The emperor was the supreme head of state, and below him was his group
of ministers. In Akbar's time there were mainly three ministers: the
vazir, vakil or diwan, the prime minister; mir bakshi, in charge of
army recruitment and the assignment of duties to the army's
officers; and sadr us sadr, who looked after the state's religious
matters and its charity.
The qazi, or law minister, was the same as
the sadr us sadr during Akbar's reign. The muftis interpreted
Islamic laws, while the qazi passed judgement. The muhtasib, who had
a prominent role during Aurangzeb's reign, saw to it that Islamic
laws were being strictly adhered to. He was assisted by provincial muhtasibs.
The khan i saman was the personal secretary to the
emperor, looking after his personal necessities. He was also in
charge of the industries run by the state. The mir i aatish or
daroga e topkhana was in charge of the artillery. The daroga i dak
chauki was the head of the intelligence department. He kept the
emperor informed about the happenings in the country and any affairs of state. The
state was divided into provinces or subas.
The nizam or subedar was in charge of the province. Under him were
the kotwal or head policeman, and provincial qazis, the diwaan or
financial officer and/or revenue collector, the bakshi, sadr, and
the waqaya navis or head of the local spy department. The provinces
were further divided into districts or sarkars.
The faujdar was the chief military officer for the district. He
assisted the amal guzar or finance officer in collecting local
taxes. The bitikchi was in charge of maintaining the land records.
The khazaandar was the treasurer. There were also the local
and the qazis. Each sarkar was sub-divided into parganas.
The shiqdar was the military and administrative head of the pargana.
The amil was the finance and revenue officer for the pargana. The
fotadar was treasurer for the pargana. The qanungo kept the village
land records. Karkuns were the clerks in every department. Each
pargana had a village, with its own panchayat or elected group of
representatives who looked after village needs such as laws,
security, education and sanitation. The village had a local
policeman or chaukidar.
The military administration was in charge of the
mansabdars or ranked nobles who had their own sawars (cavalry) and
zats (foot soldiers). The dakhili soldiers were put in charge of the
mansabdars, while the ahadi soldiers owed direct allegiance to the