The Jodha Akbar serial often shows how Akbar, in order to please his awaam keeps on reforming his system. No wonder, Akbar did make several societal reforms during his reign. While some are popular, some are not that known to the world. Here we share almost all the social reforms made by him during his ruling period from 1556 to 1605.
He Abolished the Pilgrim Tax
In 1563 Akbar abolished the Pilgrim Tax so that he could win the favor of his Hindu citizens. This decision was opposed by his Muslim ministers who informed the emperor that eradicating the tax would involve huge losses to the imperial treasury. There was another argument which the ministers pointed out that since the Hindu populace where paying these taxes for the longest period of time, the tax was not unfair. As they say, “An old tax is no tax”. Still, Akbar preferred to earn the goodwill of the Hindus even though it meant that he had to lose a sum of Rupees one crore annually.
Akbar Removed the Jizya Tax
After eliminating the pilgrim tax, Akbar moved towards the abolition of Jizya tax. This tax was paid only by the Hindus to their Moslem rulers. When Akbar abolished this tax, it also eliminated the entrenched cynicism in the minds of the Hindu citizens against the Moslem rulers.
Akbar tried to remove the custom of forced Sati
Though the practice of Sati was abolished completely during the modern times when British came to India, one cannot forget the contribution of Akbar. Akbar was the first Mughal emperor who made an attempt to stop the Hindu custom of Sati. He also passed a farman in 1590-91 that no woman can be burnt against her will. He had also appointed special inspectors keep a watch on the forced as well as volunatry Sati.
He discouraged the practice of child-marriage
In the Jodha Akbar serial, the issue of child marriage was brought up when Adham Khan wanted to marry a girl half his age. This incident infuriated Akbar so much that he changed the marriage laws. While, this was with respect to the serial, let me tell you in reality too Akbar was against child marriages. He had passed a law which stated that no boy below the age of 16, and no girl below the age of 14 can marry. What’s more, he had passed the law wherein consent of the bride and the bridegroom was necessary for any marriage to take place.
He disapproved the system of high dowries & Polygamy
While the dowry system is still here even in the modern India, Akbar himself disapproved the system of giving or receiving high dowries. It is interesting to note that Akbar also condemned the system of polygamy. According to him it not only ruined the happiness and the health but also the tranquility of a person’s mind. It is said that Akbar in his later days realized how he should have married only once instead of marrying several times.
Voluntary Inter-communal marriages and Religious Conversion were encouraged.
If a Hindu was converted into Muslim during his childhood, he was given the right to convert back into his religion. What’s more, he even encouraged inter communal marriages. No wonder, he and his sons had several wives who belonged to different religion.
It was Akbar who had abolished the Jagir System
Akbar abolished the Jagir system, thus ending the problems of the farmers. After this reform the state directly collected the taxes and the officers carrying out the duty was paid salaries for their job.