Later Tughlaqs

Mohammad Bin Tughlaq

Jauna Khan ascended the throne in 1325 AD with the title of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq. He ruled up to 1351. He was a profound scholar of Persian, a penetrating critic, a litterateur of repute. He was a great scholar of Persian and Arabic. He faced many revolts and rebellions. The first of these revolts included his attempt to consolidate his empire by curbing the rebellions of 1327 by his cousin Bahauddin Garsharp in the Deccan and other of Kishulu Khan the governor of Multan and Sind in 1328. One of the much condemned experiments of the Sultan was the transfer of capital from Delhi to Devagiri (1327). The transfer was attempted primarily due to two reasons -for its central location and secondly its close proximity to the south which was a newly conquered region. The transfer of capital involved the shifting of the army, officials, servants, tradesmen, court and shift of population. There was a widespread resentment against the Sultan who decided to retransfer the capital to Delhi. The order of going back to the old capital caused much distress to the people. Another of his novel and daring experiments was the introduction of the token currency of bronze coins in place of silver tanka in 1329-30. The value of the token coins was deemed to be equal to a silver coin. The main reason for this measure was the scarcity of silver. This measure proved useful in the beginning but later on it caused serious problems. People soon began to manufacture counterfeits of bronze in large numbers. There was a surfeit of coins in circulation. This naturally led to its depreciation and most people began to prefer copper tankas for payments and silver or gold issues for receipts. The Sultan was compelled to withdraw the token currency. He offered to exchange all the token coins for the silver coins resulting in huge losses to the treasury. He planned an expedition for the conquest of Khurasan and Iraq.

He raised an army of 3,70,000 soldiers and gave it a whole year's salary in advance. But the army did not leave for the expedition and was disbanded. The scheme was abandoned when the Sultan learnt that the conditions in Iraq had improved and was not conducive to an expedition. Towards the end of his reign the sultan increased the land revenue in the doab. He decided to enhance the land tax in the doab because of richness of its soil. Doab was facing total famine which was followed by plague. The Sultan raised the tax from 5 to 10%. Therefore the peasants instead of paying the taxes abandoned their lands and adopted highway robbery. The tax collectors continued to collect taxes by oppression. It resulted in extensive revolts. Mohammad Bin Tughlaq died in 1351. The whole of south India became independent during his life time and three major independent states- the empire of Vijaynagar, the Brahmani kingdom and the Sultanate of Madura were founded in the territories of the sultanate of the south.