The Cruel Tughluq Dynasty Ruler – Muhammad Bin Tughluq

Many of us are not are not aware of some intriguing facts about Indian history. Let’s take a look at history of Tughlaq dynasty and Muhammad bin Tughluq to discover some of them.

The Tughluq dynasty ruled the Delhi sultanate from 1320 to 1413 and was founded by Ghazi Malik aka. Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. Muhammad bin Tughluq was the most successful ruler of this dynasty who conquered a lot of land from 1330 and 1335. Although he was successful in expanding his empire, Tughlaq dynasty history was characterized by his tortures and cruelty leading to rebellions and disintegration after 1335 AD.

Before the Tughlaqs, the Khalji dynasty had control over the Delhi Sultanate. Khilji dynasty’s governor Khusro Khan and Malik Kafur looted non-Muslim kingdoms for Alauddin Khalji. Alauddin Khalji died in 1316 leading to political instability. Ghazi Malik was a governor under the Khiljis for Punjab. He killed Khusro Khan to begin the Tughlaq dynasty.

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq built Tughlakabad to protect his men from Mongol attacks. He rewarded those who supported him and punished those who had supported Khusro Khan. He lowered taxes on Muslims and raised the same for Hindus.

In 1321, Ghiyasuddin asked his eldest son Muhammad bin Tughlaq to attack Arangal and Tilang. He failed in his first attempt but succeeded 4 months later with the help of a stronger army. Arangal was renamed as Sultanpur; the complete state treasury was looted.

The Muslim leader in Lukhnauti helped Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq to attack Shamsuddin Firoz Shah in 1324-1325 AD and expand into Bengal. Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq handed over Delhi to Muhammad bin Tughlaq and himself led his army to Lukhnauti and won the battle. One of the cruelest chapters of his history has been the fact that he killed his father Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq and brother Mahmud Khan in 1325 AD when they were returning back after the same conquest.

In his reign of 26 years, Muhammad attacked Malwa, Gujarat, Mahratta, Tilang, Kampila, Dhur-samundar etc. He kept looting non-Muslim kingdoms but could not control emerging discontent and revolts.

He also imposed a 10 times higher land tax on non-Muslims living in fertile lands of Ganga and Yamuna. They were also asked to pay crop taxes by handing over half or more of their harvests. Hindu farmers stopped farming and the subcontinent was affected by famines at the same time. Muhammad bin Tughlaq resorted to more violence and mass punishments. He also executed other sections of the muslim communities like Shia, Sufis etc.

He then decided to move his capital from Delhi to Deogiri and renamed it as Daulatabad. People were forced to migrate and those who refused were killed. Daulatabad did not have enough drinking water and the capital was returned back to Delhi.

Revolts against Muhammad bin Tughlaq began in 1327 and the Sultanate started reducing in size after 1335. The Vijayanagara Empire did not allow the Delhi Sultanate to expand in southern India. Many other regions declared independence from Muhammad bin Tughlaq as well.

The state treasury had no precious metal coins after Tughlaq’s expansive war campaigns. Coins of Tughlaq dynasty started getting made using base metals with a face value of silver coins. People started minting fake coins of their own leading to an economic disaster. This was followed by 10 years of famines leading to several deaths.

Muhammad bin Tughlaq also tried to attack Khurasan, Irak and China but in vain. People who could not pay taxes were executed. He died in March 1351 while trying to attack people who rebelled against him in Sindh and Gujarat.

Some historians think that he wanted to forcefully impose orthodox Islamic practices while others thought that he was insane. By this time, the Delhi Sultanate lost its territories and covered only the Vindhya range in central India.

Source by Priyesh Nair