Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/153

This page needs to be proofread.


AURANGZEB'S BIGOTED POLICY. 149 1677, the Rijput States combined against him. The emperor waged a protracted war against them, — at one time devastating Rajputana, at another time saving himself and his army from extermination only by a stroke of genius and rare presence of mind. In 1680, his rebel son, Prince Akbar, went over to the Rajputs with his division of the Mughal or Imperial army. From that year the permanent alienation of the Rajputs from the Mughal Empire dates ; and the Hindu chivalry, which had been a source of strength to Akbar the Great, became an element of ruin to Aurangzeb and his successors. The emperor pillaged and slaughtered throughout the Rijput States of Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. The Rajputs retaliated by ravaging the Muhammadan Provinces of Malwa, defacing the mosques, in- sulting the muUds, or priests of Islam, and burning the Kuran. In 1681, the emperor patched up a peace in order to allow him to lead the Grand Army into the Deccan, from which he was destined never to return. But Akbar's policy of conciliating the Hindus, and welding them into one empire with his Muhammadan subjects, came to an end under Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb's Revenues. — All Northern India except Assam, and the greater part of Southern India, paid revenue to Aurangzeb. His Indian Provinces covered nearly as large an area as the British Empire at the present day, although their dependence on the central government was less direct. From these Provinces his net land revenue demand is returned at 30 to 38 millions sterling — a sum which represented at least three times the purchasing power of the land revenue of British India at the present day. But it is doubtful whether the enormous demand of 38 millions was fully realized during any series of years, even at the height of Aurangzeb's power, before he left Delhi for his long southern wars. It was estimated at only 30 millions sterling in the last year of his reign, after his absence of a quarter of a century in the Deccan. Fiscal oppressions led to evasions and revolts; and one or other of the Provinces was' always in open war against the emperor. The standard return of Aurangzeb's land revenue was net, £34,505,890; and this remained the nominal demand in the accounts of the central exchequer during the next half-century,