[PDF Notes] What was Ala-ud-Din Khilji’s Treatment towards the Hindus?

Ala-ud-Din was very cruel towards the Hindus. He adopted all kinds of measures to crush them in every possible manner. The Qazi of Bayana explained the policy of the state towards the Hindus and Ala-ud-Din followed the same. According to the Qazi, the Hindus “are called Khiraj guzars and when the revenue officer demands silver from them, they should without question and with all humility and respect, tender gold.

If the Muhassil chooses to spit into the mouth of a Hindu, the latter must open his mouth without hesitation. The meaning of doing such a thing is that the Hindu by acting in this way shows his meekness and humility and obedience and respect.

The glorification of Islam is a duty and contempt of the religion is vain. God himself has commanded their subjection, in as much as the Hindus are the deadliest foes of the Prophet. The Prophet has said that they should either embrace Islam or they should be slain or enslaved and their property should be confiscated to the state.

No one except the great doctor Abu Hanifa allows the imposition of the Jizya upon the Hindus, while other schools are of opinion that there is no other alternative for them but death or Islam.”

Ala-ud-Din adopted many measures by which the Hindus were reduced to poverty and misery. Zia-ud-Din Barani tells us that the Chaudhries, Khuts and Muqaddams were not able to ride on horseback, to find weapons, to get fine clothes or to indulge in betel. Their wives were forced to work as maid-servants in the houses of the Muslim neighbours.

According to Prof. S. R. Sharma, the choice offered by Ala-ud-Din to the Hindus was to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, the helots of the Empire. No wonder, Ala-ud-Din boasted that “at my command, they are ready to creep into holes like mice.”

According to Sir Wolseley Haig, “Hindus throughout the kingdom were reduced to one dead level of poverty and misery, or, if there were one class more to be pitied than another, it was that which had formerly enjoyed the most esteem, the hereditary assessors and collectors of the revenue.”

However, Dr. R. P. Tripathi contends that the measures adopted against the Hindus by Ala-ud-Din were not due to religious causes but to political and economic causes.

The Muqaddams or village headmen, Khuts or farmers of revenue and Chaudhries or revenue collectors were mainly Hindu and before the time of Ala-ud-Din, they had enjoyed many privileges. They dressed themselves daintily. They rode on fine horses. They oppressed the cultivators. All that Ala-ud-Din did was that he merely withdrew all the concessions which formerly the revenue officials enjoyed even in the reigns of the Muslim rulers. This did not prove that “Ala-ud-Din specially aimed at cripping the Hindus as such.”

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