mughal policy towards marathas Thanks to Xios, Alan Haskayne, Lachlan Lindenmayer, Victor Yau, William Crabb, Derpvic, Seth Reeves and all my other Patrons. The coronation of Shivaji took place in such a manner that it sent out a message to all the non-Hindu rulers. Its ancient monuments are the backdrop for the world’s largest democracy. Securing Bijapur’s support to help defeat Shivaji, was the third alternative left to the Mughals. The Mughal Empire officially ruled in India from approximately 1526 until 1856. This administrative system, which consisted of a council of eight ministers, formed the base of the Maratha administration. Baji Rao I is said to have led the Maratha forces in more than 40 battles, winning most of them, including the ‘Battle of Palkhed’ (1728), ‘Battle of Delhi’ (1737), and ‘Battle of Bhopal’ (1737). Advocating a strong policy towards the Marathas inthe Deccan, he took them on, winning some and loosing others. serious setback to the prestige of the Empire.4. But instead, succession wars ensued among Mughal royalty, diverting their attentions from their external threats, whereby the Marathas were able to cross the Narmada river and successfully take a large amount of the Mughal territory. For long it has been held that the Mughal alliance with the Rajputs was determined by personal religious be­liefs of the individual rulers. Tarabai Bhosale – Tarabai served as the regent of the empire from 1700 to 1708. The Maratha Empire brought an end to the chaos that prevailed in the Deccan Plateau, as a result of the expansion and advent of the Mughal Empire into south India. In the 1650s, Shivaji became fed up with the religiously-based injustices in the Mughal Empire and began to rebel against it. The Saiyid brothers were the powerful duo of Saiyid Husain Ali Khan and Saiyid Hassan Ali Khan Barha. Raghoji then initiated a series of six expeditions into Bengal, during which he was able to annex Odisha into the Maratha Empire. In 1701, at the sieges of khelna, he did good service against the Marathas, and was rewarded by a rise in his mansab. They arranged for Farrukhsiyar’s death when he would not sign a peace treaty with the Marathas. But all of the three attempts failed. • He pursued a conciliatory policy towards Rajputs and Marathas. It will also point toward British colonisation as the final nail in the coffin for the Mughal empire. They thus began to expand outward to reclaim their traditional lands, including to the west to the Gaikwads, south to the Peshwas, north to the Scindias, and east to the Bhonsles. Aurangzeb’s policy towards the Deccan sultanates was guided by both imperialist interest and religious consideration. Due to the growing defiance that Shivaji was instilling in his followers, Aurangzeb became even stricter with taxes and policies against Muslims. Shivaji left his son Sambhaji in a strong position to continue developing the Empire, which he did. However, he lacked an official title to rule over the new land of the Marathas. Next, the Saiyids supported Muhammad Shah as emperor, who reigned for nearly 30 years from 1719 to 1748. His mom was also a Rajput princess. Image Credit : In an attempt to drive the Marathas out of North India, Durrani joined forces with Nawab of Oudh and the Rohillas, before challenging the Marathas for a battle. At its peak, the Maratha Empire extended from Peshawar in the north to Thanjavur in the south. The Deccan Wars started in 1680 with the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s invasion of the Maratha enclave in Bijapur established by Chatrapati Shivaji. As we journey through the  magnificent landscape and culture we stop to explore Darjeeling, which shares history with Bengal, Sikkim, and Nepal, as well as Tiger Hill, where we witness the changing colours of the sunrise in the Himalayan Range. Image Credit : Shivaji sued for the opportunity to negotiate his fate, so the Emperor paid for him to be transferred to and accommodated in Agra (Keay 2000, p. 353). They continued to fight among themselves as well as against the Mughals in the Deccan. But he was unsuccessful, and revolts from the Rajput and Sikh nobility arose for the proper authority to manage their lands. Finally, during the ‘Third Anglo-Maratha War,’ Peshwa Baji Rao II was defeated by the British, which marked the end of the Maratha rule. After the battle of Panipat, Madhav Rao I, the fourth Peshwa of the empire, began to resurrect the Maratha Empire. In 1677, Shivaji entered into a treaty with the ruler of the Golkonda sultanate, who agreed to Shivaji’s terms to oppose the Mughals unitedly. It was in the later part of Aurangzeb’s reign (1658-1707) until his death that power began to shift and the Mughal Empire began its downward trajectory. The Marathas were also determined to drive the Mughal rulers out of India as they wanted their country to be ruled by the Hindus. In 1720, Baji Rao I was appointed as the new Peshwa of the empire, after his father Balaji Vishwanath’s demise in April. Before reading on, if you would like a bit more background into the Making of the Mughal Empire and its earlier emperors, click here. Further still, human capital was a significant portion of the economy as states sold the use of their troops, domestically as well as in Europe (Keay 2000, p.376). Another prominent leader who was largely responsible in restoring the Maratha power was Mahadji Shinde. His Wazir Zulfiqar Khan possesses exceptional power. The Nature and Policies of Aurangzeb. Despite the policies established by the Saiyid brothers to reconcile all of the nobles in the remaining states and create a centralised administration, many nobles across the empire disobeyed them, primarily because they envied the seemingly limitless power that the Saiyids had, and wanted the same for themselves (Sunidhi). Therefore, he decided to continue the policy of conquest towards the Deccan. This signified the absolute end of the Mughal empire and the start of India as a British colony. • Sahu, the son of Shambhaji, who had been in Mughal captivity since the fall of Raigarh, was released, the jeziah imposed by Aurangazeb was withdrawn. The Marathas were also determined to drive the Mughal rulers out of India as they wanted their country to be ruled by the Hindus. Aurangzeb ruled the Mughal empire from 1658,when he forcibly ascended the throne by defeating his brother and imprisoning his father, until his death in 1707. Upon invading certain areas, for example Hyderabad, they established a ‘protection racket’ against the Mughal armies and revenue collectors (Keay 2000, p.357-9). • He acknowledged the independence of Mewar and Marwar. Aurangzeb was bent upon crushing the power of the Marathas. Aurangzeb’s Deccan policy can be divided into four phases Phase-I (1658-68) However, in 1689 Sambhaji was captured and executed by the Mughals on various charges, including rape and murder. The Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II made futile attempts to reverse the Mughal decline, and ultimately had to seek the protection of outside powers i.e. These two states were not only Shia states but also supportive to the Marathas by providing employment and even military training. Also, Shivaji’s conflicts with the Mughals, which started from the year 1657, served as one of the primary reasons for the hatred towards the Mughals. Despite having given up hope of winning the wars, Aurangzeb prolonged them for many years, then later planned his retreat. In order to manage the empire more effectively, he gave semi-autonomy to selected knights, who took charge of various semi-autonomous Maratha states. Shivaji had maintained a secular administration, which allowed the practice of any religion, as per the choice of an individual. After the death of Aurangzeb, Marathas defeated the Mughals in Delhi and Bhopal, and extended their empire till Peshawar by 1758. Causes of decline of Mughal Empire Beginning of the decline of the Mughal Empire can be traced to the strong rule of Aurangzeb. The Maratha Empire formally began with the rise of Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1674. Both had large armies of men that would in the 30-year war continue to establish and re-establish dominance in the area. But, there had arisen a new power in the Deccan by that time. The Imperial attention was focused elsewhere: Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor, was drawn toward the Deccan due to the Mughal–Maratha Wars (1680-1707), and the Subah of Bengal was busy with its dispute with the East India Company. Despite constant threat from the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the Sambhaji-led Maratha forces never lost a battle to the forces led by Aurangzeb for eight consecutive years. Making Raigad as the capital, Shivaji acted almost immediately after his coronation by raiding Khandesh on October 1674. The first was in 1719, when Balaji Vishwanath signed the famous treaty with Farukh Siyar. Keeping in mind the hilly nature of their territory, the Marathas chose light cavalry over heavy cavalry, which proved advantageous during their battles against the Mughals. But the bolder he became, the more attention he drew from the Emperor. Hence, with an aim of establishing and expanding a Hindu state in the subcontinent, Shivaji was declared the ruler of the Maratha kingdom on June 6, 1674. By 1760, the Maratha Empire had reached its peak with a territory of more than 2.5 million square km acres. After Baji Rao’s demise in April 1740, Shahu appointed Baji Rao’s 19 year old son Balaji Baji Rao as the new Peshwa. The eight ministers were ‘Peshwa’ (Prime Minister), ‘Amatya’ (Finance Minister), ‘Sachiv’ (Secretary), ‘Mantri’ (Interior Minister), ‘Senapati’ (Commander-in-Chief), ‘Sumant’ (Foreign Minister), ‘Nyayadhyaksh’ (Chief Justice), and ‘Panditrao’ (High Priest). When he became the Mughal emperor, for the first twenty five years, he concentrated on the northwest frontier. However, their influence was paramount to Mughal history and the end of the Mughal-Maratha wars. Bahadur Shah I began attempts to unify the empire contrary to Aurangzeb’s decentralised system. Initially deriving from the western Deccan, the Marathas were a peasant warrior group that rose to prominence during the … They have also been nicknamed the ‘kingmakers’ because of their impressive influence over deciding who would ascend the throne. During the ‘Second Anglo-Maratha War,’ which took place from 1803 to 1805, the British forces led by Arthur Wellesley defeated the Marathas, which gave rise to a number of treaties in favor of the British. Zulfiqar revised the policy of Aurangzeb and maintained friendly relations with Marathas and Rajputs. The two were elite political actors in the Mughal empire. Later, his son Humayun had great clashes with the Suri king, Sher Shah Suri. At the time of his coronation, Shivaji had 4.1 percent of the subcontinent to rule and hence focused on expanding his territory right from the outset. The emperor’s policy toward the Marathas was also that of halfhearted conciliation. As days passed by, Shahu became more of a puppet at the hands of his Prime Minister Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, who took major decisions for the betterment of the empire. In the same year, Shivaji invaded Karnataka and marched further southwards to seize the forts of Gingee and Vellore. Jahangir was the son of Akbar, like his father, Jahangir was an imperialist. Bahadur Shah was, however, successful in conciliating Chatrasal, the Bundela chief, and Churaman, He found that the States of Bijapur and Golcunda were a source of help to the Marathas who were employed in those states in large numbers. After Shivaji’s demise, the Maratha Empire continued to flourish under his son Sambhaji. After defeating the Rohillas and the Jats, Shinde’s forces recaptured Delhi and Haryana, which brought the Marathas back into the picture in the north. His policy towards the Sikhs the Marathas the Jats and the Rajputs lossed their support. Aurangzeb never downplayed his religious beliefs in any area of administration and developed a poor reputation among the Hindu citizens across the empire, who made up the vast majority of the population, but still were placed at a disadvantaged because of it. Akbar also initiated a series of liberal policies such as the abolition of the Pilgrimage Tax and Jiziya between 1562 and 1564 in order to attract support from the Rajputs. His death, after a mere five years in power, sparked yet another expensive competition for the throne (Keay 2000, p.364). In a similar way to how Aurangzeb took to the throne, Bahadur Shah I defeated his brother on the same battle ground. This was particularly evident during the Anglo-French battles for control of the continent’s south. Shivaji – Apart from founding the empire, Shivaji was also responsible in turning the Maratha power into a prominent force. The Marathas used weapons like cannons, muskets, matchlocks, daggers, and spears among other weapons. At this time, the Mughal Empire was decentralised, meaning that many of the states and even towns were managed by their own nobles, who acted as a mediator with the Emperor, but rarely liaised with him. With each win over the Muslim oppressors, Shivaji grew more and more popular as a symbol for Hindu nationalists in their defiance of Muslim supremacy (Keay 2000, p.350). The process of conquering the South was slow but the Mughuls finally succeeded during the reign of Aurangzeb. While explaining their motive behind turning their back on the Marathas, Rajputs and the Jats cited Marathas’ arrogance and haughtiness as reasons for abandoning them at the cusp of an important battle. From this moment onwards, the already weakened Mughal Empire started fearing the Marathas. Siege of Bijapur which had been in decadence due to internal dissensions began in 1685 and Aurangzeb arrived there in person in 1686. ... And his attitude towards Marathas also varied. There is no doubt that the single most important power to emerge in the long twilight of the Mughal dynasty was the Maratha confederacy. Even when dignity and prestige were claimed to be more important than religion in the imperial courts (Keay 2000, p. 351), Aurangzeb heavily favoured Muslim as the administration’s dominant religion, and it was integral to the ‘state’s character, regardless of how the religion was interpreted or applied in a political sense’ (Pillalamarri 2016). The ensuing battle that took place on January 14, 1761 would later be called as the ‘Third Battle of Panipat.’ Before the battle, the Marathas had sought the help of the Rajputs and Jats in order to combat the joint forces of Durrani, Rohillas, and the Nawab of Oudh. He continued the legacy that his father and brother set, but after nearly two decades of fighting, spoke with Aurangzeb about a cease-fire. Jahandar Shah was another weak and ineffective ruler. nobles in the Mughal court. 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