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Old Friday, May 21, 2021
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Default Ala-Ud-Din Khilji's Administrative Reforms

Ala-ud-Din Khalji: .
Introduction:
Ala-ud-Din came to the throne in circumstances which have rightly cast a shadow on his memory. He was cruel, ruthless without moral scruple in dealing with rebels enemies. A careful examination of contemporary accounts, however shows that not only was Ala-ud-Din a bold resourceful soldier and a very capable administrator, but he had his own notions of the responsibilities of kinship, and laboured hard to fulfill them.

Administration Reforms:
Ala-ud-Din Khalji was the ablest administrator of the pre-Mughal period. His ability as an administrator is also beginning to be recognized.
A wide gulf separated the religious and learned Barani from the illiterate and worldly Ala-ud-din that he was completely at a loss to understand the undeniable achievements of his regin which he designated as ”miracles”, unbroken series of victories, prosperity of the people, low prices, elimination of crime abundance of gifted men in every walk of life and could either express his bewilderment at the “wonders” and the “mysteries of the ages” or tried to explain them away by attributing them to supernatural causes as the karamat of his Pir “Hazart Nizam_ud_Din Auliya” it is only recently that scholars, piecing together bits of information from different sources have begun to realize the measures of Ala-ud-Din’s administrative achievements.
Professor Qanunqo, in his study of Sher Shah has named a number of fields in which Ala-ud-Din was pioneer.
The main Administration Reforms of Ala-ud-Din was:
1- Price Control System
2- Standing Army
3- Revenue Army

1- Price Control System:
Ala-ud-Din in spite of his obvious defeats had his own ideas of his responsibilities of kingship and thought that the most effective way in which he could benefit the public and achieve lasting renown as through the control of prices of daily necessities of life at a reasonable level.
Those who have seen the difficulty of enforcing a rigid price control even in modern times know that this could not be imposed by royal edict, and one cannot read’s Barani’s account of various regulation and administrative steps taken by Ala-ud-Din without admiring his administrative ability and the competence of his officers.
To enforce his orders regulating price control, he introduced different steps and took some steps which are:
. System of partially obtaining land revenue in the form of food grain
. Built up vast stores from which corn could be issued at the time of need
. Controlled Transport
. Laid down the simple method of rationing when necessary
. Introduced an elaborate organization to carry out whole system

. Criticism
Modern Historians following Barani have held that:
“Ala-ud-Din famous price control measures were introduced in order to keep the cost of new army at a low level”
Barani attributed narrow sordid motives to Ala_ud-Din measures but Other contemporary and near contemporary writers indicate that:
“Ala-d-Din controlled prices of the necessities of life for the benefit of general public “
Barani explanation appears odd:
“as a ruthless ruler like Ala-ud-Din could easily have provided for unkeep of his army by other means such as additional taxation. In order to deal with the limited problems it was hardly necessary for him to introduced a detaile and complicated system involved an elaborate administrative measure over wide areas”

2: Standing Army:
with regards to the military organistion of Ala-ud-Din Prof. Qaunqo Says;
“To Sultan Ala-ud-Din belongs to the credit of organizing the Indian army on a model. He created an army rearmed it directly by the central government through the “Ariz-i-Mamalik” paid in cash from the state treasury, officered by nobles of the sultan’s own choice while the corruption was checked by the “dagh” system. After his death abuses crept in it, but nevertheless it lingered till the death of Sultan Firuz.”
Ala-Ud-Din kept in touch with the army when it was on the move trough an elaborate system of dak chauki. It was the practice of he sultan when he sent an army on an expedition to establish posts on the roads wherever posts could be maintained beginning from Tilpat which was the first stage. At every post relays of horses were stationed and at every half or quarter kos runners were appointed. Everyday or every two or three days, news used to come to the sultan reporting the progress of the army and intelligence of the health of the sovereign was carried to the army.
false news was thus prevented from being circulated in the city or the army. The securing of accurate intelligence from court on one side and the army on the other was a great public benefit.

. Criticism:
one may not agree with Qaunqo in calling this:
“the earliest record of publicity bureau in history”
for the system had adopted under the Abbasids but the arrangements show the thoroughness and efficiency with which government was organized under Ala-ud-Din.

3: Revenue Reforms:
More Important for the vast majority of his subjects were the arrangements made by the Khalji ruler for the proper assessment of land revenue.
He introduced the method of assessment of revenue on the basis of measurement as it appeared to him more satisfactory from the point of view of the state.

. Criticism:
It is stated that the system was not extended very far and didn’t take sufficient root to survive the death of Ala-ud-Din but at any rate it shows that the most important features of sher shah’s revenue system was originally introduced by the Khaliji.

. Significance:
Ala-ud-din made a success of his schemes which continued in operation throughout his reign. It is no wonder that after his death the poor people forgot his cruelty and remembered his rule and gratitude and according to a statement in the Malfuzat of Hazrat Chiragh-i-Dihli:
“Even people started visiting his grave as it was a tomb of holy men.”
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