Short biography of Ahmad Khan & His Council or Regency (A.D. 1461—A.D. 1463)

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He was succeeded by his son Ahmad Khan who was hardly eight years old. A council of regency had actually been nominated by the late emperor with the dowager queen Makhduma-i-Jahan Nargis Begam as the chairman.

The other members were Mahmud Gawan and Khawaja-i-Jahan. Nargis Begam managed the affairs of the state extremely weii. She has been rightly regarded as “one of the few remarkable women that have appeared in the ruling dynasties of Medieval India”.

She kept herself fully informed of the affairs in the kingdom through her agents and colleagues. She tried to follow a conciliatory policy. She freed all the political prisoners and gave high appointments to talented and learned persons.

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But the internal strife between the Deccanis (Old Comers) and the Afaqis (New comers) continued unabated. The former were unhappy over the appointment of Mahmud Gawan and indulged in intrigues to get rid of him. The absence of a strong sultan also encouraged the neighbouring states of Orissa and Malwa to invade the Bahmani kingdom.

The ruler of Khandesh also joined hands with them. Mahmud Ghawan was able to bring the Afaqis and the Deccanis together and presented a united front to the invaders. But as ill luck would have it, the boy king who was leading the Bahmani army had to dismount from his horse to avoid stampede caused by an elephant that had run amuck.

Finding the royal mount without the king, the Bahmani army fled in panic and hundreds of them were slain. The council of regency now moved to Firuzabad leaving the capital in the charge of Mallu Khan Dakhini. Mahmud Khalji took possession of Berar, Bir and Daulatabad and advanced towards Bidar.

At this critical time, the Bahmani queen invited Sultan Mahmud of Gujarat to come to their rescue. Mahmud Khalji had to raise the siege of Bidar and retraced his steps pursued by Khawaja-i-Jahan. A few months after his victory, Ahmad died suddely on 30 July, 1463 on the night of his marriage.

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