This post is inspired from Robbie’s Open Book Blog Hop – A historical figure who interests me.
Have you heard about an eccentric king – a paradoxical personality?
Known as “the inhuman eccentric” and “a man of knowledge” who had an interest in subjects like philosophy, medicine, mathematics, religion, Persian and Urdu/Hindustani poetry, Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the sultan of Delhi from 1325-1351 is the most fascinating historical figure. He is famous for his bizarre, illogical and impractical decisions that earned him the title of a “crazy” king. It is astounding to note that he could rule for 25 years despite his wild policies.
In contemporary times, Tughlaq is a term still used to tease someone when they do something illogical or counter-intuitive.
What did he do to earn such titles?
- He ordered to move his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad and told all the citizens to move to the new capital. In the process, many died on the road due to hunger and exhaustion. (1327)
2. Just after eight years, in 1335, due to political repercussions, he decided to shift the capital back to Delhi, allowing the citizens to return to their previous city. Isn’t it crazy?
3. He allowed the use of token currency, that means coins of brass and copper were minted whose value was equal to that of gold and silver coins. As a result, the value of currency declined and the coins became as “worthless as stones.” Anybody could mint them at home. Nobody could distinguish between the official and the forged coins.
4. He increased the land revenue tax at a time when the Doab region was facing famine, thereby antagonizing his own people.
5. He lost an army of 10,000 soldiers (who perished in the Himalayas) due to poor planning of Karajal expedition.
However, many historians believe that he was a “visionary and a reformer” but lacked the ability to implement his plans.
Ironically, there is no dearth of such personalities in modern times too! It is easier to have a vision.
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