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Strategies of Ghias-ud-Din Balban

Strategies of Ghias-ud-Din Balban

Being ugly and unsightly from his appearance, Ghias-ud-Din Balban proved to be one of the most stringent and inflexible ruler in the history of Indo-Pakistan whose tenure introduced the policy of blood and iron to crush the upheavals of the adversaries.

After ascending the throne, Balban put three main targets before him which were:

  • Removal of the rival Turk chiefs
  • Defense of the empire from Mughal onslaughts
  • Appeasement of the riots of the Hindu Rajputs

Rivalry of the Turk chiefs

Balban himself belonged to the Chihalgan (the forty influential court elders) who were excited of jealousy with Balban’s evolution with the passage of time. They fostered an enmity against him which alerted his senses to get rid of them. He visited Punjab where he survived of a murder attempt in 1253 AD. Then he was dismissed by the Sultan due to the conspiracies of the Chihalgan (the Forty) which made him decide on the fate of these members who had become a constant threat for the empire. He broke the spell of Imad-ud-Din Rehan and Qatlagh Khan by killing them which paved the way to a smooth rule in the years to come and which made him able to concentrate on the administrative affairs of the empire.

Defense of the Empire from Mughal Attacks

Balban adopted a precise and meditated policy to cope with the raids of Mughals who had occupied Khurasan andKabul and were looking forward to access the empire of Delhi. Balban appointed the best and trusted generals of his team as Warden of Marches on the frontier areas. He united the provinces of Sindh and Punjab under the statute of Sher Khan, his paternal cousin. He deployed the best, well-trained and the strongest army personnel on the borders to meet the fierce Mughals. It was he who first time divided the defense position into three lines: first, second and third defense line to stop and hinder the enemy at three points. First line was made in Multan and Uch, the second was in Pakpattan and Depalpur, and the third was on Hansi, Snam and Smana. Every line was stocked with artillery for the hard times. He noticed the tribes of the frontier province who supported the Mughal invaders. Balban and Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud went to punish these clans in 1246 AD. Balban also adopted a policy of reconciliation when he sent his ambassador to the Mughals in 1258 AD. In the next year, the ambassador of Halaku Khan came to Balban’s court and the enmity between the two kings was mollified.

End of the rebel Rajput Chiefs

Balban’s iron fist policy came up against rebel Rajputs who started flouting the Sultan as the plotting politics of the Forty encouraged them to go against Balban. He crushed the Hindu landlords of Doaab and forced the Rajputs of all the areas of Katra and Kaliyan. Chanderi, Gwaior, and North Rajputana came under his influence and the chastisement of Mewatis led to the establishment of peace in the surrounding of Delhi. His iron hand rule helped him focus on the defense of frontiers, welfare and construction in the empire. Had he not adopted such a blood and iron policy, he would easily have swayed by the Forty who were waylaying him to capture the throne.


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