Alternative History
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Hindustani Empire
امپراتوری هند (Persian)
ہندوستانی سلطنت۔ (Urdu)
हिंदुस्तानी साम्राज्य (Hindi)
OTL equivalent: Mughal Empire 1526–1540. More exactly Hindustani Empire. In this case refers to the Indo-Gangetic plain.
Flag Coat of Arms
Flag of the Durrani Dynasty (The Yellow Rose of Suleyman Shah Durrani) Imperial Seal of the Hindustani Empire (simplified)
Location of Hindustani Empire
Maximum extent of Mughal Empire
Motto
تَكْبِير (Arabic)
("God is the greatest")
Capital
(and largest city)
Shahjahanabad, Delhi
Other cities Lucknow, Lahore, Agra and Karachi.
Language
  official
 
Persian/Farsi (official and court language), Arabic (for religious ceremonies) and Urdu (official status)
  others Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Pashto, Chagatai Turkic, Ottoman Turkish, and other South Asian languages.
Religion
  main
 
Sunni Islam (official)
  others Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism, Protestantism, Parsis and Cult of Reason.
Government Absolute monarchy (1526-1823), later constitutional monarchy (1823 to date).
Padishah Muhammad Akbar II
  Dynasty: Timurid (1526-1762) and Durrani (1762 to date)
Grand Vizier
Established 1526
Currency Rupee (rupiya, or silver) and dam (copper)

The Hindustani Empire is a large polity that comprised the majority of the North Indian subcontinent. The Hindustani Emperor (Padshah-i Hind[1]) is considered the paramount leader of India, tough in reality as little or no political and military power outside its domains. The Empire is historically divided in the Timurid (1526-1762) and Durrani (1762 to date) dynasties.

History

The Hindustani Empire was established and ruled by the Timurid dynasty, with Turco-Mongol Chagatai roots from Central Asia, claiming direct descent from both Genghis Khan (through his son Chagatai Khan) and Timur, and with significant Indian Rajput and Persian ancestry through marriage alliances; the first two Mughal emperors had both parents of Central Asian ancestry, while successive emperors were of predominantly Persian and Rajput ancestry. The Timurid and Durrani dynasties were Indo-Persian in culture, combining Persianate culture with local Indian cultural influences visible in its court culture and administrative customs. Later, the Ottoman Tanzimat brought a cultural renewal to the Durrani emperors.

Internal dissatisfaction arose due to the weakness of the Mughal Empire's administrative and economic systems, led to its break-up and declarations of independence of its former provinces by the Nawabs of Bengal and Awadh, the Nizam of Hyderabad and other small states.

In 1739, the Mughals were crushingly defeated in the Battle of Karnal by the forces of Nader Shah, the founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persia, and Delhi was sacked and looted (March 1739), drastically accelerating their decline. By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had routed Mughal armies and won over several provinces from the Punjab to Bengal.

Adding the loss of prestige of the Moghuls, was the self proclamation and crowning of King Louis XVI of France as Emperor of India in 1764, after the Third Carnatic War (1756–1760).

Flag (Alam علم) of former Mughal dynasty (1526-1762).

The Durrani invasion of northern India in 1762 was a decisive defeat of the Mughal armies and that ended with the murder of Emperor Shah Alam II and most of the imperial family effectively ending the Mughal dynasty and installing Ahmad Shah Durrani as the first Durrani emperor of the Hindustan.

The Anglo-Franco-Maratha Wars broke up the Maratha Confederacy enabling the Mogul to recover territories and gain vassals. Many of these vassals, specially Muslim rulers, took refuge in the Moghuls as mean to safeguard their positions in the partition that French and British were doing as spoils of their victory over the Marathas. It would take several years and the reforms that became the cornerstone of the Second Mughal empire in northern India. Taking a hold on and promoting Sufism and helped by the reformism of the Bhakti movement that would later become Sikhism, the ruling Hindustani-Durrani elites were able to have make conversions to Islam or an acceptable monotheism in the form of Sikhism. To become a zamindar one had to be a Muslim or Sikh. This religious policy was ruthless pushed among the peasantry and non Islamic aristocracies of northern India. Several Hinduist revolts were crushed and its leaders severely punished.

The Ottoman Tanzimat reforms provided a model for the refoundation of the Hindustani Empire. The Great Imperial Decree established a quasi-constitutional monarchy by centralizing the power and authority of the Padishah, reorganization of the offices of the Grand Vizier and the supremacy of the law courts for Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs under the protection of the emperor. The reformed army, its training under supervision of French and British advisors, and the recruitment of Sikhs allowed the Imperial Army to become one of the cornerstones of the newly centralized authority of the padishah.

The New Schools became the centers for training the new state bureaucracy, military and governing classes. Trade treaties were negotiated with the Commonwealth, France and the Netherlands.

Padishah (Emperor)

The Peacock Throne, the jewelled throne that is the seat of the padishahs of India, also used as metonym for central government of the Hindustani Empire.

The Padishah (Emperor) is the supreme political power of the Hindustani Empire. Until 1823, the Empire was an absolute monarchy. The padishah freely named and organized the administration of the Empire. The Diwan served as an a body of direct advisors to the Peacock Throne. The wazir (the chief minister), the highest office of the Diwan, was concerned with revenue and finance.

The Great Imperial Decree of 1823 established a constitutional monarchy. The Padishah-i Hind (Emperor of India) as supreme head of state names the ministers of the Diwan, chaired by the Grand Vizier. The already large imperial administration was organized in ministries and departments. The subahdars and lower officers, as the padishah's deputies are named by the him on advice of the Diwan, copied the main departments of the central administration.

The Imperial Majlis, the supreme legislative assembly of the Empire, is partially named and elected.

Previous ones same as OTL.

Portrait / Reign name (birth name) Reign Notes
Muhammad Shah of India.jpg
Muhammad Shah

(Roshan Akhtar Bahadur)

1719–1748 Got rid of the Syed Brothers. Fought a long war with the Marathas, losing Deccan and Malwa in the process. Suffered the invasion of Nader Shah of Persia in 1739. He was the last emperor to possess effective control over the empire. First Carnatic War (1744–1748).
Ahmad Shah Bahadur of India.jpg
Ahmad Shah Bahadur 1748-1754 Son of Muhammad Shah. Second Carnatic War (1749–1754). Mughal forces defeated by the Marathas at the Battle of Sikandarabad. Deposed and murdered.
Alamgir II of India.jpg
Alamgir II

(Aziz-ud-din)

1754-1756 Son of Jahandar Shah (Padishah 1712-1713). In 1756, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India once again and captured Delhi and plundered Mathura. Marathas became more powerful because of their collaboration with Imad-ul-Mulk, and dominated the whole of northern India. Murdered by Imad-ul-Mulk.
Ali Gauhar of India.jpg
Shah Alam II

(Muhi-ul-millat)

1756-1762 Son of Alamgir II. Third Carnatic War (1756–1760). Deposed and murdered by Nadir Shah ending the Timurid dynasty.
Portrait miniature of Ahmad Shah Durrani.jpg
Ahmad Shah Durrani 1762-1772 Also Shah/Emir of Afghanistan (Durrani Empire). Founder of the Durrani Dynasty.
Akbar II.jpg
Suleyman Shah Durrani 1772-1799 Son of Ahmad Shah Durrani and brother of Timur Shah Durrani Shah/Emir of Afghanistan. Reformed provincial administration.
Iskander Ghazi 1799-1810 Son of Suleyman Shah Durrani. Consolidated control of northern India and conquered Sikh Kingdom.
Bahadur Iqbal 1810-1821 Son of Iskander Ghazi. Started the New Order reforms. Killed during the Ghilman Revolt of 1821-1822.
Zinat mahal.jpg
Ayesha Begum 1821-1832 Daughter of Iskander Ghazi. Regent Imperial. Signed the Great Imperial Decree that established a constitutional monarchy.
Mirza abu bakr.jpg
Iskander Jahangir II 1832-1835 Grandson of Iskander Ghazi. Murdered in palace coup.
Bahadur Shah II.jpg
Muhammad Akbar II 1835-1862 Grandson of Iskander Ghazi.

Administrative divisions

Subah (Urdu: صوبہ) is the term for a province in the Hindustani Empire. The word is derived from Arabic. The governor of a Subah was known as a subahdar (sometimes also referred to as a subah), which later became subedar to refer to an officer in the Indian Army. The subahs were established by padshah (emperor) Akbar during his administrative reforms of 1572–1580; initially they numbered 12, but his conquests expanded the number of subahs to 15 by the end of his reign. Subahs were divided into Sarkars, or districts. Sarkars were further divided into Parganas or Mahals. His successors, most notably Aurangzeb, expanded the number of subahs further through their conquests.

A succession of short reigning Mughal emperors that were ineffective rulers began the period were the empire began to dissolve in the early 18th century, many subahs became effectively independent, or were conquered by the Marathas or the British and French. At most the paramount rulership of the Mughal emperors of India became a symbolic one.

Under the Reforms of Iskander Ghazi the subahs were reorganized and reduced in their number. A new administrative division, the riyasat, was created for the semi autonomous provinces of Kalhora, Punjab, Oudh and Gujarat.

The Treaty Port Districts were established to open up foreign trade for the Hindustani Empire. Foreigners were allowed and encouraged to lived in sections newly built for them on the existing port cities.

The original twelve subahs created as a result of administrative reform by Akbar and the ones added until the reign of Aurangzeb (1687) were:

  1. Kabul Subah (Kashmir added 1586) (Capital: Kabul) Lost to Afghanistan
  2. Lahore Subah (Lahore)
  3. Multan Subah (Multan)
  4. Ajmer subah (Ajmer)
  5. Gujarat Subah (Ahmedabad)
  6. Delhi Subah (Delhi)
  7. Agra Subah (Agra)
  8. Malwa (Ujjain)
  9. Awadh Subah (Faizabad, later Lucknow)
  10. Illahabad Subah (Illahabad)
  11. Bihar Subah (Patna)
  12. Bengal Subah (Tanda 1574-95, Rajmahal 1595-1610, 1639-59, Dhaka 1610-1639, 1660-1703, Murshidabad 1703-57)
  13. Berar Subah (Ellichpur 1596)
  14. Khandesh (or Dandesh) (Burhanpur 1601)
  15. Ahmadnagar Subah (Renamed Daulatabad in 1636, further renamed Aurangabad) (Capitals: Ahmadnagar 1601-1636, Daulatabad, Aurangabad 1601, conquest completed 1635)
  16. Orissa Subah (Cuttack)
  17. Kashmir Subah (Srinagar)
  18. Thatta subah (Sindh) (Capital: Thatta)
  19. Qandahar subah (Qandahar, 1638. Lost in 1648 to Afghanistan)
  20. Telangana Subah (Nanded, 1636 Merged into Bidar in 1657)
  21. Balkh (Balkh 1646. Lost in 1647)
  22. Badakhshan Subah (Qunduz 1646. Lost in 1647)
  23. Bidar Subah (Bidar 1656)
  24. Bijapur Subah (Bijapur 1684. Lost in 1724))
  25. Golkonda Subah (later Haidarabad) (Capital: Haidarabad 1687)
  26. Sira Subah (Sira 1687. Lost in 1757)


Subahs and riyasats after the reforms:

Subahs
  1. Delhi (Delhi)
  2. Agra (Agra)
  3. Ajmer (Ajmer)
  4. Kach (Thatta)
  5. Sind (Qalat)
  6. Kashmir (Srinagar)
  7. Malwa (Ujjain)
  8. Multan (Multan)
Riyasats
  1. Gujarat (Ahmadabad)
  2. Punjab (Lahore)
  3. Kalhora (Azharistan)
  4. Flag of Awadh.svg Oudh (Faizabad)
Treaty Port Districts
  1. Surat
  2. Karachi

  1. Emperor of India
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