The 13 chief features of Akbar’s Rajput policy are as follows:
1. Matrimonial alliances:
In 1562, Akbar married the daughter of Raja Bihari Mai of Amber (modern Jaipur). Akbar’s son Salim who came to be known as Jahangir was born from this queen.
He also married two other princesses, one of Jodhpur and other of Jaisalmer. He married his son Jahangir to the daughter of Raja Bhagwan Dass, son of Raja Bihari Mai. Khusrau, another son of Jahangir, was born to this princess.
The marriage of Akbar in the family of Jaipur is considered as of great significance. In the words of Dr. Beni Prasad. ” It symbolized the dawn of a new era in Indian politics, it gave the country a line of remarkable sovereigns, it secured to the four generations of Mughal emperors the services of some of the greatest captains and diplomats that medieval India produced.”
2. Appointment to high posts:
Raja Todar Mai and Raja Birbal occupied important positions. Raja Bihari Mai, his son Bhagwan Dass and grandson Man Singh were among his close confidants.
3. Equal treatment:
Akbar accorded equal status to the Rajput’s.
4. Religious independence:
Akbar granted full religious independence to the Rajput’s in respect of their religion. They could build temples, worship in them and celebrate their festivals.
5. Religious freedom to Rajput queens:
Rajput queens were free in the observance of their faith.
6. Full respect and honours to the defeated Rajput rulers:
All those Rajput’s who submitted to Akbar after fighting against him, were given full respect and honour.
7. Employment of Rajput’s in the army:
It is said that Rajput’s were holding more than 20 per cent posts in the army.
8. Internal freedom to Rajput kingdoms:
Akbar did not interfere in the internal administration of Rajput kingdoms.
9. Personal relations:
Akbar established personal relations with many Rajput rulers. It is said when the son-in-low of Rai singh of Bikaner died due to a fall from the palanquin, Akbar himself went there to console the family and share their grief.
10. Reforms in Rajput Society:
Akbar attempted to remove some of the evils like the ‘Sati’ and child marriage from the Rajput Society. He also gave royal sanction to widow remarriage.
11. Abolition of Jizya:
Akbar removed ‘Jizyaa tax which was levied by the Muslim rulers upon the Non-Muslims.
12. Respect for cow:
He forebade the cow slaughter.
13. Aggressive policy towards offending Rajput rulers:
Akbar, being an imperialist, never tolerated opposition. He launched military campaigns against all those Rajput rulers who did not surrender. He conquered Ranthambhor and Kalinjar – two important Rajput states. However, Akbar’s campaign against Mewar was not quite successful.