Ever since announced that his next project after Bajirao Mastani was going to be Padmavati, controversies started erupting from various corners of India protesting the film. The film had faced numerous delays in production with members of Rajput outfit 'Karni Sena' vandalising the film's set in Jaipur and physically assaulting Sanjay Leela Bhansali along with other crew members. The film was later titled .
These fringe political outfits and the religious groups were protesting the film over the fact that it "hurt their sentiments" and "defamed the Rajput community" even though the makers and actors repeatedly denied that. They were also under the impression that the film featured intimate scenes between Queen Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji, something the cast & the crew of the film again denied.
But, all the controversies surrounding the film, along with a positive reception to the trailer for the film, generated high curiosity from the audiences for the ruthless King Alauddin Khilji. Everyone wanted to know the story of the apparently barbaric and maniac king who was shown in the trailer as a total madman. A lot of people still don't know much about the Turk ruler. So here's everything you need to know about Alauddin Khilji:
Birth and Parents:
Alauddin Khilji was born Ali Gurshasp to Shihabuddin Masud and had 3 brothers. He was born in the year 1266-1267 in Birbhum district in West Bengal. After his parents passed away, Khilji and his brothers were brought up by their uncle and the 1st ruler of the Khilji dynasty, Jalaluddin Khilji. Alauddin married Jalaluddin's daughter and later on murdered his father in law to take over the throne of the Delhi Sultanate. It was Alauddin's dream to become the second Sikander (Alexander).
He was the most successful ruler of the Khilji dynasty and ruled for 2 decades from his seat in Delhi. At the heights of his power, the Khilji dynasty ruled major parts of Afghanistan till Bihar and from Kashmir till Karnataka. He married 4 times.
Administrative Changes: As much as a maniac and barbaric as he is thought to be, he did introduce groundbreaking market, agrarian and military reforms that helped the farmers and peasants of India. He levied no extra cess on the farmers and cut zamindars and landowners out of the loop from the tax system. He directly collected tax from the farmers and that left them free from the hands of zamindars. He also kept a large standing army ranging from hundreds of thousands. He also banned drinking, gambling and drug consumption from the public view in the later years of his life.
He also defended India from the ravaging Mongols who controlled most of Asia back then. Mongols were utterly ruthless, divided into different tribes and attacked countries from multiple places. They were known for their brutality. Khilji kept India, its culture and its people safe from the Mongols
Its been a matter of contention among the historians for a long time now and most of them agree on the fact that Khilji was in fact, a bisexual and had a soft corner for Malik Kafur, a slave-kid he brought from the "Bachcha Baazar" in Gujarat after being mesmerized by his beauty. Its also said that he had a zenana of more than 70,000 males, females and children of which 30,000 women were widows of the men his armies had killed.
The name that started it all (the controversies). Malik Muhammad Jayasi wrote the poem in 1540 which was a fictional account of Khilji's siege of Chittor and many historians believe that Padmavati didn't exist in real life. Though, in the poem, its said that Rani Padmavati was a beautiful princess from the Singhal Kingdom in Sri Lanka and after Ratan Sen, the ruler of Chittor, heard about her from a talking parrot, he won her hand after an adventurous quest. Khilji also heard about her beauty and planned to capture Chittor and Padmavai in order to make her his royal consort. He also falsely befriended Ratan Sen according to the poem in order to capture Padmavati.
It is said that after Padmavati committed Jauhar along with other Rajput women, he was haunted by the wails of the women of Chittor for the rest of his life and went mad. Though in real life, he suffered from an illness and lost control of himself. He died in January 1316 in Delhi and is buried in the Qutub Complex in Mehrauli, Delhi.