they were locally, with imperial places; and it
Imperial standardisation advanced further into regional and local societies
with the diffusion of Mughal titles, coinage, weights, measures, road names,
town names, property rights, taxes, government functions like post and
police, and criminal and civil law. Terminologies of governance produced a
vocabulary of political order that crossed boundaries among languages and
Mughal revenue came mainly from taxes on cultivated land that was duly
measured in standard units. Tax liabilities marked the relations between
officials and subjects. A person responsible for paying land tax was called a
zamindar. Though literally meaning “those who had land”, the zamindars
were essentially revenue intermediaries who stood between Mughal officials
and local communities, which allocated local tax obligations among
themselves. Below the ranks of zamindars, localism held sway.
Imperial standardisation started above the zamindar, in his pargana. In 1596,
a record of assets and assignments in Mughal territory were compiled in Abu
Fazl’s empirical work, the Ain-i-Akbari, which is the first ever standardised
compilation of data on administrative and economic conditions to cover
territory from Punjab to Malwa, Gujarat and Bengal.
Imperial wealth increased with the value of land and expanding cultivation
was an imperial project. The total area under cultivation in the Ganga basin
and Bengal expanded 60% from Akbar’s coronation to Aurangzeb’s death.
The most dramatic change occurred in eastern Bengal, where Mughal troops
cut down jungles to promote farming, and in 1666, one grant (sanad) gave
166 acres of jungle to support a single mosque.
Thus, Islam, like Hinduism in early medieval India, apparently suffused the
foundation of new agrarian societies in the cleared jungles of Mughal India.
Babur (1526–30)
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur was related to Timur from his father’s side
and to Chengiz Khan through his mother. The Mughals (descendants of
Mongols) preferred to call themselves        the Chaghatayids, after Chengiz’s