Category Archives: justice

The famous Jehangir Justice – An old woman demands justice

Emperor Jahangir

Emperor Jahangir

Jehangir was particular about justice being delivered in his empire. This incident occurred when the Emperor was still a prince in 1590s. In those times the army which won looted the defeated kingdom and killed or captured its citizens. The women especially were in biggest trouble as they were abducted and used as slaves by the winning army. The Emperor(Prince Salim then) had told his army to not abduct or misbehave with any defeated kingdom citizens especially women. But he got constant complaints that his soldiers were abducting women and girls after the kingdoms defeat. But no defeated kingdoms citizen dared to come and give an official complaint. Once the emperor was out on tour in his province(where he was governor). An old lady landed in his travelling cantonment and demanded to meet the Prince. The soldiers refused her audience with the Prince Salim on some pertex. Luckily for the old lady the Prince was returning from a sight seeing expedition just at that time. The old lady went to the Prince and started crying. The mughal army had defeated a Rajputhana kingdom few months back. The mughal army raided the city and abducted many young girls, this old lady’s grand daughter was one of them. The old lady begged the Prince to return her grand daughter to her as she had no one but her as family.

Jehangir took a parade of all army man who participated in the war. The old woman was called to the parade and told to identify the person who abducted her grand daughter. The old woman identified a commander as the man who had abducted her grad daughter. His house was searched and the girl was found in his house and reunited with the old woman. Jehangir realized despite his several warnings his soldiers and commanders are not listening to his orders to not abduct or touch defeated kingdoms woman and girls. Hence to set an exemplary punishment he had the commander flayed alive to death in public. That ensured that mughal soldiers under him did not misbehave or abduct girls of opposing kingdoms after a war. He also compensated the old woman and the girl.

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Alahuddin Khilji Reforms

Alahuddin khilji was not a much educated man but he ensured many reforms in taxation and markets that were followed by later day rulers. In his book Tarikh-i-Firozshahi Zia-ud-din Barani laments, helped the Ajlaf (men of low birth) rise to positions of power while the Ashraf (men of noble birth) lost their status and authority.

  • Setting up markets : He set up markets in Delhi in Delhi, one for food grains, oil, ghee etc commodities, second for clothes and third for cattle and horses. People and farmers could sell their produce here

 

  • Food procurement system: Khilji appointed trade merchants to procure the grains and other commodities from farmers and artisans and sell it in markets set up at Delhi.

 

  • Setting up large storage system: Khilji set up market stoage in Delhi so the goods procured can be stored safely. This ensured traders did not hoard essential items to increase its price. Also it helped during famine and low monsoon as food stock of previous yuears was stored safely for use.

 

  • Food price control: Khilji set up minimum price for goods and essential items so that farmers are not cheated by traders and consumers get essential items in affordable cost. This also brought down wages and more people got employments etc

 

  • Cloth market reforms: Khilji promoted clothe manufacturing in the empire by providing 10 million tankas(silver coins) to manufacture clothes units. He gave royal patronage to merchants who could sell their wares in designated places allocated by Delhi sultanate. The prices of these clothe material was determined by the Delhi sultanate and all merchants who brought their wares had to follow rules and regulations.

 

  • Taxation System: Khilji imposed taxation at rate 50% of the produce from the land. Khots and Chaudhary and Rajpuths etc( rich land owners, people of ruling class etc )had been exempt from paying house tax and cattle tax from their pockets. They would extract money from cultivators (smaller farmers) and pad to the state. Khilji abolished this system and told the Khots and Chaudhary to pay tax from their earnings only. This agitated rich land owners as they had to produce in their fields and pay labour on market rates instead of past where free bonded labour was prevelant.

 

  • Abolished land grants: Khilji consficated government lands illegally used by landlords and grants of land given to both religious and other men in power. This land was than given to lower level farmers to cultivate so that tax base would increase. This highly agitated the rich and religious men including Muslim clerics and Sufi’s. He abolished grants of land and money given to religious and rich people.

 

  • Salary to soldiers: Khilji was one of the first Indian emperor to pay the soldiers salary. He abolished the Jagir system(mansabdar) and paid salary. He had three grade of soldiers. The foot soldier was paid 156 tankas(silver coins), the cavalary(horsemen) were paid 234 tankas and the others 312 tankas. This salary was very high and even in 17th century Indian soldiers(Mughal, British) got less than that. This ensured the loyalty of soldiers.

 

  • Garrison for soldiers: Khilji had set up garrison for soldiers in major city like Delhi, Lahore etc so that he can have centralized power over them and not depend on governors etc to suplly army during war

 

  • Strict punishment for cheaters: The law was implemented very strictly and any trader who cheated in weight and measurements was punished by cutting off equal weight from their body. The punishment sounded gross but that ensured that no cheating occurred which was ramapant

 

He did many more reforms that ensured corruption reduced and lower level citizens were benefitted in long term. This is not an exhaustive list of reforms done by Khilji.

 

Allahuddin Khilji’s wife fight

Allahuddin Khilji’s had 6 wives. Three of his wives were muslims and other three were Hindus. His first wife was Malika-I-Jahan Meherunissa (Empress of world) , the daughter of his uncle Jalaluddin Khilji the first Sultan of Delhi. Allahuddin was born in 1266 and was the son of Jalaluddin Khilji’s elder brother  Shihabuddin Khilji. Shiabuddin Khilji and his wife died leaving Aalhuddin Khilji and his siblings which included his three younger brothers orphaned.

Jalaluddin Khilji was the commander of Sultan Muizzuddin  Qaiqabad and became an emperor after disposing his infant son on Delhi throne. Before Jalaluddin became an Sultan, he married off his daughter Meherunissa to his elder nephew Allahuddin Khilji. But once her father Jalalluddin Khilji became Sultan of Delhi Meherunissa became very haughty and proud. She wanted Allahuddin to bend to all her whims and fancy demands and would fight or humiliate him for small things. Even Meherunissa’s mother helped  her and instigated her to behave badly with Alahuddin Khilji. Allahuddin bore all her trantrums but inside he was truly frustrated with her behaviour towards him in front of others only because she was a Sultan’s daughter.

But once Alahuddin killed Jalaluddin Khilji and ascended the throne of Delhi, if he assumed that Meherunissa would behave nicely with him, he was wrong. Meherunissa’s behaviour remained even more abhorring as she never forgave him for killing her father. One day Alahuddin Khilji was sitting with his second wife Maharu, sister of Alp Khan in Meherauli garden and enjoying the evening. Meherunissa landed in the garden and was infuriated that Alahuddin Khilji was spending time with his second wife and started hitting Maharu with slippers. Alahuddin Khilji was shocked looking at his second wife plight and warned Meherunissa to stop hitting Maharu. But Meherunissa did not stop, hence Alahuddin Khilji had to remove his sword and warn her that made her beat a hasty retreat.

Malika-I-Jahan also had fights with Alahuddin Khilji’s third wife Kamala Devi. She was highly offended that her son Khizir Khan was in love with Kamala Devi’s daughter Deval Rani from first husband, Gujarath King Karan Deva. Also since Alahuddin Khilji’s favourite wife was Kamala Devi she was even more jealous of her and her daughter making both their lives miserable.

Although its said that Alahuddin Khilji attacked Chittorgarh to get Rani Padmini(although it was a political war in reality and no historical reference of Rani Padmini exist in history), in reality Alahuddin Khilji had a great strife in family caught between his quarrelling wifes and a troubling mother in law at home.