Strictly speaking Akbar was not the originator of this system. Akbar introduced several changes in this system. This system was the pillar of the Mughal administration. By abolishing the jagirdari system, the mansabdari system was introduced.
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The term mansab literally means position, status or rank, but in context of the structure of the Mughal administration it indicated the rank of mansabdar- that is holder of mansab - in the official hierarchy. Here, we are giving complete information on how the mechanism of the Mansabdari System used in Mughal Administration. Then, it was first introduced by Babur in North India.
The Mansabdars were said to be the pillars of the Mughal administration; the entire nobility, in fact belonged to mansabs; among them one or the other held a mansab. Mansabdari system was nothing but a system of nobles or mansabdars under which a mansabdar or noble was granted the rights to hold a jaguar which meant revenue assignments not the land itself for services rendered by them, but the authority bestowed upon them was not unbridled but with the direct control of these nobles in the hands of the king.
Campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni in India: A Complete Overview Mechanism of Mansabdari System As above-mentioned mansabdars were paid either in cash naqd or in the form of assignments of areas of land jagir out of which they had the entitlement to collect the land revenue and all other taxes through an authority appointed by the emperor.
The revenue that was generated through their jagir was handed over to them and the same was deducted from their salary. Those who received pay in cash were known as naqdi and those paid through assignments of jagirs were called jagirdars. Thus the mansabdari system became an integral part of the agrarian and the jagirdari system of Mughal administration under Akbar. As institutional framework of mansabdari existed in both military organization and civil administration the mansabdars were transferred from the civil administration to the military department and vice versa.
List of the Great Mughal Emperors of India Structure of Mansadbdari System The mansab or rank was designated by dual representation - one by personal rank called zat and the other by cavalry rank called sawar.
To elaborate it further, a mansabdar was given rupees one thousand additional allowance if he had received the rank of five hundred sawars. Furthermore, the duties of a mansabdar were not in accordance with the mansab or position he held. For a mansabdar, higher rank did not necessarily mean a higher post. For instance, Raja Man Singh was not a minister and still enjoyed a higher rank than Abul Fazal who was a minister in the court of Emperor.
The emperor was the sole authority that conferred, decreased, increased and resumed the mansab. He also granted promotions to those who displayed their prowess in military service. The officers were granted territorial commands in return for the military service. They had to bring in some fixed number of men-at-arms, horses and elephants to the field and accordingly were rated on the basis of the numbers which was known as Zats. So they were called Mansabdars of 10, 20, , and and so on.
Those holding ranks below zat were known as mansabdars, those holding ranks of more than zat that, but below 2, zat were named amirs and fall in the second category. In the administration, the third category was of amir-i-umda or amir-i-azam or omrahs -those mansabdars who holding the ranks of 2, zat and more. The lowest rank holder was provided with 10 mansabs. Mansingh,the first Mansabdar of zats and Bhagwan Das with zats ,enjoyed the privileged positions in the Mansabdari system of the empire.
It is noteworthy that most of the Mansabdars were foreigners or were of Central Asian, Turk, Persian and Afghan origin, though there were also a small number of Indians who also got appointments as mansabdars. Later on, the highest number of mansabs was raised from 10, to 12,; thus there was no fixed number of mansabdars. This law or rule was known as zabti. The son of a mansabdar, if he was granted a mansab, had to begin his tenure as mansabdar afresh as per the rules and regulations imposed on him by the emperor.
Hence, the Mansabdari System of Mughal was a complex system. Its efficient functioning depended upon a number of factors, including the proper functioning of dagh branding system and of the jagirdari system.
Mansabdari System in Mughal Administration
We also notice an evolution in the beginning and the growth of this institution. The word Mansab means a place, a position, an honour and a rank, which happened to be an integral part of the elaborate Mughal bureaucracy. Percival Spear rightly points out that this Mansabdari system was elite within an elite. Image Source: upload. The Mansabdar appears to be a central Asian institution. There is a view that this institution came to India with Babur. There is a definite difference between these two terms of Mansabdari and Wajahdari system.
From the available evidence, it appears that this system had been initiated by Akbar in However, ranks above five thousand were reserved for princes. A person could also be demoted if he became incompetent or disloyal as a mark of punishment. All employees of these ranks were expected to maintain a stipulated quota of horses, elephants, beasts of burden camels and mules , and carts from their own salary. Depending upon the quality, the horses were classified into six categories and the elephants were categorized into five categories.