Religious Policy of Akbar – 2
A.Beginning of tolerance [1562-75]
1. Akbars marriage with Amber princess:
In 1562 Akbar married Jodha Bai, daughter of Bihari Mal of Amber. This marriage with Rajput princess signified the new policy of Akbar.
2. Abolition of pilgrim tax :
In 1563, while Akbar was in Mathura he learnt that the Hindu pilgrims who visited their sacred places had to pay a tax to the state. He could not tolerate this and ordered the abolition of pilgrim tax.
3. Abolition of Jaziya :
In 1564 Akbar took a very bold and momentous measure. He abolished Jaziya- a tax which was imposed on the Hindus only and which always pinched them. All the Hindu hitherto had to pay this tax amounting to 10, 20 or 40 tankas according to their income. This tax was a badge of inferiority of the Hindus who were greatly insulted while paying this tax. Akbar thought it to be very unjust and so he abolished it in 1564.
4. High service to the Hindus:
Akbar also gave high jobs to the Hindus. For example, Raja Todar Mal was appointed Finance Minister. Raja Man Singh was granted a mansab of 7000. Out of 12 diwans of provinces 8 were Hindus. Thus he reversed the hitherto being followed as strict policy by the rulers in which Hindus were denied all high posts.
5. Forcible conversion prohibited:
Akbar also issued an order in which forcible conversion was prohibited. Even the prisoners of war could not be forced to abandon their religion. Thus from 1562 to 1575 Akbar took various measures of religious intolerance.