The Delhi Sultanate : Market and Military Reforms of Allauddin Khilji;Utopian policies of Muhainmad-bin-Tughlaq.

Muhammad Ghori returned to Ghori, leaving his Indian territories in the charge of his trusted general Qutub-ud –din Aibak. After Ghori’s death in 1206, Qutub-ud-din Aibak proclaimed himself as the ruler of the Turkish territories in India. He took the title of Sultan and made Delhi his capital. This marked the beginning of The Delhi Sultanate. The rulers of Delhi, who ruled from 1206-90, were Mamluk Turks.Mamluk is an Arabic word meaning “owned”.

Qutbuddin Aibek was born in an aristocratic family of Turkistan. He was sold even in childhood. A Qazi of Nishapur (Khurasan) purchased him. He managed for his religious and military education. After the death of the Qazi, his sons sold him to a trader. This trader took Aibek to Ghazni and sold him to Muhammad Ghori.
After winning the second battle of Tarain, Muhammad Ghori appointed Aibek as ruler of his Indian empire. Aibek ruled from 1192 AD to 1206 AD as the representative of Muhammad Ghori. He became an independent sultan of India after the death of Muhammad Ghori. He ruled for about 4 years (1206 – 10 AD).

The new theory of kingship as propounded by Ala-ud-Din Khilji was similar to that of Balban, he maintained that the Sultan was the God’s representative on earth. As such none had the right to flout his authority; the sultan is the focal point of all the administration. He is the Commander-in-Chief, the Chief Justice and the Supreme administrator, all in one. He was intolerant to any section that would seem to challenge his authority. In this way he did not sit in peace until he had brought under his effective control the rich aristocracy, the ulema and the commoners. He appointed a team of able ministers to assist him in establishing an autocratic set-up.
All the central ministers were really able and efficient and they helped the Sultan whole-heartedly. These provinces were governed with the help of highly efficient persons. These governors were loyal to the Sultan. Malik Kafur, Ulugh Khan and Ghazi Malik were some of the famous officers. It was the help of these ministers and governors that Ala-ud-Din succeeded in establishing his personal autocracy.

1. Administrative and Revenue Reforms. In the earlier period of Ala-ud-Din reign several of his nobles broke out in open revolt. After deliberate thinking he
came to the conclusion that excess of money with the Amirs, habit of drinking wine, inter-mixing of nobles and Sultan’s own negligence were the root causes of these rebellions. Therefore he took several to curb seditions and revolts:
a. Confiscation of Wealth. Ala-ud-Din confiscated the Jagirs of the Amirs and the nobles. He also confiscated their wealth on one pretext or the other.
He reduced them to such a state of poverty that most of the time they were worried about a square meal a day. In such circumstance they could hardly think of any revolt.
b. Ban on Drinking. Ala-ud-Din himself gave up drinking and emptied the jars of wine stored for the royal use. Sale and drinking of wine was prohibited. Those who broke this law were severely punished.
c. Ban on inter-mixing among Nobles. The Amirs and the nobles were prohibited from entertaining one another at feasts and parties of contracting
matrimonial alliances, without the Sultan’s permission. It was done so that they might not form a group or hatch a conspiracy or sedition against the Sultan. Now the Amirs kept themselves shut in their homes.
d. The Spy-System. Ala-ud-Din had spread a strong spy-system throughout his realm. It helped him in keeping close vigilance on all happenings in
his kingdom as well as on the activities of his Amirs and nobles and to defeat and curb their seditious designs before they were hatched. The Amirs were so scared of these spies that they were afraid even of expressing their personal views openly.
e. The Revenue System. Ala-ud-Din reformed his revenue system in order to amass enough money for suppressing revolts and maintaining a strong
army for keeping internal peace and order. Land-revenue for all the lands was remixed. In the Doab, the revenue rates were doubled and the people living there were forced to pay it in kind. The salaries of the revenue officials were increased to make them desist from accepting bribes. The revenue records were kept up to date and the dues were realized strictly.
f. Harsh Treatment of the Hindus. Ala–ud-Din policy towards the Hindus was quite harsh and cruel. They were to pay higher rate of land revenue
and several other taxes which reduced them to mere paupers.

g. Administration freed from Religious Domination. Ala-ud-Din was an orthodox Muslim and held the Ulemas in high esteem. But be kept politics separate
from religion. He never tolerated religious interference in the affairs of the state, nor did he give the Ulemas and their views any importance in matters of administration.

Market Reforms of Ala-ud-Din Khilji

1. Fixation of Prices. As the taxes were already high, there was no scope to raise them further. On the other hand, the soldiers felt it hard to meet their both ends with the wages and salaries that were paid to them. Therefore, Ala-ud-Din fixed the prices of almost all the articles of daily use as low as possible.
2. Storage and supply. Besides fixing the prices, large quantities of commodities were also stored by the state. (i) All farmers and producers within 100
miles of Delhi were ordered to sell their produce direct to the government. (ii) Granaries and store-houses were built with large storage capacity to store large quantities of corn. (iii) Grain was sold to people at a fixed price during draught and scarcity.
3. Control over the Means of Transport. Strict control was also exercised on the means of transport. The Banjara traders (Pedlars) engaged in transportation of corn were required to get their names registered with the authorities. Protection was given to both the life and property of these traders. Loans were also given to them.
4. Supervision of the Market. There were two officials, called the ‘Diwan-i-Risalat’ and the ‘Shahani-i-Mandi’, to see that the traders did not over-
charge or under-weigh. Those who gave short weight were severely punished by cutting from their body a piece of flesh equivalent to the deficit in weight.
5. Merits of the System. Ala-ud-din succeeded in maintaining a large army at the lowest possible cost by fixing lower rates of different articles. Besides
the army it also benefitted the poor-workers and small artisans also who could get the articles of daily need at quite low rates.


Utopian policies of Muhainmad-bin-Tughlaq.

1. Heavy taxation in the Doab

2. Transfer of the capital

3. Issue of token currency

4. Bribing to Mongols

5. Plan to conquer Khurasan and Iraq

6. The Quarajal expedition

7. The Deccan Policy.

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