Abstract or Introduction
After the Mu’izz al-Din Ghuris Indian campaign and the consolidation of the conquered territory under his subordinates in the last decade of the twelfth century, the Turkish bandagan occupied many positions of influence and power in North India. Thus, when there emerged a politically paramount sultanate of Delhi under IItutmish, all the strategically important positions were given to the monarch’s senior slaves or the elite bandagan-I khass. By the end of IItutmish rule, the influence of the Turkish slave soldiers on the political structure of the sultanate administration was disproportionate to their social status (Al-Sahli, 2013). Although the Turkish slave soldiers had undergone traumatic alienation and been introduced to the Islamic faith as well as the decorum of the court as part of their training, their Turkish heritage remained unchanged. To a large extent, the early Delhi sultans, who were of Turkish origins created in their slaves the Turkish identity in order to create new bonds and identities through the process of divesting the slaves from their old relations. Scholars have noted that the sultans deliberately gave their slaves Turkish names rather than Arabic ones which would have been in tandem with the Islamic faith which they professed (Kumar, 2009). A shared Turkish ethnicity was used to reinforce the bonds between the slave soldiers and the sultan; however, it did not imply that they alienate the non-Turkish slaves. Thus, the slave soldiers were an integral part of the reproduction and sustenance of the authority of the Delhi sultanate.
- Quote paper
- Caroline Mutuku (Author), 2017, Turkish Slaves in Delhi Sultanate, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/427071