He was also awarded the title of Ulugh (Great) Khan. Balban was now ruler
in all but name. However, the Sultan grew resentful of Balban’s power. In
1253 Rayhan, a Hindu convert, influenced the Sultan to have Balban
transferred to his iqta of Nagaur. But the followers of Balban soon succeeded
in persuading the Sultan to transfer Rayhan to Badaun, and Balban returned
to Delhi. According to Isami’s Futuh-us-Salatin, Balban later poisoned Nasir-
ud-din and captured the throne, though some doubt the authenticity of this
account.
Balban (1266–87)
Balban’s perception of the Delhi sultanate’s problems was very realistic, and
he solved them successfully. He knew that the real threat to the monarchy
came from the chahagani s intrigues and their scramble for power. He
introduced rigorous court discipline and new customs, such as sijada
(prostration) and paibos (kissing the Sultan’s feet), to prove his superiority
over the nobles. He also introduced the Persian festival of Nauroz to impress
the nobles and subjects with his wealth and power. A select body of fearsome
soldiers protected the throne. The court was an austere assembly where jest
and laughter were seldom heard. He persistently brought home to his sons
and noblemen that the monarch was the vice-regent of God and next in
sanctity only to the prophets. The Sultan was God’s shadow on earth and the
recipient of direct divine guidance.
    Only the most obedient nobles survived, the rest being eliminated either
by fair or by foul means. Malik Baqbaq, the governor of Badaun, who had
one of his servants beaten to death, was publicly flogged. Haybat Khan,
governor of Avadh, who had killed a man while drunk, was flogged and
handed over to the victim’s widow to dispose of as she wished. Sher Khan,
the governor of Bhatinda, was poisoned.
    Instead of expanding the sultanate, Balban gave top priority to restoring
peace in the region surrounding Delhi. Balban established a separate diwan-i-
arz (military department) and reorganised the army. His repeated attacks on
the Mewati strongholds and villages stopped their frequent raids of Delhi.
The Sultan twice marched on Avadh, killing the rebel leaders and devastating
the villages. The rebels in Badaun, Arnrohaand Katihar (modem Rohilkhand)