[PDF Notes] Administrative System of Ghiyas-ud-Din Balban

Destruction of “The Forty”

Balban was responsible for the destruction of “The Forty”. He knew full well that “The Forty” would never allow him to exercise all the powers of Sultan. He had not forgotten that they had reduced the Sultan to the position of a figure-head by usurping all his powers. Balban promoted junior Turks to important positions and put them on a position of equality with. “The Forty”.

Whenever any member of “The Forty” made any mistake, he was severely punished. When Malik Baqbaq, Governor of Badaun, caused his servant to be beaten to death, Balban ordered Baqbaq to be publicly flogged. Haibat Khan was the Governor of Avadh.

He was found guilty of killing a man while drunk with wine. Balban ordered him to be flogged with 500 stripes and he was handed over to the widow of the victim. Haibat Khan had to pay 20,000 Tankas to the widow and he never left his house after that till his death.

Balban got Amin Khan, Governor of Avadh, hanged at the gate of the city of Ayodhya. Sher Khan Sanqar was got poisoned as Balban was jealous of him. The result was that Balban was able to destroy “The Forty”. Those nobles, who escaped death or dismissal, became submissive on account of terror.

Spy System

Balban organised a very efficient system of espionage. Secret reporters were put in every department. Secret news-writers were stationed in every Province and in every district. The news-writers were given good salaries and kept independent of the Governors and the Commanders and they were required to send correct news unmindful of the person involved.

They were severely punished if they failed in their duty. It is stated that the news-writer of Balban did not report the conduct of malik Baqbaq and consequently he was hanged over the city gate. It was with the help of this spy system that Balban was able to strengthen his position.

Cancellation of Grants

Balban reorganized his army and made it an efficient instrument. In the time of Iltutmish, some land had been granted on condition of military service. The grantees continued to enjoy those lands although some of them were dead and others had become old.

Their descendants had “taken possession of the grants as an inheritance from their fathers and had caused their names to be recorded in records to the Ariz (Muster-master).” There was a general tendency on their part to evade service in the field. Balban resumed the old grants but allotted subsistence allowances j to the grantees according to their age. There was lot of discontentment and ultimately Balban cancelled the orders for the resumption of lands. The result was that the abuse continued.


Balban put Imad-ud-Mulk in charge of the army. He was appointed Diwan-i-Ariz or Army Minister. He was a very competent officer. He was made independent of the Minister of Finance. He looks keen interest in matters relating to recruitment salaries and equipments of the troops. The result was that strict discipline was enforced in the army which became really efficient.

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