The IQTA system,Revenue and Administration - The Delhi Sultanate, History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRev

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The IQTA system,Revenue and Administration

 

 The Iqta System

  • During the Ilbari Turks ‘Iqtas’ were territorial areas or rights whose revenues were assigned to officials in lieu of salaries.
  • Iqta in this period stood for not only revenue unit but also administrative unit.
  • Transfer of Iqtas from one person to another was done rarely in this period.
  • Under the Khaljis and the early Tughlaqs there were frequent transfer of Iqtas.
  • Estimation of the revenue-paying capacity of each area, fixation of the personal salaries of the officers in terms of cash and assignment of the Iqtas of the same revenue-paying capacity.
  • Setting apart of portion of the revenues of the Iqtas for the payment of the troops of the Muqtis.
  • Appointment of Sultan’s official within the Iqtas from the time of Balban.
  • Abolition of the practice of assigning Iqtas to royal troops and introduction of payment in cash by Alauddin.
  • Peak of royal intervention under Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq.
  • Firuz Tughlafixed the revenues of the Iqtas permanently thus allowing the Muqtis to appropriate all increase of revenue.
  • He reintroduced the practice of assigning Iqtas to even the royal troopers.
  • He made the posts and the assignments practically hereditary.
  • Agrarian Conditions
  • Balban preferred paying the soldiers in cash because he had noticed that payment through jagir was misconstrued as a hereditary grant. 
  • He at first seized all these lands and offered regular salary only to those who among them were fit for recruitment. 
  • Both the grant of jagir could not be suspended altogether.
  • Ala-ud-din thought that those who owned landed property gradually became rich even without doing any hard work. 
  • So he converted all the land of the empire 

Points To Be Remembered

  • Alauddin planned a tower twice the height of the Qutb, but did not live to complete it.
  • Paper was introduced in India by the Turks.
  • Royal intervention in the Iqta system was in its peak under Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq.
  • Firuz Tughlareversed the whole trend of centralisation of the Iqta system by the previous rulers.
  • He fixed the estimated revenues of the Iqtas forever allowing the Muqtis to appropriate all increase of revenue in future.
  • Sikandar Lodi persecuted Mahadavis.
  • According to Ibn Battutah, a Moroccan traveller who visited India in the first half of 14th century, Delhi was the largest town in the Islamic East.

into Khalsa (i.e. under direct control of the state). 

  • Thus all land held as inam (gift), milk (personal property) or wakf was resumed. 
  • The only concession allowed to some was that they were allowed to enjoy the fruits of their original holding. 
  • But they and their legal heirs were deprived of all rights of ownership.
  • The state realized its tax through local landlords and chiefs. Barani calls these middlemen Muqaddams, Khots and Chaudhari. 
  • They rackrented the peasant and having paid a portion of their collection to the state officials, misappropriated the rest themselves. 
  • Ala-ud-din resolved to put an end to the power, self and pride of the middlemen. He had accounts strictly audited and forced all local officers to clear all arrears. 
  • The amils were instructed to be particularly vigilant so that the patwari and the middlemen should not oppress the tenants.
  • Immediately after his coronation, Muhammad-bin-Tughlaissued a number of regulations and opened a new department Diwan-i-Amirokohi to attend to their execution. 
  • Provincial wazir and treasurers had now to send regularly statements of income and expenditure. 
  • The accounts were thoroughly audited and no arrears were allowed to remain. 
  • But if some officers were found to be in arrears, they were severely dealt with and the Sultan established a separate department, called the Diwan-i-Mustakhirz to recover all such dues.
  • For extension and promotion of agriculture in east Punjab, Firuz cut to large canals calling them Rajba and Ulughkhani. 
  • On either side of these canals new settlement of farmers sprang up. This improved the yield of the land and correspondingly the revenues of the state. Besides, with the approval of the Ulema the Sultan realized 10% as irrigation cess from field using canal water. 
  • Firuz planted 12,000 gardens whose produce was regularly marked and sale proceeds credited to state treasury.

Revenue

  • The primary sources of income of the state was land revenues. The land which belonged to the Sultan was called Khalisa land. 
  • Except Ala-ud-din who charged 1/2, the Sultans collected 1/3rd of the produce as revenue. It was collected either in cash or kind. 
  • The Sultan mainly collected four categories of taxes besides certain others. They were: Zakat (Land tax collected from the Muslim peasants, amounting between 5% to 10% of the produce), Kharaj (land tax charged from non-Muslims raising from 1/3 to 1/2 of the produce), Khams (1/5 of the booty captured in the war), Jizaya (religious tax on non-Muslim). 
  • According to the Muslims canon law, only the ‘People of Scripture’ (ahl-i-kitab), namely the Jews, Christian, and Sabeans as well as Zoroastrians are guaranteed life, liberty and property by the Muslim state on payment of Jizaya and Kharaj. 
  • They are called dhimmis while all the others are described as idolators who must be killed or enslaved.
  • This distinction fell apart in India. Firuz Tughlaabolished all cesses, land taxes other than the prescribed four viz. Zakat, Kharaj, Khams and Jizaya.

Administrative and Agrarian Terms

  • Sadar-Jahan: title of the central officer of the Delhi sultante, who was in charge of religious and charitable endowments.
  • Sera-i-Adl: name given to Ala-ud-din Khalji’s market in Delhi for the sale of cloth and other specified commodities.
  • Shashgani: a small silver coin equal to six jitals or copper coins.
  • Shamshi: pertaining to Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish.
  • Shiqdar: officer in-charge of land measuring a shiq.
  • Shuhna-imandi: officer in-charge of the grain market.
  • Sipahsalar: commander of the troops.
  • Tanka: silver coin of the Delhi sultanate.
  • Zabita: a secular rule or law made by the state.
      
  • Ain: state laws as distinguished from the laws of the shariat.
  • Akhurbek: master of the horse.
  • Alai tanka: the tanka (silver or gold coin) of Ala-ud-din Khalji.
  • Alamatha-i-Sultani: insignia of royalty.
      

Points To Be Remembered

  • Iltumish secured a letter from the Abbasid caliph Al-Mustansir Billah. The Caliph conferred on him the title of Nasir-aminul-moninin.
  • Iltumish issued a purelyArabic coin called tanka to replace the former Hindu coins. It was meant for impressing the common man that the new administration had acquired stability and strength.
  • Raziya’s period marked the beginning of a struggle for power between the monarchy and the Turkish chiefs sometimes called ‘the forty’ or the Chahalgani.
  • Altunia, the rebel Governor of Bhatinda, took Razia prisoner when she went to put down the revolt. Razia married Altunia, and with his heltried to regain the throne of Delhi.
  • Nasir-ud-din was the son of Iltutmish. On account of his simple habits, he is known in history as the Darvesh king.
  • In the Punjab and Doab there were about two thousand people who had been assigned jagirs by Iltutmish but they retained the jagirs without rendering any military service. They claimed them as milk (property) or inam (gift). Balban at first seized all these lands and offered regular salary only to those who among them were fit for recuruitment.
  • Amir Khusrau (1253-1325) who was called ‘parrot of India’ adorned the court of Balban.
  • Barani says that Jalaluddin Khalji had established khanqah (charity house) where free food were distributed.
  • Muhammad-bin-Tughlawas hasty and impatients that is why so many of  his experiments failed and he has been dubbed as “ill-starred idealist”.
  • Ala-ud-din was the first to introduce the system of measurement of the assessment of revenue in which the produce of a biswas was taken as unit for calculating the total revenue.
  • During the period of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlathe basis of the demand by the government was to be ‘hasil’ (actual turnover) with enough provision for crofailure.
  • Between 1309 and 1311 A.D., Malik Kafur led two campaigns in south India one against Warangal in the Telengana area and the other against Dwar Samudra and Malabar. For the first time, Muslim armies penetrated as far as south as Madurai.
  • The historian Barani thought that a major objective of Ala-ud-din’s control of markets was his desire to punish the Hindus since most of the traders were Hindus and it was they who restored to profiteering in food grains and other goods.
  • During the reign of Ala-ud-din, says Barani, “the khuts and muqaddams could not afford to ride on rich caprisoned horses, or to chew betel-leaves and they became so poor that their wives had to go and work in the houses of Muslims”.
  • “The Hindus pass beneath the wall of royal palace in processions, singing, dancing and beating drums to immerse the idols in the Yamuna, and I am helpless”. -Jalaluddin Khalji.
  • Firuz Tughlacharged ‘naqi shirb’ or water tax (10% of the produce) over and above the normal land tax from those that were irrigated by the canals.
  • Firuz Tughla wrote off all the loans that had been advanced by way of ‘savandhari’.
  • During the reign of Firuz, ‘neither one village remained desolate nor one cubit of land uncultivated’.
  • The cities or a grouof village were placed under the control of an oficial known as Amir-i-Sadar.
  • Iban Batutah, Marco Polo, and Athanasius Nikitin visited India during the Sultanate period.
  • The reign of Muhammad-bin-Tughlamarks the highest point of territorial expansion of the sultanate.
  • Amil: revenue officer.
  • Amir: commander; the third highest official grade (of the Delhi sultanate).
  • Amiri-dad: officer-in-charge of justice; the public prosecutor.
  • Amir-i-akhur: amir or officer commanding the horse.
  • Amir-i-hajib: officer in-charge of the royal court; also called barbek in Turkish.
  • Amir-i-koh: officer in-charge of agriculture.
  • Amir-i-shikar: officer in-charge of the royal hunt.
  • Ariz: officer in-charge of the muster, equipment of the soldiers and their horses.
  • Arz-i-mammalik: minister in-charge of the army of the whole country.
  • Barbek: officer in-charge of the royal court; also called amir-i-hajib in Persian.
  • Barid: intelligence officer appointed by the state to collect information.
  • Barid-i-mammalik: head of the state intelligence service.
  • Dabir: secretary.
  • Dabir-i-mamalik: chief secretary for the whole kingdom.
  • Dagh: mark of branding.
  • Diwan: office; the central secretariat.
  • Diwan-i-Arz: office of the minister of war.
  • Diwan-i-insha: office of the chief secretary.
  • Diwan-i-riyasat: office of the minister of trade and commerce.
  • Diwan-i-wizarat: office of the wazir.
  • Diwanul mustakhraj: office for collecting taxes.
  • Doab: land between the Yamuna and the Ganga.
  • Fatwa: a legal decision; a decision according to the shariat or religious law.
  • Faujdar: commander of an army unit.
  • Haqq-i-Shurb: water-right; profits from canal irrigation.
  • Hukm-i-hasil: assessment (of land revenue) according to produce.
  • Hukm-i-masahat: assessment (of land revenue) according to measurement.
  • Hukm-i-mushahida: assessment (of land revenue) by inspection only.
  • Iqtadar: governor, a person in whose charge an iqta has been placed.
  • Jagir: a piece of land assigned to a government officer by the state.
  • Jitals: copper coins of the Delhi sultanate.
  • Jzaih: has two meanings (a) in the literature of the Delhi sultanate: any tax which is not Kharaj or land tax; (b) in the shariat: a personal and yearly tax on non-Muslims.
  • Karkhana: royal factory or enterprise; they were of two kinds-ratbi, for looking after animals and ghair-ratbi for producing commodities required by the state.
  • Khalisa: land controlled directly by the king and not assigned to any zamindar or officer.
  • Khan: (a) among the Mongols and Turks, the highest independent ruler; (b) in the Delhi sultanate, the highest grouof officers of state.
  • Khidmati: service due.
  • Kharaj: land revenue; also tribute paid by a subordinate ruler.
  • Khuts: class of village headmen.
  • Madad-i-mash: grant of land or pension to religious or deserving persons.
  • Madad-i-khas: a meeting of the king and his high officers.
  • Majlis-i-khilwat: a confidential and secret meeting of the king and his high officers.
  • Mal: money; revenue; land revenue.
  • Malik: owner; proprietor; in the Delhi sultanate it meant the second highest grade of officers, below khan and above amir.
  • Malik naib: regent of the kingdom; an officer, authorised to act on behalf of the king.
  • Muhtasib: an officer appointed to maintain law and order in a municipality.
  • Muqaddam: village headman; literally the first or senior man.
  • Muqta: governor; person-in-charge of an iqta or a medieval province.
  • Mushrif-i-mamalik: accountant for all provinces.
  • Naib-i-arz: minister of war; or deputy of minister of war.
  • Naib-i-barbek: deputy of barbek (officer in-charge of the royal court).
  • Naib-i-mamlakat: regent or the king’s representative for the whole kingdom, authorised to act on behalf of the king.
  • Naib-i-mulk: regent of the kingdom.
  • Naib-i-wazir: deputy of the wazir.
  • Qazi-i-mamalik: the qazi or judge for the whole country.
  • Quzi-ul-qazzat: the quzi of quzis; the chief quzi.
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