Role of Aibak as the Founder of Delhi Sultanate

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The view of Dr. A. L. Srivastava is that Aibak was “the real founder of Turkish dominion in India” and “the first de facto Sultan of the almost entire Hindustan.” The view of Habibullah is that Aibak was responsible for the detailed planning and initiation of the Delhi State. It is pointed out that it is difficult to support the view of Habibullah.

The coronation of Aibak took place in I206 A.D., but his formal manumission, i.e., freedom from slavery, was not obtained by him till I208 A.D., Ghiyas-ud-Din Mahmud of Ghori is reported to have conferred upon him the royal insignia and the title of Sultan, but his inscriptions show that he never got a title higher than that of Malik or Sipahsalar.

It cannot be denied that the right to issue currency is an essential ingredient of sovereignty but so far not a single gold or silver coin of Aibak has been found. Some of the latest Sultans of Delhi did not accept him as a Sultan. The list of the names of the Sultans of Delhi prepared under the orders of Firuz Shah Tughluq begins with Iltutmish and does not include the name of Aibak.

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It is pointed out that the character of Muslim Rule in India did not change materially during the reign of Aibak. Yalduz as Master of Ghazni continued to claim suzerainty over India. It is true that Aibak occupied Ghazni for some time but he was driven out later on.

The result was that the question whether the Turkish possessions in Northern India were a mere colony of a Central Asian Empire or a sovereign entity could not be settled. Aibak also was not able to set up a framework of an administrative structure. As a matter of fact, there was not even one capital and Lahore and Delhi were merely two Military headquarters.

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