Administration and Consolidation under the Khaljis and Tughluqs
The Delhi Sultanate was a series of five different dynasties. They ruled large parts of India between 1206 and 1526.
The control over this large kingdom was almost impossible without reliable administration and governors.
The Sultans did not select administrators and governors from upper-class people, rather preferred their slaves.
These slaves were loyal and trustworthy to their masters.
The slaves were known as bandagan. They were trained for handling important political offices.
However, the upper class people criticized this system.
Even the authors of Tawarikhs criticized the Sultans for appointing slaves to high positions.
These slaves were loyal to their masters, but not to their heirs.
As a result, the accession of a new monarch often saw conflict between the old and the new nobility, which created political instability in the kingdom.
During the rule of Khaljis and Tughluqs, military heads were given lands called iqta.
The holder of iqtas were called iqtadars or muqtis.
The duty of the muqtis was to lead military campaigns and maintain law and order in their iqtas.
In exchange for their military services, the muqtis collected the revenues of their assignments as salary.
They muqtis paid their soldiers from these revenues.
Lands were given only for a short period of time.
Accountants were appointed by the state to check the amount of revenue collected by the muqtis.
Strategies used by Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq’s
The Delhi Sultans brought the nearby lands of the cities under their control.
Then they forced the landed chieftains and the rich landlords to accept their authority.
Under Alauddin Khalji, the state brought the assessment and collection of land revenue under its own control.
The rights of the local chieftains to levy taxes were cancelled and they were also forced to pay taxes.
Some of the old chieftains and landlords served the Sultanate as revenue collectors and assessors.
There were 3 types of taxes : on cultivation amounting to 50% of the peasant’s produce, cattle and houses
Local chieftains established their rule in the regions which were outside the control of Delhi Sultans.
Distant provinces like Bengal were difficult to control as they were far from Delhi.
They were not able to conquer those areas fully, it was only for a short duration.
The early Delhi Sultans, favoured their slaves to handle important political offices.
The use of slaves by the Delhi Sultans was criticised by the upper class in the kingdom.
The Khaljis and the Tughlaqs appointed local heads and gave lands to them for maintaining law and order and for collecting taxes.
Under Alauddin Khalji, the government started collecting land revenue directly. Heads were also forced to pay taxes.
Delhi Sultanate was attacked by Mongols in which Alauddin Khalji strategies were proved successful than Muhammad Tughluq’s.