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Ala-uddin possessed the qualities of a born military commander and civil administrator, a rare combination in medieval India” Discuss| Describe briefly the administrative, military and economic reforms of Ala-ad-din Khilji| Describe the Economics reforms of Ala-uddin Khilji| Ala-uddin made a successful bid to suppress the causes of revolts. How long do you agree to the statements.

Q. 1. “Ala-uddin possessed the qualities of a born military commander and civil administrator, a rare combination in medieval India” Discuss. .

Ans. Estimate of Ala-uddin Khilji. Alauddin Khilji was one of the greatest of the Muslim sovereigns of the pre Mughal times. He possessed the rare qualities of a born military general and a great administrator, Dr. Ishwari Prasad observes – “He possessed the qualities of a born military commander and civil administrator a rare combination in medieval history.”

(1) A Born Military Leader. Alauddin was a great military general. He dreamt to become another Alexander. When he ascended the throne, India was being threatened again and again by the Mongols who had become a constant error for the people. They had no regard for any caste, creed or religion and wherever they went they carried fire ard sword and killed thousands of people. The Sultan maintained a strong army and punished the Mongols so arable that they dared not attack India again.

He greatly extended the frontiers of his empire. He conquered most of the Hindu states in the north and over ran an whole of the south. All his military exploits were crowned with success.

(2) A great Administrator. Alauddin Khilji was not only a great military leader but also a great administrator. He crushed the power of the nobility to bring about peace in the country. He confiscate their excess amount of money and property and put a ban on their social gatherings and prohibited them to use wine. He himself set the example by breaking all the cups and glasses and emptying the jars of wine into the streets. He did not allow the ulamas to interfere in the political affairs of the state. He is credited to have introduced various reforms on the land revenue and military departments. His control of the markets is regarded as one of the marvels of medieval statemanship. There prevailed complete peace and tranquillity during his reign. Faushte remarks – “So long as Alauddin was alive, he executed justice with such vigour that robbery and theft formerly so common were not heard of

in the land. The travellers slept secure on the highway and the merchants carried on their commodities in safety.”

(3) A man of sense and Determination. Though quite illiterate Alauddin was a very sensible man and he possessed great qualities of head and heart. There was one great quality in him, if ever he was in the wrong he would at once admit his mistake and reform himself accordingly. When the Qazi Ala-ul-Mulk advised him to give up the. idea of founding a new religion and conquering the whole world, he fully realised his mistake and corrected himself accordingly. Had he

been obstinate like Mohammad Tughlaq, he would have completely lost · in his ideal dreams and utterly ruined himself.

Alauddin was a man of iron will. In 1299 when about two lakh mongols appeared on the very gates of Delhi most of his nobles requested him to make peace with them and save the country from ruin. But the Sultan said “No, come what may tomorrow I must march into the battle

field.” Whatever Alauddin thought of doing a particular thing, he did a it with all his force and determination and achieved wonders. Lanepool

has justly remarked, ‘Ala-uddin was a man of sense and determination who knew his own mind, saw the necessities of the situation met them with his methods and carried out those methods with persistence.’

A Benevolent Despot. Undoubtedly Ala-uddio was a despotic ruler but his depotism was a benevolent despotism like that of the Tudors. He never forget that the chief aim of the state was the welfare of the governed. He had the welfare of the people always in mind. Even if he had a large standing army it was with this idea in mind that his subjects should be protected from the barbarous and inhuman atrocities of the Mongols.

A great Patron of art and Literature. Though himself quite Willmerate Alauddin Khilji was a great patron of art and literature. There

were many great poets and scholars in his court like Amir Khusry, Sheikh Nizam-uddin Aulia, Sheikh Rukun-nddi, Anir Khusru was a great poct and a musician. He is credited to have written various books beginning from Balban’s son Muhammad to Ghiasuddin Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty in India. His writings throw a great deal of light on Ala-uddin and the state of India under him. Sheikh Nizamuddin and Sheikh Rukun-uddin were religious men. 

Weaknesses of Ala-uddin. Ala-uddin had many faults in him.

Sometimes, he acted very cruelly and unscrupulously. The way in which murdered his uncle blinded his cousins and killed the new Musalmans and punished their women and children for no faults of their own clearly shows that he was a selfish tyrant. Dr. V.A. Smith remarks – “up to his time no hand had ever been laid upon wives and children on account of men’s misdeeds”. Barni also calls him laid tempered, obstinate and hard hearted. He shed more innocent blood than even Pharoha was guilty of. He was a suspicious type of man on account of this suspicious nature he could not do justice with his sons and therefore, they could not prove successful rulers. All his greatness ended in with him and with in four years of his death his dynasty met an inglorious end. In his scheme of government we find no attempts to promote the welfare of his subjects or to secure their good will. It is a sickening record of cruelty, repression and espionage. Hence his elaborate structure based as it was upon naked force was built upon a foundation of quicksand. He had the notification of seeing it collapse before his own eyes and during the last days of his life. he had to bite his own flesh with fury. . .

Architecture and Literature. Like many previous Sultans Ala-uddin loved architecture and erected many noble buildings. He built a new Delhi called Siri, enlarged the Qulbi mosque and erected a noble gateway Kuorm as the Alai Darwaza. He begun a gigantic minor meant to out thine the Qutub Minar but could not finish it. He was a

patron of learned men. Amir Khusru was a great poet and musician of his court.

Q. 2. Describe briefly the administrative, military and economic reforms of Ala-ad-din Khilji…

Ans. His Administration. Ala-ud-din Khilji was not only a great general but also a first rate administrator. Though he was quite illiterate. he had great administrative and organising qualities. He tried to introduce reforms in every branch of administration and laid the foundation of a highly organised administrative machinery. Daring the early years of his reign there had been four revolts one after the other These revolts shook the very foundation of the empire. He was forced to think seriously how to avoid the recurrence of such revolts. He with the great deal of consultations and analysis came to the conclusion that the chief cause of these revolts could be : (a) Excess of money (b). Too

much of intermixing and intimacy of the various amirs and the nobles, (i) The use of wine and (iv) Sultans own carelessness regarding the efficiency of espionage system and disregard of public administration. He employed all his energies to root them out completely. For this purpose he employed the following methods to avoid all kinds of rebellions in the future.

(i) Confiscation of Wealth and Property. The Sultan snatched so much wealth from the Amirs and Jagirdars that they were rendered quite important think in terms of insurrections. All the lands which were given in proprietary rights in full gift or as religious endowments were brought under the government control with one stroke of pen. The common people were not even spared. Dr. Lanepool observes that the people were passed and money was exacted from them on one pretext or the other. They were all so absorbed in obtaining the means of living that the very name of rebellion was never mentioned.

ii) Ban on Parties and Social Gatherings. The Sultan issued strict orders to ban all parties and social gatherings without obtaining the previous permission of the Sultan. The nobles were not allowed to visit at one mothers house nor could they hold meetings. Even for contracting matrimonial alliances they had to get the prior sanction of the Sultan. All this was to discourage conspiracy and spirit of revolt. Gambling and decline even for recreation was also forbidden. Barni says – “Feasting and hospitality fell into disuse. The nobles kept themselves quiet, they gave no parties and had little communication with each other”.

(ii) Prohibition of Wine. The Sultan prohibited not only wine drinking but also its selling. Other intoxicating drugs were also prohibited. The Sultan himself set an example before the people by breaking all the chine and glass vessels of the royal banqueting room. Casks and jars was brought out of the royal cellars and emptied in the streets.

(iv) Organisation of an Efficient Spy-system. In order to keep a strict cye on the movements of his officials and people, Aladdin organised an efficient spy system. They were kept at the provincial head quarters, in markets and in all the units of the army. These spies were such a terror to the nobles that they dared not talk anything against the

government and the Sultan even in their own houses. The Sultan was ept informed of all the good and bad things.

(v) Emancipation of Administration from the Religious Domination. Though himself a staunch Musalman, Aladdin could never

olerate the undue interference of religious in the political affairs of the state.

. vi) Measures against the Hindus. Aladdin’s treatment of the Hindus was very severe. They forced to pay land revenue at a higher rate. They were also required to pay several unjustified taxes. They were taxed so heavily that no Hindu could afford to ride a horse or wear fine cloths, carry arms. Most of them were reduced to such penury that their wives were forced to go and work as menials in the houses of the Musalman. Barni says – “None of them (the Hindus) could holdup his head and in their houses no sign of gold or silver, tankas and vital or any other superfluity was to be seen driven by destitution, the wives of the Khuts and Muqqadammas went and served for live in the houses of the Musalmanas”.

(vii) Revenue System. The land revenue system was organised on a sound basis. He got the whole land measured and then fixed the share of the state. He raised the salaries of the revenue officers so that they might not be tempted to accept bribes or cheat the state of its rightful revenue. The defaulters were heavily punished and sometimes summarily dismissed. They were dreaded by the farmers. The Sultan had increased the land revenue from 1/3 to 1/2 of the total produce.

Q. 3. Describe the Economics reforms of Ala-uddin Khilji.

 • Ans. :

Economic Reforms Ala-uddin set up a large standing army which won him entire India, repeatedly defeated the Mangols, and crushed the rebellion against the State. The military organization needed a large sum money. He visualized that the existing fiscal system could not. procure him the money and therefore implemented the following econom steps:

(1) Market Control – To keep the materials available to the milita at reasonable rates, he controlled the market. Ala-uddin had a larg army and he could not give much to his soldiers by way of salaries

He designed to control the market prices in order to provide a reasonably

contended and happier life to his soldiers. Towards this end he took the following three steps : (1) Fixed the rates of the articles, (2) Made the articles available to the market, and (3) Arranged for their


(1) Determined the rates of articles of daily consumption – Under the orders of Ala-uddin, a list of articles of daily consumption was prepared and their rates were fixed. The soldiers, in this manner, could buy their necessacities on pre-determined rates.

* (2) Availability of goods – Ala-uddin studied the effect on prices caused by the supply of goods. He made arrangements for the regular supply to the markets. The pre-determination of prices and the regular supply of consumer goods made the lives of the soldiers and common men comfortable:

(3) The system of distribution – The Sultan provided the efficient system of distribution. The Delhi bazaar was placed under three categories selling articles of various types at fixed prices. Shops were enumerated in various mohallas in the capital which sold things as per demand of the consumers who were issued ration cards. This was similar to the present day Control system.

(4) The market-inspectors – He appointed capable and honest. inspectors to supervise the transactions in the market. Diwan-e-Riyasat was the overall incharge of the system who coordinated the functions of the three categories of the markets and inspected them. He had three officials under him namely : Shahnah (inspector), Varid (clerk), and Munhiyan (the spy). Shahnah performed usual routine functions. Varid toured around the markets, inspected them, and sent his reports to Shahnah who communicated them to the Diwan-e-Riyasat. The Diwan-e-riyasat regularly submitted the reports to the Sultan. Munhiyan (spy) was an official separately appointed by the king who also submitted his report to the king. The king sent children to the markets to purchase goods to oversee if articles were sold on fixed prices.

(5) Fixed prices for slaves and animals – The sultan had not only fixed the prices of consumer articles but also those of slaves and animals. The animals were placed in three categories, first, second, and third. The prices of horses, mules, cows and milch she-goats were fixed according to their categories. Similarly prices of slave-girls, prostitutes,

and high-class slaves were pre-determined.

2. Agrarian Policy – Following were the bases of Ala-uddin’s agrarian policy :

(1) Abolition of individual property – Balban was the promulgator of the policy of the abolition of individual property; confiscated the fiefsof old and infirm nobles, orphans, and widows but he could not apply. stricter measures. Ala-uddin followed him (Balban) and confiscated lands given to the Mussalmans by way of properties, rewards, pension, and charities.

(2) Confiscation of Jagirs – Ala-uddin abolished Jagirdari system and paid salaries in cash to his soldiers and nobles. :

(3) Conversion of all lands into the Khalsa lands – The Sultan converted all lands into the Khalsa lands. Khalsa lands were state lands. Their land revenue was directly received by the state. The state also managed to receive all tax money on the land.

(4) Measurement of land weights, and determination of land revenue – The Sultan ordered for the measurement of all lands. Land revenue was fixed on this measurement whereas agriculture tax depended on the land fertility. The government received 50% of land produce as agricultural tax.

(5) Receipt of food grains from the doab – The Sultan, observing the fertility of the doab lands and the large number revolts engineered by the Hindus, decided to levy the agricultural tax as high as 50% of the total produce of the land to make the Hindus economically poor. The tax was received in the shape of foodgrains with the government granaries.

Q.4. Ala-uddin made a successful bid to suppress the causes of revolts. How long do you agree to the statements.

Ans. Suppression of Revolts and Measures to Establish Peace whuddin achieved the Delhi Sultanate through deceit and

and feared from revolts and conspiracies against him. He Ita in a planned and phased manner and analysed the causes of their

origin and made such arrangements as to stop their   recurrence

He like Balban, crushed three or four rebellions with a heavy hand cruelly

and heartlessly which caused to generate more revolts. (1)The neo-Muslim Mangols, whom-Jalal uddin allowed to settled down near Delhi, revolted. 

 They conspired to murder the Sultan Ala-uddin suppressed the revolt most mercilessly and killed a few

thousand Mangols ejected them from their settlements and confiscated their lands. (2) Sultan’s nephew Ukt khan, led a murderous assault on Ala-uddin when the latter was resting in his tent in the army camp besieging the Ranthambhore fort. The Sultan escaped the assault. As soon as he recovered, he captured the assailant and his companions and executed them mercilessly. (3) The noble Umar Khan and Mangoo Khan, who were the sons of Ala-uddin’s sister, revolted at a time when he was engaged in the siege of the Ranthambhore fort. The revolt was crushed and both of them were blinded. (4) The fourth rebellion struck by Haji Moula who aspired to become the Kotwal of Delhi city after the death of Kazi Ala-Ul-Mulk. Haji Moula raised the banner of revolt when the Sultan was fighting a crucial seige of the Ranthambhore fort away from his capital Delhi. One of the loyal servant of the king executed Haji Moula and his companions mercilessly.

Analysis of the Causes of Revolts and Measures to stop their emergence- Ala-uddin was a man of deep resolve. He discovered the causes of the revolts and began his crusade to uproot them. We in the following lines, mention the causes of the revolts and measures taken by the king to stop their recurrence

(1) Organization of a net-work of Spies – He observed that he could not discover the conspiracies hatched against him well in advance with if known to him, could be taken care of easily. He, therefore, reorganized the spy network, appointed loyal servants, accountable to the king only. The spies moved from village to village to collect news. People were so scared that they did not dare to rise against the king.

(2) Registration’s on social gatherings and marriage – Ala-uddin observed that the nobles found time to conspire against the state when they gathered at social gatherings and dinner parties. Besides intermarital relations among them strengthen their disloyalties to the king and when one of them rebelled other nobles, related to him through wed lock, supported him. He, therefore, forbåde his nobles to go to social gatherings or enter into matrimonial.alliances with one another without his express permission. He, in this manner, restricted the possibilities of their alliances against the Sultan.

(3) Forbade drinking – Ala-uddin believed that drinking habit of the nobles was one of the cause of revolt. The nobles, when drunk

spoked rubbish and conspired so he issued orders for the prohibition of wines. The wines were poured on the roads. He himself abstained from drinking and threw away all costly wine cups and jars.

(4) Confiscation of property-Ala-uddin was of the opinion that excess of riches with the nobles create rebellions tendencies among them which finally emerge into conspiracies and revolts. Keeping them poor and needy would curb this tendency. He seized their lands given as reward or in charity, imposed taxes on tax-free lands, and abolished pensions (lands).He specially planned to make the Hindu poor in order to curb their revolting spirit levied agriculture tax to the tune of 50%, imposed the Jazya (tax), and taxed their animals and immovable properties. This system grieved them. The Hindu Chaudharies and muqaddams could not ride horses. These neither had arms nor good clothes and found difficult to meet the bare necessities of life.

(5) Sultan’s contact with the people – Ala-uddin maintained direct contact with the people because it helped him to understand the problems of the masses. He; himself recruited soldiers from the people; kept a’ strict watch on the governors and local rulers.

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