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Alauddin Khilji

Alauddin Khilji

Alauddin Khalji was the nephew and son- in- law of Jalaluddin Khalji. After the downfall of the Malik Chajju and after being appointed the governor of Karah near Allahabad, he won over the confidence of the Sultan by handing over a large amount of booty to him which he had collected in the expedition of Malwa in 1292. He had won great reputation as a soldier. In 1296, after a treacherous murder of his uncle Jalaluddin Firoz Khalji, he proceeded to Delhi to acquire the throne. There, the widow of Firoz had set up one of her sons Qadir Khan on the throne. But Alauddin was very clever for her. He won over a large number of ministers and nobles to his side with the help of gold and money. So he silenced all murmurs of disapproval and discontent by stopping the mouths of people with gold.  The army was also won over by lavish distribution of wealth and presents. The cruel measures he adopted to secure his ill- gotten throne showed clearly that Alauddin was a heartless tyrant. He had no regard for justice. But in spite of his vices it must be said that he was brave soldier and a vigorous ruler.

 

Alauddin was not only a great military leader but a great administrator. He crushed the power of nobility to bring about peace in the country. He confiscated their excess amount of money and property and put a ban on their social gatherings and prohibited them to use wine. He did not allow the Ulemas to interfere in the political affairs of the State. He is also 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 tranquility during his reign. Alauddin was a great patron of learning. Amir Khusrau was patronized by him.

 

He largely extended the frontiers of the Muslim dominions in India and effectively checked the Mongols in roads. Alauddin was a great military general. He dreamt to become another Alexander. Sultan maintained a strong army and punished the Mongols so terribly that they dared not to attack India again. He conquered most of Hindu states in the North and over- ran whole of the South. All his military exploits were crowned with success. Alauddin treatment of Hindus was very severe. They were 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 and carry arms. Besides, for administrative success, he kept a strict eye on the movements of his officials and people. So for this purpose he organized an efficient spy system. They were kept at the provincial headquarters, in markets and in all the units of the army. This system kept the nobles in terror and Sultan remained well- informed about the all good and bad things. Although, Alauddin was quite illiterate but he had great administrative and organizing qualities. He laid the foundation of highly organized administrative machinery through his reforms.

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