Cynthia Talbot (Texas at Austin) gives a talk for the Asian Studies Centre seminar series on Mughal India and the Rajput.
What did loyalty mean to warriors in the rapidly changing political landscape of early modern North India? I look at three case studies from the late sixteenth century in which elite warriors had to make hard choices about their competing loyalties to family members and to their imperial overlord. The Rajputs of Bikaner, Bundi, and Udaipur all faced situations in which brothers and sons disagreed about submitting to Mughal authority and could be forced to fight each other as a consequence. The demands of new political allegiances thus came into conflict with older Rajput values derived from the heavily kin-based polities of the past, in an age before patriotism. This is part of a larger project that studies the martial sentiments found in Rajput narratives, as a foray into the history of emotions.