Q. 24.9( 11 Votes )
Compare and contrast the perspectives from which Ibn Battuta and Bernier wrote their accounts of their travels in India.
Ibn –Battuta wrote the account of his travels in India in his book Rihala. He travelled extensively in India, Central Africa and lived at the court of Muhammad Bin Tuglaq. He recorded his observations about new culture, people’s beliefs and values. He particularly highlighted the things that he was unfamiliar with like the “coconut” and “Paan” in great detail. While travelling he crossed several “Bazaars”, and caught an eye on Indian “Postal system”. He described the conditions of slaves and the “city of Delhi”.
Francois Bernier in his book Travels in Mughal Empire. His account is marked by detailed observations, critical insights and its reflections. He compared what he saw in India with the situation of Europe. He blamed crown ownership of land and absence of private property as a reason for underdevelopment in the Indian society
Both of them wrote account on different perspective. Ibn Battuta mentioned and explained what he was impressed from whereas Bernier pointed out the things that were the weakness of the Indian society. He pointed the weakness of the Indian society and considered the Mughal India inferior to the European society. Ibn Battuta recorded observations about culture, people, beliefs and values.
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A warning for europe
Berinier warned that if European kings followed the Mughal model:
Their kingdoms would be very from being well-ciltivated and peopled, so well built, so rich, so polite and flourishing as we see them. Our kings are otherwise rich and powerful; and we must avow that they are much better and more royally served. They would soon be kings of deserts and solitudes, of beggars and barbarians such as those whom I have been representing(Mughals). We should find the great cities and great Borroughs (boroughs) rendered uninhabitable because of ill air; and to fall to ruine (ruin) without any bodies (anybody) taking care of repairing them; the hillocks abondon’d and field overspread with bushes or fill’d with pestilential marishes (marshes), as hath been already intimidated.
(i) In what ways did Bernier condemn the Mughal rulers?
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