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EMPIRE AND SOCIETY

 In an effort to be accepted into the local Hindu society, the Mughals adopted some Hindu political rituals and customs—for instance, they applied tika (mark made on the forehead using dye) to some political subordinates. This practice of respecting local religion and culture began with Babur, who advised Humayun to take special care of the religious susceptibilities of the local Indian peoples. Akbar solidified the practice with a political ideology that continued to be the bedrock of the state, despite some detractors, until the end of the Mughal Empire. Because of this effort the Mughal political and religious culture subsequently acquired a combination of beliefs, giving it a cosmopolitan overtone.

The Mughals’ close relations with prominent ruling Rajput families were intended to ensure political stability and reinforce the legitimacy of their power. Furthermore, at lower levels the administration was largely in the hands of the Hindu officials. As a result, it was not only the local ruling aristocracy who allied with the Mughals but also a considerable portion of the urban Hindu clerical and trading castes (groups).