Administration of Jahangir

The administration of Jahangir was a fairly successful.  Jahangir allowed to the administrative system of Akbar to remain practically untouched.

He issued a proclamation of policy in twelve celebrated regulations:

  • He ordered the building of sarais, mosques and wells along the roads.
  • He prohibited the opening of merchants’ bales without their knowledge and permission.
  • Government officers were ordered not to take possession of anyone’s house.
  • He prohibited the levy of certain cesses.
  • He abolished certain punishment such as cutting of nose, ears, etc.
  • No government collector or jagirdar was to inter-marry with the people of his Parganas without royal permission.
  • Government hospitals were to be established in big cities for the treatment of poor people.
  • If someone died, his property should be given to his heirs. If the deceased person had no heir, the property should be placed in the custody of a State officer to be used for the erection and repair of public buildings.
  • He forbade the officials to take possession of cultivators’ land by force.
  • He prohibited the slaughter of animals on certain days.
  • He confirmed all officers and jagirdars in the posts which they had held in Akbar’s time.
  • He prohibited the manufacture and sale of wine and intoxicating drugs.

The Vakil or Vakil-i-Mutlaq remained the highest dignitary next only to the emperor and so also other ministers. The essential difference between his administration and that of his father was the fact that the latter having been an unfailing judge of human character and capability almost invariably appointed right men to right offices, while Jahangir swayed by other considerations than the efficiency, justice and well-being of the people.

Jahangir confirmed most of the officials, high or low, in the rank and posts which they held during the last days of Akbar’s reign and promoted even some of those with whom he was not on good terms. Abdur Razzaq Mamuri and Khwaja Abdullah, who had deserted him to join Akbar, were allowed to retain their offices and jagirs. Abul Fazl’s son, Abdur Rahman, was promoted to the rank of two thousand. Both Raja Man Singh and Mirza Aziz Koka were forgiven for backing up the claims of his son, Khusrav, to the throne. But though they were allowed to retain their posts, they no longer enjoyed the same influence at court which they had done under Akbar. A little later, the governorship of Bengal, which was held by Raja Man Singh, who was now recalled to court, was conferred on the new emperor’s favourite, Qutb-ud-din Khan Koka.

Out of a feeling of gratitude, which was innate in his temperament, Jahangir raised several of his favourites, who were not possessed of special ability, to high posts. To this category belonged Sharif Khan (now appointed grand Wazir), Kutb-ud-din Koka and Bir Singh Deva Bundela of Orchha, all of whom were promoted to high offices. Among the new appointments two particularly deserved. Ghiyas Beg, who later became famous as the father of Nur Jahan, was appointed diwan or revenue minister and given the title of Itmad-ud-daulah. Zaman Beg was given the title of Mahabat Khan and raised to the mansab of 1500.

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