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Alauddin 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 Alauddin Khilji| Describe the Economics reforms of Alauddin Khilji dynastypdf
Alauddin made a successful bid to suppress the causes of revolts. How long do you agree to the statements?
Ans. The estimate of Alauddin 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 and 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 overran the 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 confiscates 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 llamas 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 statesmanship.
There prevailed complete peace and tranquillity during his reign. Faust remarks – “So long as Alauddin was alive, he executed justice with such vigor that robbery and theft formerly so common were not heard of
in the land. The travelers 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. the idea of founding a new religion and conquering the whole world, he fully realized 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 battlefield.” Whatever Alauddin thought of doing a particular thing, he did it with all his force and determination and achieved wonders. Lanepool
has justly remarked, ‘Alauddin 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-Uddin was a despotic ruler but his despotism was a benevolent despotism like that of the Tudors. He never forgets 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 Nizamuddin Aulia, Sheikh Rukunnddi, Amir Khusru were a great poet 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 Rukunuddin were religious men.
Weaknesses of Alauddin. Alauddin 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 Pharaoh 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 within 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 goodwill. 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, Alauddin 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 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.
Ans. His Administration. Alauddin Khilji was not only a great general but also a first-rate administrator. Though he was quite illiterate. he had great administrative and organizing qualities. He tried to introduce reforms in every branch of administration and laid the foundation of a highly organized administrative machinery. During 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 about how to avoid the recurrence of such revolts. He with a lot 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 (ii) Sultans own carelessness regarding the efficiency of the 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 an important thing 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 a 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 mother’s 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”.
(iii) Prohibition of Wine. The Sultan prohibited not only wine drinking but also it’s 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 were brought out of the royal cellars and emptied in the streets.
(iv) Organisation of an Efficient Spy-system. In order to keep a strict eye on the movements of his officials and people, Alauddin organized an efficient spy system. They were kept at the provincial headquarters, 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 kept informed of all the good and bad things.
(v) Emancipation of Administration from Religious Domination. Though himself a staunch Musalman, Aladdin could never
tolerate the undue interference of religion in the political affairs of the state.
(vi) Measures against the Hindus. Alauddin’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 clothes, 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 hold up 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 life in the houses of the Musalmanas”.
(vii) Revenue System. The land revenue system was organized 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.
Economic Reforms Alauddin set up a large standing army which won him entire India, repeatedly defeated the Mongols, and crushed the rebellion against the State. The military organization needed a large sum of money. He visualized that the existing financial system could not. procure him the money and therefore implemented the following economy steps:
(1) Market Control – To keep the materials available to the military at reasonable rates, he controlled the market. Alauddin had a large 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 Alauddin, a list of articles of daily consumption was prepared and their rates were fixed. The soldiers, in this manner, could buy their necessities at pre-determined rates.
(2) Availability of goods – Alauddin 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 an 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 the 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). Shahnameh 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-Riya sat 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 at 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 an individual property; confiscated the fiefs of old and infirm nobles, orphans, and widows but he could not apply. stricter measures.
Alauddin followed him (Balban) and confiscated lands given to the Mussalmans by way of properties, rewards, pensions, and charities.
(2) Confiscation of Jagirs – Ala-uddin abolished the 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 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 an agricultural tax.
(5) Receipt of food grains from the doab – The Sultan, observing the fertility of the doab lands and the large number of 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.
Ans. Suppression of Revolts and Measures to Establish Peace thudding achieved the Delhi Sultanate through deceit and
feared from revolts and conspiracies against him. He Ita in a planned and phased manner and analyzed 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 Mongols, whom-Jalal Uddin allowed to settle down near Delhi, revolted.
They conspired to murder the Sultan Ala-uddin suppressed the revolt most mercilessly and killed a few
thousand Mongols 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 servants 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 wedlock, supported him.
He, therefore, forbåde his nobles to go to social gatherings or enter into matrimony. alliances with one another without his express permission. He, in this manner, restricted the possibilities of their alliances against the Sultan.
(3) Forbade drinking – Alauddin believed that the drinking habit of the nobles was one of the causes of the 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-Alauddin was of the opinion that excess of riches with the nobles create rebellious 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 a 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 Jizya (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 it difficult to meet the bare necessities of life.
(5) Sultan’s contact with the people – Alauddin 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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