120 EARLY MUHAMMAD A N CONQ UER ORS. but their progress was stayed by the Indus, and Delhi remained untouched. Before the death of Altamsh (1236 a. d.), the Hindus had ceased for a time to struggle openly; and the Muhammadan Viceroys of the Slave Dynasty of Delhi ruled all India north of the Vindhya range, including the Punjab, the North- Western Provinces, Oudh, Behar, Lower Bengal, Ajmere, Gwalior, Malwa, and Sind. The Khalif of Baghdad acknowledged India as a separate Muhammadan kingdom during the reign of Altamsh, and coins were struck in recognition of the new Empire of Delhi (1229 a. d.). Altamsh died in 1236. The Empress Raziya, 1236-1230. — His daughter Raziya was the only lady who ever occupied the Muhammadan throne of Delhi. Learned in the Kuran, industrious in public business, firm and energetic in every crisis, she bears in history the masculine name of the Sultan Raziya. But the favour which she showed to her master of the horse, an Abyssinian slave, offended her Afghan generals; and, after a troubled reign of three and a half years, she was deposed and put to death. Mughal Irruptions and Rajput Revolts. — Mughal irrup- tions from Central Asia and Hindu revolts within India soon began to undermine the Slave Dynasty. The Mughals are said to have burst through Tibet into North-Eastern Bengal in 1245; and during the next forty-three years they repeatedly marched down the Afghan passes into the Punjab (1245-1288). The wild Indian tribes, such as the Ghakkars and the hillmen of Mewdt, ravaged the Muhammadan provinces in the Punjab almost up to the gates of Delhi. Rajput revolts foreshadowed that inextinguishable vitality of the Hindu military races, which was to harass, from first to last, the Muhammadan dynasties, and to outlive them. Under the Slave Kings, even the north of India was only half subdued to the Muhammadan sway. The Hindus rose again and again in Malwa, Rajputana, Bundel- khand, and along the Ganges and the Jumna, as far as Delhi itself. Balban, 1265-1287.— The last but one of the Slave line, Balban, had not only to fight the Mughals, the wild Indian tribes, and the Rajput clans — he was also compelled to battle with his own viceroys. Having in his youth entered into a
Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/124
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