History Optional Paper-1 Solution – 2006: Q.5 (a)
Q.5 (a) Write a short essay on: “The Khalji Revolution”
The Khalji Revolution marked the overthrow of the Slave Dynasty (Mamluk dynasty) from Delhi Sultanate and the establishment of the rule of the Khalji dynasty by Jalaluddin Khalji in1290. It was not merely a change in the dynasty but it was more than that. That is why it is called Khalji Revolution.
Why Khalji’s coming to power was Revolution?
(1) Khaljis came to power not on the support of either nobility or Ulemma but by the power of their sword.
(2) The Khaljis ended the Turkish supremacy over rule in India. The Khaljis were not considered pure Turks. Though they were Turkish tribe but having been long lived in Afghanistan, had adopted some Afghan habits and customs.They were treated as Afghans in the Delhi court. The success of the Khaljis in establishing a dynasty was a success for non-Turks.
(3) It was the rejection of the racial policy of early rulers as Khaljis opened the gate of the nobility class not simply to non-Turks but also to Indian Muslims. The social basis of the ruling class broadened. The early Turkish sultans had believed in the virtual monopoly of important posts in the state by high born Turks. Historian Barani says that with the accession of the Khaljis, the empire passed from the hands of the Turks.
Khalji revolution is considered as a revolt of the lower segment of society against the established nobility.
(4) The Khaljis also ushered a revolution in the history of the Delhi Sultanate by initiating an vigourous expansionist policy for the first time.
(5) The Khalji revolution was revolution because several new administrative measures that were introduced. For example: market regulations which fixed the prices of different commodities. Also, new administrative machinery comprising the Shuhna and the Barids was set up to oversee the market regulations.
Similarly, the land revenue administration was reorganized by introducing measurement system.
(6) The Khaljis had a concept of kingship where the power was centralised in the hand of Sultan and there was no other power centre in the administration. The Sultan need not to act under the guidance of Ulemas.
But the Khalji revolution had negative sides as well. It gave too much emphasis over the military aspect of the government and there was vigourous expansion.
In spite of limitations, Khalji revolution implied the beginning of a new era.