The Khalji Revolution:
Historians hold different opinions regarding the origin of Khaljis but recent researches have proved that the Khaljis were Turks and their forefathers were the inhabitants of Turkistan. They migrated to the valley of Helmand in Afghanistan in the fourth “century where they adopted the social cultural traits and customs of the Afghans due to which they were regarded as Afghans in India, otherwise writers like Fakbruddin, Raverty and Barthold regarded them as Turks.
They served in the armies of the early Turk invaders, namely, Mahmood Ghaznavi and Muhammad Ghori, and won laurels for their valour and loyal services rendered to their masters. It would be improper to agree with Barani and Smith who support that Turks and Khaljis were poles apart from one another.
At the time of the first battle of Tarain (1190 A.D.) when Muhammad Ghori received a fatal wound, he was taken out of the battlefield safely by a Khalji soldier. Muhammad-bin-Bikhtivar Khalji achieved victory for Ghori over Bihar and Bengal. He was appointed the Governor of the conquered province under over-all supervision of Aibak. The Khaljis went on ruling over the territory of Bihar and Bengal for a pretty long time.
Some of the brave Khalji nobles even broke off relations with Delhi and declared independence in Lakhnauti. As the valley of Helmand was subjected to the invasion of the Mongols and failed to face their onslaught, they left the valley and migrated to the Gangetic valley in India as agriculturists and soldiers.
Some of the young and capable Khaljis secured employment on the administrative and military posts under the Sultans of Delhi. Racialism was introduced by the so-called slave Sultans in Muslim politics and created a new class of nobility.
It did not prove conducive to the welfare of the infant Muslim state in India and gave birth to a tug of war between the rival groups of the nobility. Court intrigues and racialism took the lives of many capable military generals and efficient administrators.
With the accession of Jalaluddin Khalji who was an unprivileged Muslim and Governor of Samana, the supremacy of the Turks ended in India. He was supported by the unprivileged masses who–were so far subjected to torments and tortures under the cruel hands of racialism.
Prof. A. B. M. Habibullali remarks about the accession of Jalaluddin Khalj, “Unlike Balban’s accession twenty-five years earlier, it meant the end of an age, for with the Mamluk dynasty also passed away racialism, which had characterized the political atttitude of Qutbuddin, Iltutmish and their successors.”
The Sultans of Ilbari clan ruled over India for fairly long period but owing to their narrowmmdedness and fanaticism they could not come out of the grip of racialism and religious intoleration. They appointed only people of Ilbari clan on posts and promoted them. It caused dissatisfaction among the non-Ubari.
Turks and with the support of Indian Muslims they overthrew the Ilbaris and laid a new principle that it was not necessary that only a person belonging to Ilbari clan would be the ruler. It ended the monopoly of a particular group or family in the politics of Delhi Sultanate.
Barani remarks, “In the course of the first year of his reign, the citizens and soldiers and traders of all degrees and classes went to Kilughari, where the Sultan held a public darbar. They were struck with admiration and amazement at seeing the Khaljis occupying the throne of the Turks and wondered how the throne had passed from one to the other.”
The accession of Jalaluddin Khalji was not a mere change of dynasty. It signified a revolution in the Muslim pulitics in India.
“They neither had time nor opportunity to extend their territory but with the accession of Jalaluddin a change was brought about and Jialban’s policy of consolidation was changed into imperialism, Allauddin Khalji, the “successor of Jalaluddin, after getting rid of provincial governors and Hindu rebelion, resorted to expansionist policy.
Besides establishing his sway over entire northern India, he extended his territory in southern lndia. Dr. K. S. Lai has written” about his conquests; it not only heralded the advent of a new dynasty; it ushered in an era of ceaseless conquests, of unique experiments in statecraft and of incomparable literary activities.”
The Khaljis did not resort to intrigues or conspiracies for getting the throne. Neither was the first Sultan of Khalji dynasty elected nor did he belong to the royal family. He, undoubtedly, got the throne of Delhi by power and he continued to rule over the Sultanate by dint of power.
The Sultans of Khalji dynasty did not care to seek the recognition and support of the Khalita who was the real ruler during the Sultanate period. The (Olema who hitherto enjoyed several privileges were also neglected during the reign of Khaljis. Thus we see that a new era was ushered in, in the realm of Delhi Sultanate with the accession of Khaljis.
Early Life and Career of Jalaloddin Khalji:
Jalaluddin Khalji was a Turk of Khilji tribe and his forefathers were the inhabitants of Turkistan. Members of his family settled down, in India long ago and they served in the reign of Iltumish and Balban. Jalaluddin was appointed Sar i-Jandar due to his ability and capability.
He rose to this prize post by his merit. Later on, he was appointed governor of Samana. He fought many battles against the Mongols. Being pleased,” Kaiqubad invited him to Delhi after the assassination of Nizamuddin and appointed him Ariz-i-Mamalik.
The title of Shaista Khan was also bestowed upon him at this occasion. Soon his influence enhanced in the army and administration. He organized all the Khalji nobles’ officers and soldiers under his leadership. He also got the cooperation and support of the Turkish nobles and officers.
Thus the power of the Khaljis went on increasing. The Turks did not relish his rise and their leader Kachhan and Surkha began to organize the Turks against the Khaljis.
They conspired against the life of Jalaluddin Khalji, the Ariz-i-Mumalik. In the meantime, Kaiqubad had an attack of paralysis.
So, the Turks tried to execute their conspiracy. When Jalaluddin came to know about this conspiracy, he got killed Kachhan and Surkha. Kaiqubad was also kicked to death and Jalaluddin became the regent of infant Kayumars for some days. Later on, he was also put to death and Jalaluddin occupied the throne himself.
Accession of Jalaluddin Khalji:
Jalaluddin ascended the throne on 13th of June! 1290. a.d. and assumed the title of FirozShah Khiliji. He was seventy at the time of his enthronement. He dared not enter the capital Delhi after his accession because he was afraid of Amirs, nobles and the people of Delhi. He, therefore, had his coronation ceremony performed at Kilogarhi near Delhi.
The construction of the palace of Kiloghari was started by Kaiqubad but it could not be completed during his lifetime. Jalaluddin Firoz Khalji got it completed after his accession.
He also ordered his Amirs and nobles to get their houses built near the palace of Kiloghari and to live therein permanently. He also asked the merchants and commercial people to build a commercial complex there. Thus he inhabited Kiloghari or Shar-i-Nau and began to rule from there.