Mohammad Tughluq

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

After the death of Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq, his elder son Juna Khan became the King of Delhi in 1325 A.D. He took the title of Mohammad Tughluq.

When Khusro Shah was the King of Delhi, Juna Khan (Mohammad Tughluq) was appointed the Master of the Horse of Khusro Shah. When his father became the Emperor in 1320, Juna Khan was appointed the heir-apparent. He led two expeditions to Warangal in 1321 and in 1323.

It is said that Mohammad Tughluq was a very learned person. He was a careful student of religion. Although, he believed in Islam, at the same time, he was tolerant of other religions and participated in their religious ceremonies and festivals.

Mohammad Tughluq appointed lowborn persons to the highest offices in the administration. He also appointed Hindus to some of the highest offices in the state. He spent a lot of money on poets and scholars. He patronized even Hindu scholars and poets. He actually lavished the treasure on scholars and poets.

Increase in Taxes in Doab

In order to get more money to spend, he increased the rate of taxation in the Doab between the Ganges and the Jamuna rivers. The taxation was increased too much that the farmers were reduced to impotence, poverty and ruin.

Unfortunately, rains failed at the same time, and the famine continued for several years. Thousands of people perished.
The backs of the farmers were broken. Those who were rich became rebels. Other peasantry left their homes and shifted to other places. The King could not get too much money.

This made him angry. Annoyed at the failure of the revenue, the King sought after the wretched farmers, most of them Hindus, like wild beasts, ringed them in the jungles as if they were tigers, and closing in massacred them wholesale.

Then the relief measures of the King such as the giving of loans to the agriculturists, sinking of wells etc. came; but it was too late.

Transfer of Capital to Daulatabad

But Mohammad Tughluq’s most important project was the shifting his capital from Delhi to Devgiri, under the new name of Daulatabad.

Mohammad Tughluq wanted a capital safe from Mongolian invasions, which were constantly threatening Delhi. Devgiri/Daulatabad was considered safe from Mongolian invasions.

He provided all possible facilities for these who were required to migrate to Daulatabad. A broad road was constructed. Shady trees were planted in both sides of the road. A regular postal service was established between Delhi and Daulatabad.

The King Mohammad Tughluq bought the houses and dwellings from all the inhabitants of Delhi and paid the price for them. All the people, with their families and dependants, wives and children, men-servants and maidservants were forced to remove. The people, who had been natives and inhabitants of the land for many years and for many generations, were broken hearted. All the inhabitants of Delhi came out leaving behind their property and baggage, and the city was reduced to a desert. So complete was the ruin that not a cat or a dog was left among the buildings of the city, in its palaces, in its suburbs. Worn out with fatigue, many of them died on the road, and many who reached Daulatabad, could not endure the pain of exile. They died in misery.

At last, the ill -considered plan had failed. Daulatabad was a monument of misdirected energy.

Death of Mohammad Tughluq

When Mohammad Tughluq was in Daulatabad, he heard of a revolt in Gujarat. Taghi was the leader of this revolt. Mohammad Tughluq himself went to Gujarat to suppress the revolt. He was successful in driving out Taghi from Gujarat. Taghi took refuge in Sindh.

Now, Mohammad Tughluq proceeded against Taghi, so he marched towards Sindh. But, Mohammad Tughluq fell ill there and died near Thatta in Sindh on March 20, 1351 A.D.