of the court.
  • In form of salutation of emperor.
  • Jharokha Darshan.
  • Meeting held by sultan in Diwan-i-Am and Diwan-i-Khas.
  • By honouring the mansabdar on special occasion with special gifts and jagir.

Q3) Assess the role played by women of the imperial household in the Mughal Empire.

Answer) The role played by women of the imperial household was significant: The role played by women of the imperial household was significant:

  • Nur Jahan took an important part in the administration during the period of Jahangir.
  • After Nur Jahan, Mughal queens and princesses began to control significant financial resources. Shah Jahan’s daughters Jahanara and Roshanara enjoyed an annual income often equal to that of high imperial mansabdars. Jahanara, in addition, received revenues from the port city of Surat, which was a lucrative centre of overseas trade.
  • The princess Jahanara played an important role in the arrangement of marriage of Dara Shukoh and Nadira.
  • Control over resources enabled women to commission buildings and gardens. Jahanara participated in many architectural projects of Shah Jahan’s new capital, Shahjahanabad (Delhi) which included an imposing double-storeyed caravanserai with a courtyard and garden. The bazaar of Chandni Chowk was too designed by Jahanara.
  • Besides taking part in different activities, some women such as Gulbadan Begum, daughter of Babur, wrote the Humayun Nama. She was Akbar’s aunt and when Akbar commissioned Abu’l Fazl to write history of his reign, he requested her to record her memoirs of earlier times under Babur and Humayun. She described the conflicts and tensions among the princes and kings and the important mediating role elderly women of the family played in resolving some of these conflicts.

Q4) What were the concerns that shaped Mughal policies and attitudes towards regions outside the subcontinent?

Answer) The following concerns shaped Mughal policies and attitudes towards regions outside the subcontinent:

  1. The Safavids and Qandahar: Qandahar was a bone of contention between the Safavids and the Mughals due to its strategic importance because all conquerors who sought to make their way into the Indian subcontinent had to cross the Hindukush to have access to north India. It was, therefore, a constant aim of Mughal policy to ward off this potential danger by controlling strategic outposts — notably Qandahar and Kabul. It was under these circumstances that the Mughals tried to have control over Qandahar. It was under the possession of Humayun but later the Mughals lost control of it. Akbar reconquered it in 1595. The Safavids, however, maintained diplomatic relations with the Mughals, but they always continued to stake claims to Qandahar. In 1622, the Persian army besieged Qandahar and defeated the Mughals. The city once again came under the control of the Safavids. Thus, due to its strategic importance Qandahar remained a bone of contention between the Mughals and the Safavids.
  2. The Ottomans: Pilgrimage and trade: The relationship between the Mughals and the Ottomans was to ensure free movement for merchants and pilgrims in the territories under Ottoman control, particularly in Hijaz (Ottoman Arabia) where the important centres of Mecca and Madina were located.
    The Mughal emperors combined religion and commerce by exporting valuable merchandise to Aden and Mokha, both Red Sea ports. They distributed the proceeds of the sales in charity to the keepers of shrines and religious men there.

Q5) Discuss the major features of Mughal provincial administration. How did the centre control the provinces?

Answer) The Mughal provincial administration was like the central administration as mentioned below:

  • There were diwan, bakhshi and sadr corresponding the central ministers – Diwan-i ala, mir-bakshi and sadr-us sudur.
  • The head of the provincial administration was the governor (subadar) who directly reported to the emperor.
  • A suba was divided into sarkars.
  • Faujdars were deployed with contingents of heavy cavalry and musketeers in districts.
  • At the local level were parganas which were looked after by the qanungo (keeper of revenue records), the chaudhuri (in charge of revenue collection) and the qazi.
  • There was clerks, accountants, auditors, messengers and other functionaries who were technically qualified officials. They functioned with standardised rules and procedures.
  • Persian was the language of the administration but local languages were used for village accounts.

The Mughal emperor and his court controlled the entire administrative apparatus down to the village level. However, the relationship between local landed magnates, the zamindars, and the representatives of the Mughal emperor was sometimes marked by conflicts over authority and a share of the resources. Moreover, after the death of Aurangzeb the provincial governors became powerful and this led to the downfall of the Mughal Empire.

Q6) Discuss, with examples, the distinctive features of Mughal chronicles.

Answer) The distinctive features of Mughal chronicles were as given below:

  • They projected a vision of enlightened kingdom to all those who were under it and conveyed a message to the resistors that they could not be successful in their objects.
  • The chronicles were commissioned by the Mughal rulers to ensure that there was an account of their rule for posterity.
  • The chronicles were written by the courtiers who focused on events centred on the ruler, his family, the court and nobles, wars and administrative arrangements because for them the history of the empire and the court was synonymous with that of the emperor. Their titles were therefore, after the name of emperors such as Akbar Naina, Shahjahan Nama and Alamgir Nama.
  • Mughal chronicles were written in Persian e.g., Akbar Nama. Babur’s memoirs was translated from the Turkish into Persian Babur Nama.
  • The chronicles were manuscripts and included paintings to enhance their beauty.
  • Chronicles showed the power of the Mughal kings came directly from God. The emperors were portrayed wearing the halo to symbolise the light of God.
  • Mughal chronicles presented the empire as compromising many different ethnic and religious communities. Abu’l Fazl described the ideal of sulh-ikul as the comer stone of enlightened rule.

Q7) To what extent do you think the visual material presented in this chapter corresponds with Abu’l Fazl’s description of the taswir (Source 1)?

Answer) Abu’l Fazl held the art of painting in high esteem. Drawing the likeness of anything was called taswir. Many paintings were masterpieces which could be compared with wonderful works of the European painters. The minuteness in detail, the general finish and the boldnesss of execution observed in pictures were incomparable. Such was the observation of Abu’l Fazl about the taswir. The visual material presented in this corresponds to the above description to a great extent in the followings ways:

  • In the picture, ‘A Mughal Kitabkhana’, every work relating to the preparation of the manuscript has been shown minutely.
  • In another painting by Abu’l Hasan, Jahangir has been shown dressed in resplendent clothes and jewels, holding up a portrait of his father Akbar. The emperors have been portrayed wearing halo.
  • In another painting by the artist Prayag, Jahangir is presenting Prince Khurram with a turban jewel. It is a scene from the Badshah Nama. The artist has also used the motif of the lion and the cow peacefully nestling next to each other to signify a realm where both the strong and the weak could exist in harmony. It has been placed in a niche directly below the emperor’s throne.

The above and other paintings — Jahangir shooting the figure of poverty (Abu’l Hasan), Shah Jahan honouring Prince Aurangzeb at Agra before his wedding (Payag), Dara Shukoh’s wedding — meet the above description of Abu’l Fazl.

Q8) What were the distinctive features of the Mughal nobility? How was their relationship with the emperor shaped?

Answer) The distinctive features of the Mughal nobility were as given below

  • The nobility was recruited from diverse ethnic and religious groups. No faction was large enough to challenge the authority of the state.
  • There were Turani, Iranian, Rajputs, and Indian Muslims (Shaikhzadas).
  • Nur Jahan was an Iranian and so Iranians gained high offices under Jahangir.
  • Aurangzeb appointed Rajputs to high offices.
  • All holders of government offices held mansabs comprising two numerical designations zat and sawar.
  • The nobles participated in military campaigns with their armies. They also served as officers of the empire in the provinces.
  • Akbar established spiritual relationships with a select band of his nobility by treating them as his disciples (murid).
  • Nobles stationed at the court were a reserve force to be deputed to a province or military campaign.

Their relationships with the emperor were shaped in different ways:

  • As the nobility was recruited from diverse ethnic and religious groups, no faction was strong enough to challenge the authority of the state.
  • The emperor personally reviewed their rank, titles and postings.
  • Akbar maintained spiritual relationship with some nobles and treated them as the disciples.
  • The influence of different groups of nobility changed from time to time. For example, Iranians were influential in the time of Jahangir but Rajputs and Marathas became influential dining the time of Aurangzeb.
  • The emperor used to award them with office or titles to maintain their loyality towards
  • him.
  • According to the Jesuit priest Father Antonio Monserrate, resident at the court of Akbar, in order to prevent the great nobles becoming insolent through the unchallenged enjoyment of power, the emperor used to summon them to court and give them imperious commands, as though they were his slaves.

Q9) Identify the elements that went into the making of the Mughal ideal of kingship.

Answer) The following elements went into the making of the Mughal ideal of kingship

  • Divine light – Court chronicles considered that the power of the Mughal kings came directly from God. Abu’l Fazl placed Mughal kingship as the highest station in the hierarchy of objects receiving light emanating from God. King was the source of spiritual guidance for his subjects. Thus, Mughal artists portrayed emperors wearing the halo to symbolise the light of God.
  • A unifying force – The emperor was source of peace and stability. He stood above all religious and ethnic groups, mediated among them, and ensured that justice and peace prevailed. Abu’l Fazl describes the ideals of sulh-i kul as the comer stone of enlightened rule. Under the sulh-i kul, the nobility of the Mughals consisted of Iranis, Turanis, Afghans, Rajputs and Deccanis — all of whom were given positions on the basis of their merits and loyalty to the king. Akbar abolished pilgrimage tax in 1563 and Jizya in 1564.
  • Just sovereignty as social contract – Under Mughal ideal of kingship, Abu’l Fazl defined sovereignty as a social contract. The emperor protected the life (jan), property (mal), honour (namus) and faith (din) of his subjects and in return demanded their obedience and a share of resources.

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