The Delhi Sultans - Solutions

 CBSE Class –VII Social Science

NCERT Solutions 
History Chapter 3
The Delhi Sultans

Q1: Which ruler first established his or her capital in Delhi?
 After the decline of the Pratiharas, the Tomaras established their dynasty around Delhi by the 10th century. Ananga Pala, the founder of the Tomara dynasty first established his capital at Delhi in 736 CE. They were however followed by the Chauhans or Chahamanas.

Q2: What was the language of administration under the Delhi Sultans?
 The Delhi Sultanate literature begins with the rise of Persian speaking people to the throne of the Sultanate of Delhi. So naturallyPersian was the language of administration under the Delhi Sultans.

Q3: In whose reign did the Sultanate reach its farthest extent?
The expansion of Delhi sultanate mainly occurred during the reigns of Ghiyassuddin Balban, Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughlaq. But it was only during Muhammad Tughluq’s reign, the Sultanate reached its farthest extent. Under his reign, the armies of the Sultanate had defeated rival armies and seized cities. The armies of the Delhi Sultanate marched across a large part of the subcontinent and consequently, the kingdom of the Delhi Sultanate was vast.

Q4: From which country did Ibn Battuta travel to India?
Ibn Battuta, who was considered as the greatest traveler of the Medieval period, traveled to India from Morocco. He visited India during the reign of Muhammad bin Tughlaq and is known for his account of his journeys called the "Rihla"(voyage). He traveled for almost 30 years and covered most of the Islamic world.

Q5: According to the “Circle of Justice”, why was it important for military commanders to keep the interests of the peasantry in mind?
The term "Circle of Justice" describes the relationship between the king and his subjectsAccording to the "Circle of Justice", it was important for the military commanders to keep the interests of the peasants in mind because the salaries of the soldiers came from the revenue collected from the peasants, and peasants could pay the revenue only when they were prosperous and happy. Hence, the military commanders promoted justice and honest governance. The peasants therefore lived a peaceful and safe life under the military commanders. 

Q6: What is meant by the “internal” and “external” frontiers of the Sultanate?
Ans: "
Internal" frontiers of the Sultanate consisted of the ‘hinterland’ of the garrison towns. Since the sultans seldom controlled the hinterland, they were dependent on trade, tribute or plunder for supplies.  During these campaigns, forests were cleared in the Ganga- Yamuna Doab and hunter gatherers and pastoralist expelled from their habitat. Controlling garrison towns in distant Bengal and Sindh from Delhi was extremely difficult. Mongol invasions from Afghanistan and rebellious governors added to these problems.
The "external" frontiers refer to the unconquered territories especially in the southern parts of the subcontinent. Military expeditions into southern India started during the reign of Alauddin Khalji and ended with the reign of Muhammad Tughluq. In their campaigns, Sultanate armies captured elephants, horses and slaves and carried away precious metals.

Q7: What were the steps taken to ensure that muqtis performed their duties? Why do you think they may have wanted to defy the orders of the Sultans?
As the kingdom of Delhi Sultanate kept increasingly expanding, the Khalji and Tughluq monarchs appointed military commanders as governors of territories of varying sizes. These lands were called iqta and their holder was called iqtadar or muqti. The steps that were taken to ensure that the muqtis performed their duties were:

  1. The duties of the muqtis were to lead military campaigns and maintain law and order in their iqtas. In exchange for their military services, the muqtis collected the revenues of their assignments as salary. Their soldiers were paid salaries from the revenues.
  2. Control over muqtis was most effective if their office was not inheritable and if they were assigned iqtas for a short period of time before being shifted.
  3. The conditions of working were harsh and were imposed on the muqtis.
  4. Accountants were appointed by the state to check the amount of revenue collected by the muqtis. Care was taken that the muqti collected only the taxes prescribed by the state and that he kept the required number of soldiers.

The Sultans would have felt that the muqtis could turn disloyal any moment and so they would have imposed very strict control on them. The muqtis might have wanted to defy the orders of the Sultans because of the harsh conditions imposed on them by the Sultans.

Q8: What was the impact of the Mongol invasions on the Delhi Sultanate?
The Mongol invasions affected the Delhi Sultanate in the following ways:

  1. Both Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq raised large standing armies against the Mongols.
  2. Alauddin constructed a new garrison town named Siri for his soldiers while Muhammad Tughluq emptied Dehli-i-Kunha of its residents and the soldiers garrisoned there. Residents of Delhi were forced to shift to Daulatabad.
  3. In order to feed the soldiers, large taxes were imposed on farmers. Additional taxes levied from the farmers coincided with famine during the time of Muhammad Tughlaq.
  4. Alauddin chose to pay his soldiers salaries in cash rather than iqtas. His administrative measures were effective due to cheap prices and efficient supplies of goods in the market. Muhammad Tughluq created a token currency to pay his soldiers. His administrative reign was a disaster and he disbanded his army.

Alauddin was able to withstand the threat of Mongol invasions. Muhammad Tughluq's administrative measures failed, however, he at least planned to attack the Mongols which was a first in the history of the Delhi Sultanate.

Q9: Do you think the authors of tawarikh would provide information about the lives of ordinary men and women?
The authors of tawarikh were learned men: secretaries, administrators, poets and courtiers. They recounted events and advised rulers on governance, emphasising the importance of just rule. They were written in Persian, the administrative language of the Sultans. The authors of tawarikh did not provide information about ordinary men and women because:

  1. The authors of tawarikh lived in cities (mainly Delhi) and hardly ever in villages.
  2. They often wrote their histories for Sultans in the hope of rich rewards.
  3. These authors advised rulers on the basis of birthright and gender distinctions. Their ideas were not shared by everybody.

Q10: Raziyya Sultan was unique in the history of the Delhi Sultanate. Do you think women leaders are accepted more readily today?
Raziyya Sultan was the daughter of Iltutmish, who came to power in 1236. She was more able and qualified than all her brothers. She was unique in the history of the Delhi Sultanate based on her ability as an effective leader of the Delhi Sultanate. Being a woman, she was not accepted as a ruler at the time. The nobles were not happy at her attempts to rule independently. So they conspired and removed her from the throne in 1240.
Women leaders are accepted more readily today as we live in a world of equality for both men and women. Women are provided with adequate opportunities to excel. For example, Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher are examples of political leaders who have been accepted for their effective leadership. Moreover, there is scope for positive growth for women leaders in future.

Q11: Why were the Delhi Sultans interested in cutting down forests? Does deforestation occur for the same reasons today?
Delhi Sultans were interested in cutting down forests because they wanted to encourage agriculture on the land. They also wanted to cut down forests for creating protected territories against enemies and promoting trade routes.
Today, deforestation occurs due to the creation of roads and railways and promotion of industries. Hence, some of the reasons are the same for deforestation, then and now.