After the Khaljis, the next dynasty to ascend to the throne of
Delhi were the Tughlaqs,
or the Qaraunah Turks, who must have been the most assiduous builders
of all time, since at least three different kings of the dynasty built
a city each in Delhi Tughlaqabad, Jahanpanah and Ferozabad.
¤ A Dramatic Tale of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq Being Crowned
the influence of the enigmatic Malik Kafur, Ala-ud-din had
disinherited his sons Khizr and Shadi Khan and then nominated his
minor son Shihab-ud-din Umar as the heir and Malik Kafur as his
regent. When Ala-ud-din died, Umar was hardly six years old and Malik
Kafur of course seized advantage. He had Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan
blinded and set his men after Mubarak Khan, Ala-ud-dins
third-born. Had the old sultan been alive, his heart would have warmed
up to Mubarak Khan who managed to buy off Malik Kafurs agents
and made them double-cross him.
After Mubarak Khan had Malik killed, he announced himself the regent
of the hapless Shihab-ud-din Umar. Not two months were out before
Mubarak dethroned the kid and had him blinded (of all beastly
things!). Unfortunately Mubarak did not live up to the promise he
showed early on. He went soft. In his quest to win friends and
influence people he went too far and gave too much.
¤ Spending Time With Merrymakers Leads To Down Fall
Zia-ud-din Barani tells us that during the rule of Mubarak Khan, the
omnipotent and omnipresent dread of the state receded considerably. On
top of this, the king was indiscreet and careless. His idea of warming
up with the nobles was drinking and making merry with them, something
which his illustrious predecessors like Ala-ud-din and Balban would
have never even dreamt of.
Word went round that the king was a pushover and naturally everyone
who could take advantage of the situation did so. There were
rebellions all round. Conspiracies, confusion and corruption became
the order of the day. Then Mubarak Shah fell in love with Khusro Shah,
an attendant of sorts, and things just got worse. Merrymakers and
jesters soon began to occupy more of the kings time than
courtiers. In the end the king was disposed of by his own lover, who
then occupied the throne. Meanwhile in Punjab, Ghazi Malik, that
seasoned old campaigner of Ala-ud-din, thought that enough was enough.
He marched to Delhi, defeated Khusro Shah in battle and took over the
throne, putting an end to this turbulent period.
¤ Ghazi Malik- A Sensible Clear-Headed Emperor
king. He stripped his court of all frippery and frivolity and made it
more austere than it had ever been except perhaps at the time of
Balban. He restored all land that had been taken away by Ala-ud-din
Khalji but only after he had made secret inquiries into the claims and
all unlawful grants had been filtered out. He tried to recover the
treasure squandered by Khusro Shah and succeeded in some measure.
Barani tells us that the king believed that people should be
taxed so that they are not blinded with wealth and so become
discontented and rebellious; nor, on the other hand, be so reduced to
poverty and destitution as to be unable to pursue their daily bread.
Under Ghazi the judicial, police and postal arrangements improved out
of all knowledge and became very efficient. Despite the fact that he
was forever busy with war campaigns, he actually found time to think
out social welfare schemes.
¤ Ghazi's Defeat
Yet Ghazi Maliks biggest defeat was to come not at the hands of
some great conqueror, but at those of a mystic - the great and popular
Sufi dervish Shaikh Nizam-ud-din Auliya. Throughout his reign Ghazi
Malik remained at loggerheads with the Shaikh and although he
repeatedly tried to curb the saints power and hold over people,
nothing came of it. In fact many believed at that time that it only
helped bring about Ghazis untimely demise.
There are lots of stories about Auliya and Ghazis war of words.
One of their earliest skirmishes occurred when Ghazi - better known as
Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq - was building the capital city of Tuqhlaqabad,
which is now about 5km east of Delhi. As it happened, the Auliya was
building his baoli (step well) at the same time. The workers of the
sultan offered to help the saint. When Ghazi came to know of this, he
put a stop to it instantly and told the workers to stick to what they
were being paid for. Miffed at this, the dervish predicted that the
sultans fort would be either populated by nomads or abandoned.
Curiously this actually came to pass. Ghiyas-ud-din was killed by his
own son Muhammad Tughlaq (which incidentally had also been predicted
by Auliya, who was rather fond of Muhammad) after only five years of
occupying the fort. Muhammad abandoned Tughlaqabad, preferring the old
city of Delhi to it. For
a long time thereafter Ghazis city remained the hangout for
nomads and it now stands in ruins.
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