140 THE MUGHAL DYNASTY. Akbar's Ministers. — Akbar's Hindu minister, Raja Todar Mall, conducted the revenue settlement, and his name is still a household word among the husbandmen of Bengal. Abul Fazl, the man of letters, and finance minister of Akbar, com- piled a statistical survey of the empire, together with many vivid pictures of his master's court and daily life, in the Ain-i-Akbart, which may be read with interest at the present day. Abul Fazl was killed in 1503, at the instigation of Prince Salfm, the heir to the throne. The fate of Abul Fazl was the disgrace of Akbar's old age. Jahangir, Emperor, 1605-1627. — Salfm, the favourite son of Akbar, succeeded his father in 1605, and ruled until 1627, under the title of Jahangir, or Conqueror of the World. His reign of twenty-two years was spent in reducing the rebellions of his sons, in exalting the influence of his wife, and in festive self-indulgence. He carried on long wars in Southern India or the Deccan, but he added little to his father's territories. India south of the Vindhyas still continued apart from the northern Empire of Delhi. Malik Ambar, the Abyssinian minister of Ahmadnagar, maintained, in spite of reverses, the independence of that kingdom. At the end of Jahangfr's reign, his own son, Prince Shah Jahan, was a rebel and a refugee in the Deccan, in alliance with Malik Ambar against the imperial troops. The Rajputs also began to reassert their independence. In 1614, Prince Shih Jahan, on behalf of his father the em- peror, defeated the Udaipur Raja. But the conquest was only partial and for a time. Meanwhile the Rajputs formed an im- portant contingent of the imperial armies, and 5000 of their cavalry aided Shih Jahan to put down a revolt in Kabul. The Afghan Province of Kandahar was wrested from Jahangfr by the Persians in 1621. The land tax of the Mughal Empire remained at 1 7^ millions under Jahangfr, but his total revenues are estimated at 50 millions sterling. Trie Empress Nur Jahan. — The principal figure in Jahangfr's reign is his empress, Nur Jahin, the ' Light of the World,' otherwise known as Nur MaMl, the 'Light of the Palace.' Born in great poverty, but of a noble Persian family, her beauty won the love of Jahangfr while they were both in
Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/144
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