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Politics and Society in Medieval India - Habib (Vol 2)

Politics and Society in Medieval India - Habib (Vol 2)

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Published by Ahsan 11
Collection of lectures by Prof Habib. Very solid analysis of India in 12th and 13th century.
Collection of lectures by Prof Habib. Very solid analysis of India in 12th and 13th century.

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Published by: Ahsan 11 on Aug 10, 2012
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06/08/2014

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POLITICS
AND
SOCIETYDURINGTHE
EARLY MEDIEVAL
PERIOD
Collected
Works
of
Professor
Mohammad
Habib
Vol. Two
Edited
by
Professor
K.
A.
Nizami
Centre of Advanced Study, Department of HistoryAligarh Muslim University
 
Price:
Rs.
150.00
Printed
by
Jiten Sen
at
the New Age Printing Press, Rani Jhansi Road, Ne,,: Delhi:
11
flI)~,~
"nel
nnblished
bv
him
for Peole's Publishin House (Pl
Ltd"
R<lDI
Jhan§l
INTRODUCTION
volume of'Professor Habib's collected works covered three. Approach
and
Method,
2.
India
and the
Asiatic Environ
S;
Medieval Mysticism..volume deals with
the
political history of medievalimportant events
and
personalities trom
the
Arabto
the
middle of
the
fourteenth century.
It
containsassessment of
the
main political figures of medieval
nr()vHiP"
a fresh perspective for the study of
the
attitudes
ieVemlen·ts
of
the
medieval Sultans. These articles were writtenof
46
years (from
1924
to
1970).
Asis
perfectly under
view~
on many matters underwent a change
dming
thishis .basic approach remained unaltered, his tools
5ti~(ati.on
and
interpretation changed.
In
his earlier contribuis· absolutely
no
reference to Dialectical Materialism,
but
articles (e.g. Introduction to Elliot arid Dowson's
flis-
reHect
an
attempt
to interpret medieval Indian Hisof Marxist theories.articles which Professor Habib wrote on themes conmedieval Indian history
but
could
not
be
included in thisto copyright difficulties, are
the
following conh'ibutionsvolume of the
Comprehensive History
of
Indi-a:
chapter
1:
Environment
(Comprehensive History,
pp.
1-131),
chap
IX:
Nasiruddin Khusrau Khan
(Comprehensive History,
V Section
IV:
Successors of Firuz Shah Tughluqpp.
620-629).
on
Envil'Onment
he
has dealt with the rise
the
nature of
the
governing class among the M us
the
role of
the
Khwarazmian Empire,
the
rise
the
Mongol invasion of 'Ajam, the Qa'ans
and
theuluses
and
Amir Timur. Professor Habib was of
the
viewa
proper
understanding of medieval
Indian
History,
it
isto follow
the
march of events in Cenh'al Asia and Persia.!
always thought that
the
IntroductOiy chapter should provide deto the main study,
It
was
at
his instance
that
a long introductory
and Politics
in
India during
the
thirteenth Century
was devoted byof
"the
political expansion and ideological integration of Islam till. Sir Hamilton Gibb, however, did not agree with the need of such
 
iv
Politics and Society during
the
Early Medieval Period
Once
when the
scope of
the Vth
volume of
the
Comp/'ehensi~e
History
of
India
was being informally discussed,
Protes~or
.~n
Ram
Sharma
expressed his
doubt about the needand
deSlfablhty of a
lengthy
Introduction. Professor
Habib's
reply was
that
for a
prop~r
understanding
of
the
ideals of
the
Sultans
andthe
c~ara.cter
ot
thea
administrative institutions
it
wa5 necessary
to
keep m Vlew
the
evolution of Islamic
instituti~ns.
It
is
in the broad
framework of Asiatic
and
Islamic history
that the
institutional
developmen~
i~.
med~eval
India
can
be
properly
appreciated.
The
chafter
on
Aswttc. Envtron
ment
inthe
Comprehensive History of
Indw
IS
c~aractenz.ed
by. acritical evaluation
of
the
stages of
development
m
Isla~lC
polIty
and
provides a veritable
background
to the
undel:standmg of
the
administrative
and
political institutions of
the
I?elhl Sultanate.
The
section dealing
with the
Mongols
~aws
att~ntlOn
not
~n1y
to
the
character
and
personality of
Chenglz
and
Tlmur,
but
gIV~S
a
ve~
mlcresting
assessment
01
the
Mongol institutions
and
pr~ctices.
It
IS
practically impossible to
appreciate
t~e
nature and
magrutude
of
~e
Mongol
problem
withoutan
insight.
~nto
the
~~ckground
of
the
rIse
ot
Mongols
and
their
social
and
mlhtary
tra~Itions.
.
..
The
article
on
Nasiruddin Khusrau
Khan
IS
based
onan
mClSlveanalysis of
the
circumstances tha.!
led to the
~ise
of
~usrau,~nd
thenature
of his government.
Baram
s
account
gIves
the
ImpressIO~
that
the
rise of
the
Baradu
(or PaI'Waris) was a successful assertion
of
Hindu
pressure groups
to
snatchpower
from Muslim
h~nds.2
~ro-
fessor
Habib
has shown
the
baselessness of
such
an
ImpreSSIOn.
Dr.
R.
P.
Tripathi
was
the
first
to
hint that
thenature
or
the
coup
was
not
communa1.3 Professor
Habib
has
dealt with the
proble~
thoroughly
in
the
light
of contemporaI'y sources.
He
s~ms
up
hIS
assessment of
the
rise of Khusrau
Khan
in the
follow1llg
words:
"The
Baradu
insulTection is
important
because
it
brought about
a
','
.
th
Empire
of
Delhi during
the
period
of its
greatest strength,
CrIsIS
me..
the
b·
..
.
the
j'ole
of
monarchy·
it
was not a
cnSlS
tn
ut
tt
was a cnstS
tn
'.
(
448\
role
of
Islam
or
of Hinduism
or
in Hindu-Muslim relatwns
p.
If
Hehas
dismissed BaI'anrs
account
of
Khusrau
Khan
as.~
figment
0
hb
imagination.
This
chapter
is,
in
fact, a valuable crItique of
the
2.
Tarikh-i Firuz Shahi,
pp.
410-413.
Inspired
by
Ba,:",i's account
~
Ish:vari
Prasad remarks:"Khusrau's
object
was
to
re-establish Hmdu supremacy.
(MedIeVal
India,
p.
220).
,
_1
~
Some
A;llects
of
MusUm
AdmiU1stmtwn,
p. 54.
Stanley
Lane-Poole
(Medlevu.
11l~;a
under Mohammedan Rule,
London,p.
119)
had
some
vague
realization
of
fuenon-communal
character
of
t!)is
developmentwhen he
observed: "The reign
of
anunclean
pariah
was
as
revolting
to
the
Hindus
them~e:ves
as
t?
~he
Mu_slims."
But
},e
could
not
analyze
the
reasons
for
this.
Professor
Habib
s
analysIs
IS
sharp and penetra-
ting.
v
.
lite~ature
of
medieval
India and
shows
how
pre-
predlledion
of
a
contemporary writer
can blur
historical
dealing
,:ith
the
successors
o~
Firuz
Shah
Tughluqnahlre
of a
bnef
resume
of
the main
developments
of
the
other
aI'ticles of Professor
Habib
which could
notbe
m-
this
volume
aI'e those
which are
not
relevant
to the theme
in
this
volume.
1n
1924
he
contributed
to
Swarajya
an
articleorigin of
the Purdah
system"; sometime
later
an
article
in
the
Aligal'h MagaZine
on
'Mahatma Gandhi
as a
Man
.
Ir~
~932,
Professor
Habib
wrote
a
long
aI·ticle
dealingadmmlstrahve
system of model'll
Persia
4
and in
1933
an-aI'ticle
on
fhe
administration
of justice
in
model'll Persia.5
Inhe
contributed
an
article on
Maulana
Abul Kalam Azad
under
title
'The
RevolutionaI'y
Maulana'
to
the
Abul Kalam
Azad
Volume
edited by
Professor
Humayun
Kabir.6
PrAf<.ce,",,'
Habib's
forte as a historian
is
his exceptionally
powerfulimagination buttressed
by
a meticulous
study ot the
origimaterial
and
mastery
of
minute
details.
As
he
wades
the
contemporary
accounts, his
mind
starts conjuring
up
of
the
bygone
societies
and he
lives
in that
atmosphere
till
concept
and
elusive
picture
becomes clear
to
him.
neither
in pedantic
quantification of
datanorin
that
scaHolding
of
foot-note~
which
obscure
the main
structure
Guided by the
creative
spark
of his fertile imagination,
nllrrr",,,p,
the
spirit
of
an
age as a
background
against
which
he
his characters.
While
discussing
the
character
and
value
Mahmud'swork
he
says:
"All
men are
more
or less
the product
their environment,
and
a rational criticism
of Mahmud's work
mustwithan
eXaIllination of
the
spirit
of his age." (p. 66).
Not
only
4.
Published in
The Muslim University Journal,
Vol.
J,
No.4,
April-July1932,447-527. He concludes
his
article
(hus: "The
adminL.trative system
of
the
coun
theimportance
of
which in
the
progress
of
a
nationcannothe
ignored, has
been
ne."Alr.Diru"
with
malvellous
rapidity.
It
has
still many
defects and
shortCOmings,
andcommented
upon
them
in
detail.
But they
should not
blind
us
to
1he
colossal
the pahlavi
regime
during
the
first
decade
of
its
existence,
Neither
Ardesher
nor
Shah Abbas
Safavi-perhaps
not even
Akbar
theGreat-accomplishedthat
can
be
compared with its
administrative achievements."
(p.
527).
Little
Habib realise
at
!:hat
time
that
within
less
than
half
a
century
the
in
Iran
wouldbecome
a
tale
of
the past.
This
article, though based
documents and
state
papei"s,
gives
too
good
a
certificate
to
the
Pahlavi
5.
Islamic
Culture,
Vol.
I, April,
July,
Odober
1933.
6.
Moolana Abu! Kalam
Azad..-A
Memorial Volume,
Asia
1959, pp. 79-100.

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