The Early Mughal Experience in Bengal

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Partho0007
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The Early Mughal Experience in Bengal, 1574–1610
But seizing the capital and possessing the land were two different matters. While Mun‘im Khan and Raja Todar Mal, Akbar’s finance minister, were in Tanda reorganizing the revenue administration of the newly conquered province, thousands of Afghans melted into the forested Bengali hinterland, where for the next forty years they continued to hold out against the new regime. There they attracted a host of dissidents, including Muslim and Hindu zamīndārs, Portuguese renegades, and tribal chieftains, all of whom perceived the Chaghatai Turks from Upper India as foreigners and usurpers.[15]
From Abu’l-fazl’s imperial perspective, however, the years after 1574 were devoted to clearing the delta of “the weeds and rubbish of opposition” khas-o-khāshāk-i mukhālif).[16] Having seized Tanda, the Mughal victors pursued the Afghans in four directions: north to Ghoraghat, south to Satgaon, east to Sonargaon, and southeast into Fatehabad (present-day Faridpur town).[17] These initial campaigns witnessed several pitched battles of great scope and bloodshed, in particular the battle of Tukaroi in southern Midnapur District (March 3, 1575), in which Todar Mal and Mun‘im Khan achieved a stunning victory over Sultan Daud Khan. On this occasion the Mughals resorted to terror tactics, filling eight lofty minarets with the skulls of their slain enemies “as a warning to spectators.”[18] Actually, though, the use of such violence was exceptional. With their cavalry bogged down in unfamiliar jungle terrain and their troops close to deserting from lack of interest in fighting so far from home, the Mughals relied more on bribery, cajolery, diplomacy, impressive displays of military power, and sowing the seeds of dissension within enemy ranks than upon the application of brute force.[19]
Such a policy was not only expedient. It also accorded…...

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