in category Mughals

Was the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb anti-Hindu?

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4 Reasons why Aurangzeb the Mughal Emperor was not anti-Hindu:

1. Hindus in the Mughal administration were the highest in percentage under Aurangzeb. If 22% of nobles under Akbar were Hindus, over 31% of nobles under Aurangzeb were Hindu. He employed more Hindus than any other Muslim emperor. Jaswant Singh, Raja Rajrup, Kabir Singh, Arghanath Singh, Prem Dev Singh, Dilip Roy, and Rasik Lal Crory, held very high administrative positions. Moreover, a large number of generals in  Aurangzeb's army were Hindus, including a Hindu commander-in-chief. Two Hindus had the highest positions in state Treasury. Even his court was multi-religious; according to historian Shri Sharma, Aurangzeb had 148 Hindu high officials in his court (The Great Akbar only had 14).
2. He instructed all Mughal officials at Banares in a firman dated 1659, ‘….you must see that no one unlawfully disturbs the Brahmins or other Hindus of that region, so that they might remain in their traditional place and pray for the continuance of the empire.’

3. Temple destruction was a common part of politics at the time, for example: in 1791 the Maratha army raided and damaged the Sringeri temple. However Aurangzeb's destruction of temples in the north had political, not theological motives (remember he touched not a single temple in Gujrat or the Deccan in his campaign against Shivaji). He endowed tax-free grants to Hindu temples at Banares, Chitrakoot, Allahbad and Gauhati and numerous others. He built more temples than he ever damaged. Aurangzeb praised the Hindu temples of Allora as the 'crafted marvels' of God.
4. He imposed jizya only on able-bodied eligible Hindus who did not volunteer in the state army to protect all. Those who did, were tax-exempt. The Brahmins, the crippled, seniors, women, minors and the poor did not pay a thing. Moreover, according to historian Sri Jagunath Sarkar  per capita tax collection from Muslims was several fold that of Hindus in form of sadaqah, fitrah, khums, zakat, ushr etc.

Aurangzeb is not sufficiently credited in history for:
- outlawing satti in 1666 long before the British.
- leaving India rich and prosperous (with 24.5% of global GDP)
- personal piety as an emperor: He never missed a prayer, even in war, and lived simpler than his servants - despite all the pomp and wealth around him.

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