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Delhi Sultanate: Balban (Slave Dynasty)

17-JUL-2015 14:25

    Balban was a slave of Iltutmish and belonged to the Illabari tribe of the Turks. Initially he got the menial jobs but later on he progressed in his career by becoming first the chief huntsman of Raziya, while getting the governorship of Hansi when Baharam was removed.

    He served under his sultan Nasir-ud-din Mahmud as his right hand for 20 years and crushed all the rebellions whether outside the court or inside the court. Following his master’s death, Balban ascended the throne in February 1265 AD. He first executed the survivors of the Chalisa and relieved himself of the dangers of rivalry. He suppressed with an iron hand the hill men whose forays were a terror in the suburbs of Delhi. He cleared the forests around Delhi and at an sacrifice of 100,000 men turned a haunt of  busg-rangers into a peaceable agricultural district.' He freed the roads from brigands by killing and burning without mercy.

    Balban ruled the empire with an iron hand which included crushing the Mewatis and disciplining the officers. He also reorganized the army and overtook the powers of Chihalgani.

    Moreover, he suppressed the revolt of Tughril Khan in Bengal and his second son Bugara Khan in place of him as the ruler of Bengal.

    He never gave any authority to Hindus in the administration or the army.

    The following are the major achievements of Balban’s reign:

    • He was responsible for introducing Zaminbosi or practice of Sijda. Under this, the people had to kneel down and touch the ground with their head while greeting the Sultan.

    • He propagated the Iranian theory of Divine Rights which said that Sultan was the representative of God on Earth.

    • He ended the influence of the Corp of Forty.

    • He didn’t allow Ulemas to interfere into the political affairs of the state.

    • He didn’t allow Hindus entry in army or other institutions of authority.

    • He re-organized the army of Delhi Sultanate to counter the threats of the Mongols. For this, he created a new department of military affairs known as Diwan-i-arz which was given in charge of Ariz-i-Mumalik.

    He built forts and established Afghan garrisons to guard communications with Bengal. The titles of Turkish Khans for vast estates were strictly examined and he took back the lands from which no adequate military service was received and thus, reduced the power of the nobles. He maintained pomp and dignity at his court.

    • Balban was succeeded by his grandson Kaikubad who was not competent enough to maintain the empire intact.


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