Subject: mirza noble
Culture: Turani / Indo-Uzbek
Setting: early Mughal empire, Uzbek revolt, Hindustan 16-17thc
Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)
* Richards 1993 p17, 19
"In 1564, trouble flared up with the Uzbek nobles, Khan Zaman and his brother Bahadur Khan, who had defeated the Afghans at Chunar. Although most of these nobles had returned with Humayun to India, Uzbek allegiance to the Timurids was not as firm as it might have been. The Uzbek nobles traced their lineage back to Shaiban, the Uzbek ruler, who had been Babur's nemesis a half century earlier and whose descendants continued to rule in Central Asia. Accustomed to a more egalitarian political tradition, these grandees resented Akbar's imperious style. Considerable friction existed between the staunch Sunni Muslim Uzbeks and the Shia Persian nobles employed in Mughal service. Not surprisingly, the Uzbek dissidents determined to test Akbar early while the young ruler was still solidifying his position.
"In 1564 Abdullah Khan, governor of Malwa, went into open revolt. Akbar marched with an army to Mandu and drove the rebel with his followers to seek refuge in the still-independent Sultanate of Gujarat. Early in 1565 Akbar's attempt to recall the senior Uzbek officer in Awadh, touched off a unified Uzbek rebellion. A confused series of battles and negotiations ended in early 1566 with Akbar's withdrawal to Agra the rebels still holding the eastern provinces. [...] "The Uzbek revolt underscored Akbar's vulnerablility vis-a-vis his nobles. These warrior-grandees drew upon inherited positions of power, authority, and influence with their kinsmen. The amirs were heirs to bellicose martial traditions that emphasized personal honor, dignity, and bravery on the field of battle. Always armed themselves, they commanded varying numbers of personal slaves, dependent kinsmen, and paid retainers."
* Gommans 2002 p71
"... Turani pride was vested in a relatively egalitarian political style that attached great value to autonomy and the right to share in the spoils and conquests of their Mughal patron, the latter merely being the first among equals. In addition, many Turani warlords were proud of being descendants of either Chingiss Khan or Amir Timur. Being Turanis themselves, the Mughals found it extremely difficult to cope with the self-conscious behaviour of their Turani 'brothers'. In 1564 Akbar was faced with a major uprising of some of his early Turani followers, who revolted against his increasingly autocratic tendencies, also finding common cause with Akbar's half-brother and imperial shareholder at Kabul, Mirza Muhammad Hakim. The leaders of the revolt were Shaibani Uzbeks who were straight, paternal descendants of Chingiss Khan, whereas Akbar could only boast direct descent from Amir Timur, having just a maternal connection to Chinggis Khan. Almost simultaneously, a group of Timurid nobles bearing the title of Mirza also rose against Akbar. Its leader was descended from Amir Timur's second, most favoured son Jahangir, Akbar merely springing from Timur's third son Miranshah. Although Akbar crushed these revolts, they certainly may have made the Mughals wary of recruiting Turanis on a massive scale."