MUHAMMAD TUGHLAK. 125 Tughlak's forced currency quickly brought its own ruin. Foreign merchants refused the worthless brass tokens, trade came to a stand, and the king had to take payment of his taxes in his own depreciated coinage. Revolt of the Provinces, 1338-1351. — Meanwhile the Provinces began to throw off the Delhi yoke. Muhammad Tughlak had succeeded in 1324 to the greatest empire which had, up to that time, acknowledged a Muhammadan Sultan in India. But his bigoted zeal for Islam forbade him to confide in Hindu princes or Hindu officers; he dared not trust his own kinsmen ; and he thus found himself compelled to fill every high post with foreign Muhammadan adventurers, who had no interest in the stability of his rule. The annals of the period present a long series of outbreaks, one part of the empire throw- ing off its allegiance as soon as another had been brought back to subjection. His own nephew rebelled in Malwa, and, being caught, was flayed alive (1338). The Punjab governor revolted (1339), was crushed, and put to death. The Musalman viceroys of Lower Bengal and of the Coromandel coast set up for them- selves (about 1340), and could not be subdued. The Hindu kingdoms of Karnata and Telingana recovered their indepen- dence (1344), and expelled the Musalman garrisons. The Muhammadan governors in the Deccan also revolted ; while the troops in Gujarat rose in mutiny. Muhammad Tughlak rushed with an army to the south to take vengeance on the traitors, but hardly had he put down their rising than he was called away by insurrections in Gujarat, Malwa, and Sind. He died in 1351, while chasing rebels in the lower valley of the Indus. Muhammad Tughlak's Revenue Exactions. — Muham- mad Tughlak was the first Musalman ruler of India who can be said to have had a regular revenue-system! He increased the land tax between the Ganges and the Jumna — in some Districts tenfold, in others twentyfold. The husbandmen fled before his tax-gatherers, leaving their villages to lapse into jungle, and formed themselves into robber clans. He cruelly punished all who trespassed on his game preserves ; and he invented a kind of man-hunt without precedent in the annals of human wicked- ness. He surrounded a large tract with his army, ' and then
Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/129
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.