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The Khiljis [1290 AD - 1320 AD]


The Khiljis used their Afghan descent to win the loyalties of the discontented nobles, who felt that they had been neglected by earlier sultans. Jalaluddin Khilji (1290 AD - 1296 AD) tried to mitigate some of the harsh aspects of Balban's rule. He was the first ruler to put forward the view that the state should be based on the willing support of the governed and that since the majority of Indians were Hindus, the state cannot be truly Islamic.

Alauddin Khilji (1296 AD - 1316 AD) treacherously murdered his uncle and father-in-law, Jalaluddin. By harsh methods, he cowed down the nobles and made them completely subservient to the crown. He was ambitious and dreamt of an all India empire.

Over a twenty five years period, Malwa, Gujarat and Rajasthan was brought under his control. To solve the water problems in summer, he constructed lot of Baolis (Wells). His famous general Malik Kafur led the campaign (1308 AD - 1312 AD) to the south and defeated the Yadavas of Deogiri, the Kakityas of Warangal and the Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra.

Alauddin also repelled the Mongols successfully. His military success was because of the creation of a large standing army directly recruited and paid by the state. He revoked all grants made by previous sultans, introduced price control covering almost the entire market and rationed the grain. In order to effectively subordinate nobles, he banned drinking of intoxicants. The sultan's permission was necessary before marriage could be arranged among the member of nobility, so that marriage alliances of a political nature could be prevented. No further rebellion took place during his life time, but in the long run his methods proved harmful to the dynasty. As the old nobility was destroyed, the new nobility was taught to accept any one who could ascend the throne of Delhi.

Kings followed in quick succession after his death, till in 1320, a group of officers led by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq raised the banner of revolt and put an end to the Khilji dynasty.