The Turks in India
The Turks in India
Mahmud, an Afghani Turk, began to lead raids into India around the year 1000. In short order, he annexed Punjab and Sind into his own realm, which he ruled from Afghanistan. Although Mahmud cast his conquests in a religious light as an attempt to convert more people to Islam, the Indians were more inclined to believe that his sole motive was plunder of their jewels, gold, and artistic treasures. Although Mahmud showed no desire to live in India as its emperor, he clearly appreciated its culture; he kidnapped a number of Indian artisans and architects and took them west to work for him. Mahmud left an army of occupation behind him, headed by the Hindu Indian general Tilak.
Many Muslims had come into India from the northwest over the previous three centuries, and, like other foreign populations, had been assimilated into the larger Indian culture with little fuss or disruption. Indians generally opposed Mahmud, however, because he imposed Islam on their country as a by-product of military conquest.
Mahmud died in 1030; India remained undisturbed by further invasions for more than fifty years, until Shahab-ud-Din of the Ghurids (Iranian Turks) rode in from the northwest and overthrew Mahmud’s empire. Prithvi Raj, the Hindu king of Delhi, defeated the Ghurids and drove them back west, but they returned one year later. By the late 1100s, the Ghurids were securely installed in Delhi, but only for a short time. They were soon superseded by a new wave of invaders from Afghanistan.
By 1211, the Afghanis had established a Turkish Muslim sultanate in Delhi. It would quickly expand to embrace all of northern India. By 1335, it ruled supreme over the entire Indian subcontinent apart from three tiny patches, one at each corner of the great triangle of the peninsula.
The Afghani Turks were Indo-Aryans, ethnically related to those who had invaded India in ancient times. This fundamental kinship with the population allowed them to be more readily accepted and assimilated into India than their Ghurid predecessors. The Turks brought their religion and culture with them; under their rule, India became religiously Islamic, culturally Persian, and politically and administratively Turkish. The invaders showed no racial or religious scorn for their new subjects, and intermarriage between Muslim court officials and Hindu women was frequent. Even sultans married high-caste Hindu women.
The Delhi sultanate lasted until 1398, when it abruptly fell before the advance of the great conqueror Timur, usually referred to in the West as Tamer- lane (a corruption of “Timur the Lame,” a taunt the Persians used against Timur after he was injured on the battlefield). A native of the steppes of Central Asia, Tamerlane rose through the military ranks to become khan at Samarkand in 1363. One of history’s most successful and brutal military conquerors, Tamerlane led his troops into Persia, India, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Anatolia; he had conquered all of these lands and states by 1402. His descendants would continue to rule Iran and Turkestan for another century, although the rest of the empire he acquired would fall into other hands long before that.
Practice questions for these concepts can be found at:
Today on Education.com
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- Child Development Theories
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Social Cognitive Theory
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- Problems With Standardized Testing