May 10

Sikandar Lodi and religious intolerance

Sikandar Shah

Sikandar Lodi – The proud Muslim

Sikandar Lodi

Bahlol Lodi was succeeded by his son Nizam Khan who took up the title of Sikandar Shah. The nobility hesitated to recognize Sikandar Shah as their leader since his mother was a goldsmith's daughter and their child was more of a commoner than a royal. He overcame his reservations, nevertheless, and was crowned king. Being a devout Muslim, Sikandar's intolerance must have been taken into account as a unique requirement for the king's election.

Condition of Delhi Sultanate in 1489:

At the time of his arrival on the throne, Sikandar Shah's position was not particularly strong because many subordinates and chieftains wielded significant influence and power in their different regions. The Farmulis were given half of the nation then, while the other Afghan tribes received the other half, according to a jagir agreement. The Lohanis and Farmulis ruled during this time.

Azam Humayun was the head of the Sarwanis, and the four main Lodi chieftains were Mahmud Khan, who held Kalpi in his jagir, Mian Alam, to whom Etawah and Chandwar were allotted, Mubarak Khan, whose jagir included Lucknow, and Daulat Khan, who controlled Lahore. Husain Khan, son of Finiz Khan and Qutb Khan Lohi Sahu Khail, who thrived during the reign of Sultan Bahlol, and Khan Jahan were the heads of the Sahu Khails. Both descended from Sultan Bahlol. Mian Husain ruled the districts of Saran and Champaran; Mian Muhammad had Qudh, Ambala, and Hodhna; Mian Gadai held Kala Pahar and Kannauj; Mian Imad held Shamsabad, Thanesar, and Shahabad; and Tatar Khan, Mian Muhammad's brother, held Maraha.

Saif Khan Acha-Khail was one of the renowned nobles of Sultan Sikandar's era. He was the subordinate of Azam Humayun, Jagirdar of Kara, who oversaw 45,000 horses and 700 elephants. Azam Humayun used to purchase 2,000 copies of the Qur'an annually. There were also Daulat Khan Khani, Ali Khan Ushi, and Firuz Khan Sarwani, each of whom possessed 4,000 cavalry. There were 25,000 additional nobles dispersed among them. Ahmad Khana, the son of Jumal Khan Lodi Sarang Khani, had 20,000 cavalry under him when he was assigned to Jaunpur.

Actions and expeditions of Sikandar Lodi:

       i.            Actions against Alam Khan:

Alam Khan, Sikandar Shah's uncle, was attempting to achieve independence in Rapri and Chandwar, and Sikandar Shah was compelled to take action against him. When Rapri was under siege, he fled the area and sought sanctuary in Patiali with Isa Khan, who had revolted after insulting Sikandar Shah's mother. Sikandar retired to Etawah and handed Khan Khanan Lohani the fief of Rapri. He stayed there for seven months, reorganizing the provincial administration and calming those who were ready to accept his accession as a done deal. Alam Khan was successfully convinced to abandon Isa Khan by Sikandar Shah, who also granted him the fief of Etawah. Isa Khan was defeated by Sikandar Shah when he marched against him. Raja Ganesh submitted and was given the fief of Patiali

     ii.            Step against Barbak Shah:

Sikandar Shah attempted to reach an understanding with his brother Barbak Shah, who was in charge of Jaunpur. He desired for him to acknowledge him as his ruler. When Sikandar learned that Husain Shah Sharqi had incited Barbak Shah to attack his brother, he headed against Barbak Shah. After losing, Barbak Shah fled to Badaon. There, he was hunted and finally forced to give up. Despite this, Sikandar gave Barbak Shah very lenient treatment and restored him to the crown of Jaunpur. However, Sikandar divided the principal fiefs among his supporters and also stationed covert operatives in the Barbak family, so little authority remained in his hands.

Sikandar Shah attempted to reconcile with his brother Barbak Shah, the king of Jaunpur. He desired for him to acknowledge him as his ruler. When Sikandar learned that Husain Shah Sharqi had incited Barbak Shah to attack his brother, he proceeded against Barbak Shah. After losing, Barbak Shah fled to Badaon. There, he was hunted and finally forced to give up. Despite this, Sikandar gave Barbak Shah very lenient treatment and restored him to the position of ruler of Jaunpur. However, Sikandar divided the significant fiefs among his supporters and positioned covert operatives in the Barbak family, leaving him with little control.

  iii.            Revolt against Jaunpur:

After some time, the Hindu landowners in Jaunpur staged a serious uprising and executed Sher Khan, the governor of Kars' brother, with the help of a one-lakh-strong army made up of horses and foot. They also managed to capture and jail the Governor of Kara. Jaunpur's Barbak Shah was unable to control the circumstance. The rebels attempted to stop the royal army's approach, but they were routed with tremendous death and scattered. Sikandar once again supported his brother before making his way to Oudh. However, when Husain Shah Sharqi Sikandar learned that Barbak Shah was interacting with the rebels, he had him arrested and brought before the monarch. From Jaunpur, Sikandar advanced to Chunar, where Husain Shah's nobles had gathered. Despite having vanquished them, he lacked the strength to encircle Chunar.

100 elephants and all the soldiers Husain Shah could command marched from Bihar. Sikandar moved closer to Banaras as well. He then marched to confront Husain Shah from there. Husain Shah suffered a severe defeat at the hands of Sikandar, who then pursued him with a herd of one lac horses in the direction of Patna. Husain Shah escaped to Lakhnauti, where he lived out the remainder of his life in obscurity after discovering that he was continuing his battle from Patna and that the whole of the country was settled by the Sultan.

   iv. Peace with Bengal:

The aggressive and combative ruler of Bengal, Ala-ud-Din Husain Shah, became enraged about the invasion of Bihar. He took offense at the hunt for his pupil and the crossing of his boundaries. The ruler of Bengal was reluctant to confront the king of Delhi personally, so he sent his son instead. Since neither party stood to gain by going to extremes, a treaty was eventually signed. It was agreed that neither side would enter the other's realm.

The Bengali ruler pledged not to support Sikandar Shah's adversaries. Sikandar Shah stayed in Bihar for a while, but his troops experienced starvation. He then traveled to Jaunpur and changed the administrative structure there.

     v.  Conflict among nobles:

Sikandar Shah intervened on behalf of the Afghan nobility. Although some of the nobility objected to his order, the Sultan was able to accomplish his goal when he demanded an inspection of their financial records. There were a few small uprisings, but they were put down.

   vi.  Conquests of Narwar and Chanderi:

Sikandar Shah headed to attack Narwar in 1508, which was once a part of the Malwa kingdom but was now ruled by Gwalior. After several days of warfare, the castle was subject to a broad assault. Sikandar Shah invaded the stronghold when the troops of Utgir submitted under pressure from hunger and the need for food. But Sikandar Shah had each of the Hindu temples demolished and had mosques built in their place.

Afghan officers were handed control of the Fort of Chanderi after it was taken. Muhammad Khan, the governor of Nagpur, surrendered in 1510 and ordered the Khutba to be recited in the Sultan's honor. The Prince of Chanderi declared his intention to submit to Sikandar Shah as his master. The city of Chanderi was assigned to the top Afghan officers, but the prince was permitted to maintain formal control over it.

The last expedition was undertaken by Sikandar Shah at the instance of Ali Khan of Nagpur Ali Khan was a treacherous man and having gone against Sikandar asked the Governor not to surrender. The result was that Ali Khan was deprived of his fief Sikandar Shah died on 21 November, 1517 A.D

Foundation of Agra:

The city of Agra was built on the initiative of Sikandar Shah. The Sultan made this choice to exert greater control over the owners of the fiefs in Etawah, Biyana, Koil, Gwalior, and Dholpur. In 1504 AD, the new city of Agra was established, and shortly after, a lovely town appeared. The Sultan also moved from Delhi to Agra to live there. An earthquake occurred in 1505 AD. The living believed that the day of judgment was approaching, and the dead believed that the day of resurrection was approaching. In reality, it was so horrible that hills collapsed and all tall structures were shattered to the ground. The quake had a significant impact on a wide area. In actuality, it was widespread throughout India. According to Badaoni, the earthquake reached Persia. Too many people and things were killed and destroyed.

Internal Administration:

Sikandar Shah did spend a lot of time-fighting, but he also managed to find a moment to consider administration. He was able to undermine the numerous chiefs and bolster his standing in the process. Regardless of the expense of offending the Afghan lords, he insisted on inspecting their financial records. No mercy was offered to Mubarak Khan Lodi when his finances from the Bengal War were looked at. Quickly, the remaining sum was realized. The Sultan was able to gather intelligence from every part of the nation with the use of a successful spy network. The king personally appointed the powerful Amirs' retainers. The Sultan eliminated customs taxes and promoted agriculture. It was made possible for traders and merchants to carry out their duties in safety and comfort. Lists of the destitute were compiled annually on Sultan's instructions, and they were granted sustenance for six months. Prisoners were also released on specific days throughout the year. The Sultan considered the complaints of the harmed parties and decided cases based on their merit. The Sultan was able to learn a great deal and had a good memory. He penned poetry in Persian and patronized the intelligent. Tibbi Sikandari, a Sanskrit book on medicine, was translated into Persian by Mian Bhun with his support. Nobody's Jagir was unjustly taken away. A long-standing custom was never abandoned.

Each business had its set hour, according to Tarikh-i-Daudi's author, and once a tradition was established, it was never altered. The Sultan never changed the meats or beverages that he had previously permitted. When a notable visitor from Jaunpur visited him in the summer, he was offered six jars of Sherbat with his dinner to quench his thirst due to the heat; nevertheless, when he returned in the winter, he retained six jars of Sherbat to drink. For many years, the Sultan constantly conducted himself toward the nobility and powerful men in the same manner as he acted on the first day.

During his rule, business was conducted in a calm, honest, and transparent manner. Studying belles-lettres was not disregarded. The development of factories was so promoted that all the young warriors and nobility worked in productive capacities. All of Sikandar's nobles and warriors were happy that each of his chiefs had been chosen to lead a region, and it had been his particular goal to win the support and affection of the populace as a whole. He ended the conflict and battle with the other kings and nobles of the day and blocked the path to conflict for the benefit of his commanders and soldiers. He lived out his entire life in the utmost safety and pleasure while remaining satisfied with the land left to him by his father, winning the hearts of people of all social classes.

Sikandar Lodi’s religious intolerance:

There is one flaw in his character, nevertheless, that cannot be overlooked. Sikandar Shah was a zealous Muslim who did a lot to hurt his Hindu people's sensibilities. Sikandar Shah once gave the order to demolish the Mathura temples and build saris and mosques in their stead. The butchers received the idols and turned them into meat weights. The Hindu temples of Utgir were demolished, and mosques were built in their place. Following Mandrael's capitulation in 1505, Sikandar Shah built mosques where Hindu temples formerly stood in the town.

Additionally, he pillaged and demolished the communities surrounding the stronghold. A Bengali Braliman said in public that both Hinduism and Islam were authentic and that one may approach God by adhering to any of them. Azam-Humayun, the governor of Bihar, was instructed to send two physicians of Islamic law and a Brahman to the court. Theologians from all around the kingdom gathered to discuss whether preaching peace was appropriate. They decided that because the Brahman had acknowledged the reality of Islam, he was to be invited to accept it, and if he refused, he should be executed. Sikandar Shah agreed with the judgment, and the Brahman was executed for his refusal to convert to Islam. The holy statues of the Jwalamukhi temple in Nagarkot were destroyed by Sikandar Shah. The Ghats on the riverbank of the Jamuna were off-limits to Hindus for taking a bath. The barbers were forbidden from doing their customary practices of shaving the Hindus' beards and heads. All of these must-have soured Hindu sentiment towards the Lodi Dynasty.

The reign of Sikandar Lodi:

In certain ways, Sikandar Lodi was a very imposing character in medieval India. He provided Afghan politics in India with a fresh perspective and significantly improved the dignity and majesty of the Sultan's position. The Afghan nobility was forced to acknowledge the monarch's superior position. The nobility was made to understand that they were Sultan's slaves and that Sultan's favor and satisfaction were the only things that determined their status and level of influence. Jagir holders were forced to present accounts regularly, and any instances of poor administration, corruption, or misbehavior were dealt with harshly. Sikandar-Lodi was a competent leader. He was able to evaluate the issue objectively and zealously carry out his instructions.

In carrying out the duties of his position, he showed a strong sense of responsibility, and to do this, he put in a lot of effort. As a result, the nation enjoyed peace and prosperity. Justice was done for the ordinary man. Highways became free from robbers and bandits. Under Mian Bhua, the legal system was effectively structured. Cases that were presented before the Sultan were decided by him. Poor individuals in the Capital received prepared and uncooked food thanks to Sikandar Lodi's preparations. In his reign, bi-annual, weekly, and even daily stipends and allowances were set aside for the impoverished and indigent. He patronized writers, poets, and other members of the arts. Unfortunately, he had a limited outlook and was an extreme religious zealot. He had an intolerance for Hindus. He had an intolerance for Hindus. He was the one who gave the order to destroy the Nagarkot temples' idols, which were afterward used by butchers to measure meat.


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