Delhi Sultunate : Tughlaq's

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Muhammad, perhaps inspired by the ideas of Alauddin, also thought in terms of an India-wide empire. Added to this was his desire to lead an expedition to Khurasan in central Asia. His economic policy was therefore based on these ambitions. His first step was to increase the revenue imposed on the Doab (the fertile region between the Yamuna and Ganges rivers). But this time the peasants refused to acquiesce as they had done when Alauddin had raised the tax, and showed their resentment by widespread rebellion, which had to be suppressed, and the taxation policy was revised. Unhappily for Muhammad, this coincidcd with a famine in the Doab.

Muhammad's next step, and it seemed a fairly rational one, since the northern Deccan was under the Sultanate, was to establish a new capital further south, closer to the southern provinces and to the southern kingdoms which the Sultanate wished to annex. Consequently the court was ordered to move to Daulatabad, the old Devanagri of the Yadavas, which he did during the years 1327-30 A.D. Had the transfer involved merely the court it would have been a feasible proposition, but Muhammad is said to have tried to move the entire population of Delhi and this stay was unsuccessful, since Daulatabad was found to be unsuccessful and eventually the court returned to Delhi.

The cracks in the Sultanate, so well cemented by Alauddin, appeared once more. There were revolts in the provincial capitals, and a famine in and around Delhi led to a rising of the Jat and Rajput cultivators and landowners. The theologians at the Court - the keepers of religious and political authority - began to denounce Muhammad's policies. The Sultan died of fever in 1357 while pursuing rebels in Sindh - his ambitions had consistently been beyond the means at his disposal.

The nobles and theologians at the court selected his cousin. Firoz Shah as the next Sultan. His immediate concern was to quell the rebellions, but many of his campaigns ended with his having to concede virtual independence to the provinces, as in the case of Bengal. Having become Sultan with the support of the nobles and the theologians, he had to ensure their satisfaction by restoring to them a considerable amount of political power, based on a fairly lax policy in agrarian matters. Some of the Delhi Sultans gained notoriety as temple-breakers and idol-smashers. These activities have been written about at length by the chroniclers, presumably to prove the devotion of their patrons to Islam. In fact there may have been more than piety involved. Firoz is also described on occasion as being as iconoclast. A campaign in Orissa resulted in the destruction of Jagannath temple in Puri.

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