bandagan (department of slaves). The Sultan ordered that jobs be created for
the unemployed. Free hospitals were established, as was a marriage bureau
offering assistance to poor Muslim parents in meeting wedding expenses for
their daughters. All the above welfare measures and public works were
carried out through another new department, viz. diwan-i-khairat. Finally all
positions were made hereditary, irrespective of competence, and the iqta
administration was completely decentralised to appease the nobles.
Military Campaigns Firoz led several feeble military expeditions to
Bengal, Kangra and Sind but only to assert the tottering central authority.
Between 1353 and 1358 he made efforts to recover Bengal, but succeeded
only, in negotiating a peace settlement and persuading its ruler Sikandar to
accept his suzerainty. The Sultan however did better in his Orissa campaign,
whose ruler Raja Gajpati of Jajnagar in Orissa had allied himself with the
rebellious Bengal Sultans. Firoz seized Cuttack and destroyed the Jagannatha
temple at Puri. He then attacked Nagarkot in the Kangra region. The Raja
submitted and offered to pay tribute. The Sultan collected 1,300 Sanskrit
manuscripts from the Jwalamukhi and other temples. Firoz next marched to
Thatta in lower Sind. After initial failures he succeeded in establishing his
authority over its rulers.
The last years of the Sultan’s reign were marked by a precipitous decline
in central political control. Firoz abdicated in 1387, crowning Prince
Muhammad king. Two months later Firoz’s slaves, numbering about a lakh,
rebelled, forcing Muhammad to flee. Firoz appointed his grandson, Tughluq
Shah II, his heir, and died one year later at the ripe age of 82.
Later Tughluqs (1388–1414) After Firoz’s death the sultanate
disintegrated further. The Sharqi kingdom of Jaunpur came into existence in
1394. Malwa and Gujarat also broke away. When Timur arrived on the scene
in 1398–99, the fate of the Tughluq dynasty was sealed. After crossing the
Indus, Timur met no serious opposition in the Punjab. Though Delhi
submitted without much of a fight, Timur’s army sacked it for three days and
indiscriminately massacred both Hindus and Muslims. Travelling through
Haridvar, Nagarkot and Jammu, he withdrew from India in March, 1399. His
invasion, though merely a plundering raid, delivered the death blow to the