• Thursday, November 15, 2018

Khilji, the first Afghan dyansty of Hindostan

Discussion in 'Military History & Tactics' started by Marwat Khan Lodhi, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. Marwat Khan Lodhi

    Marwat Khan Lodhi BANNED

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    The Khilji dynasty or Khalji was a turko-afghan dynasty which ruled large parts of South Asia between 1290 and 1320. It was founded by Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji and became the second dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate of India. Under Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Khiljis became known for successfully defending against the repeated Mongol invasions of India.

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    Origins

    The Khilji rulers trace their roots to Central Asia and were of Turkic origin. They had long been settled in what is now Afghanistan before proceeding to Delhi in India. The name "Khilji" refers to an Afghan village or town known as Qalat-e Khilji (Fort of Ghilzai). They were treated by others as ethnic Afghans due to their adoption of Afghan language, habits and customs. As a result of this, the dynasty is referred to as a Turko-Afghan. The three sultans of the Khalji dynasty were noted by historians for their faithlessness and ferocity.

    Ikhtiar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiar Khilji was a servant of Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who was an ex-slave of the Ghurids . Mohammad Khilji was an Ghurid Shah (king) and founder of the Delhi Sultanate, which conquered Bihar and Bengal in the late 12th century. From this time, the Khiljis became vassals of the Mamluk dynasty of Delhi. From 1266 until his death in 1290, the Sultan of Delhi was called Ghiyas ud din Balban, another servant of Qutab-ud-din Aybak. Balban's immediate successors, however, were unable to manage either the administration or the factional conflicts between the Turkic nobility and the new forces led by the Khaljis. After a struggle between the two factions, Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji was installed as sultan by a noble faction of Turkic, Persian, Arabic and Indian-Muslim aristocrats at the collapse of the last Mumluk sultan, Kay-Qubadh. Their rise to power was aided by outsiders (some of them Indian-born Muslims) who might enhance their positions if the hold of the followers of Balban and the "Forty" (the members of the royal Loya Jirga) were broken. Jalal-ud-din was old, and for a time he was so unpopular that he dared not enter the capital because his tribe was thought to be nomadic Afghans. During his short reign (1290–96), some of Balban's officers revolted due to this assumption of power; Jalal-ud-din suppressed them, led an unsuccessful expedition against Ranthambhor and defeated a Mongol force on the banks of the Sind River in central India.

    Alauddin Khilji, his nephew and son-in-law, was ordered by his father to lead an expedition of between 4,000 and 7,000 men into the Hindu Deccan (where many rulers had refused to submit) and capture Ellichpur and its treasure. Upon his return in 1296 (having gained status and power) he killed his uncle.

    Alauddin reigned for 20 years and is considered the greatest member of the dynasty. He captured Ranthambhor (1301) and Chittorgarh (1303), conquered Māndu (1305) and captured the wealthy Hindu state of Devagiri, also repelling two Mongol raids. Alauddin's lieutenant, Malik Kafur (a Muslim Indian), was sent on an expedition to the south in 1308 which led to the capture of Warangal, the overthrow of the Hoysala Empire south of the Krishna River and the occupation of Madura in the south. Malik Kafur returned to Delhi in 1311. The empire fell into political decadence, and the sultan died in early 1316; Malik Kafur’s attempted usurpation ended in his death. The last Khalji (Qutb ud din Mubarak Shah) was murdered in 1320 by a former Indian slave who had risen to become his chief minister and friend, Khusraw Khan. Power was then assumed by Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq, the first ruler of the Turkic Tughluq dynasty. A remnant of the ruling house of the Khaljis ruled in Malwa from 1436 to 1530 (or 1531), until the Sultan of Gujarat purged the nobility.

    Position in Turkic Indian society

    The Khilji Turks were not recognized by the older nobility as coming from a pure Turkic stock since they had intermarried with Afghans (Pashtun) their customs and manners were seen as different from those of other Turks. Although they had played a role in the success of the Turkic armies in India, they had always been looked down upon by the Turks (the dominant group during the Slave dynasty). The Khaljis began to become Pashtunized (Afghanized) since the 8th century and later known as Ghilzais, part of the Pashtun ethnic group.
     
  2. Saiful Islam

    Saiful Islam SENIOR MEMBER

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    Bakhtiyar Khilji and other Khilji's are revered in Bangladesh.
     
  3. AUSTERLITZ

    AUSTERLITZ PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    I suppose burning nalanda university to ashes IS something that is worth reverance.
     
  4. Airboss786

    Airboss786 FULL MEMBER

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    Why did 'Incredible India' keep getting Conquered by Muslims?! Where were the Elite Squad Of Brahmin Idol Worshipers, when the Hindus really needed them?!

    :pakistan:
     
  5. AUSTERLITZ

    AUSTERLITZ PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    :-).Nice so that's your answer to my statement.Had no answer and had to resort to brahmins and idols as usual.

    Now if u want an answer to reasons of turkish muslim armies success well here goes -

    1)Political atomisation of india - A major factor.Centralized states are able to mobilize much larger forces -especially in terms of numbers of elephants and horses which are expensive for the contemporary feudal rajput states to maintain.and posses unified decision making capability.Historically whenever india has been politically unified invaders have come to grief.(mauryas against greeks,guptas against huns,rashtarkuta-chalukya alliance against arabs).

    2)Lack of strategic vision - There was no unified strategic vision to impede the tide of invaders from the north west.Once the outer bastions of the subcontinent-kandahar,punjab and sindh fell there was no attempt to retake them.Thus once the natural barriers to the open gangetic plains were gone things became much easier for the cavalry based armies of the turk-afghans.After local successes rulers simply went back to their kingdoms and forgot about the threat.There was minimal co-operation between them.The only time there was co-operation on a large scale invaders were beaten back(battle of rajasthan).
    Examples - After defeating ghuri's earlier attempt to invade gujarat the solanki king bhimdev did nothing when ghuri switched focus and turned to punjab.Thus punjab was allowed to become a powerbase and an entry point without any interference from either bhimdev or prithviraj.Another example ,after the first battle of tarain -with ghuri's whole force routed,lazy prithviraj didn't even bother to follow up his success and take punjab and secure his frontier.He simply went back to his capital.Ghuri was allowed to recover and rebuild.At second tarain,jaichand the second most powerful rajput ruler didn't aid prithviraj,only to be defeated later by ghori.

    Another example - after crushing the arab threat at the battle of rajasthan,the pratiharas didn't bother to retake sindh from the arabs,even though their position was hopeless.Instead they spent the next 3 centuries in a bloddy attritional struggle with the palas of bengal and rashtrakutas of the deccan that broke apart all 3 empires.

    Another example,when mahmud was devastating the smaller north indian states one by one,rajendra chola - emperor of south india and by then most powerful monarch on the continent was using his strength to invade the far east and sri lanka with his navy.When pleas for help came from these states,he ignored them,instead what does he do ?He invades bengal so that his soldiers can bring the supposedly holy water from the ganges in gold vessels for him to drink!:hitwall:

    3)Decadent social structure - One of the main causes of defeat.The rigid caste system created divisions between the populace of the indian subcontinent.The top 2 classes were parasites who lived on the toils of the lower 2 castes and on top of that held them in total contempt.What this meant was that there was no popular resistance or people's war.The lower castes felt no attachment to wars as they had no stakes in them.They would be oppressed no matter who won.From here springs the popular medieval phrase -
    ''As long as the rains come in time,and the grain grows,who cares who reigns in delhi?''
    Essentially the ruling classes were thus unable to mobilize their huge manpower pool due to the existing divisive social policies.As a result around 75-80% of the indian population didn't even participate in the contest.There was no people's war until shivaji started one in the deccan and aurangzeb accelerated it,that brought about the downfall of the mughal empire.
    In contrast the invading turkish armies were of social equals more or less by the tenets of islam.(except the political hierachy)

    4)Horse breeding in india - India doesn't produce good quality horses.This was a major military disadvantage in the age of cavalry against the invading armies which were mounted on the finest central asian and arabian breeds.

    5)Advantage of the nomad/tribal over sedentiary societies in the middle ages before large scale use of gunpowder - The nomad had during the middle age two great advantages - Its was a born nation in arms -its entire male population could be mobilized for warfare.Secondly -they were born soldiers due to their way of life and required no training.In the steppes -archery required for hunting and horsemanship are natural actions drilled into every child from infancy.As it so happens during the middle ages these 2 were very useful military skills as well.So the military potential of a nomadic/tribal society is far superior to a sedentiary agriculturtal one before mass usage of gunpowder which wiped out the advantage of both archery and horse.Thus we see that during this era muslim turks advanced not only in india as u claim but everywhere.They overran the byzantine empire as well and penetrated into europe under the ottomans.The success of timur and genghis are also due to this.In the second battle of tarain ghori won the battle almost entirely due to the hit and run tactiocs of his horse archers which avoided physical contact and wore prithviraj's army down.Both first and second battles of panipat were won by horse-archery.Before gunpowder it was very difficult for non-steppe armies to defeat such tactics.

    6)Religious zeal - Another factor.Many adventurers in the ranks of the invading armies fought both for faith and the lure of the wealth of india,with nowhere to go to if they lost.In contrast there is no concept of 'holy war' in hinduism so this trait was missing from the defenders.

    7)Hidebound traditionalism and faulty military organization - Rajput military strategy believed in crushing rather than rapid hit and strike.In the age of the horse this put them at a disadvantage.Armed with swords they had serious problems facing archers who wouldn't close to melee range.They refused to adapt,placing complete faith in elephants even after continous difficulties against mounted horsemen.The element of mobility was totally absent from the Indian armies.For the invading armies,their provisions also were carried by fast trotting camels which required no fodder for themselves but fed on the roots and leaves of the way-side, while the Banjara pack-oxen of the Hindu commissariat were slow and burdensome.

    8)The Rajputs looked upon a battle as a tournament in which they tried to show skill, bravery and chivalry. That was not the case with their enemies. They did not find themselves fettered by any rules of the game. They believed that all was fair in war. They were prepared to adopt any tactics which could bring them victory. They believed that end justifies the means and they did not care for the consequences of their actions.
    They were prepared to defile a tank or a river from which their enemies got their water-supply. They were prepared to divert the course of a channel to stop the water-supply to the enemy and thereby bring about their surrender. They were prepared to destroy the whole of the neighbouring territory so that the enemy may be starved to submission.Rajputs would not do these,nor would they adapt.It was not until the marathas[who didn't care about honor-just victory and later loot]that things changed.

    9)Technological inferiority - The technological inferiority was another major problem.The invaders had the turco-mongol composite bow -the deadliest weapon of the middle ages.Babur came with gunpowder weaponry and mughals throughout held a advantage in artillery.In the earlier turkish armies the mounted lancers equipped themselves with arm guards,mailed hauberks,metal helmets and even armoured their horses.In the rajput armies only the elite cavalry of the king and his retainers used heavy body armour and lances.Bulk of the armies were poorly equipped infantry,in an age where infantry was no match for cavalry.These were levies stemming from the fuedal system.Equipped with a loincloth,a turban and just a spear ,bamboo bow or straight sword.These were at a serious disadvantage against the heavily armoured lancer or the mounted horse archer with the composite bow.

    10)One great defect of the Rajput military system was that they staked everything on the issue of a single battle. They did not make any distinction between a battle and a war.
    If it was a question of defending a fort, they were prepared to ruin themselves while defending it.
    If they failed to defend it, they died fighting to a man and their women burnt themselves to death. The result was that after one defeat, nothing was left. It has rightly been said that the Rajputs were notorious for turning a single military defeat in a catastrophe. They should have known that in a war it is sometimes politic to retreat and attack the enemy when the other party is weak.Contrast this with the marathas,whenever they were at a disadvantage they would simply flee and wait for a more oppurtune time.Aurangzeb would be forced into siege after futile siege,only to gain nothing from them as the marthas slipped away just before the fort fell.Then recaptured them with a surprise attack or treachery later.Meanwhile mughal army would be exhausted by continous sieges and non stop guerilla attacks.In contrast rajputs would never retreat as that would be dishonorable and so on..The only time rana pratap did resort to such tactics he was succesful.Yet he had failed to repulse the huge mughal army at the battle of haldighati using head on tactics against an overwhleming force.It was foolish to face overwhelming enemy power head on,but rajputs were oblivious to this fact.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  6. Saiful Islam

    Saiful Islam SENIOR MEMBER

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    You mentioned 10 points, more like 10 excuses. No one goes into another persons turf and gets to do what the Muslim empires did.
     
  7. Airboss786

    Airboss786 FULL MEMBER

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    Well, really does that look like my answer to you?! Well, to further clarify your misconception......I was asking you a 'Question'?!
     
  8. AUSTERLITZ

    AUSTERLITZ PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Excuses for religious zealots,points for serious readers.
    Lol,byzantium fell and disappeared.We?We are still here and growing ever stronger.Where are those central asian states and afghanisthan that these peeps came from?Nowhere.If they tried any such stunt today-result would be predictably short and painful.Muslim empires are gone.....we are here and will be for a long long time.So try and save what's left of ur own country that is currently in flames than try to flamebait indians.Ironically these days everybody goes into ur turf and does what they want.Especially the muslim world's best friend the US of A.

    And u got my answer.Though the burning of nalanda no doubt increased the glory of the khiljis.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  9. Airboss786

    Airboss786 FULL MEMBER

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    Wrong Answer tho! LOL!
     
  10. Chronos

    Chronos SENIOR MEMBER

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    When someone puts Hindostan, you know the thread is going to Entertaining.
     
  11. AUSTERLITZ

    AUSTERLITZ PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Really?U asked the causes and i gave u.Perhaps u would like to enlighten me with ur 'right answer'.But if thats asking too much of your intelligence it's ok,don't bother.
     
  12. Airboss786

    Airboss786 FULL MEMBER

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    Genius, tell me, did I not ask you a legitimate question?! To which you are unable to provide an answer?!
    So once again why did your warrior race keep getting conquered?!
     
  13. Chronos

    Chronos SENIOR MEMBER

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    The more pertinent question is where were the brave warriors of Islam when Western, Christian powers created and drew the maps of Islamic countries?

    Or when Israel vanquished Brave Muslims in six days?

    Or when Yindoos split Pakistan in two in 1971

    Or when you brave Mujahids run around strap bombs to six year old to wage war against the 'infidels' (your own Muslims).

    Oh that's right, in the Modern age, you have nothing to show for, so you cling onto a past glory that was never your own to begin with.
     
  14. Airboss786

    Airboss786 FULL MEMBER

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    Ok here we go.....the S. Indian who was very interested in going to Pakistan!

    But my S. Indian friend, question I asked was where were your Elite Brahman when they kept getting 'biffed' by Muslims?!
     
  15. Chronos

    Chronos SENIOR MEMBER

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    They were more interested in saving their skin and their position in society.

    They did the same with the British. As long as their position in society was not challenged, they did not mind a change of guard at the ruling side of things.

    So they pretty much played the role of sycophants to the rulers :lol:

    Brahmins are priests, they got their social power the same way the clergy in Europe got from being the only people able to decipher the holy books.

    Since they made a tiny percentage of the population, they did need this ritualistic and social power to keep the Lower castes at bay. :-)

    People who are bookworms make poor fighters my friend :D