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In the plains, the Indian political system could, in ancient times and at present, only be organized as

an aristocracy or under a king. The effect of many different factors was that in the Indian plains the
king ruled generally and aristocracy was rarefied. Aristocracy tends to depend on noble and rich
families, military skills or political experience. Because of the caste system of Hindus, these
characteristics became diided and any caste or group of people could not retain their stranglehold
for long. The poorest and most illiterate group of Brahmins would consider themseles aboe the
most arrogant propertied man or the wealthiest trader. The stature of the Brahmin could not be
oerlooked but wealth and trade benefit the country and reap benefit for the one with wealth or
business. The chatris because of their marshal talents and political skills had some adantage oer
others but were lacking in those areas where mental capabilities or financial assistance were
re!uired. "oreoer, the chatris were so many in number that they could not be organized to form a
ruling or administratie cli!ue. In addition, the democratic impetus inherent in "uslims would not
hae suffered one caste to hae adantage oer others.
#hat was the rule of the king like$
Another factor contributing to monarchy was the military culture that re!uired supplying force and
building military capacity. %rom a certain point of iew, the history of India is the history of conflict
between different groups and splinter groups. The cultural and geographical unity of the country
almost made it certain that eery state&ruler would want to expand their rule to the entire length and
breadth of the country. But traelling was not easy, and that meant that far'off proinces were
fre!uently tempted to cut off ties with the center. (onse!uently, there were many states all oer the
Indian plains and they fought with each other continuously. The presence of danger or its threat
pushed the goernment into a clear monarchy and led the people to accept a strong goernment.
)there were some exceptions* But one should not imagine monarchy as arbitrary tyranny. +ne needs
to analyse such a claim further. Aristotle said that there are many types of monarchies. ,ure
totalitarianism in which the ruler uses eerything in his reign according to his wishes is a thing that
neither belongs in reality nor in serious philosophy. -o matter how powerful or )ersatile* someone
is, he cannot rule the ma.ority without at least partial consent from a group of powerful people.
#hen reading about a goernment, the first step is to determine which group in the society is allied
to it and which )passie* group has the capacity to resist the soereign/s power. The monarch has to
appease this group and to mould himself according to the wishes and likes of this group.
"ughal is not an ethnicity.
Because we talk about the "ughal family or "ughal goernment, it is sometimes mistakenly
assumed that "ughal is an ethnicity. To call them (hughtai Turks is not useful for our purposes
because, once again, this assumes a common ethnicity. The term "ughal was first used for the dark
storm that coered the north western borderlands in the 01th and 02th centuries. In the later
centuries, this term became associated with all those who entered India with Babur in 0345. Babur
himself was only half'"ughal )and half'(hughtai*. Akbar was one'half Irany, 6ahangir was half'
7a.put and 8hah 6ahan was more 7a.put than Turk.
The -obles
The mixed )complicated$* status of the nobles was due in large part to the fact that their positions
were