Industrial manufacturing in Mughal era 17th Century

Industrial manufacturing in Mughal era 17th Century

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Industrial revolution

What was the situation of industrial development in the Mughal period, important information is received from the details of foreign travelers and erstwhile historians.

Establishment of Factories

The literal meaning of a factory is a place where workshops are for people to use. But in the Middle Ages, the sound of this word was very different. Medieval historians have used it in a broader sense according to which the factory included other things besides workshops, such as stores, royal courts, Sultan’s personal services and animal fences etc.

The Mughals used the word Bayutat for this, which is a dialect / plural of the Arabic word Bait. Bait means home. Thus, the meaning of Bayutat in the context of Gharbar was sufficiently clear to the Mughal administrators. Factories or Bayutat, as this department was named, included factories and stores that the government maintained for the state’s use.

The buying and selling of pearls and diamonds and gems ranging from swords, arms, cannon guns and heavy ammunition was the responsibility of this department. The army was also responsible for the maintenance of horses and elephants, baggage ponies, animals and other animals for royal hunting.

This department not only procured and stored all kinds of goods, but was also the largest agency for the manufacture of weapons and luxuries for the war. Although the state owned and managed the butat, it was run in a purely commercial manner.

Role of Factories

The role of factories was important not only in the domestic but also in the military and financial sector of the empire. Apart from this, they also influenced the industrial progress of the state.

The luxury of medieval rulers, their courtesans, the decoration and grooming of the interiors required the manufacture of goods which were needed in the general market. Therefore, the rulers were forced to get government factories built for their construction.

The system of factories may have been derived from Persia, but the context of the factories actually dates back to the time of the Mauryan rulers, Alauddin Khalji and Firoz Tughlaq. Egypt also shows a clear distinction between government and private enterprises. Government enterprises made a variety of dresses for the royal families.

Not all factories of the Sultanate period can be properly called factories or workshops. Some of these were factories, while others were related to royal departments and personal services of the Sultan and animal fences.

There used to be a director general of factories. When the Sultan wanted to build something, the royal orders were first sent to Tashtadarkhana and Khwaja Jahan-e-Sultanate. The government itself provided all the items of government requirement in the Mughal Empire. For this, self-government produced almost all goods. Apart from this, the best type of things were also made there.

Demand for the Production

Due to the lack of large scale production, the general market could not meet the various important requirements of the government. Today, the government which buys ready-made goods from the market or orders the contractors to provide large quantities of goods, was not possible in that era of cottage industries.

At the same time, the capitalists did not make mass production keeping sales in view. Therefore, the government had no choice but to produce the goods of its own requirements. It can be gauged from how large the state’s commodities were required that twice a year, in the winter and rainy seasons, the clothes had to be kept ready.

The state itself ran several factories to ensure the supply of these goods. These factories were set up in major cities of the empire where skilled artisans (sometimes even from far away) were brought. These artisans worked under the supervision of a government inspector and were paid daily wages.

Proper arrangements were made for storage of handicrafts prepared by them. Similar arrangements were made for the production and supply of consumer and luxury items required for the royal household. There is no doubt that the Mughal emperor took special interest in the factories.

It was taken care that government factories should be set up not only in the central but also in the provincial headquarters and other important industrial cities.

Mughal Interest for the Indistries

From the observations of court historians and foreign travelers, it can be inferred that the Mughal emperors were interested in factories and workshops – skilled specialists and craftsmen were settled in the country to teach people improved methods of production.

The royal workshops located in Lahore, Agra, Fatehpur, Ahmedabad, Gujarat make many unique specimens of workmanship, the artisans are well looked after and due to this the clever craftsmen here have quickly become skilled in their work – royal workshops are all those things Provides that are made in other countries.

Interest in good things has become common and it is difficult to describe the clothes used during the feast. Akin was interested in recruiting artisans from his factories and artisans from different countries and training the local people in art, which is found in Ain-e-Akbari. Father Mansrat has also mentioned this.

Mansarat says that Akbar used to stand by himself and saw the common artisan working and sometimes did not hesitate to do it himself for the sake of recreation. Jahangir and Shah Jahan also continued to promote factories.

Jahangir Period

In the time of Jahangir, there are many examples of making unique items and giving skilled artisans compensation. The best example of this is of a knife, whose hilt was made of black-stained dandar-e-mahi (fish tooth). In addition, Jahangir made a sword, a knife and a knife by Maestro Dawood using a mixture of one hundred toe meteorite and common iron.

The edge of this sword was so sharp that it could compete with the best watery sword. When Mughal Subedar Islam Khan of Bengal took the capital from Dhaka to Dhaka, he built government shipwrecks, warehouses and factories with the help of carpenters, jewelers, armor makers and other artisans.

During the reign of Shah Jahan, the carpet industry of Kashmir and Lahore reached such heights of superiority that the woolen carpets in the royal factories of Iran appeared to be tots, compared to the woolen carpets made from hundred rupees per yard.

How much Shah Jahan used to give towards home industries is an example of his charity. When his dear daughter Begum Sahiba asked for a vow to send five lakh rupees to Mecca before sitting on the throne. He completed his vow when he sat on the throne and his daughter was cured.

But like Jahangir, he did not send cash in cash and instructed that the amount of money from Ahmedabad should be bought and sent to Hejaz and the amount received from its sale should be distributed among the poor and needy with dividends.

He got a Trin-made Deepadhar prepared by royal craftsmen and sent to the holy shrine of Mecca. This lamp was built within Swarnajali and was studded with precious gems. His cost was 2.5 lakh rupees.

Textiles Industries are in ‘Danger”

During his reign in the south, Aurangzeb was constantly trying to persuade the skilled textile-printers of Masulipatam to work in government factories by bringing them to Delhi or Agra. For this, they were almost obliged.

The provinces had government factories in Lahore, Agra, Ahmedabad, Burhanpur and Kashmir. The governors here promoted local productions as they had to send unique items of their respective provinces to the emperor.

According to Manuchi, Padshah and Shahzade used to keep their duties in each of these provinces, whose task was to bring the best things from these places and give them. They constantly monitored what the rulers of these provinces strive towards.

The Sultan of Golconda had a workshop. Many governors of the Mughal Empire had their own private factories, where skilled artisans made luxury items. This is consistent with Moreland’s belief that some people had private factories. Some local rulers such as the Maharaja of Benares had their own workshop in Ramnagar.

Sometimes European companies also felt the need for centralized production and control and they also made efforts to establish their own factories.

Khilat is particularly notable among the items manufactured in government factories. Khilat was a dress of respect which was conferred on special occasions by the Padshah to specific persons. These occasions used to be the anniversary of the ascension, both Eid, any occasion of celebration, etc.

Factories also used to prepare clothes for the garment. Also jewelery, exquisitely carved items which had very skilled workmanship. Different types of weapons and heavy guns and cannons were also made. This meant that most of the items of use of the royal family were manufactured in various government factories.

Government Factories

These government factories, however, were run on the cusp of large-scale industries. In which raw materials, tools and workshops were provided by the government. The relationship of the artisan, which actually produced, was limited to getting only remuneration.

He was not entitled to consume these goods. Yet these industries could not take the form of a real commercial factory. These factories used to produce goods according to the interest of the peddlers, and they showed the wonder of workmanship.

The cost of production of these goods was also kept accurately, but that production was not a decisive aspect. There was no shortage of funds with the government. There was no limit to the best interest and imagination of the peddlers. Under the circumstances, the development of factories as commercial industries was not possible.

Mughal Collapsed

In contrast, these factories relied only on the interests of the philosophers, choice and governmental requirements. This resulted in the collapse of the Mughal Empire with the collapse of these factories. The biggest advantage of the factories was that in the system. There was a lot of encouragement to refine artisan art.

The quality of the goods was based on the sophisticated interest of the philosophers and set the pattern for the artisans. This led to efficient exchanges. Workmanship went on from generation to generation. For this reason, even when the Mughal Empire and its factories were no more. The craftsmanship remained and continued in the country.

How these factories functioned, we get information about the foreign travelers who used to visit the Mughal court. In the time of Akbar, Diwan-i-Bayutat was very important in relation to factories. Later, the responsibility of the entire department was handed over to him and his position in the administrative machinery stabilized. Now he came to be called Mir-i-Saman. In Jahangir’s time, there is enough mention of his obligations and he is called Mir-e-Saaman and not Khan-e-Saaman.

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