Source: Old notes, Class room lecture framework only, based on A. L Srivastva, V. D. Mahajan, Ishwari Parasad, and R. P. Tripathi.
Ala-ud-din Khilji and His Administration
Ala-ud-din Khilji and raising of Imperial Administration
Ala-ud-din Khilji as a First Turkish Emperor of India.
Article no: Ala-ud-din (1BA0605)
Julal-ud-din Firoz Shah’s own politeness was his weakness. R. P. Tripathi
R. P. Tripathi: Khailji Revolution took place when Ala-ud-din took over after killing Jalal-ud-din Firoz Shah his uncle who was his father-in-law also.
Ala-ud-din Khalji: 1296-1316
He was supported by Malik Chajju, supporters and Khaljis.
He had a pleader in his brother Ulugh Khan.
He was amir-i-tuzak and Governor of Kara Manikpur.
In 1292, he lead an expedition to Malwas and destroyed Bhilsa. He was rewarded with governorship of Avadh.
Devagiri Dream: (I Turkish attack on South 1292)
Devagiri was in the west and Telagna in the east.
Devagiri was ruled by Rama Chandra Deva – Yadav King
Ala-ud-din attacked Devagiri with 8000 horses in 1294.
It was the first Turkish attack on the South.
Jalaludin was murdered near Kara Manikpur on July 19, 1296.
His Early Difficulties:
He was considered usurper.
He faced Jalani nobles who were supporters of Jalal-ud-din Firoz Shah.
Ahmad Chap and Malika-i-Jahan and Rukun-ud-din Ibrahim were stronger oppossers.
Mongols were on Northwest frontier.
Occupation of Delhi:
There appeared difference between Arkali and Qadir. It prompted Ala-ud-din to reach Delhi and defeated Qadir Ibrahim. Malka-i-Jahan and Qadir escaped to Multan where Arkali lived estranged. Ala-ud-din was appointed Sultan on October 3, 1296.
He reconciled public by lavish distribution of money. He destroyed Arkali, Qadir, Ahamad Chap and Malik-i-Jahan through Ulugh Khan and Hijak.
Then he destroyed those nobles who had joined him.
His Theory of Kingship:
He adopted the ways of Balban. Kingship knows no kinship. Sultan is the most correct person as per the will of God.
He did not allow aristocracy and Ulemas to overpower or interfere which they had been doing in the 13th century.
Ala-ul-Mulk, Kotwal of Delhi and Mughis-ud-din of Bayana were his only advisors.
Suppression of Rebellions: and analysis by Ala-ud-din.
1. It was undertaken by New Muslims when they accompanied Nusrat Khan to Ranthambor in 1299.
2. It was lead by Akat Khan, nephew of Ala-ud-din who tried to kill Sultan when he was on his way to Ranthambor.
3. It was undertaken by Amir Umar and Mangu Khan, sons of the sister of Ala-ud-din when Sultan was away to Ranthambor. It was undertaken in Badaun and Awadh.
It was undertaken by Haji Maula a disgruntled officer at Delhi.
The successive eruption of revolts forced Ala-ud-din to analyze the causes and he observed four causes which made his administration weak.
The Hindus Reduced to Poverty: A view of A. L. Srivastva: The Students of Civil Service should never never and never use this heading. It is only part of the notes and retained because it is personal notes.
Ala-ud-din took special measures to put down Hindus and check the rebellion against his tyranny.
He enhanced the land revenue on produce to ½ (50%). The jaziya, toll tax and excise continued as earlier. The new grazing tax was imposed. Those Hindus, connected with land administration, were severely harmed.
Secondly, he made the rule for traditional evaluators and assessors of State’s share in land for Hindu officials. They were not given any new remuneration. The rulers were strictly imposed by the minister of finance Sharraf Qai.
The Standing Army:
The Need of Army:
Ala-ud-din needed army to execute his resolutions, to maintain his concept of kingship and despotism, for his territorial aggrandizement and to check Mongol attacks.
He was the first Muslim Sultan to have a well prepared standing army. He had ariz-i-mamalik (the army minister) to look after recruitment, training and administration of army. The troops were given arms, clothes and pay of 234 tankas per annum from Centre treasury. There was system of Dagh and Huliah.
Ala-ud-din is reported to have 4750000 cavalry and proportionally more infantry. He gave personal attention to this whole setup.
Control of the Market:
The army was a great necessity f the administration of Ala-ud-din Khilji, which could strain the resources of the state. He tried to keep the cost of the maintenance of the army low.
He regulated the prices of clothes, food grains etc. he fixed rates of these times. He collected revenue in king from Khalsah land the lands of vassals and thereby gathered enough grain.
Only authorized merchants were allowed to buy directly from farmers. They were registered with Shahana-i-mandi. They had to sell on fixed rates. Those merchants, who could not afford, were given capital on loan. But whosoever defaulted, he was punished severely.
This check was maintained by Shahana-i-mandi and diwan-i-riyasat. There was a judge sarai-adl. The officers of Doab were bound to give in writing to ensure the execution of regulation. The speculation, black marketing, wrong weighing etc were effectively checked.
The result was that the prizes of corn, grain, clothes, horses, slaves etc were kept quite low for a long time.
The scholars believe that such an arrangement was made, maintained and run only in and around Delhi.
It proved also very useful because the benevolent spray of money by Sultan at the time assassin had increased the inflation which thus checked.
The Revenue Policy:
To augment his financial resources he introduced reforms in revenue system.
1. He abolished numerous religious endowments and grants (grants were religious act expected from Muslims rulers) to Muslims grantees. He confiscated ‘milk’, ‘inam’, ‘idrarat’ and ‘waqfs’.
2. He finished the special privileges of Muqaddams, khuts and Chawkidars who had to pay their own dues also.
3. He increased land revenue to 50% of the produce. (It was probably done for the first time in India and in practice a very huge tax to pay at that rate.) House tax, excise, custom, jaziya, grazing tax were also charged. The scholars had identified 40 taxes which were collected apart from land tax. As per one estimate, a farmer had to pay nearly 80% of his produce in taxes. But even then, the life of the common man was comfortable because the prices did not change for long time. However, now the new researchers are coming out with newer interpretations.
4. He revived the system of measuring of land and ascertaining the produce. It was the practice which was started during the Muslim rule for the first time. Sher Shah had borrowed heavily from his model. Akbar borrowed his land revenue model from Sher Shah. Hence, it is said, that the changes brought out by Akbar was developed on the model of administration tried by Ala-ud-din.
The above mentioned methods and measures increased his revenue collection. The burden was equally shared by traders, farmers and land holders. However, Hindus were much effected (A. L. Srivastva).
Centralization of the Administration:
With the help of strong army, he crushed all rebellion.
He reduced ministers to mere advisors and himself became his own prime minister. His spy system put check on all nobles in provinces. It is said that the nobles had developed coded language to communicate. However, it is based on conjecture of some historians as no such proof is cited to prove that.
He raised common people with merit to the level of other nobles thereby making elite class of nobles of higher tribes insignificant (R. P. Tripathi).
With such measures, he established his strong despotic rule.
Two View: Elphinstone and V. A. Smith:
"His rein was glorious … inspite of some oppression."
"…. a successful monarch and exhibited just exercise of his power."
V. A. Smith:
V. A. Smith gives totally opposite view.
"Ala-ud-din: a tyrannical despot, disgraceful in many respect."
However, a general estimate is as follows:
He is universally accepted as a brave soldier and general.
He is remembered for his administration.
He was first to have a standing army;
First to reorganize revenue system;
First to establish market control;
First to cross Vindhyachal;
First to given uniform administration under Muslim rule;
And first to turn down the advice and interference of nobles and Ulemas.
He is called the first Turkish emperor of India, because he extended his sway all over India and took concrete measures to check the spasmodic attacks of Mongols and sterile Delhi borders from them.