The Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed movie “Padmavati” had been the headlines of the news studios for a time because of clashing interpretations on the nature of the relationship shared between Alauddin Khalji and Rani Padmavati.
While the KARNI SENA of Rajasthan had been violently fighting to retain the Rajput Pride and the director had been gaining over the free publicity that the movie has gotten nationwide, the political corridors of Delhi have become heated with Rajasthan, UP and Gujarat governments jumping into the fray to capitalize under vote bank politics.
As the debate is taking an ugly turn now, you must have recognized the futility of the arguments of both sides.
As an intellectual reader perhaps knowing about Alauddin Khalji makes more sense!!!
(1) Accession Conspiracy
Alauddin Khalji (1296-1316) was the successor of Jalaluddin Khalji(1290-1296), the founder of the Khalji dynasty in India. He became the emperor of Delhi only after conspiring against murdering his uncle Jalaluddin!As per the facts available, Ali aka Alauddin first won the confidence of his uncle Jalaluddin and later killed him to become the new sultan of the Delhi Sultanate. After the murder, he put Jalaluddin’s head on a spear and paraded with it across his provinces of Kara-Manikpur and Awadh to let people know that he has killed such a powerful sultan.
(2) An Autocratic Dynast!
Alauddin Khalji departed from Jalaluddin’s theory of benevolence and humanitarianism, considering them unsuitable to the times, and signifying a weak government.He adhered to Balban’s theory of fear being the basis of good government, a theory which he applied to the nobles as well as ordinary people. He reestablished a system of spies who kept him informed of all the developments, even the private matters of the nobles!
(3) Secular King!
However, Alauddin accepted Jalaluddin Khalji’s contention that a truly Islamic state could not be set up in the specific conditions obtaining in India. In his discussions with Qazi Mughis of Delhi, he is said to have asserted that certain acts not sanctioned by Sharia or the Holy Law were, in fact, inescapable in India.He went so far as to assert, “I do not know what is lawful or unlawful according to sharia. Whatever I consider necessary for the state or for its welfare, I decree.”
Alauddin was convinced that matters concerning the state and administration were independent of the rules and orders of the Sharia and that while the former pertained to kings alone, the latter had been assigned to Qazis and Muftis.
(4) Ambitious Builder!
Alaud-Din was an ambitious builder and started the construction of a huge Minar near the Qutab Minar.However, he could not implement this project due to his death, he succeeded in completing Alai-Darwaza which is one of the most treasured gems of Islamic architecture. The planning, design and execution together with its artistic decoration make the Alai Darwaza a splendid monument.
(5) A True Reformer
Alauddin Khalji is remembered in history for his agrarian and market reforms.
Under his agrarian reforms, he brought more and more land under Khalisa (Under the direct control of the King) and thereby minimized the number of intermediaries between the farmers and the emperor.
He also confiscated land assigned to charitable trusts and brought them under khalisa (Ulterior motive was weakening the nobles!). He fixed the amount of land revenue (Kharaj) taken in this area as half of the produce and assessed on the basis of measurement. He levied no extra cess except a grazing tax (charai) on cattle and ghari on houses.
The cut landowners made from collecting tax revenue for the state was also abolished. While the cultivators were free from the demands of the landowners, the high taxes imposed by the state meant they had “barely enough for carrying on his cultivation and his food requirements.Alauddin’s market reforms and their effectiveness was a cause of wonder to the contemporaries. Alauddin set up three markets at Delhi, the first for food-grains, the second for cloth of all kinds, and for expensive items such as sugar, ghee, oil, dry fruits etc., and the third for horses, slaves and cattle. He was successful in controlling food prices and its equitable distribution by keeping a tight check on food supply, storage and distribution practices.
You will be surprised to know that in those times Alauddin instituted a successful system of rationing during times of scarcity. Each grocer was issued a number of grains from the government stores bearing in mind the population of the ward!
(6) 24*7 Warrior!
Alauddin was always busy in wars and conquests. After all for that only he heavily invested and modernized his army.He had the wild desire of conquering Ranthambore which was the most powerful fort of then Rajasthan. While approaching the fort personally, his mighty army could not scale the tall walls of the fort. However, since the siege had lasted almost four months, there was an acute shortage of food and water inside the fort. Hence the Rajputs performed the fearful Jauhar ceremony: all the women entered the funeral pyre, and the men came out to die to fight. In this battle, the Mongols fought and died side by side with the Rajputs.The poet, Amir Khusrau, who had accompanied Alauddin, describes the fort and refers to Jauhar in one of his well-known poetical works.
(7) Bad Terms With Wife
Alauddin was married to Malika-i-Jahan, daughter of Jalaluddin Khalji, but was not happy with his marriage. Malika-i-Jahan used to take pride in being the daughter of the sultan and dominate her husband. Alauddin was also on bad terms with his mother-in-law, mother of Malika.Despite being a cruel despot, Khalji was a harassed man in the family where both his mother-in-law and his wife made life miserable for him. Though things were not same after he murdered Jalaluddin in a deceitful manner and took over the throne, his wife never forgave him for the act and remain the same with attitude.
After his first marriage, He again married to a princess named Mahru who was critically being attacked by the first wife.
(8) Sex Orientation
Allauddin Khalji was a Bisexual and had a number of gay love affairs during his rule. However, there is no concrete proof of this claim, it is one of the most discussed facts about Khalji.Khalji had a gay love affair with his Army Chief Malik Kafur and was also a reason that the powerful ruler was humiliated by his first wife. He, according to Tarikh-e-Firozshahi, had a special attraction for beardless boys and had about 50,000 beardless boys in his harem.
(9) Padmavati Suspense!
Amir Khusro, a great poet and disciple of Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya, travelled with Khalji in his war conquests and described those war scenes in his poems mentions no account of the legend of Padmavati (Claimed to be the queen of Chittor) in Alauddin’s conquest of Chittor!
You will be shocked to know the fact that her name was mentioned for the first time in a literary work in the first quarter of the 15th century. It was embellished with various fanciful stories and adventures by Malik Muhammad Jaisi, a hundred years later!!!
The story has been rejected by most modern historians, including Gauri Shankar Ojha, one of the leading Rajasthan historian!