The Delhi Sultans
Text Book Page No. 32
Do you think the circle of justice is an appropriate term to describe the relationship between the king and his subjects?
Yes, I think, the circle of justice is an appropriate term to describe the relationship between the king and his subjects.
Text Book Page No. 33
Express Minhaj’s ideas in your own words. Do you think Raziyya shared these ideas? Why do you think it was so difficult for a woman to be a ruler?
- According to Minhaj, God has created a social order in which woman is subordinate to man. Therefore, a woman like Raziyya does not have right to rule. It is totally against the ideal social order created by God.
- I think Raziyya did not share these ideas.
- It was very difficult for a woman to be a ruler because of her belonging to a subordinate gender, according to the social set up at that time.
Text Book Page No. 35
But how complete and effective was its control over such a vast territory?
The Sultanate did not have complete and much effective control over such a vast territory, except under the rule of Alauddin Khalji.
Text Book Page No. 37
Compare Figures 2, 3, 4 and 5. What similarities and differences do you notice amongst the mosques?
- Every mosque has a big entrance door.
- Every mosque’s entrance door is extended to both sides in the corridors.
- Domes are made over the entrance and corridor.
- The designes around the entrance door become complex and intricate from Fig. 2 to Fig. 5.
- The small window over the entrance door can be seen only in three mosques in Figs. 3, 4, 5. But Fig. 3 shows three such windows. Whereas Figs. 4 and 5 shows only single window over the entrance.
- There is a boundary around the dome over the entrance door in Fig. 5. This is not seen in any other figure.
Text Book Page No. 38
Can you think of any reason why a slave would be better than a son?
A well-brought up slave always serves better than the son in the old days of master.
Why do you think Barani criticised the Sultan?
The Sultan Muhammad Tughluq appointed lower-caste, or base-born people to the higher administrative post by ignoring the nobles. That is why, Barani criticised Sultan.
Text Book Page No. 40
Describe the ways in which the chieftains arranged for their defence.
- The chieftains fortified themselves in mountains, in rocky, uneven and rugged places as well as in bamboo groves.
- The bamboo grove forest served as ramparts, inside which people lived with their cattle and their crops.
- Also rain water was collected to fulfill water heeds.
- The bamboo remained unaffected by fire and was very hard to cut. This made it a suitable and most defensive place to live in.
Text Book Page No. 43
You are a peasant in Alauddin Khalji’s or Muhammad Tughluq’s reign and you cannot pay the taxes demanded by the Sultan. What will you do?
- If I were a peasant in Alauddin Khalji’s reign, I would try to save my life because I might have captured by Sultan’s men and would be severely punished.
- If I were a peasant in Muhammad Tughluq’s reign, I would join the rebel against the Sultan.
Exercise Questions and Answers
Which ruler first established his or her capital at Delhi?
Delhi first became the capital of a kingdom under the Tomar Rajputs.
What was the language of administration under the Delhi Sultans?
The language of administration under the Delhi Sultans was Persian.
In whose reign did the Sultanate reach its farthest extent?
Under the reigns of Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq the Sultanate reached its farthest extent.
From which country did Ibn Battuta travel to India?
Ibn Battuta travelled to India from the Morocco, Africa.
According to the “Circle of Justice”, why was it important for military commanders to keep the interests of the peasantry in mind?
Military commanders provided protection and secure the peasants who could pay taxes only if they were prosperous and happy. And taxes resulted in salaries of military commanders. This shows that both peasants and commanders were interdependent on each other.
What is meant by the “internal” and “external” frontiers of the Sultanate?
- The “internal” frontiers meant the hinterlands and the garrison towns. Often these places lied in close neighbourhood of the capital city of Delhi. The area of interna frontier extended upto the forests of Ganga Yamuna doab.
- The “external” frontiers meant the areas that lied far away from Delhi, i.e., South India.
What were the steps taken to ensure that muqtis performed their duties? Why do you think they may have wanted to defy the orders of the Sultans?
These steps were :
- Their office was not made hereditary.
- They were assigned iqtas (lands as salaries) for a short period of time before being transferred.
- Accountants were appointed to check the amount of revenue collected by the muqtis.
- It was checked that muqti collected only those taxes which was prescribed by the state.
Muqtis may have wanted to defy the orders of the Sultans because they controlled money and military resources and were capable of rebelling against Sultans.
What was the impact of the Mongol invasions on the Delhi Sultanate?
- It led to military and market reforms under Alauddin Khalji.
- A vast standing army was established under Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq to confront Mongol forces.
- The areas laying in north-west frontier, from where Mongols invaded saw building of garrison towns and numerous strategic forts.
- The revenue was increased upto 50% of the produce.
- Soldiers were paid cash salaries instead of iqtas or land grants as salary.
- The administrative system was made more efficient due to Mongol invasions.
- Muhammad Tughluq built Daulatabad, a new capital city and introduced the “token” currency in order to mobilise resources to fight Mongol army.
- He also planned to invade Mongol capital in Transoxiana, but plan was aborted.
Do you think the authors of tawarikh would provide information about the lives of ordinary men and women?
No, I don’t think the authors of tawarikh would provide information about the lives of ordinary men and women because they were appointed by the Sultans to write about their political careers.
Raziyya Sultan was unique in the hisotry of the Delhi Sultanate. Do you think women leaders are accepted more readily today?
Yes, today, women leaders are accepted more readily. For example, Indira Gandhi became a successful and loved Prime Minister of India.
Why were the Delhi Sultaps interested in cutting down forests? Does deforestation occur for the same reasons today?
The Sultans of Delhi wanted to extend i cultivation so that they could collect more land revenue. Hence, they ordered the cutting of forests. Today forests are cut for the extension of agriculture and establishment of industrial units.
Find out whether there are any buildings built by the Delhi Sultans in your area. Are there any other buildings in your area that were built between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries? Describe ‘ some of these buildings, and draw sketches of them.
Students, do themselves.
[Hints : Students can search for any local building belonging to that time period. For example, Qutb Minar, Fort of Firuz Shah Kotla, Hauz Khas, etc. You can describe them through their photographs.]