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BA LLB history sample question answer political history of medieval India: In this article, you will read about SURVEY OF THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL INDIA|medieval Indian history objective questions|Discuss the political condition of Medieval India in 1175 A.D.
Discuss the political condition of Medieval India in 1175 A.D.
Ans. Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Ghauri received Ghazri’s administration from his elder brother. He consolidated his position and planned to invade India. He embarked upon several expeditions in India.
Political condition of India : Muhammad Ghauri set out on errands. about one hundred and fifty years after Mahmud Ghaznavi. By that time much change occurred in political condition of India. Western part of India was under the occupation of Ghazni and to make an attempt on India was comparatively easier. The entire India was steeped into anarchy. The country had numerous small independent states. Which remained at war with one another in the absence of a central authority to bind them together into a nation. They found it difficult to face the foreign invaders unitedly. At that time India had five powerful Rajput kingdoms : the Chauhans in Ajmer and Delhi, the Rathods in Kannauj and Kashi, the Baghelas in Gujarat, the Palas in Bihar and the Sens in Bengal. Motives of Muhammad Ghauri invasion
(1) Extension of empire : Muhammad Ghauri was an ambitious and adventurous ruler of Ghazni who wanted to change his small kingdom into a mighty empire. He started invading India for this purpose.
(2) Defence of Ghazni : He was worried for Ghazni and feared that Hindu king would over-run her any time. He wanted to secure the eastern border of his kingdom. His invasions were an expression of strengthening his defence for Ghazni.
(3) His greed : He was a greedy man. Mahmud’s achievements
left a deep impression on his mind and introduced him (Muhammad Ghauri) to the riches and vulnerability of India. He also came to make the Indian wealth available to him.
(4) Propagation of Islam : Muhammad Ghauri was not a devout propagator of Islam like his predecessor Mahmud Ghaznavi. He however, thought it expedient to earn the bless along with other motives.
His main objective of invading India was political. Others followed as a corallary.
Muhammad Ghauri’s Invasion of India : From 1175 to 1205 AD he invaded India for several times. We shall study his persuits in India in some detail in the following lines :
(a) lnvasion on border kingdoms : He invaded Multan in 1175 AD, defeated the Shia ruler and replaced him with his Sunni governor. Later he conquered Peshawar. He planned to attack Gujarat but inaccessible desert and possibility of strong resistance from the Rajput kings deterred him. He suffered heavy losses. Soon after he captured Sindh and then Punjab, occupied Lahore in 1178, made Khusro Malik and his son prisoners and slew them. Khusro Malil: and his son were the last of the Mahmud’s dynasty. Hence forth started the Ghauri
(b) Conquest of North India : Having consolidated his position in the acquired territories he set out to conquer north India. We shall study his conquests, in the chronological order, in the following lines –
(1) The first battle of Tarain (1191): Muhammad Ghauri at the head of a large army, reached Sirhind. Prithvi Raj, who was the ruler of Delhi and Ajmer, made a confederation of several rulers and prepared to give a decisive light to him. The ruler of Kannauj did not enter into the consederation for personal animosity. The two armies met at Tarian in 1191 in a lierce and ferocious battle. The Indian forces defeated the Turks who fled in dissary. Muhammad Ghauri was mortally wounded whom a Khilji soldier carried him away from the battle ground. The Indians, true to their traditions, did not persue the fleeing enemies, a mistake which India had to repent for centuries.
(2) The second battle of Tarain (1192) : Muhammad Ghauri did not forget the defeat. He repaired his military organization and with a large cavalry of his unrivalled marks-men he again descended on the plains of Tarain in 1192. Prithvi Raj was the leader of the confederation
of the north Indian kings. Kannauj’s ruler, Jai Chand, was all the more, embittered with him. He not only kept himself aloof from the battle but also helped Muhammad Ghauri in order is wreck his vengeance on Prithvi-Raj. The Indian army was so large that it became disorganized. Prithvi Raj was defeated, captured and slain. Chandra bardia has another story to tell. Prithvi Raj was captured and taken to Ghazni as a prisoner. In a show of exhibiting his skill as an archer the blind. Prithvi Raj shot a sound arrow at Muhammad Ghauri killing him instantly. He later committed suicide. Todd does not attach credence is this statement of Chandrabardai. The crux of the event is that sovereignty passed into the hands of the Muslims. Ghauri returned home after the victory.
Result of the war : The second battle of Tarain, in 1192, ensured far-reaching results. The sovereignty of the Rajputs ended because Muhammad Ghauri descated the combined forces of the Rajputs. The remaining Rajputs did not find sufficient courage against the Turks and reclaimed their lost honour. “The second battle of Tarain in 1192, may be regarded as the decisive contest which ensured the ultimate success of the Muhammadan attack on Hindustan”- Smith.
. (3) Conquered Kannauj : Being encouraged’ of his victories Muhammad Ghauri again invaded India in 1191 to capture Kannauj and Kashi. Jai Chand had to fight him alone. A fierce battle raged between them at Chandvar. Jai Chand received an arrow into one of his eyes. His army sled in panic. Jai Chand was made a prisoner and slain. Therefore Ghauri looted Kannauj and pulled down temples and broke the deitics at Banaras. Muhammad Ghauri designated his slave, Qutubuddin his viceroy in India
Qutubuddin completed his master’s incomplete work. He declared Delhi as capital and captured the neighbourhood Meerut and Koul (Aligarh), conquered Gawalior, dcfcated Chandelas of Mahoba in 1202 and occupied Kalinjar.
Muhammad Ghauri suffered defeat in Central Asia in 1205. The Khokhars of Punjab revolted. Aibak could not quell them and the Khokhars captured Lahore.
Death of Muhammad Ghauri : Muhammad Ghauri came to India io punish the Khokhars whom he defeated while on way back home a Khokhan slew him.
Q. 2. Discuss the political condition of Medieval India in 1526…
Ans. The condition of the first quarter of the sixteenth century was similar to that of the early eleventh century when the Turks invaded, Small states abounded which sought with one another and never countered the foe unitedly their internecine rivalries provided them occasions of happiness on the defeat of their rival rulers at the hands of foreign invaders. Many a times they joined hands with them. Consequently the foreigners occupied a larger part of India and ruled for over five hundred years. Dr. Ashirwadi Lal Srivastava however points out the difference in the situation between the first quarter of the sixteenth century and early eleventh century. The foreigner fought against the Indians in the eleventh century and in the sixteenth century a foreign power wrested it from the hands of a number of foreign rulers in India. We shall discuss the political, economic and social condition of the period at the time of the Mughal conquest. Political condition of India at the invasion of Babar (1526)
The political condition of India in 1526 was similar to that of the early twelveth century when Mohd. Ghauri invaded India. There were innumerable small, independent kingdoms which often fought with one another, with no central authority to unite them against a foreign invasion. Some of the important kingdoms of the period were :
(1) Delhi : Ibrahim Lodhi was the king of Delhi. He was an obstinate and obdurate ruler. The kingdom shrank to the extent of a small principality. His Amirs were discontented with him and an environment of disquiet and revolt was prevalent. Ibrahim Lodhi compelled his self-respecting Afghan nobles to stand in his court with solded hands. He even insulted those whose his father and grand father treated with respect. He punished them for not conforming to a humiliated position. Soon the Lodhi’s Lohani’s Niyaji, and Afghan nobles turned against him. They revolted but were cruelly suppressed. The nobles pined for liberty. Revolts flared all around. The Sultan’s uncle Alam Khan Lodi, claimed his right on the throne of Delhi and found favoure with the majority of the nobles. Punjabs governor Daulat Khan Lodi, behaved him as an independent ruler and disobeyed him. He conspired and invited Babar to India. The chiefs in Bihar united onder the leadership of Dariya Khan, Lohani. After his death his son,
Bahadur Khan, pronounced his independence. The Afghan nobles revolted under the banner of Nasir Khan Lohani, ruler of Jaunpur, in Uttar Pradesh. At the time of Babars invasion the Delhi Sultanate was plagued with revolts, conspiracies and disunity. Ibrahim Lodi was not in a position to face a strong invader.”
(2) Bengal : Bengal became an independent kingdom during the reign of Firoz Shah Tughlak. Nusrat Shah ruled over the territory during the invasion of Babar, and extended the borders of the kingdom upto Hajipur and Mongher and annexed Trihut.
(3) Malwa : Mahmud II was the ruler of Malwa. His prime minister, Medani Rai, obtained much power in his court. He appointed the Rajputs to the higher offices of the state. Mahmud tried to remove him from the office but was frustrated in his efforts owing to the intervention of Rana Sanga, the ruler of Mewar who sided with Medani Rai.
(4) Gujarat : Gujarat was a province of Delhi Sultanate. Jafar Khan, the son of a Hindu Rajput ruler converted to Islam, broke Gujarat from the centre in 1401 AD and assumed the throne as Muzzaffar Shah, Mohammad Begarha was the prominent ruler of the dynasty. Muzzaffar Shah II occupied the throne after the death of Begarha. He fought several battles and conceded an insulting treaty with Rana Sanga. He died in April 1526 a few months later of the invasion of Babar. His son, Bahadur Shah, succeeded him in 1526 AD.
(5) Mewar : Mewar occupies a predominant place in the history of India. Chittore was the capital. It continued to sway as a large, extensive power state with a series of brave war like ambitious and adventurous rulers. Rana Kumbh (1463-1533 AD) was worthy of mention, He built several invincible forts and maintained a powerful army, defeated Malwa and conquered entire central India.
Ram Sangram Singh, properly known as Rana Sanga ruled over Mewar when Babar invaded. His enemy seared him of his bravery, courage and skill as a commander. He had received eighty wound scars on the body; lost an eye and an arm, and was lame of a leg. Todd calls him the terrific soldier. He was a successful warrior as well as a politician and had defeated the sultans of Gujarat, Malwa, and Delhi. His sole ambition was to seize Delhi.
(6) Punjab : Daulat Khan Lodhi governed the Punjab as an
independent ruler and was a sworn enemy of Ibrahim Lodhi. He invited Babar to India from Kabul to get rid him of his enemy, Ibrahim Lodhi,
the king of Delhi.
(7) Orissa : Orissa was ruled by the Hindu rajahs but their role in the history of the period is negligible.
(8) Khandesh : Khandesh, located in the Tapti river valley, obtained her independence towards the end of the fourteenth century. Gujarat interfered into its interval affairs to hoist her hegmony over her. Struggle ensued. power a successor after the death of Daood Khandesh was far removed from Delhi which could not influence her:
(9) The Bahmani Kingdoms : The kingdom flourished under the wise reign of its earlier rulers but later it broke into smaller kingdoms of Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Golcunda, Bidar and Barar. Being far away from Delhi their impact on the political scene of India is negligible.
(10) Vijaynagar Kingdom : The vast kingdom of Vijaynagar was at the peak of its glory when Babar invaded India. Krishan Dev was its capable and powerful king who had a long outstanding conflict with the Bahmani Kingdoms of the South. He enlarged his empire and was most a great patron of Hinduism and its culture. It developed state culturally as well economically when Babar came to India. Its glamour and richness dazzled the ambassadors. The Vijaynagar although had no role in the politics of Northern India yet it succeeded in stopping the. Muslim intruders from entering the Southern India and protected the religion and culture – Dr. A.L. Srivastava.
(11) Sindh : It became independent after Muhammad Bin Tughlak and was extremely disquiet in the beginning of the sixteenth century. Babar compelled the governor of Qundhar Shah Beg to attacked the Sumro’s of Sindh. He deleated them, and seized Sindh. His son, Shahbusain annexed Multan. The Arghuns bad entrentched themselves strongly before Babar arrived in India.
(12) Kashmir : Kashmir was an independent Hindu kingdom to the north-west of Punjab. Shah Mirza was in the employment. He increased his influence and usurped the kingdom, in 1339 AD and thus founded the Muslim dynasty Zain-ul-Abedein was the famous king of the dynasty. Anarchy broke out after his death. Being distant from
Delhi, il received little political influence from it.’
Q. 3. Describe the causes of impact of Turkish invasions (Ghazanavi and Ghori) on India.
Ans. Origin of the Turks – Turks were originally the inhabitants of Central Asia. As their numbers increased they began to move to newer lands. They were brave fighters so the states enrolled them ia their armies. Gradually they enhanced their influence and power and established their independent kingdoms. The Turks were cruel looters and devout in matters of Religion. Tolerance was alien to their nature.
Alptagin – The adventurous and ambitious Alptagin founded a small kingdom at Ghazni in 962 AD. He was not an independent ruler. After his death two insignificant persons succeeded his throne.
Subuktagin – Subuktagin was a promising slave of Alptagin whom he (Alptagin) married his daughter. He was a great soldier who captured Ghazni in 976 AD and extended the administration in which circumstances helped him. Authority and power was slipping out of the Caliph’s hands Subuktagin conquered Kabul and then Seistan. He directed his attention towards India. Jaipal, of Shahi dynasty ruled in Punjab at the time. His kingdom extended from Sirhind to Langan and from Kashmir to Multan. Subuktagin invaded Punjab, defeated Jaipal, and forced him to enter into a himilitating pact. Later Jaipal, broke the pact. Subuktagin flew in rage, again raided and defeated Jaipal in a fierce fight. The victor looted the Punjab. Subuktagin died in 997 AD. Mahmud, his eldest son occupied the throne after a bitter struggle with his younger brother, Ismail, whom he imprisoned in a fort where he died. The titular calipah recognized him ruler of Ghazni. Mahmud Ghaznavi.
Early Life – Mahmud, born in 971, was a brave and ambitious man, efficient and capable like his father. He was a great military leader, a great soldier, and a puritan. From the very beginning he resolved to preach and extend the message of islam and to the end idolatory. He helped his father in his military conquests and earned his pleasure who appointed him governor of Khorasan.
After his father’s death a majority of governors crowned, Ismail his younger brother. Mahmud set out from Khorasan at the head of a large army. Then ensued a fierce fight between the brothers in which Mahmud won and occupied the throne after a year of his father’s death
He sent a communication to the Caliph at Baghdad who recognized
him Sultan (ruler) of Ghazni. Mahmud was enamoured of rich resources and huge wealth stored in temples in India: Simultaneously he wanted to wage a battle against idol-worshipping Indians.
(1) Objects of Mahmud Ghaznavi’s Invasions –Mahmud was the ruler of a poor country, and needed money to consolidate his sway over the kingdom. He iherefore made forays of invasions because of weak political condition in India and with a small struggle he could mustered unlimited wealth from the country.
If we closely study the pattern of Mahmud’s invasion we shall see that he simply attacked the temples and did not invade the capital cities or the forts of the Indian rulers. He looted the temples and rich cities of their wealth, massacred the Hindus broke their duties. He achieved two objectives : (1) wealth and, (2) the title of ‘idol-breaker’ the great propagator of Islam.
(2) Propagation of Islam-Some historians say that Mahmud invaded India simply to propagate Islam and acquire the title of ghazi (one who fights for Islam). True he was appears to be imbrued with Islam, tried to propagate it killed Hindus in India, demolished the temples, broke the idols, desecrated the temples, looted their wealth and carried it with him forced the Hindus for conversion to Islam, preached and propagated Islam but his basic object was not his love for Islam. Modern historian Mahmmad Habib is of the opinion that he did not serve Islam and to imagine of religious objects served by his invasions is a futile effort. He attacked the temples because he had set his eyes on the vast wealth accumulated in them.
Invasions of Mahmud Ghaznavi – Mahmud, within a short period from 1000 AD to 1026 AD, made seventeen invasions on India. Following are the brief description of Mahmud’s invasions.
(1) Invasion on Jaipal – For the first time Mahmud launched an attack on recalcitrant Jaipal. The forces met each other near Peshawar where Mahmud won. He imprisoned and humiliated Jaipal’s relatives. Later, he invaded the capital captured it and looted its wealth which he carried home. Jaipal agreed to make peace on humiliating terms which he could not bear and died of self-immolation. His descended, vowed to fight the Turks. Mahmud again attacked in 1001 AD and annexed the border territories and cities into his empire.
(2) Invasion on Meri-Mahmud visited India in 1003 AD and
looted Mrea (Now in Pakistan). The ruler of Mera felt so much humiliated that he committed suicide and Mahmud annexed the kingdom into his empire.
(3) Conquest of Multan – He came for the fourth time in 1005 AD and, captured Multan which was ruled by Abdul Fateh Daood, a Sheite by faith. He gave away Multan to Sukhpal, grandson of Jaipal. Sukhpal became a Muslim but soon after he renounced Islam and declared his independence. Mahmud, invaded India for the fifth time, defeated him and imprisoned him.
(4) Attacked Anandpal – Mahmud launched an attack on Aliandpal in 1008 AD, his sixth invasion. He wanted to punish Anandpal for helping the Sheite Abdul Fateh Daood ruler of Multan. Mahmud knew well that the could not enter deep into India without defeating Anandpal who understood that India could not defended without a defeating Mahmud finally. He obtained help from several north Indian rulers. Delhi, Ujjain, Gwalior, Kalinjar, and Kannaur. Mahmud invaded Lahore. Fierce battle raged. Mahmud decided to stop fighting but at the sometime one of the war-elephant of Anandpal grew nervous and fled the battlefield. His army ran helter skelter. Mahmud intensified his attack with considerable blood-shed and captured the Nagarkot fort after a three-day struggle. He looted the rare wealth of Jawala-Ji’s temple of Nagarkot. Mahmud’s chronider writes that the wealth was so larger that all the available camels were ladden, with it still some was left which Mahmud gave away to his military officers.
(5) Other invasions – Mahmud’s seventh invasion was on Talawadi, eighth on Multan to punish Daood who had become independent and the ninth, on Thanesar, in 1012 AD. This was an important event and tried to obtain the elephants of the ruler of Thanesar, Mahmood secured elephants wealth in large quantity, the tenth invasion was carried out on Lahore after which Mahmood annexed all the Punjab into his empire. Mahamood carried out his eleventh attack on Kashmir but failed to materialize it because of inclement weather.
at Mahmud now directed himself to the eastern territories invaded, Baran (Bulandshahr) and won Mahaban where from he lay hand on a
large quantity of precious wealth. He then looted Mathura the holy city e of the Hindus, broke the deities. He also invaded Kannauj. The ruler did not offer resistance. Mahmud returned home with a large booty.
His thirteenth invasion on Kalinjar, in 1019, was to punish its ruler because the Rajput rulers, under the leadership of the raja of Kalinjar, dethroned the Kannauj ruler for his offence of not offering any resistance to Mahmud. He obtained large wealth. His fourteenth and fifteenth invasions were directed towards Punjab, Gwalior and Kalinjar.
(6) Invasion on Somnath – Mahmud heard of the fabulous wealth collected in the Somnath temple. He set out with a large army in 1025, towards Somnath and invaded the temple. The Rajputs unsuccessfully tried to give a sight. Mahmud entered the temple and shattered the Shiv-linga to pieces and laid the foundation of a mosque iņ its place. When the Brahmins pleaded him (Mahmud) wealth in lieu of breaking the Shiva-linga, Mahmud replied that he wished to be remembered as a but-shikan (idol-breaker) in place of but-frosh (idol-seller) in the world. He amassed unlimited wealth in this sixteenth invasion.
(7) Attack of the Kliokhars – Mahmud invaded the Khokhars, for the seventeenth time, in 1027 AD, as they troubled Mahmud on his return-journey to Ghazni.
Impact of Mahmud’s Invasions
• Impact of Mahmud’s invasion can be expressed in the following manner –
(1) Absence of permanent impression – Mahmud’s invasions leave no lasting impression on India because his object was the accumulation of wealth. He succeeded in it. Mahmud did not establish any administration in India. He simply annexed Punjab into his empire. Propagation of Islam was also not his aim. He simply employed Islam’s sharpness to meet his aim. His misrepresentation of Islam made the Hindus habit hate it.
(2) Knowledge of military weakness – He defeated the Indian rulers scores of times and thus proved their weakness. This harmed the country. Foreign invaders discovered India’s weakness and used it to their best interest.
(3) Several Punjab from India – Mahmud by annexing Punjab kept India’s western border open to enemies.
(4) Large Wealth – Mahmud carried a large sum of money from India which harmed the economic condition of India.
(5) Harmed the Indian art – Mahmud broke temples, idols, and
palaces. In this way, he harmed the Indian architecture and sculptures: He also carried the best pieces of art to Ghazni with him.
(6) Guided the prospective invaders –Mahmud guided the prospective invaders through his precept. Muhammad Ghauri drew much benefit from him in planning his invasions in the twelveth century.
(7) Propagation of Islam – Mahmud tried to propagate and preach through sword and converted Hindus to Muslims through sheer force. But along with his came the Muslim saints and religious preachers who did commendably well in this direction.
(8) Touched religious feelings – Mahmud’s invasions touched the delicate religious feelings of the Hindus, because these foreigners treated them humiliatingly.
Mahmud’s Character – Despite the ineffectiveness of the Mahmud’s invasions, his character has been a worthy subject of study:
(1) Ugly Man – He had a strong, sinewy body but was ugly of face and nothing to attract a person. .
(2) Far-sighted leader – He was a far-signed leader, planned pragmatically and kept his eyes ever glued to the object and did not entertain distraction.
(3) An able military leader – Mahmud was an able general and understood the intricacies of military science well. He led armies to success and attacked the enemy positions with such force and swiftness that the enemy soon lost poise and equanimity. He never expressed grief over his defeats but tried to analyse its causes.
(4) Loved War – Mahmud was a great fighter, spent a better part of life on the battle-field like Kanishka. In course of time he began to love fighting.
(5) A great conqueror – Mahmud was a great conqueror. He fulfilled his father Subuktagin’s desire and made Ghanzni a great empire. He endured hardships in the course of his battles, did not lose heart, and defeated the powerful Indian armies.
(6) A greedy man – Mahmud was a greedy man. He appointed firdausi to compose an epic poem Shahnama and promised to pay one gold coin for a couplet, when Firdausi presented him shahnama of eight thousands couplets Mahmud offered him sixty thousand Silver coins instead. Firdausi was greatly annoyed and refused to accept gold coins. Later, Mahmood sent gold coins. He died, Nizamuddin Farishta told
the story. Mahmood placed all his wealth in a plain with him. He was great that he was leaving all money behind for three children…
(7) Religious Intolerance — He was intolerant of others religion. All people except Muslims were the Kafir (non-believe). He was a devout Muslim and did not treat the followers of other religions well. He treated the Hindus cruelly and did not spare his co-religioist, Daood of Multan, because he was a Shüte Desecrating of temples, breaking of idols show that he was an intolerant king.
(8) Patron of Literature – Mahmud was illiterate but honoured the scholars. His court had renowned scholars from central Asia e.g., Firdausi, Al-Beruni, and Utbi were some of the famous figures. He opened a university, organized a library, and set-up a museauim at Ghazni. He give away rewards in charity to scholars, poets, and writers. Firdausi composed Shahnama. Al-Beruni was a famous historian and Sanskrit scholar. He came to India with Mahmud and wrote a stupendous book. Tahqeeq-e-Hind which describes India of the period.
(9) Justice – Mahmood was a just ruler Punishments were strict – mostly, corporal. He did not discriminate between the poor and the rich and did not spare his relatives.
(10) Great Politician – Prof. Habib, Ishwari Prasad Lanepole, and Smith say that he was neither a great politician and nor’a ruler. For this reason, his empire began to break just after his death. The view is not true. He might have planned the invasions in quick successions. Which speak of a diplomat and administrator in him. He remained away, for longer periods of time, from his capital and still a slightest rebellion never occurred. This speaks volumes of his proficiency as a · ruler.
.. (11) Decline of the Ghazni empire- Masood succeeded his father Mahmod. The Turks fought against him, defeated him, and seized Farus from him. The successors were weak. Khussau was the last king of the dynasty. The Ghaurs occupied the kingdom. Giasuddin Gauri captured Ghazni and appointed Shahabuddin Gauri governor of Ghazni.
Q. 4. Described the Administrative under Sultanate.
Ans. The Sultan – He was the head the Sultanate and heriditary consideration was not the criterion in his selection. The entire millat (Muslim electorate) selected him. The post of the Sultan was thrown open to all the devout Muslims. But practically the foreign Turks had
access to it. After some time the candidature was restricted to a group of nobles and finally the post became heriditary.
God is the Supreme ruler who rules by proxy according to the Islam. He sends men who rule according to His dictates, revealed in the Qoran. The Sultan was the head of the Government and interpreted the rules or laws in consultation.
The Sultan was the head of the executive judiciary; and armed forces. His powers were unlimited. He was a despot, drew strength from religion and military. In principle his powers were defined but in fact he was an autocrat and ruled on the strength of army. Whenever a man grew popular with the military he usurped the post of the Sultan. There was no provision to remove a Sultan for his irreligious conduct.
Analysing the post of the Sultan, Dr. Ashirwadi Lal Srivastava comments that he was not only the ruler but the religious gunu of the Muslims. He combined in his the Ceasar and the Pope.
2. The Ministers – The ministers helped the Sultan in running the government and counselled on matters of State. Their number was four during the Slave dynasty later two more added to the number. Following is a short description of the naib and various ministers –
(1) The naib – It was a designation above the ministers and below the Sultan. When a Sultan grew weak all his powers centered into the naib. The post was created during the period of Bahram Shah. The powerful nobles got one of them appointed to the post. During the time of the powerful and aggressive rulers the post was either abolished of became a non-entity. Several times powerful rulers decorated efficient and capable chiefs with the post. This acquired significance in the absence of the Sultan or in times of war.
(2) The minister – Prime-minister, as the Wazir of the Sultanate. held the departments of finance and general administration. This was the most important post after the Sultan, and used some of the delegated powers with constraints as incharge of general administration; appointed
At important positions and listened to the complaints against government al important positions, and listened to the complaints against o officials. He served as an important link between the King and the people, and made the Sultan know of the sentiments of the people. He counselled the Sultan in dealing with the tricky problems of the Sultan. Controlled the military organization because the salaries of the soldiers
were disbursed through him. As incharge of the finance department he controlled the income and expenditure of the empire; fixed the ratas. of the land revenue and other taxes, and made arrangements to realize them. His deputy minister (naib wazir) assisted him in his functions, Besides them were the munsif-e-Mumalik (Auditor-general) and mustauqui-e-Mumalik (Auditor-and, Comptroller general) who streamlined the state finances. The ministry was known as the Diwan-e-Wazarat.
(3) Diwan-e-Aariz-Diwan-e-Aariz was the minister of defence. · He did not lead the military operations but made provisions for them, maintained coordination and kept discipline in them. This was the most vital department as the entire power and authority of the Sultan rested with it. The Sultan took personal interest in the up-keep of the military. Ala-Uddin Khilji shown keen interest in it.
(4) Diwan-e-Insba – This department maintained all correspondence, edicts, protocols, and proclamations of the empire. the department corresponded with the rulers of other kingdoms, with the officials and the governors of the empire. Most of the correspondence was kept secret so the minister incharge of the department was a man of trust and confidence. The drafts of most of the letters or edicts, or orders were prepared in this department.
(5) Diwan-e-Rasalat – The foreign minister was designated as the Diwan-e-Rasalat. The important task to maintain diplomatic relations with other countries, to correspond with them, and to exchange the ambassadors were the chief function of the department.
(6) Sadr-us-Sudur – Minister for religious affairs was called the Sadr-us-Sudur. He propagated Islam and guarded its interests. The department saw whether the Muslims acted according to the Islam, said their prayers five times regularly, kept fasts during the month of Ramazan. It made endowments and grants to the educational institutions and the ulemas.
(7) Diwan-e-Qaza – The incharge of the Ministry of Justice was known as the Diwan-e-Qaza but the Sultan centered all judicial powers in his person. He was the Supreme judge, & heard the appeals against the lower courts. Several times a single person was appointed 10 the offices of the Sadr-us-Sudur and the Diwan-e-Qaza..
(8) Majlis-e-Khilwat-Besides the ministers the Sultan had a council of advissers known as the Majlis-e-Khilwal, which was summoned to advise the Sultan on important matters.
The Sultan was not bound to listen to the counsel of the advisers and could act independently. The counsel however effected the Sultan positively.
(9) Other Departments – Besides the office of the naib, the first four departments were held by men of importance, and the later two by men of lesser importance. The above six department were permanent. The government opened new department in the capital, as & when such a need was felt. Six of them performed major functions. They were the Department of the Royal Household, Varid-e-Mumalik (Post and Intelligence) Diwan-e-Amir (Department of Agriculture founded by Muhammad Bin Tughlak), Diwan-e-Mustakraj (Founded by Ala-Uddin Khilji to realize the tax-arrears), Diwan-e-Khairat (Opened during the reign of Firoz Tughlak for disbursement of charities), Diwan-e-Istehqaq (department of pensions), Kiledar or mir-e-Imarat (chief engineer of the Public Works Department), and etc.
The Delhi Sultanate was divided into provinces which may be large of small in number depended on the size of the empire. The provinces were not similar & their administration differed from one another. The provinces were defence units headed by the mobile and experienced generals who were generally the members of the royal families or the notable amirs (nobles) and considantes of the Sultans. The administrative units, during the Slave dynasty, were called the Ekta. Ala-Uddin Khilji conquered almost the entire India and felt the necessity to devise a new system of administration. He had two types of provinces; one, the Ektas having already existed held by the Mukti’s or military generals. Two, were the large provinces conquered by Ala-Uddin and were placed under the administrators known as the Wali’s or sometimes the amirs. The new acquired territories were significant because of the large areas and great incomes. Their administrators were superior to the traditional mukti’s. Bengal, Gujarat, Khandesh, Malwa, and Jaunpur were such provinces of the Khilji and Tughlaq periods.
Both the Mukti’s or the Wali’s were drawn from the senior ranks of the army and their main function was to maintain law and order in
their respective provinces with the help of the armed forces and punished the rebellious landlords and erring elements. They enjoyed the powers’ and authority similar to the king at the centre. They could make appointments and could continue in their office to the pleasure of the monarch, obeyed the dictates of the Sultan and provided him army-help when such was demanded. At such time they functioned as his viceroys and used the delegated powers. They maintained income-expenditure accounts, submitted them to the Sultan and deposited the balance amount with the Central treasury.
One of the governor’s functions related to religion. They effected the Islamic laws, and provide for the ulemas, managed justice, implemented the decisions of the courts, secured the high-ways from the dacoits and robbers, and protected the farmers. They planned their imperialistic and expansionist designs, with the concurrence of the Sultan, and apportioned the loot money to the king. But during the periods of the weak Sultans the mukti’s or the wali’s used to grow stronger and behaved independently.
The nazirs realized land revenues in the provinces. The Sultan appointed the Khawaja or Sahib-e-Diwan to audit the accounts of the provinces in the consultation with the Wazir. The Qazi despensed justice and other officials performed their respective duties in a province. Local Government
Village was the smallest unit of local administration managed by a gram-panchayat. It was an autonomous unit. The traditional gram-panchayat settled down old disputes and met various needs of the village. The villages arranged for education, security, and sanitation of their villagers. The Sultan or governors or officials of the State did not interfere into the village administration. Every village kept a chowkidar, an official to realize land revenue, and a patwari.
A group of a few villages formed pragna. Ibne Batuta writes that a hundred villages made a sadi. The pragnas came to be known in the earlier half of the Sultanate period. The names of the officials of the pragnas and their functions are not known but each one of them had an official to realize taxes and a chaudhri (Village chief).
There was no smaller administrative unit down the Ekla’s uptill the thirteenth century. The empire grew larger in the fourteenth century then the Eklas were further sub-divided into smaller units for
administrative convenience. Every Ekta was divided into the Ships held by Shiqdars who was a military official and was responsible for the maintenance of law and order administration in his shiq.
The Delhi Sultanates were run on the strength of military. The Sultans being foreigners maintained large armies to keep the native rulers at bay therefore they paid special attention to the up-keep of their army. Their military comprised of the following four units –
(1) Hashm-e-Qalb (Royal army)- Ala-Uddin Khilji, for the first time, kept a large standing army at the centre under his command. No Sultan before him ever maintained such an army. The Hashm-e-Qalb kept two categories of soldiers (1) the royal soldiers, and (2) the small armies of the nobles and amirs stationed at Delhi. The royal soldiers included the slaves of the King and his body guards. The contingent of these soldiers was known as Khaskhel.
(2) The governor’s standing armies – The governor’s maintained their trained armies. Which were presented to the monarch in times of need. The governor processed their recruitments training and maintenance. There were no uniform recruitment rules or other procedures for such armies and governors largely used their discretion in such matters.
(3) War-time army-Such an army had no standing or permanent formation. The soldiers was recruited at the time of war and after which they were discharged and the army disbanded. During the war the soldiers were provided rations, salaries, and armaments.
(4) Anny sighting Holy wars – When a Sultan waged a war against a Hindu ruler, he managed to declare it a holy war. All Muslims were encouraged to fight it and Muslim volunteers were recruited as soldiers. They did not receive any salary but received a part of the booty.
Organization of the Army, The army consisted of three units : (1) The cavalry, which served as the backbone of the army, had two categories : (a) horsemen having one horse, and (b) Aspa a horseman having two horses. (2) Elephant brigade – The Sultan’s largely depended on their elephants and the commander of the elephant brigade was known as Shahna-e-fil. (3) The infantry fought on foot with swords, lances, and bows and arrows.
The army mainly constituted of the Muslims. The Hindus were
also recruited. The Muslim soldiers were the Turks, the Iranis, the Afghans, the Mangols, and the Indian Muslims. Military cantonments were set up at the capital and other towns of strategic importance. Forts were made at the borders. Officials were assigned duties separately for military organization, recruitments, and promotions. The Sultan was,
however, the supreme commander. The army organization was based on decimal system e.g., one Sar-Khel headed a troop of ten horsemen, one Sipah-salar over ten Sar-Krels, an amir over ten sipah-salar, one malik over ten amirs and a Kian was appointed over ten maliks. The division was more hypothetical and less pragmetic.
The Sultanate was the Islamic system of governance and to monarch could transform it into a secular state. They followed the Islamic principles in administration and fiscal affairs. The taxes should be levied in view of the directives of the Islamic jurisprudence (shara). The levied, besides some special taxes, the five Islamic taxes Ushr, Khiraj, Khams, Zakat and Jizya.
(1) Ushr (On lands of Muslim farmers) – Land revenue levied on Muslim farmers is known as Ushr. The lands watered through natural resources were levied at one-tenth to the total produce.
. (2) Khiraj (Land revenue on the Hindus) – The Hindus were required to pay one-fifth of their produce towards land revenue to the state. The Sultans, several times, realized many times of the stipulated land revenue. The Slave dynasty exacted 1/3rd part, Ala-Uddin and Muhammad Tughlak 1/2 part of the produce as the land revenue.
(3) Kianis – The booty deposited in the State treasury through a victory in a war over an enemy is known as Khanis. According to the Islamic law 1/2 goes to the caliph, 1/5 to the State, and 4/5 to be distributed among the soldiers but the Delhi Sultans planned to give the caliphs share to the soldiers but most of most did not follow it and divided 1/5 share of the booty to the soldiers and deposited the rest with the State.
(4) Zakat (Religious tax on the Muslims) – This is a religious tax levied on the Muslims at the rate of 2% on their annual income and the sum of money thus gathered is used for the propagation of Islam, on the maintenance of the orphans, widows, the destitutes, to run cheological educational institutions, and other welfare schemes.
(5) Jizya – Jizya was a tax levied on the Hindus only Brahmins were exempt from it but Firoz Tughlaq exacted in on the Brahmins also. Dr Quoreshi writes that the Hindus were not recruited in the army. They had to pay the jizya tax in lieu of their exemption from military service and security of their lives and property. But most of the historians rejects this theory and regards it a fine on the Hindus in lieu of their being alive. The blind, the crippled, the mendicant, the purohit, the priest, and the beggars were exempted from it. The entire Hindu population was placed in three categories for the purpose : The first, the second, and the third, category paid 48 dirhams, 24 dirhams, and 12 dirhams respectively.”
Other taxes – Other sources of income were : mines, treasure dug out from the land, property of a hierless deceased person and import and export levies. Imports at the rate of 22% on trade goods, 5% on horses from the Muslims and double the rates from the Hindus. Besides them the list of taxes included : House-tax, pasture tax, irrigation tax, other incidental taxes, and valuables presented to the Sultans made up the income of the State.
Division of Land – Land revenue was the main source of income. For the purpose of determining the tax, land was placed in four categories: (1) the Khalsa under the direct control of the centre, (2) the Ekta lands – managed by the Mukti’s and rates of land revenue determined by him; (3) the lands of the Hindu feudal lords – the Hindu feudal lords determined and realized the tax money and offered a part of it to the Sultans as a token of their obedience to the Sultan; and (4) the Wakf lands – the endowed to the Muslims institutions; saints, and ulemas exempt from land revenue and inherited from father to son.
Justice, Law and Order
(1) Judicial System – Diwan-e-Qaza was the department of justice. It was dissarayed unorganized and till-provided. The Sultan was the last word and his word was law. He dispensed justice according to the Qoran heard the petitions, and decided the case finally. The Sultan held the court for two days in a week. The Qazi and the mufti assisted him in his work.
Although Chief Qazi was the head of the Judicial department he functioned as the Chief Religious officers besides being the chief Qazi.
The entire Judicial system directly received instructions from the Sultan, The chief Qazi decided the petitions in the absence of the Sultan. The Sultan could, however, amend his decisions. The Sultan appointed the Qazi’s in the cities and in the provinces and not the chief Qazi, who held his wourt in the capital and the mufti assisted him. He inspected the provincial courts, and heard appeals against their decisions. The gram-panchayats had their jurisdictions over villages and small towns.
No specific, well-defined system of courts existed in villages, towns, cities, and the capital. The jurisdiction of courts were not clearly defined. Similarly there was no procedure to make appeals. However, the petitioner could reach the Sultan Law’s were not laid down. Decisions were pronounced orally and no written record was kept. The mood and the subjectivity were the deciding factors. Preliminary investigations were not carried out. .
Severe corporal punishments were awarded. Anputations of limbs and death sentences were common. Confessions were cruelly obtained. Dr. Ashirwadi Lal Srivastava opines that the combination of judicial and religious authority in the Qazi tended to place ihe Hindus at a disadvantageous position. The Chief Qazi, besides, supervised the properties of the orphans, insanes, and religious endowments, helped the poverty-stricken Mussalmans, arranged for the marriages of Muslim widows, and stopped unauthorized occupation on public roads & maidans. These preoccupations deteriorated the quality of justice he was called to dispense…
(2) Law and Order – There was no organized system to maintain How, order, and peace. Kotwals were simply appointed in important cities for the purpose. Mohtasib, an official, was appointed in every province or big cities to function as religious and inspecting officer to oversee whether the Mussalmans say their prayers five times a day, keep fasts during the months of Ramazan, and lead their lives as ordained by Islam. His secular duties included inspecting the markets looking to the weight and measures, and prohibiting the sale and consumption of wine, bhang, opium, and other intoxicating things.
There was no provision of police in villages and small towns. No proper prisons were setup. Old forts of manors were used as jails. The villages were self sufficient and the panchayats ran the administration, The life of the villagers was peaceful. .