the assignment of jagirs.
In a narrow sense, jagirdari crisis means crisis in the jagir system
resulting in the attempt of the nobles to confer the most profitable jagirs
for themselves. But in the broader sense it means a crisis in the economic
and social relations of medieval Mughal India, more specifically in the
agrarian relations and the administrative superstructure reared upon these
relations. The following were the causes for this crisis:
The nature of medieval India society, which limited agricultural growth,
and whose delicate balance was liable to be upset on a number of counts
such as serious struggle for power at the centre, disaffection in the
nobility, etc. was the main cause of this crisis.
Further, the breakdown of the Mughal administrative system, and the
weaknesses of the later Mughals also led to this crisis.
Another cause was the growth in the size and demands of the ruling class,
viz. the nobility and their dependents, both of whom subsisted on the
revenue resources of the empire. The number of mansabdars increased
from around 2000 in 1605 to almost 12,000 by 1675.
The expansion of the khalisa lands by both Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb in
order to meet the growing administrative expenses as also the cost of the
wars which were a continuous feature of Aurangzeb’s reign also initiated
Finally, opposition and revolts of the zamindars and the peasants against
the illegal exactions of the nobles aggravated this crisis.
Theory of Kingship Abul Fazl introduced a new dimension to the Mughal
theory of kingship. To him, the institution of kingship, rather than the
individual who held the office, was endowed with farri-izadi (divine
effulgence). His padshah or shahanshah (king of kings) was a unique
personality and was the viceregent of God on earth. Another important