Akbar was a great pragmatist. He was the first Muslim ruler to realize that without the help of the Rajput’s, no permanent empire could be set up in India.
Accordingly, he took measures to secure their cooperation. He treated them as very trustworthy friends and not mere vassals. He abandoned the old policy of repression and persecution of the Rajput’s.
Broadly speaking Akbar’s policy was based on diplomacy and force – the two potent weapons of state craft. But he realized more on diplomacy.
Significance of the Rajput Policy of Akbar:
1. Expansion of Akbar’s influence:
The policy of friendship contributed to the extension of the Mughal Empire. The Rajput’s had become the ‘Sword and Shield’ of Akbar.
2. Military help:
The Rajput rulers provided strong military help to Akbar in waging wars and conquering several territories.
3. Strengthening of administration:
Akbar was able to secure the services of Rajput’s in the efficient running of the administration. Some of the Rajput Governors of Mughal provinces proved very helpful.
4. Advantages to Rajputs:
The Rajput rulers got honour, high offices, big jagirs and confidential posts in the royal service. They were also free to devote their resources on welfare pursuits in place of war adventures.
5. Cultural integration:
According to Dr. lshwari Prasad, “A new culture – Indo-Muslim culture” was born. Akbar gave encouragement to Sanskrit, Hindi and other regional languages. There is no doubt that the Rajput’s made great contribution in the field of Akbar’s expansion of empire, statecraft, administration, cultural, economic and social progress.