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Question A.1:

What are our sources of information on Delhi Sultanate?

Answer:

The main sources of information on the Delhi Sultanate are as follows:

  • Inscriptions
  • Coins
  • Monuments
  • Tarikh (history in the written form)

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Question A.2:

What was TurkanIChihilgani?

Answer:

Turkan-i-Chihilgan was an institution developed during the Slave dynasty by Iltutmish. It was a body of forty highly powerful and noble officers who acted as the Sultan's cabinet. During the time of a war, they also accompanied the ruler to the war field.
However, with time, the officers started acting selfish. They acquired the position of the king makers. Finally, the power of this group was crushed by Balban.

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Question A.3:

Why was Razia Sultana not liked by nobles?

Answer:

In 1236, Razia Sultana, daughter of Iltutmish, became the queen of the Slave dynasty. Nobles of that time could not accept a lady or a queen as their ruler. So, they opposed the rule of Razia Sultana.

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Question A.4:

Who were iqtadars?

Answer:

Iqtadars were governors of small land areas or iqtas. Iqtadars were basically military commanders who had to accompany the king during wars. The iqtas were assigned by the king to the these commanders or iqtadars in lieu of the services extended by them. An iqtadar would collect the revenue from the iqta to pay his troupes and maintain his army.  

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Question A.5:

Why did introduction of token currency by Muhammad Tughlaq fail?

Answer:

Muhammad Tughlaq introduced token currency called tanka, but this experiment proved to be a big failure. People started forging bronze coins and stocking silver coins. As a result, silver currency was replaced by forged homemade bronze coins. This resulted in a huge loss to many. Muhammad Tughlaq had to withdraw the currency and compensate the people.

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Question B.1:

How did Alauddin Khalji expand his empire?

Answer:

Alauddin Khalji was not only an able administrator but also an efficient expansionist. The steps taken by him to expand his kingdom have been discussed below.

  • He introduced the iqta system, It was a noble policy that helped him to maintain a strong army and make arrangements to pay the salary to his soldiers.
  • He took several steps to control the power of iqtadars. He strictly stated the limit of the soldiers that an iqtadar could maintain.  He also saw to it that the muqtis were frequently transferred and the seats did not become hereditary. To avoid the iqtadars from gaining too much power, he made sure they collected only the revenue and no other self-imposed tax.
  • The army was also an important instrument for expansion. To maintain a strong army, the prices of commodities were regulated. Few soldiers were also given the salary in cash.

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Question B.2:

Throw light on Alauddin Khalji's revenue measures.

Answer:

Alauddin Khalji made serious efforts to re-assess the land revenue and unify the taxes not only in rural areas but also in urban areas. He established a centralised administrative system of revenue collection. Muqtis were appointed for revenue collection. Alauddin made sure that their offices were not hereditary. He kept a proper control over them. 

Initially, kharaj was kept at one-sixth of the produce, but he raised it to fifty percent. He also imposed taxes on cattle and houses to increase his tax base, which ultimately was used to maintain a huge army.

Prices of all commodities were fixed. To keep track of the market prices, a special officer or shahna-i-mandi was appointed. Thus, we can say that Alauddin was a farsighted economic policy maker. He took every possible measure to increase the revenuue of his kingdom.
 

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Question B.3:

Identify the reasons for the failure of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq's projects.

Answer:

The reasons for the failure of Muhammad bin Tughlaq's projects are as follows:

  • The timing of the implementation of his administrative policies was very wrong. For example, he raised land taxes in the Doab region to fifty percent of the produce at the time when the area was under the grip of famine. People were unable to make payments, which led to a revolt.
  • He transferred his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad (as the latter was centrally located) to control the south and north India. But later, he realised that it was difficult to manage the northern part of his kingdom from Daulatabad, a city located in the extreme south.
  • Muhammad Tughlaq introduced token currency called tanka, but this experiment proved to be a big failure. Over the time, the silver currency was replaced by forged homemade coins. This resulted into a monetary loss.

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Question B.4:

The administration of the Sultanate under Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was similar. How?

Answer:

The administration of the Sultanate under Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad bin Tughlaq was similar in many ways. Both of them relied on the iqta system of administration. In this system, a​n iqta or muqti was appointed to collect the land revenue. But both of them ensured that the offices were not hereditary. Officials were transferred frequently so that they had minimal social and political connection with the public. Both the sultans had the habit of ensuring that the muqtis collected only as much tax as was prescribed. For the same, they appointed accountants to keep a check on the iqtas or muqtis.

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Question B.5:

Write a short note on Sher Shah Sur.

Answer:

Sher Shah Suri was the founder of the Sur dynasty. He ruled for a very short period, but he was an able administrator. He introduced substantial changes in the administrative system and the land revenue system to establish a strong and well-governed kingdom.

Sher Shah's economic changes have been the most notable reforms. During his regime, the main sources of revenue were land, unclaimed properties, salt tax, mint tax, jaziya and gifts from subordinates. â€‹He reworked on the currency system, established rupiya and fixed weights and standards for the empire. He was the first to reorganise the collection of land revenue on the basis of land measurement and categorisation of land according to the product.

To improve the communication system, he built the Grand Trunk Road, connecting Peshawar to Calcutta. He introduced many military reforms as well. Under these, the face of the soldiers and their horses were recorded. Training was made compulsory in the army. Thus, it can be said that Sher Shah Suri set a good example of efficient rule for the rulers to come.

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Question C.1:

Under a weak ruler the nobles became powerful.

Answer:

In the absence of a strong ruler, the nobles lost their loyalty to their master or patron. They started working towards the fulfilment of their interests rather than working for the interest of the ruler.

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Question C.2:

Alauddin Khalji was the most noble of all the Sultanate rulers.

Answer:

Alauddin Khalji was an able administrator and an efficient expansionist. As a noble ruler, he introduced several reforms. Few of them have been discussed below.

  • He introduced the iqta system, It was a noble policy that helped him to maintain a strong army and make arrangements to pay the salary to his soldiers.
  • He took several steps to control the power of iqtadars. He strictly stated the limit of the soldiers that an iqtadar could maintain.  He also saw to it that the muqtis were frequently transferred and the seat did not become hereditary. To avoid the iqtadars from gaining too much power, he kept an eye to see that they collected only the revenue and no other self-imposed tax.
  • The army was also an important instrument for expansion. To maintain a strong army, the prices of commodities were regulated. Few soldiers were also given salary in the form of cash.
  • Initially, kharaj was kept at one-sixth of the produce, but he raised it to fifty percent. He also imposed taxes on cattle and houses to increase his tax base.
  • Prices of all commodities were fixed. To keep track of the market prices, a special officer or shahna-i-mandi was appointed.

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Question C.3:

Introduction of token currency led the market to be flooded with counterfeit coins.

Answer:

Muhammad bin Tughlaq introduced token currency for all economic transactions. Bronze coins called tanka soon replaced silver coins. However, this reform proved to be a failure. People started forging bronze coins. Silver coins started to be gathered by people and thus its circulation stopped in no time. The market was flooded with counterfeit coins. To deal with the crisis, the ruler had to bring the policy to a quick halt.

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Question C.4:

Sher Shah Sur built a successful administrative machinery.

Answer:

Sher Shah Suri ruled India only for a short span of five years. However, his reign is noted for the changes and reforms introduced by him during his rule. To establish stability in the economy, new coins were introduced by him. The land revenue policy he introduced was based on the measurement of land. A variety of crops were cultivated during his reign. For better communication, the famous Grand Trunk Road was built. He also introduced a lot of military reforms. He made training compulsory for  all soldiers. Records of soldiers and animals in the army were maintained by the systems of dagh and chehra.

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Question D.1:

Tarikh

Answer:

Tarikh is the written form of history. It was written in Persian. It acts as an important source of knowledge on the Delhi Sultanate. It was written by highly learned men who advised the rulers on governance.

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Question D.2:

Chalgan

Answer:

Chalgan means forty. Chalgan was an important institution that developed during the Slave dynasty by Iltutmish. It was a body of 40 highly powerful and placed noble officers who acted as the sultan's cabinet. Over time, this body gained immense power. The selfless drive to serve the ruler was replaced by selfish intentions. The power of the forty was finally crushed by Balban.

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Question D.3:

Iqtadar

Answer:

Iqtadars were governors of a small land area who were responsible for collecting land revenue and maintaining law and order in that area. They were generally military commanders whose duties also included joining the king during his military campaigns.​   

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Question D.4:

Kharaj

Answer:

Kharaj was an agricultural tax imposed by sultans on non-Islamic conquered territories. Kharaj was usually charged at 20 percent. However, during the reign of Alauddin Khaljikharaj rose to around 50 percent of the produce.

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Question D.5:

Dag

Answer:

During Sher Shah Suri's reign, several military reforms were introduced. One of them was dagh. Under this reform, the face of every soldier was recorded. Along with the soldier, his horses were branded with imperial signs and stamps. This reform helped to keep a proper record of the animals in the army.



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