Administration of Alauddin Khilji
Sultan Alauddin Khilji had introduced a healthy and systematic administrative policy in the Delhi Sultanate rule. His accession to the throne was not a peaceful one. He had to walk through bloodshed series of revolts.
Naturally the main object of administrative policy of Alauddin Khilji was to crush the revolts and consolidate the central authority throughout the kingdom. Alauddin Khilji earnestly wanted to consolidate the authority of the monarch and to create a powerful army to protect it.
During the early years of his rule Alauddin Khilji had to crush down as many as four revolts. Since the invasion of Changiz Khan, the dreaded Mongol chieftain, to India, the Mongols made several invasions to the land and some of them began to settle permanently near Delhi. In due course of time, they acted as the paid soldiers of the Delhi Sultans. While Alauddin attacked Gujarat these new people were in his army. But on their way back to Delhi they revolted against the Sultan on the plea that they were not properly paid. However, on the order of the Sultan they were suppressed.
Next came the revolt of Akat Khan, the nephew of Sultan Alauddin. When the Sultan was proceeding to Ranthambhor he halted for someday at Tilapat to indulge in his favourite pastime of hunting. In one of these hunting expeditions, Akat Khan ordered his troops to attack Alauddin when the Sultan was left all alone and to kill him. Alauddin defended himself bravely till he was saved by his escorts. But Akat Khan believed that the King was killed, returned to the army and announcing his death, attempted to returning safely enter the Sultan’s harem to take its possession. The enraged Sultan ordered Akat Khan to be killed with all his followers. But the rebellion of Akat Khan was soon followed by another one. But this revolt was of a more serious nature. The two sons of the Sultan’s sister, Altair Umar and Mangu Khan revolted at Badaun and Awadh respectively while the Sultan was busy in the siege of Ranthambhor. But they were defeated and imprisoned by the loyal governors of the provinces. A fourth revolt occurred at tire capital city of Delhi where Haji Maula, a disaffected officer, collected a group of ruffians killed Faurardi, the Katwal of Delhi. He then tried to kill Ayar, the Katwal of Sin, but failed in his attempt. He then placed a nominee of his own on the throne of Delhi and tried to capture the ruling power. However, Malik Hadid-ud-din, a loyal officer of the Sultan defeated and killed Haji Maula.
These rebellions occurred one after another within a few years made the Sultan anxious. He was convinced that there was something radically wrong in his system of administration. He found out four causes of these rebellions;
- The inefficiency of his spy system for which the king remained ignorant of the doings of his officers and the people;
- The general practice of consuming wine which indulged the people to prompt fellowship and hatch rebellions and conspiracies;
- The social intercourse and inter marriage among his nobles also gave them the required opportunities to combine against the king; and
- The excess of wealth in the hands of certain nobles and notable chiefs gave them the required time and leisure for idle thoughts and making plans for rebellions.
Alauddin Khilji is known for his administration. To prevent the recurrence of rebellions Sultan Alauddin then decided to uproot the causes and hence introduced four important ordinances, as part of his administration policies:
The first ordinance was made to confiscate all religious endowments and free grants of lands. In fact in those days many people were enjoying these free lands to support themselves. This gave rise to a class of idlers, who did nothing to earn their subsistence, but had enough time to practice evil deeds and always tried to fish in the troubled waters of the country’s political unstability. These nobles were mostly conspirators. Alauddin hit this class hard. They had to pay land tax for their holdings and the tax collectors were required to extort from them as much money as possible on any pretext. The Sultan’s attack on private property soon brought good result. The attack was so hard that, Barani told us, gold was not to be seen except in the houses of the great nobles or high officials or the top most merchants.
By a second ordinance the Sultan re-organized the espionage system. A considerably big army of spies was created. News writers and the spies were placed in the houses of nobles and officers and in all offices, towns and even in important villages. They were to report all accounts and occurrences fit for the Sultan’s ear and likely to be useful. As a result the gossip of the nobles and officers and officers and even of the common men came to an end. The Sultan was now aware of their evil doings, designs and thoughts.
The third ordinance prohibited the use of liquor and drug. The Sultan himself gave up wine. Wine was banished from Delhi and the suburbs of the city also were closely watched. Those who violated the law were punished but people did not give up drinking. They now began smuggling. At last, Alauddin realized that the people would not be made sober by legislation, and relaxed the ordinance, permitted private manufacture and consumption of liquor, but its sale was prohibited.
By the fourth ordinance he ordered the nobles not to have social gatherings and not to make inter marriage without his permission. This regulation was rigorously enforced. Social gatherings and friendly meetings of the nobles came to an end.