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The Jats Their Role in The Mughal Empire

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Item Code: HAI452
Author: Girish Chandra Dwivedi
Publisher: Originals, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2003
ISBN: 8188629081
Pages: 334
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 540 gm
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Book Description

The Jats are located prominently in the North-West region of India Renowned historians called them 'almost a nation' which excelled in agriculture and in battlefield alike. The Jats (may be Hindu, Muslim or Sikh) are true sons of the soil, which is why these patriots always stood in ancient as well as medieval times like rock in the face of invaders seeking to ravage the motherland But the irony is that these patriots were branded as rebels by historians.

I feel happy that Dr. Girish Chandra Dwivedi has highlighted the dynamic role of the Jats during the later period of the Mughal Empire. This intensive study shows that an instinctive attachment to democratic ways and a sturdy independence have throughout been the chief characteristics of the Jats. In 1669 this race of warrior-agriculturists rose against the narrow and over-centralised despotic regime of Aurangzeb. The author asserts that besides an oppressive agrarian system and the religious policy of Aurangzeb, the adventurous disposition and martial character of Jats' has been the third major factor in rebellion. He elaborates further that 'probably not many agricultural communities possessed obstinate courage, indomitable spirit, heroic valour and tribal unity of Jats which were needed to transform a deep resentment into a military regime." This powerful movement of the Jat-peasantry gave birth to strong leaders like Gokula, Rajaram and Chudaman. After critically examining the activities and situation prevailing in their times, the author describes in detail how Badan Singh assisted by his ablest son Surajmal laid the foundation of strong Bharatpur State.

History bears testimony to the fact that the Jats always rose against tyranny, injustice, economic and social exploitation and were never overawed by claims of racial or tribal superiority. Whenever the occasion arose they beat their ploughshares into swords and taking advantage of the decrepit political structure, they laid the foundations of their political power under several tribal chiefs.


The Jats have hurt so many people so that no one can be persuaded that they are capable of doing good or so much of it as to be praised" said EX Wendel, a French Jesuit some two hundred years ago. Having stayed in India for about fifty years as a contemporary eye-witness to and a keen observer of the Indian political scene, he made the above remark while surveying the history of the Jats. But the general impression about the Jats has not been much different, a Jat is inadvertently taken to be incapable of being great. The popular conception has since persisted and unfortunately the Jat history could not draw to it the adequate attention of earlier historians.

Sir William Irvine's Later Mughals makes relevant references to the Jats, but the scope of his subject did not permit him to investigate the Jat history thoroughly. Professor KR. Qanungo's History of the Jats is a pioneer work on the subject. By his erudite scholarship, he imparted respectability to and focussed our attention on the Jat history.

Pioneer works generally suffer from certain unavoidable handicaps. In case of Professor Qanungo, he was denied use of quite a lot of material available to us now. With the result, his narrative is patchy and conclusions are often one-sided and incomplete. Recently, two more scholars, U.N. Sharma and Ram Pande, have brought out two works on the history of the Jats. Both have followed the pattern of Qanungo.

However, the basic issues still remain more or less unresolved. In his great and exhaustive works Sir Jadu Nath Sarkar does refer to the events of Jat history, but only to the extent they have any bearing on his central theme. The confusing panorama of the political history of the later Mughal period has received the discerning attention of two more senior historians, Professor A.L. Srivastava and Professor Satish Chandra. But, sterling though their contributions have been, their own treatment of the Jats is brief and casual. Their subjects being different, it could not be otherwise also.

Thus when the Jats engrossed my attention I felt the necessity, even after the learned works of these scholars, to take up the study of the role of the Jats in the history of the Mughal Empire.

I would like to add a few words about the choice of the topic. It would be pretentious on my part to justify the desirability of local or regional history It is obvious that for a proper understanding of the history of a big area like the Mughal Empire we require an intensive study of different local powers. In later Mughal history when the imperial authority was effective only over a restricted area, the cobwebs of history become very much entangled. The fierce factionalism at the Court, the foreign invasions, the self. Aggrandisement of the officials and the rise of the indigenous powers, often at variance with each other, further complicate the situation. Of the last, the role of some powers has received careful study from the scholars. But not so in the case of the Jats. We now require a study of the role of the Jats in the Mughal history, and not merely a history of the Jats alone. Such a study is expected to facilitate a better. Understanding of not only the Mughal but also of the Jat history in its true perspective.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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