From Volga to Ganga by Rahula Sankrityayana; Victor Kiernan (transl.)

By Rahula Sankrityayana; Victor Kiernan (transl.)

From Volga to Ganga; an image in Nineteen tales of the ancient, fiscal and Political Evolution of the Human Society from 6000 B.C. to 1922 A.D

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However, it differed from smaller awqafonly in the amount of money at its disposal. Endowments established by less affluent individuals supported similar activities with smaller sums. Those created by Sunni Muslims spon­ sored a somewhat different set of ceremonies, but in most other ways were the same. Since we will encounter the same kinds of expenditures in the following pages, we should pause here to describe them and what they imply. A significant portion of any endowment's funds went to maintain the buildings in whicb religious rituals were held.

The first of them served for a while as the emperor's chief minister, but having tired of court intrigue, retired to the province of Avadh where he held the post of governor. The Nawabs remained the rulers of this region until its annexation by the British in 1856. Though they controlled considerable wealth, they had less than the Mughals at their height. The Mughals built with red sandstone and white marble; the Nawabs used brick or rubble coated with white-washed stucco. The Mughals counted their followers in the hundreds of thousands; the Nawabs had tens of thousands.

58 Sales of zamindari estates, however, implied much more than met the official eye. The Raja of Burdwan, for example, was something of a fiscal chameleon. The government of Bengal classed him as an ancient aristocrat. That was stretching the point a bit because his rajadom had been set up in 1696 by the Mughals. His ancestors were of the khatri caste with their origins in the Panjab, but they were loyal to the Mughals and owed their place to that fidelity. When the Permanent Settlement arrived, the Burdwan Raja found himself among the fifteen largest zamindars who between them paid 60 per cent of the Bengal Province's revenue.

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