47. Restrictions on the Hindus: forbidden to travel in Palkis, or ride on elephants and Arab-Iraqi horses.

In March 1695, all the Hindus, with the exception of the Rajputs, were forbidden to travel in palkis, or ride on elephants or Arab and Iraqi horses, or to carry arms. (Muntakhab-ul-Lubab, ii, 395; Maasir-i-‘Alamgiri, 370 and News Letter, 11 December 1694).

In the sketch above, well to do Hindus are being made to alight from palki (sedan chair), elephant and good horse by Mughal officers. The need to issue this derogatory order was the requirement, also recorded in Fatwa-i-‘Alamgiri, that Zimmis should not be allowed to look like Muslims, that is carry themselves with the same dignity. The folly and futility, or even danger of applying or observing the restrictive practices of some of the Khalifahs, such as ‘Umar (717 A.D.), and the guiding principles, practices and law prescribed, interpreted, or recommended in the seventh and eighth centuries in Arabia and Iraq, after a lapse of ten centuries in a country like India, was never realized by the Muslim clerics or their Emperor.