The term War-state’ for Visionary was first used by N. Astir. Visionary is widely acknowledged to be the most militaries of the non- Muslim states of medieval south India. Such a militaristic orientation was a result of the Orleans of the polity created by an upward mobile warrior lineage In the Decca. This essay will focus on the nature of the Visionary state or polity which is a matter of intense debate amongst different scholars propounding different views.
The debate primarily revolves around the characterization of the Visionary state – whether It was a centralized state or segmental one, whether it was a war state or a feudal one and the role played by the anyways in rendering the identity to the Visionary state. According to N Astir, both external (Muslim states) and internal (the obstinacy of its feudatory) threats to Visionary produced what was the nearest approach to a War-state’ ever made by a Hindu kingdom.
Other writers Like Swell, Emailing along with Astir present their interpretive analysis of the state as an ideological reaction to Muslim rule. That is, the history is seen as the struggle to maintain Hindu institutions and upholding Hindu faith in the face of an Islamic threat, which In turn Is believed to have produced a military defense of existing Institutions, and ultimately led to the creation of the war-state’. There was also a constant conflict between the Visionary and Bahamas Kingdom for over 200 years; which in turn resulted in the disintegration of the Bahamas Empire.
Also, in the early 14th century, Invasions by Shall and Thought armless displaced the native warlords, creating a power vacuum: thus allowing the Sangria founders of Visionary to establish their kingship. Therefore, it would be wrong to attribute the formation of the Visionary state to religious factors. The development of the state was a reaction of regional forces to centripetal forces. Starts, is of the opinion that the FL]anagram Empire provided the right environment for It to be turned Into a War state’. The semi-arid environment hosted people engaging in slash-and-burn agriculture, herding and trade.
The upland economy was unstable and therefore encouraged the development of martial skills and the emergence of warlords. By the late 1 12th century, these warriors were politically dominant throughout the peninsula. Improvement in horse-riding equipment like foot-stirrups, better harnesses, etc. Along with availability of quality horses enhanced the destructive capability of the cavalry and led to greater militancy in the peninsula. The constant threat from the neighboring Bahamas kingdom forced Visionary to keep updating Its army.
Armies were Increasing In size, new weapons were introduced and massive fortifications were erected. Gunpowder, for example, was introduced into 1 13th 1 OFF it’s ‘system of fortifications’. The Visionary capital was heavily fortified, with its defensive walls intended to fend off invaders physically. Huge earth-packed and stone-faced walls surrounded by the suburbs and nearby villages. Recent works indicate that these walls enclosed around 650 kilometers, were manned by soldiers from ramparts, watch-posts and bastions. Catchments basins and reservoirs were part of the protective walls, thus serving daily needs.
The ground between the various walled areas of the capital was often filled with large boulders, known as ‘horse- stones’, guaranteeing difficulty to invading infantry or cavalry units. These fortresses were often commanded by brahmas and were intended as an insurance against he creation of anti-state coalitions of warriors. The Brahmins were appointed as military commanders, and were given charge of forts as durra Danish. Specific land assignments called “boundary” were granted whose income supported forts and fortresses.
Often there were conflicts between the anyways and the rays which made it imperative for the ray to develop a strong military base to control the anyways. There was also some amount of in-fighting between the anyways themselves, hence the increased malnutrition of the state. Public rituals in the capital highlighted the state-s military prowess. For example the nine-day Minivan festival required compulsory attendance from all the Nagoya lords and their armies, and a general muster of the troops was held outside the city. Thus festivals like these were really a celebration of the regime’s economic, political and military success.
Hence, Brahmins became an integral part of the administration and military system. Venerability says that the Brahmins were now trained to be accountants and administrators. Under this system, forts, Brahmins and dispersed tribal groups were to be given the highest order of state attention. This was done because these three elements were crucial for sustaining the military supremacy of Visionary and also for their ability to draw fighting men for its wars. Stein says that the Brahmins not only commanded fortresses but also represented the military and ritual supremacy of the ray in that area.
Moreover, due to the relentless fighting with Bahamas kings, security depended heavily upon how many forts could be controlled in the region. Astir also emphasizes on the 200 years long conflict with the Bahamas’ Kingdom and later with Bujumbura among other states to Justify is hypothesis. According to the various contemporary sources like Tariku-I-Hind, written by Affright, the conflict between Visionary and the Bahamas Kingdom started during the reign of Bahamas Shah when he tried to control the Archaic Dobb.
Even though Harrier I had tried to make peace at this time, the struggle periodically re appeared and the victory was dependent on the maximum control over forts in the Archaic area. Till the time of Baku l, three serious conflicts were waged of which no clear victor emerged and positions kept changing. In the Decca terrain, there are ere few fertile zones, since it is primarily a plateau region. The Archaic Dobb, which was a fertile area, was not only a bone of contention between the Visionary state and Bahamas state but also the arena of conflict.
Due to the location of the Bahamas kingdom with Malta in the north, they could only expand southwards leading to the conflict with Visionary. Thus the two states were bound to get into a conflict. Moreover, control over the Archaic Dobb also meant access to the Oaken kingdoms wanted to control the Krishna basin, which was extremely fertile and had a umber of mineral deposits. The Oaken coast was very important because of the number of ports located in this area. Hence control over this region implied access to sea-routes. Thus, strategic geographic and economic reasons for the conflict always existed in the region.
Quizzical Tabular, another contemporary writer who wrote Burbank-I-Mammas, in his work gave a religious color to the conflict. He saw it as a conflict between the forces of Islam and safaris and a kind of Jihad against ideology and non-believers. Tabular also stressed on non-religious factors as well but since here was a loss of many lives, religious Justification was needed. However, it must be noted that both Tabular and Affright were in the court of Aladdin Bahamas Shah and used religious terminology to Justify their ruler’s stand.
The reports of Portuguese trader, Fernando Unix, acts as an important source for this period. Unix describes war and gives details on the trade of horses, and effectively draws attention to the dependence of cavalry and firearms, which constitute the mainstay of Visionary military strength, on foreign trade. But, one faces certain problems while using foreign accounts. With reference to this case, the traders are biased and are unfamiliar with the society, polity and culture of Visionary.
And in such situations, they try to draw parallels between the new concepts they witness with ideas, institutions and features that they are accustomed to The second principle element of the War-state’ of Visionary was its hundreds of local military chiefs, ‘anyways’. Thus, this brings me to another important part of this debate which is (related to the administrative system of the Visionary state) the Ankara System. While this word occurred, for the first time, three centuries before the establishment of Visionary in the Karakas region, it has a specific connotation in the Visionary state for – military chieftains.
Nagoya, in Sanskrit, denotes a person of prominence and leadership, especially military leadership. The meaning of ‘Marinara’s’ captures the comprehensive essence of the word; an office (Kara) possessed by a military chief (Nagoya) in command (mark) of a body of troops. The Amaranth’s finds frequent mention in inscriptions, often accompanied by ‘marry,’ a pretend or land assignment. The Nagoya was a holder of the marry tenure. Marry tenures were given for military service to the anyways or marksman’s. They had to provide a military contingent and send a fixed tribute to the king.
Scholars estimate that seventy-five per cent villages were under marry tenure. Cattish Chancre refers to the anyways as ‘subordinate rules’. Elongate writes that the anyways were military agents of the Visionary ray and the anyways had a major role to play in the expansion of the Visionary Empire. In connection with the Nagoya system, various hypotheses have been put forward. Vincent Smith, Astir, Shari Parkas and Emailing argue that Visionary polity was a centralized one, here the king had control over the anyways and the provincial governors.
Initially, Astir put emphasis on a centralized bureaucratic structure and said that the anyways were completely dependent on the ray. But later he changed his stand and said that they had acquired a semi-independent and autonomous status. In his latest work, he wrote that Visionary was best looked upon as a military confederation of many chiefs, who owed certain obligations to the king. Despite the shift in emphasis, having rejected the idea of feudalism in North India, are inclined towards it with respect to Visionary. Their view is based on the accounts of foreign travelers like Pass and Unix.
Unix wrote that all land belonged to the king and captains held it, who further practiced subordination and paid 9/10th to the king. Elongate argues that the marry was a feudal tenure and saw the anyways as feudal lords. He referred to the tribute paid by the narrators as feudal. DC Circa also believed that the marry was a feudal tenure and also referred to the aspect of subordination. However, Marc Bloch feels it would not be correct to label the entire structure as feudal. An important feature of the European model is that the entire society from he lowest to the topmost level was bound by ties of protection and obligation.
However, in the Ankara system these ties were not applicable; they were military chieftains who had to send military contingents but they were not obliged to protect those who were under them. Stein rejected feudalism altogether. He Justified his claim by stating that nowhere are feudal levies specified. He then described the Ankara system as ‘preparedness’. Taken from Max Webber, the concept is that of a fiscal right granted by a superior authority to a person not involving any particular duty or obligation on the part of the recipient.
He loosely calls them powerful territorial military chieftains who derived their incomes from the marry tenure. He also specified that these chieftains did accept the ritual sovereignty of the king, which is reflected in the military contingent and tribute that they would send. They enjoyed considerable autonomy in the administration and governance of their marry tenure. According to Stein they constituted the intermediary segment or level of the segmental state. Stein saw a pyramidal sort of structure with the core region at the apex in Visionary as he had earlier seen in the case of the Chula Empire.
For him the core region was situated in the Thunderhead region, where the king exercised maximum authority. He also saw the macro areas where the kings authority is reduced. The periphery was not linked to the core through the flow of resources or any effective system of command. The view of Burton Stein has come under a lot of criticism. The first is that it is a conception model which has been borrowed and cannot be arbitrarily applied to the Visionary state. Also, there was a considerable increase in the power of the king from the Chula period along with an expansion in he scope and role of the state and king.
Stein has given inadequate epigrapher evidence for the working of the Segmental State. He also said that there is not much of a distinction between the Provincial Governors and the anyways but Astir plus Emailing emphasize the differences between the two. In another article, Stein used the term Sultana’s to describe the VAN state. He borrowed this term from Max Weber as well, who had used it in his book ‘Economy and Society, in the context of a large administration having enlarged and modern military force. Stein used this specially in the context of the state under Krishna Dave Ray.