Regulations against Nobility An analysis by Ala-ud-din’s trusted advisers
of the causes of the rebellions convinced him that the general prosperity of
his officials, intermarriages between the families of the grandees, inefficiency
in the espionage system, and drinking liquor were the root causes of
rebellion. Ala-ud-din therefore passed four ordinances. By the first he
confiscated all grants of tax-free land and seized Muslim religious
endowments. Secondly, the intelligence system was reorganised, and all
secret transactions in the houses of the nobility were immediately reported to
the Sultan. Thirdly, the public sale of liquor and drugs was totally stopped.
The fourth ordinance forbade social gatherings in noblemen’s houses, and no
senior officials were allowed to arrange marriages between members of their
families without the Sultan’s prior consent.
Suppression of Rural Elite The above regulations were aimed at
controlling the Muslim noblemen, but the village headmen known as khuts
and muqaddams were also very rich. They frequently offered military help to
the rebels. The Sultan’s revenue regulations reduced this class to poverty and
brought them down to the level of the ordinary peasants.
Military Reforms The Sultan could not realise his imperialistic ambitions
without a well-equipped and efficient standing army. Ferishta says that he
recruited 4,75,000 cavalrymen. His military reforms included introduction of
dagh (branding of horses) and chahra (descriptive roll of soldiers), insistence
on a regular muster of the army, abolition of the iqtas of the royal troopers,
and the payment of their salaries in cash. The iqtas of big nobles and military
commanders were, however, allowed to continue.
In order to keep his army satisfied with their salary, the Sultan introduced
strict price-control measures based on production costs. To enforce these
measures, he established four separate markets in Delhi, one for grain;
another for cloth, sugar, dried fruits, herbs, butter and oil; a third for
horses, slaves and cattle; and the fourth for miscellaneous commodities.
The supply of grain was ensured by collecting tax in kind in the Doab and
keeping it in the royal store-houses. The growers were ordered to sell their