Sikander (1489–1517)
Despite the fanatical Afghan attachment to racial purity, one of Bahlul’s
wives, who was a Hindu goldsmith’s daughter, won the support of the Lodhi
nobles for her son Nizam Khan. The new Sultan, assuming the title of
Sikandar, crushed Husain Shah Sharqi of Jaunpur and liquidated the Rajput
uprisings in the neighbouring region. Bihar was also seized. From 1506 to
1517 the Sultan devoted all his energies to capturing Gwalior (ruled by the
Tomar ruler, Raja Man Singh), but could capture only Chanderi; Gwalior and
Malwa remaining unconquered. Sikandar enhanced the prestige of the
sultanate without alienating the Afghan nobility. He also took a keen interest
in the development of agriculture. He introduced the gaz-i-Sikandari
(Sikandar’s yard) of 32 digits for measuring cultivated fields. But this
measurement was confined to the khalisa lands and not extended to the iqta
lands. He regularly examined the price schedules for the markets. What Ala-
ud-din Khalji achieved in the field of market control through excessive use of
force, Sikandar is said to have accomplished through persuasion.
Ibrahim (1517–26)
Leading Afghan nobles made strong efforts to undermine the Sultan’s
autocracy at the very beginning itself by forcing him to make his younger
brother Jalal the independent ruler of the Jaunpur region. Civil war broke out
between the two brothers, which ended in the imprisonment and later the
execution of Jalal. Meanwhile the civil war had provided Rana Sanga of
Mewar with the opportunity to make inroads into the Lodhi territories as far
as Bayana near Agra. It also enabled some of the Lodhi nobles to conspire
against the Sultan and invite Babur to invade India.
The government established by the Turks was a compromise between Islamic
political ideas and institutions on the one hand and the existing Rajput system
of government on the other.