Administrative Reforms of Alauddin Khalji

Administrative reforms of Alauddin Khalji represented an important component of his domestic policy these were Alauddin Khalji response to the challenge of recurs revolts & rebellion against the authority of the Sultan. Alauddin had captured the throne by executing his uncle, so he was in strict need of these reforms to continue with the throne. The major aim behind these reforms was to diminishes the chance of rising another Alauddin to challenge his throne. After sitting on thrown in c.1296 CE Alauddin Khalji came in-depth thought to reasons behind recurring revolts & rebellions against the authority of Sultan resulted in four conclusions.

Presences of excess wealth make people rebellious because they have free time to think about the strengths & weaknesses of the Sultan. The failures of the Sultan to keep a close watch on the activities taking place allow the rebellious elements to gain strength & authority of the Sultan. The practices of using wine were also found to be an important cause because under the influence of wine people forget their real status & start coming under the illusion that the authority could be challenged.

Delhi Sultanate under Khalji Dynasty
Delhi Sultanate under Khalji Dynasty

Matrimonial alliances among Nobel: It was found to be another important cause of recurring revolts against the Sultan cause through matrimonial alliances, Nobel gains the strength to challenge the authority of the Sultan. To counter these causative factors, Sultan Alauddin Khalji issued ordinances famously known as his administrative reforms. Through the 1st ordinance, Alauddin Khalji took away free grants by various people in form of Inam (Grant for meritorious service), Milk (grant to the man of religion), Idrar (Grant to poor person), Waqf (Grant to a religious institution – example Mosque).

Alauddin Khalji revenue reforms were also directed by taking away the wealth of intermediaries & peasants. Through his 2nd ordinance, Sultan Alauddin Khalji strengthens the spy system. Efficient spies were appointed throughout Sultanate. They were instructed to inform Sultanate about any significant activities taking in areas. In the case of failure, the spy was punished severely. 3rd ordinance was issued to impose prohibition to set on example Sultan Alauddin Khalji himself gave up the habit of drinking. According to Barani, the wine ports were brought to the gate palace & broken publicity.

This ordinance could not be implemented efficiently because people strongly stilling privately at home & the ill effects of drinking continued. Over & above state suffering through the loss of revenue because of this, the ordinance was modifying by Khalji & provision was imposed only on public drinking & drinking in groups. Through his 4th ordinance, Sultan Alauddin Khalji prohibited inter-marriage in Nobel without his prior permission. Social gathering was also prohibited. The gambling practices being used by Nobel for entertainment were also declared illegal.

Administrative Reforms

The Turk’s brought new political ideas & institutions with them as a result of which transformative changes were witnessed in the Indian political system. The age of political fragmentation had come to an end for the 1st time in many centuries, a central authority immersed in North India.

The military achievements of Turkish rulers carried out the political unification of India, in the beginning, it was limited to Northern parts but gradually peninsular India was also brought under Delhi control. The Turks brought a folio system of administration; specific departments were maintained by them to handle specific administration responsibilities.

Diwan-i-Wazir – Department of Prime Minister & finance minister

Diwan-i-Arz – military department

Diwan-i-Insha – department of royal correspondence

Diwan-i-Risalat – department of foreign affairs

These were the four central pillars of the political system established by Turkish rulers. The Turk’s also brought a new approach to handling administration responsibilities from Urban Centers. They did not interfere directly in Indian Rural life at the local level. The existing institution practices were allowed to continue.

The age of secular polity came to an end with the establishment of Turkish Rule. The Islamic state system was followed by the Turks. Iqta system was another noble element introduced by Turk in India. It was originally an Arabic practice. The Turks adopted it from Arabs & brought it to India.

Under this system, the nobles/military commanders were given the responsibility to the administrator a part of the territory known as Iqta. The holder of Iqta was known as Iqtadar. Imperialistic outlook remerged in North India as a result of the establishment of Turk’s. The Sultan organized regular military campaigns to carry out the territorial expansion.

Significance of administration reforms

The administration of reforms was highly successful in achieving the intended object because during his long reign (2nd-decade Sultanate remains free from the challenges of revolt). Except for imposing prohibition other reforms get successful. The peace & stability prevailed in Sultan in his reign as a result of which the economy grows rapidly.

Military Reforms

Khalji was a despotic ruler & the success of his despotism was depended on military strength He requires a strong & efficient army to counter the Mongol threat & to implement imperialistic designs. Alauddin Khalji raised a large central standing army. Most of the army was maintained in the capital under the direct command of the Sultan.

Army of Alauddin
Army of Alauddin

Alauddin Khalji abounded the practice of paying soldiers land he pays every soldier in cash. The salary of a cavalry person was 234 Tanka for annum. In this soldier was to maintain a horse. If soldiers maintain an additional horse he gave 78% Tanka extra. Salary foot soldier 78 Tanka Annum.

To ensure that the soldier & horses were good equality Sultan Alauddin Khalji introduced the practices of Dag (granting horse) Huliya (maintain facial roll). This was more to check the use of proxies during wars & battles. The Iqtadars were ordered to bring their soldiers to the capital for inspection regularly. The soldiers gave weapons & horses by the state to ensure the fighting capacity of the highest order.

Impacts of Military Reforms

The nature & character of the Indian military transformed fundamentally as a result of the establishment of Turkish rule. The Turk’s maintained a central standing army directly commanded by Sultan; the age of feudal levies came to an end. The elephant force was no longer the mainstay of the army, the Turk’s relied more on the cavalry to ensure swiftness. The Turk introduced new weapon systems (Naal etc). New battle strategies were also brought by Turk’s in India.

Traditionally Indian rulers used the strategy of frontal attack with full military strength but the Turk’s used to follow the strategy by surrounding the enemy from all sides. They used to maintain a part of the army as a reserve to attack enemies in the last part of the day when their forces got too tired. This fatal blow on the enemy used to play an important role in a decisive victory of Turk’s.

The regular inspection systems were also introduced by Turk’s. Sultan Alauddin Khalji introduced the practices of Dagh & Huliya so that the use of proxies during an inspection is eliminated.