Life Sketch of Alauddin Khalji – Essay

He killed the Jalali nobles and Rannial after the achievement of his target. He also tortured and murdered the wives and children of the New Muslims. He was jealous by nature and never liked any one progressing or attaining fame. Lanepoole has observed, that he was “a bloody and unscrupu­lous tyrant, yet none may refuse him the title of a strong and capable ruler.”

He adopted a cruel and stern manner to establish his authority and awarded severe punishments to his opponents and rebels in order to create terror among them.

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It is accepted by all the scholars that he was a brave soldier and a successful commander. His ambitions, his firmness and his courage deserve all praise. He was the first ruler of Delhi who organized a permanent army and extended his foot beyond the Vindhaya region.

In the medieval period for the first time in his reign, political unity of India was established similar to the reign of Chandra Gupta Maurya, Ashoka, Samudra Gupta and Chandra Gupta Vikramaditya in Ancient India.

Some historians have given the credit of his brilliant military successes to his commanders like Zafar Khan, Nusrat Khan, Alp Khan, Ulugh Khan and Malik Kafur. No doubt, they played a prominent role in the successes of the Sultan but Alauddin Khalji himself formed schemes and implemented them from time to time.

In fact, the Sultan himself was a capable commander and an able warrior. He not only achieved victories in North and South India but also crushed the rebels and forced the Mongols to retreat. His commanders obeyed his orders due to his military capabilities. Dr. A. L. Srivastava has prais­ed him as the first Turkish Empire builder in this country.

Besides being a successful victor he was also an effective adminis­trator. He uprooted corruption from every department and removed their defects. He introduced total change in the revenue department and got the land measured.

Although his revenue system, his market controls system and market regulations policy were based on terror, yet he attained success. In the sphere of justice he also adopted a policy of hard-headedness and eradicated theft and robbery from the kingdom. He made the highways safe for travellers. Dr. A. L. Srivastava writes, “Justice was executed with such vigour that robbery and theft, formerly so common, were not heard of in the land.

Alauddin was the first Turk ruler who separated politics from religion and dared reject the authority of powerful Ulemas and forced them to work on his commands. Dr. Ishwari Prasad has aptly remarked that he did not want to become a tool in the hands of the orthodox Muslims.

Sultan Alauddin Khalji introduced various reforms in the army setup of Delh; Sultanate. He organized a large and powerful army. He removed all the deficiencies in the army by introducing Dag, Huliya, distribution of cash salaries and abolishing the Jagirdari system. He provided hordes of fine breed to his soldiers and equipped them with the best available arms. Training and discipline also added to the power of the army.

He reorganized the spy system and strengthened it. Police de­partment was also organized by him. He introduced several social reforms in order to improve morality of the people. He declared drinking and gambling a crime. He also punished the saints and medicants who cheated the people. A person found guilty of rape was given capital punishment. Thus by stern laws, he tried to reform the society.

Besides this, the Sultan crushed the revolts and established law and order in the society. By crushing the Mongol invasions he saved the iniant Muslim empire from external invasions. But as his suc­cesses were based on his stern policies, the people could not be benefitted much by them. Moreover, the Sultan was not interested in the works of public welfare.

Alauddin was an ambitious ruler but he was very intelligent. In the beginning he was interested in gaining victory over the entire world and he assumed the title of Sikandar Sanj, but later on, when he gave up this idea and realized the real position, he did not even incorporate the Deccan States into Delhi Sultanate and only contented himself after extracting booty and annual tribute from them. Really, he was an efficient judge of circumstances.

Although Alauddin Khalji was an illiterate Sultan, he patronized leveral artists and men of letters. He always paid his regards to Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya and Muhammad Shamsuddin Turk. Amir Khusrau and Amir Hasan of Delhi were unique gems of his court. He was a lover of architecture and constructed the fort of Siri and some other buildings, such as, palace of one thousand pillars, mosques, and sarais. Alai Darwaja was his finest achievement.

Besides the virtues mentioned above, he had certain faults too. His personal life was corrupt and his family life was sad. He was selfish and never realized his responsibility towards his children. His anti-Hindu policy proved fatal for the Sultanate but in all he was a successful ruler and historians have praised him E. B Havell writes, “Alauddin was far advanced for his age.

In his reign of twenty years, there are many parallels with the events of our own time.” S. R. Sharma has also written, “However crude his autocracy, and what­ever fate his dynasty might have immediately suffered, this administrative system supplied the foundation on which all later Muslim rulers in India built.” Dr. S. Roy has observed. “Alauddin was the first Muslim administrator of India. The history of Muslim empire and Muslim administration in India really begins with him.”

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