The Lodi Innovations and its influence on Haryana

The Lodi Innovations

 

The disruptive tendencies which were already at work went out of control under Khizr Khan’s successors. The Mewatis for instance, foiled the expeditions of Mubarak Shah and under Muhammad Shah (1434-43) carried the disorder up to the gates of Delhi while the Uiama and the Amirs actually invited Mahmud Khalji of Malwa in 1440 to invade the capital.  Although the Sultan with the help of Bahlol Lodi, the capable Governor of Punjab, managed to keep off Khalji, he could not save the Sultanate from disintegration. Ala-ud-din Alam Shah, the last of the Saiyyids who succeeded to the throne in 1443, was a highly in competent ruler having little hold over the amirs and other chiefs. These rapid changes in the Delhi Sultanate were being watched very carefully by Bahlol who struck at a right moment and ascended the throne of Delhi on April 19, 1451. He established some kind of tribal oligarchy by inviting a large number of Afghans to settle in the country making them liberal Zamindari grants. During his reign prince Nizam Khan (later Sikandar Lodi) suppressed the revolt of Tatar Khan Yusuf Khail, the master of all the sarkars to the west of Delhi — Sirhind, Hisar-Firuzah, Samana, Lahore and Dipalpur. In a battle fought near Ambala, Tatar Khan despite his stubborn resistance was defeated and slain.’

 

Nizam Khan who succeeded Bahlol on 16th July, 1489 was fanatical in religious matters. His regime though otherwise successful in certain respects, was marred by his intolerance towards non-Muslims. The Tabaqdt-i-Abkari of Nizamuddin Ahmad refers to Sikandar’s plan to visit Kurukshetra for the massacre of the Hindu population there. It relates in his younger days, i.e., when he (Nizam Shah) was still the Shahzadah, heard that there was a reservoir in Thanesar where Hindus assembled and bathed. He asked the learned men ‘What is the order of the law of the Prophet in this matter?’ They said, Tt is not lawful to lay waste ancient idol temples and it does not rest with you to prohibit ablution in a reservoir which has been customary from ancient times? The Shahzadah put his hand on his dagger and attempted to slay that learned man (Maulana Abdullah Ajudhani) and said, ‘You take the side of the heather’. That wise man said, ‘I only say what has come down in the Law of the Prophet, and I am not afraid to tell the truth’.

 

This produced the desired effect. The Sultan was pacified and his plan was abandoned. Although born of a Hindu mother Sikandar’s attitude towards Hindu religion appears rather baffling. His fanatical zeal is further revealed in the destruction of images of Nagarkot which he gave to butchers for weighing meat.

 

The contemporary sources provide us with details of the measures which the first two Lodis took for the efflciency of the administration. It provides us the names of the officers of various administrative units under Bahlol and Sikandar. These were Tatar Khan and Sikandar Khan (Hissar), Ibrahim Sur (Narnaul), Umar Khan (Shahbad and Payal), Mathi Sur (in-charge of a small Jagir near Hansi— Hissar) and Daria Khan (Panipat). These appointments were made by Bahlol. The Shiqdars Sikandar were Mian Emad (in-charge of Samasabad, Thanesar, Shahbad), Sulaiman under (Jalesar and Indri), AH Khan (Mahavan), Usman (Jhajjar), Shaikh Saiyyid (Hansi), Hasan Khan (Mewat), the widow of Khan-i-Jahan and his minor son (a jagir near Kaithal) while Panipat continued to be under Darya Khan.

 

The most prominent local states of Haryana during this period were those of Kaithal and Mewat. The former was ruled by Mohan Singh Mandhar-Ieader of Mandahar, Jats and Rajputs, who had his headquarters at Kalayat. The Mandhars offered stiff resistance to Sikandar in the region adjoining Jind and Kalayat; wherein Sikandar’s Commander Jalaluddin was badly wounded. The valient Mandhars had to submit before the numbers of the Sultan’s army. But they were not vanquished and again put up stiff opposition to the advance of Babur.

 

The people of Mewat, as stated earlier, were probably converted to Islam during the reign of Firuz Tughlaq. Under the later Tughlaqs Bahadur Nadir, The leader of Mewat, played prominent role in the politics of Delhi, He was treated a rebel chief by Muhammad Tughlaq II and Nasiruddin Mahmud Tughlaq and consequently although his territories were plundered several times by the imperial forces, Nadir continued resistance by occupying a strategical position in Jhirka and making inroads into environs of Delhi. After Taimur’s invasion, Nahir opposed Khizr Khan’s claims to suzerainty even though his main fortress of Katila was raized to the ground in 1421.

 

Saiyyid Mubarak Shah who succeeded Khizr Khan despatched in 1424 an expedition to ravage rebellious Mewatis who preferred to lay waste their land and took refuge in the hilly area of Jahara and forced the imperial forces to retreat. Mubarak repeated his attacks on Mewat in 1425, 1427 and 1428. Jallu and Kaddu, the grandsons of Nadir put up stiff resistance. Following the same tactics this time they retreated to Indor, a place of their refuge in Tijara Hills. Indor was captured and Kaddu was put to death in 1427. Although Jallu continued resistance Mubarak carried fire and sword throughout their land and forced the Mewatis to come to terms.

 

In 1451, Bahlol led his army against Ahmad Khan Mewati who offered resistance for sometime but had to surrender ultimately and was forced to send his uncle Mubarak Khan to the Delhi Court. He was also deprived of his seven parganas but was allowed to retain the rest of the land as tributary but when it was noticed that he had supported the cause of Husain Shah of Jaunpur against Bahlol, he was forced to submit after immense loses. During Sikandar Lodi’s reign Alam Khan Mewati was a respectable noble at Delhi Court. In the period of confusion following the rebellion of Ibrahim’s officers, Hasan Khan Mewati declared his independence. He carved out an extensive kingdom of his own which included the entire Mewat, portions of Gurgaon, Narnaul, parts of Kanod and the area round about Alwar. He had a standing army of 10,000 Mewatis and his friendship was desired by the Sultans as well as by the Rajput chiefs. Although not every happy with Ibiahim, Hasan Khan remained faithful to the Sultanate and supported the imperial forces in the first battle of Panipat.

 

The last of the Lodi’s Ibrahim was a worthless tyrant who estranged many nobles of the court and helped the forces of disintegration which were already at work. After Tarain, the fate of the country was once again decided in 1526 on the battle field of Panipat where Ibrahim Lodi met his end. And Haryana passed on to its new masters— the Mughals.

 

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