Fish References in Bengal Literature

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14 Questions

What kind of scenes were generally portrayed in Mughal miniature paintings?

Battle scenes, court scenes, and hunting scenes

Who were the exclusive few who were allowed to view the Mughal miniature paintings?

The emperor and his close associates

Which materials were commonly used for creating miniatures in the early days?

Palm leaves and wood

Where did many painters move to after the decline of the Mughal Empire?

Courts of the emerging regional states

Which centers depicted themes from mythology and poetry in their paintings?

Mewar, Jodhpur, Bundi, Kota, and Kishangarh

During the decline of the Mughal Empire, which group of nobles played a significant role in weakening the empire from within?

Iranis and Turanis

Which Mughal emperors faced the most severe forms of humiliation at the hands of their nobles?

Farrukh Siyar and Alamgir II

How did the invasion impact Delhi's social fabric according to the text?

Recluses were pulled out of their corners, and the wealthy were turned into beggars.

Which large provinces saw the emergence of governors consolidating their authority after the decline of the Mughal emperors?

Awadh and Hyderabad

Who were the two Mughal emperors who suffered violent ends at the hands of their nobles?

Farrukh Siyar and Alamgir II

Which group made the Mughal emperors into puppets during their reigns?

Iranis and Turanis

How did the wealthy in Delhi transform after the invasion detailed in the text?

'Those who once set the style in clothes now went naked.'

'The New City (Shahjahanabad) was turned into rubble' refers to which historical event?

'The invasion led by Nadir Shah'

'Mughal emperors were blinded by their nobles' is associated with which rulers?

Ahmad Shah and Shah Alam II

Study Notes

Fishing in Bengal

  • Fishing has been an important occupation in Bengal, with references to fish in Bengali literature.
  • Terracotta plaques on temple walls depict scenes of fish being dressed and taken to market in baskets.
  • Brahmanas were initially prohibited from eating non-vegetarian food, but due to the popularity of fish, this prohibition was relaxed for Bengali Brahmanas.

Regional Cultures

  • The Brihaddharma Purana, a 13th-century Sanskrit text from Bengal, permitted local Brahmanas to eat certain fish varieties.
  • Rajput families ruled most of present-day Rajasthan from the 8th century.
  • Rajput heroes were celebrated in poems and songs, which were recited by minstrels to inspire others.
  • Stories about Rajput heroes often depicted dramatic situations and strong emotions like loyalty, friendship, and valour.

Kathak Dance

  • Kathak dance has its origins in different regions and forms.
  • The Mughal Empire fragmented into regional states, including Awadh, Bengal, and Hyderabad.
  • Kathak was patronized by Mughal nobility and regional courts.

Eighteenth-Century Political Formations

  • The Mughal Empire fragmented into three groups of states: old Mughal provinces, watan jagirs, and states under Marathas, Sikhs, and others.
  • Awadh, Bengal, and Hyderabad were founded by high Mughal nobility members who were governors of large provinces.
  • These governors occupied high mansabdari positions and enjoyed the trust and confidence of the emperors.
  • Nobles appointed as governors controlled revenue and military administration, giving them extraordinary powers over vast regions.
  • The decline of Mughal authority led to the rise of regional power centers.

Explore the significance of fish in Bengali literature, including depictions on terracotta plaques and dietary practices among Bengal Brahmanas. Learn about the historical context of fish consumption in Bengal culture.

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