Book Review: Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals (1526-1748) by Satish Chandra (Part Two)
Publisher: Har-Anand Publications
Originally Published: 1999
Book Blurb: The present work is a broad survey of political, social, economic and cultural developments in India between 1526 and 1748.
Introduction: This book is the second part of a two-volume set of roughly eight hundred pages by the renowned historian Satish Chandra. This volume concludes the historical events of the Delhi Sultanat and traces the rise and fall of the Mughal empire up to 1761.
Recommended For: History enthusiasts who wish to know more about the early medieval and medieval period of India in a chronological manner.
An attempt has been made to investigate the history of the Mughals who successfully managed to organize the support of both the elite and common classes. However, their rule wasn’t free from hurdles and controversies both contemporary and otherwise.
This book is divided into seventeen chapters with maps of several regions, which discusses the political motivations of the early Emperors of the Mughal Dynasty, followed by their bout with the Marathas, culture and technology of the period.
“The societal, economic, political, administrative and ideological challenges faced by an essentially liberal polity and the role of Aurangzeb have been carefully analysed. The author contends that if a regional balance of power based on states with different social structures had been stabilised, some parts of India could under favourable circumstances, have moved in the direction of capitalism.”
In the present work, the author has tried to bridge the gap between current historical research and popular perception of a controversial phase in Indian history.
The Mughals occupy a massive space in South Asia’s historical calendar and they have received their due credit and criticism by numerous historians and scholars. Countless books have been written in their praise and also their shortcomings. Some have successfully highlighted their strategies through historical methods while some have created historical issues based on modern terminologies.
This book written over two decades ago is one of the pioneer works on history of the medieval and early modern India. Published in 1999, it has some knowledge gaps which has been worked on by later historians.
This book is a good read for those who wish to have a more detailed account of the historical events taught in our history class and the perfect follow-up for its earlier volume. As mentioned in the previous book review, the language is unassuming and straightforward. Happy Reading!