Bengal & Hydrerabad
- Nawab of Bengal
- Nizam of Hyderabad
Nawab of Bengal: Under Murshid Quli Khan, Bengal broke away from Mughal control. He was appointed as the naib, deputy to the governor of Bengal. Though he was never a subadar, he very quickly seized all the power that went with that office. He also commanded the revenue administration of the state, like the rulers of Awadh and Hyderabad.
Methodology to reduce Mughal influence
He managed to reduce the Mughal influence by
- Transferring all Mughal jagirdars to Orissa.
- Ordering a major reassessment of the revenues of Bengal. Revenue was collected from zamindars, in cash with great strictness. This forced the zamindars to borrow money from bankers and moneylenders. Those who were not able to pay were force to sell their lands to bigger zamindars.
There was a lot of change amongst the zamindars caused by the formation of a regional state in 18th century Bengal. The close connection between the state and bankers was evident in Bengal during the rule of Alivardi Khan. The banking house of Jagat Seth became extremely prosperous during his reign.
The founder of Hyderabad state, Nizam-ul Mulk Asaf Jah (1724-1748), was one of the most powerful members in the court of the Mughal emperor Farrukh Siyar. Initially he was entrusted with the governorship of Awadh, and later he got the charge of the Deccan. During 1720-22, as the Mughal governor of the Deccan provinces, he had already gained control over its political and financial administration. He became the actual ruler of the region by taking advantage of the turmoil in the Deccan and the competition amongst the court nobility.
Asaf Jah's ruling methodology
He brought skilled soldiers and administrators from northern India, who welcomed the new opportunities in the south. He appointed mansabdars and granted jagirs. Though still a servant of the Mughal emperor, he functioned quite independently without seeking any directions from Delhi or facing any interference. The mughal emperor merely confirmed the decisions already taken by him.
Hyderabad was constantly struggling against the Marathas in the west and the Telugu warrior chiefs (nayaks) of the plateau. The upcoming powerful group, the British, checked Asaf Jah's ambition to control the rich textile-producing areas of the Coromandel Coast in the east.
There are three common features in all the above three states:
- Although many of the larger states were established by erstwhile Mughal nobles they were highly suspicious of some of the administrative systems that they had inherited. Particularly this was true about the jagirdari system.
- Regarding tax collection, they contracted with revenue-farmers for revenue collection, instead of depending on the officers of the states. The practice of ijaradari which spread all over India in the 18th century, was disapproved of by the Mughals.
- There was an emerging relationship with rich bankers and merchants. These people lent money to revenue farmers, received land as security and through their own agents collected taxes from these lands.