IDENTITY, COMMUNITY AND STATE: The Jains under the Mughals

IDENTITY, COMMUNITY AND STATE: The Jains under the Mughals

Shalin Jain
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This work traces the history of the Medieval Jain community, focusing on the engagements of the Jains with the imperial authority in the Mughal provinces of Ajmer, Awadh, Allahabad, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Lahore and Malwa. It examines the trajectories of Jain community formation under the Mughals in India by scrutinizing the everyday reproduction of a religious minority ruled by a monarchical dynasty belonging to another religious affiliation. The endeavour is to gain insights on how diverse complexities of early modern South Asian society were dealt with. One can argue that socio-economic realities and cultural considerations had a significant influence in the evolution of the intercommunity relationship and state formation in early modern South Asia. An analysis of the ideological underpinnings of the political processes into their relations with the Jains reflects the subtleties of the making of Mughal India. Although most of the Jains were traders and merchants, their relations with the Mughal state can be examined beyond the technicalities of economic considerations.