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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Mughal Emperor Akbar - 1,051 words

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... rom Arabic, Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin into Persian. Some of the topics included literature, history, botany, theology and Indian epics, notably Mahabharate and Ramayana, which promoted Hindu learning. Akbar was a great patron of literary works and scholars. His court had numerous scholars of the day who are well known as Nauratan. Persian language became the polite language of all India and Persian manners set the standard for the whole subcontinent.

"In the world of diplomacy and fashion, it was in India what French was in Europe." Aided by Hindu artists, Akbar developed Persian painting, to form the characteristic Mughal school of painting. Akbar was interested in architecture and during his reign, many buildings were constructed. Islamic and Hindu architecture varies in many ways, but Akbar's persistence in fusing the two religions resulted in the creation of the magnificent and individual Mughal architectural styled. Although Persian influence had existed even prior to the Mughals, it was not until the 16th Century that it reached its greatness in structural forms and art. "One great continuous cultural movement was able to merge harmoniously two great and very different cultural traditions." Akbar faced many barriers and complication in his attempt to create a national identity for India. Akbar's religious experimentation began to have threatening consequences. It incited a backlash among an insecure Muslim elite, which eventually helped Akbar's great-grandson, Awrangzeb, to rise to power.

Even before he had promulgated his new faith, he had caused grave offence to many Muslims. Not only were the Muslims offended but also they believed that their faith was in danger. They viewed his actions as an assault on Islam. Many deemed Akbar and his ministers with repugnance because of their unorthodox views. Consequently, the Orthodox Muslims found a figurehead in Akbar's younger brother, Muhummad Hakim, causing a rebellion in 1580. The Din-i-Ilahi religious cult established by him in 1582 never caught on among the Hindus and Muslims outside of his court. It did not succeed because it was far too complicating for the ordinary people to comprehend. It also led to a political crisis. Akbar's religious ideas outraged the right wing of the Orthodox party of the Muslims whose criticism was led by an Orthodox Sunni, Shaikh Ahmad Sardini.

He was exceptionally fond of Mohammad's principle that "anything new which is introduced in my religion is condemnable." Although the Shaikh did not have much effect on Akbar, Shaikh's son and grandson carried on his cause and managed to gradually nearer to the side of the throne. In his new faith, Akbar audaciously proclaimed his own infallibility, deeply disturbing the Ulema, who regarded this as outright heresy. The political consequence of this was "the loss of Muslim hegemony and elevation of Hindus to equal status." Although Akbar managed to propagate many laws, which benefited the integration of the people, he was unable to go beyond this point. The reason is because "the identification of Muslim orthodoxy and Muslim political power was too close and too real, and they would stand or fall together." Akbar's numerous administrative systems to remove opportunities of collectors from oppressing their tenants and from defrauding, the state was not always successful. Abul Fazl confirms the above, as does the Akbarnamah, written by Todar Mal who catalogues in detail the excessive demands, fraudulent accounting entries, and defalcations. Todar Mal system was fairer to the peasants "despite the complications which in the end let in the abuses it was designed to prevent" Obstacles to Akbar's reforms, like that of his minister Muzaffar Khan, who intentionally neglected his orders because he was not in favour of them, caused many setbacks. Akbar faced problems with his son and future emperor, Janangir, who during the absence of his father proclaimed himself king and turned rebellious.

The last four years of Akbar's life were consumed in crushing janangir's rebellion. Akbar's sons were not worthy to inherit the empire he had worked to unite. His sons became alcoholics, and although Janangir continued Akbar's policy of toleration in the next reign, "it made no effective headway on its own account". During Akbar's reign, "there were signs of a backlash, which by the end of the century would leave the relationship between communities worse than Akbar had found it." Many of Akbar's emotional integration policies were difficult to enforce because they interfered with religious beliefs and customs. For example, Akbar would no doubt do away with the brutal custom of sati, but he was careful not to offend Hindu sentiment. Akbar's literary synthesis between Islam and Hinduism proved to be a failure; the obstacle being that Persian influences were prevalent in India even before the advent of the Mughals; but it was distinctively Persian, rather than Arab-Muslim influence. The greatest architectural, religious and political expression of the Persian soul, ironically unfolded in India, and not in Persia. Sadly, Akbar's life work of creating a national identity for India was eventually destroyed by the fanatic Emperor Aurangzeb who managed to undo Akbar's achievements.Akbar's achievements have had a huge impact in Indian history.

His unlimited efforts to create a national identity for India through his evolution of religious, cultural and social outlook during his reign hold a certain prominence in history. His policies managed to a certain degree, diffuse the hostility between the Muslims and Hindus. His administrative system revived the imperial concept, which was admired for its efficiency and for its capability of projecting an ideal of unity. But Akbar's work was faced with many obstacles during and after his reign. His works were eventually completely destroyed by his great-grandson, Emperor Aurangzeb . - 2000 words - Assessment 84% - Has never been submitted anywhere except to the university for assessment.BIBLIOGRAPHYSECONDARY SOURCESAllan J. & Dodwell H.H., The Cambridge Shorter History of India,London, Cambridge University Press, 1934.De Riencourt, Amaury., The Soul of India,Revised edn., Great Britain,Honeyglen Publishing, 1986.Lamb, Beatrice Pitney., India: A World in Transition,New York, Frederick A.

Praeger, 1963.Ratman, T., Report on India,London, Oxford University Press, 1943.Rawlinson, H.G., India: A Short Cultural History,New York, Frederick A. Praeger, 1952.Thapar, Romila., A History of India, vol. 1,London, Penguin Books, 1990.Watson, Francis., A Concise History of India,Great Britain, Thames and Hudson, 1974.accessed 5 August, 2004.accessed 5 August, 2004. accessed 4 August, 2004. accessed 5 August, 2004.accessed 4 August, 2004.accessed 2 August, 2004. accessed 27 July, 2004accessed 25 July, 2004. accessed 25 July, 2004.accessed 28 July, 2004.accessed 2 August, 2004.

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