Maharana Amar Singh
|Successor||Maharana Karna Singh|
One of the seventeen sons of Maharana Pratap, Amar Singh, who succeeded him, was the eldest. From the early age of eight to the hour of his parent's death, he had been his constant companion and the partner of his toils and dangers. Initiated by his noble sire in every act of mountain strife, familiar with its perils, he entered on his career(1597-1653) in the very flower of manhood, already attended by sons able to maintain whatever his sword might recover of his patrimony.
- The prolonged warfare with the Mughals had squandered all that peaceful economy had accumulated and led Mewar to the edge of financial ruin. The rehabilitation of the central and western Mewar, a great part of which still lay waste, was an imperative necessity. The organization of civil and military departments were of no less importance.
- The long wars with the Mughals had enhanced the importance of feudal order and had led to mutual rivalry and feud among them, the
hostility between Chundawats'- and Saktawats being an instance in point. This sort of spirit if not mended would tend to undermine the interest and influence of the country and the crown.
- He rightly recognized that the evils under which Mewar groaned were mainly threefold; the rivalry among the nobles, the public disorder and civil and military disorganization of the state.
Changes by Amar Singh
- He defined the position and privileges of the individual chiefs'and laid down their order of precedence.6 In order to establish control over his nobles and to make them serve the general good, he began to demote or promote the ranks of the nobles and transfer the Jagirs.ft Begun, Ratangarh, Bcdla, Dclwara and Badnor were the instances. , These were transferred and retransferred from one Jagitdar to another during his time.
- He took steps for the rehabilitating of the people who had been displaced from their homes and suffered on account of the Mughal invasions. He founded the town of Sarara and small villages (Khcras) in the Kumbhalgarh District when he was a prince. He alloted lands in Kclwa (Kumbhalgarh District) Muroli1 (Chitor District) and Rampura11 (Lakhola District) to the uprooted families. He gave large sums
of money in free-gift to those of his followers who stood in need offinancial assistance.
- To supplement the local militia he kept a standing army of tootmen, horses, chariots and elephants.1’2 He entrusted the charge of his entire force to his able commander, I-Iari Das Jhala.13 For die defence of his land he constructed Amargarh in Jahazpur district. He employed men from Gondwana and Multan inhis artillery department. He made a large collection of armours for conducting offensive and defensive wars against the Mughals.
ENCOUNTER WITH PRINCE SALIM (JAHANGIR)
While the liana was engaged in putting his house in order and making preparations for defence he had to face in 15 99 A. D. an encounter with prince Salim, who was ordered by the emperor to proceed with a view to subdue Amar Singh, the successor of Pratap. The prince who was more serious about his own plan of acquiring the throne than about reducing the Rana took the order in a casual manner. He paid a short visit to Udaipur and passed the rest of his time in loitering near Aimer. However his lethargy was more than counter-balanced by his lieutenants who
exerted themselves with vigour and succeeded in establishing strong outposts at Ontala, Mohi, Bagore, Mandal, Mandalgarh, Chitor and several other places.
- The Rajputs offered a gallant resistance and led attacks on several outposts of the Mughals. Sultan Khan Ghori, the leader ofthe Mughal outpost of Bagore was defeated and killed.
- Next they achieved success against the commander of Rampura Kayum Khan, the Mughal general of Ontala was killed while resisting the Rajput attack and the fort of Ontala fell in the hands of Amar Singh's men.
- If the Rajput Chronicle can be relied upon, in a short space of time no less than eighty of the chief towns and fortresses of Mewar were recovered. But in these actions the Rajputs lost Jait Singh, Ballu, Achaldas, Rama andSuoha Karan.
- The Mughals also retaliated by ravaging the fields, burning their habitations and imprisoning some of the inhabitants.23 The prince, however, repaired to Agra and Man Singh was asked to go to Bengal. In this way the whole operation terminated without much success.
The news of the failure of this expedition highly displeased the emperor, who in 1605 A. D. again ordered Salim to resume the enterprise with vigour. A large force was placed at his disposal and several
Amirs and Omras like Jagannath, Madho Singh,Sadiq Khan, Hashim Khan, Islam Kuli, Sher Beg, Amir Beg etc., were ordered to accompany the prince to accomplish the conquest of Mewar.
- But the lediargical prince practically refused to move. The emperor contemplated sending prince Khusrav and Sagar to conduct the campaign, but owing to his illness and his subsequent death it came to nothing.
- But as soon as Jahangir assumed power, the conquest of Mewar which was always put off by him on one pretext or another, when he was a prince, was now taken up seriously. His motives of conquest soon moulded on lines laid down by Akbar viz., tocompel Amar Singh to recognize his suzerainty.
- In the very first year of his reign, Nov. (1605 A. D.) he despatched an army of 22,000 horse well equipped with artillery and treasury against the Rana under the command of Parviz and Asar Khan Jafar Beg.26 With him was associated Sagar with the view that his presence as a prince of Rana’s family might prove helpful.
OUTCOMES AND PEACE PACT
- From the Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri it appears (hat the Mughal commanders could make no fair progress. Finding the affairs arduous, prince Parviz opened peace negotiations with the Ranas men at Mandalgarh, prince Bagh, one of the sons of the Rana represented Amar Singh. In the meantime there broke out Khusrav’s revolt and Parviz was called back by the emperor’s orders. Jagannath was left in charge of the campaign, but nothing substantial came out ofthis expedition.
MAHABAT KHAN's CAMPAIGH
- In order to bring the Mewar campaign to a successful conclusion, the emperor fitted out a powerful expedition under the leadership of Mahabat Khan in July, 1608 A. D. In order to exalt his position a high rank was conferred upon him and those who were' ordered to follow him were also rewarded. Being helped by some ofthe ablest officers and an efficient army, Mahabat opened the campaign with full vigour.
- He marched through the country breaking through Rajput defences and carried death and destruction wherever he went. Several soldiers were slain in the action and a large number of Rajput warriors were imprisoned. His victorious arms reached up to the Girwa which made the Rana retreat into the hilly tracts of Mewar.
RESISTANCE BY BAGH SINGH AND MEGH SINGH
- The Rajputs did not desist from making surprise attacks on the enemy. The daring action of Bagh and Megh Singh as described by the local annalists, checked the progress of the enemy and turned the tables against him. During one night Bagh Singh despatched his followers in the disguise of melon-sellers with their buffaloes loaded with artillery pretending to sell melons. When they reached the portals of Mahabat’s camp, an equal number ofthe buffaloes who were made to lurk in the forest rushed out with oil-soaked rags tied to their horns and set fire to the artillery and the camp of the enemv. This created confusion in die Mughal camp. Amid such chaos and confusion three hundred Rajput soldiers attempted a night attack and made the confusion worst confounded.
- Mahabat was forced to retreat, leaving his baggages and other materials of war at the mercy ofthe Rajputs who plundered them. The success that the Mughals acquired in more than one place was thus foiled by Bagh’s daring night attack on the Mughal camp. The campaign thus ended not in a complete defeat but a confused rout of the Mughals who could not meet the guerilla tactics of the foes. Mahabat left Mewar in despair leaving Sagar at Chitor and Jagannath Kaclihawaha at Mandal. The latter died there a year after.
MUGHALS ATTACK AGAIN
- To retrieve the position, Jahangir sent in June, 1609 A. D. Abdullah38, a rash commander and valorous soldier at the head of a large force, consisting of 12,000 men to carry on the war in Mewar. His status was raised by conferring upon him the title of Firoz Jang. With Abdullah as dieir chief leader, the MughaLs assumed the offensive with full vigour. In the beginning the Mughals made some progress, as the Suts as usual had retreated to the Hills.30 Abdullah c through hilly defences of the Rana and made him quit Chawand40 and Merpur41. On hearing the reports of this success the emperor was pleased and granted honour and rewards to meritorious and deserving men of the army.42 But the imperial success was short lived. The Rajputs in their part retaliated by devastating the Mughal territory in Malwa, Gujarat, Ajmer and Godwad 43. Mukand Das and Bhim inflicted a severe defeat on Abdullah at Ranpur, near Kumbhalgarh.
- The next commander to be sent to Mewar was Raja Basu46 (1612 A. D.). He as a careless general made no headway against the Rajputs. He was suspected of being in alliance with die Rajputs.40 He was recalled and his post was filled by Mirza Aziz Koka(1613 A. D.)47. But as there was no improvement in the situation Jahangir resolved to take the command in his own hands. On 7th Sep. 1613 A. D. the emperor set out in person and arrived at Ajmer on 8th Nov. He invested Khurram with the supreme comn'and of the army unbinded for service against the Rana. Khurram had an extraordinarily quick eye for enemy’s weak position, and could sec at once how best to utilize the opportunities for attaining his objects. Aziz Koka and Mirza Khan Azam were sent along with him. A reinforcement of 12,000 cavalry was also despatched to join him. Fidai Khan48 was appointed as pay master of this army and other officers of repute were ordered to join the prince with ihcir contingents. The prince and other deserving officers were honoured according to their position with tokens of rank and
reward. He left Ajmer for Mewar on 17th Dec. 1613A. D.
- As soon as he made successful progress in the interim, he instituted six military stations under different commanders Jamal Khan Turki at Mandal, Dost Beg at Kapasin, Sayyid Kazi at Ontala, Arab Khan at Nahar Magra, Shiliab Khan at Debari and some other general at Dabok.
- He sent his four officers of repute at the head of contingent of troops to the hilly parts of the interior of Mewar. The first contingent was led by Abdullah Khan, the-second was headed by Dilawar Khan, the third was under Sayyid Saif Khan and Raja Krishna Singh Rathor and the fourth was commanded by Mir Muhammad Taqi.
- For Mewar this long and bitter struggle was an unrelieved calamity. Great atrocities were committed, none more notable than the destruction of population, demolition of temples, scattering of dead bodies and selling of their wives and children as slaves.86 The picture of Mewar was, then as we may rightly conclude, one of unspeakable misery of the countryside, of population wasted, of peasants rendered homeless and or alarming amount of unrest and disorder. It was a scene nothing worse than a famine where the harvest was burnt, houses put to flames and immense danger inflicted upon property. It must have shattered the whole social order to its core.
- The Rana who too was tired of prolonged warfare sent Hari Das Jhala and Shubh Karan to Khurram with a proposal of peace.
- As soon as the formal sanction had come, the prince informed the Rana of the approval of the terms and sent his own men Shukrullah and Sunder Das to the Rana to hand over the farman. The terms were:—
- (1) The Rana would himself- come and wait on Khurram.
(2) He would send his son, Karan to the court.
(3) He would, after the manner of other Rajas, be enrolled amongst the servants of the court and do service.
(4) He would be excused from attending the court in person.
(j) Chitor would be restored to the Rana on condition that it would not be fortified or repaired.
(6) The Rana would provide a contingent of 1000 horse
- Khurram honoured the Rana with a superb dress of honour, a jewelled sword, a horse with a jewelled saddle, an elephant with a
silver housing. One hundred robes of honour, fifty horses and twelve jewelled daggers were also given for the Rana’s followers.04 The Rana on his part offered sweets, superb dress, gold, jewels, seven elephants and an invaluable ruby.
- The treaty between Amar Singh and Jahangir stands on a different plain from that of between a Mughal ruler and any other Rajput chief of Rajasthan. Whereas other Rajput rulers were required to attend the imperial Darbar
in person, the Rana was exempted and it was agreed to the emperor that he would be represented by his crown prince. The humiliating practice of a matrimonial alliance which other Rajput chiefs had entered widi the Mughal ruling family was not included in the terms of
the treaty. These were the special concessions which were made to the Rana of Udaipur on account of his pre-eminent position among die Rajput rulers. An insistence on them too would have prolonged the century-old war between the Mughals and die Sisodias.
Some casual observers find fault with Amar Singh for giving up the struggle and entering into a treaty with the Mugbals. According to them the restoration of Chitor was hedged with conditions and, therefore, was worse than useless. The sending of a Rajput contingent at the Mughal court from Mewar was a humiliation to the people of the state and betokened subservience. The above criticism is based on sentiment and
ignores the sufferings to which Mewar had been subjected by the prolonged warfare. The country had to pay a price fox peace, and that was the recognition by its ruler of the nominal suzerainty of the Mughals whose policy was not to interfere in the internal affairs of the vassal states of Rajasthan. The loss occasioned by the recognition of Mughal sovereignty was more than compensated by peace for two generations—a peace without humiliation, for the emperor did apt insist on the presence ofthe Rana in the court or sending a ‘Dola* to his harem. ’Those who condemn thetreaty do not seem to realize die consequences of the prolonged struggle. It was an unequal war in which eventually Mewar was bound to perish sooner or later. If, as the critics say, war was bound to recur, two generations of peace gave the Rana enough ofstrength to fight with a better chance ofsuccess. Hence barring sentimental satisfaction the treaty proved to be beneficial for Mewar.
After the treaty of 1615 A. D. Amar Singh made an attempt to reorganise and reform the administration and to repair the ravages of the long war. He remodelled the administrative body by die appointment of Dungar Shah as the Chief Minister. According to Tod he made a new assessment of the lands and regulated the sumptuary laws for court etiquette, dress and other formalities.70 He also constructed a new palace
at Udaipur which is still remembered by his name as ‘Amar Mahal’. To him ate ascribed the construction of mfountains, baths and gardens. His time of repose was also utilized in the direction of peaceful reforms of patronizing learned men and grant of stipends for the cause of education. He was also known during this period as giver of charity of land, horses and elephants to Brahmins and deserving persons.
During his later days Amar Singh seems to have sunk in sloth and luxury. His court poet Jivadhar, the author of Amarsar describes his daily routine in a summer when he was engrossed in the company of ladies, in enjoyments of baths. His pastime during hosc days consisted ofexcessive hunting or enjoying animal fights. Amar Singh died on 26th January, 1620 A. D. We cannot deny the credit which was clue to him for his administrative schemes, economic reforms, institution of the ranks of the nobility, of zeal for education and literature. [ref][ref]