The most important cause of the downfall of the Mughal Empire was the religious policy of Aurangzeb. The Mughal state in the days of Akbar, Jahangir, and Shahjahan was basically a secular state. Its stability was essentially founded on the policy of non interference with the religious beliefs and customs of the people, fostering of friendly relations between Hindus and Muslims. Aurangzeb alienated the sympathy and support of the Hindus by committing all sorts of atrocities on them. He imposed Jizyah (tax on non-Muslims) on all the Hindus in the country. The jizyah was abolished within a few years of Aurangzeb’s death. Amicable relations with the Rajput and other Hindu nobles and chiefs were soon restored. The Hindu and the Muslim nobles, Zamindars, and chiefs ruthlessly oppressed and exploited the common people irrespective of their religion.
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