Suggestive comments and some standpoint on the economy of northern India during Delhi Sultanate has gained a large number of votaries in recent period to view the period as marking a break in Indian economic history. Quite a different assessment of Sultanate is offered in this study. The book deals with some significant research work in a subject having multiple dimension and literature on it. Delhi Sultanate period has been treated as continued phase of Early Medieval period strictly in economic sense. North India has been dea1tas a single whole having constant communication with each other. General opinion about Delhi Sultanate period is that of Only tumoil. Efforts has been made to write economic history other than political warfare to show continuous process of development A first step is made to bring out significance of ill-understood facts.
The reconstruction of material has been from a variety of sources including inscriptions, Numismatic, Perso-Arabic and indigenous contemporary literature. Explanations are consistent with the facts and the logic of economic change. Approach adopted is analytical leading to fresh interpretations other than stereotype conclusions based on previous stale writings. The enquiries are based on primary sources comprising epigraphy, numismatic and best literary sources in Persian, Sanskrit, Arabic and Chinese etc. including whatever was accessible to make a serious attempt to assess its historical value.
Ms. Vij y Lakshmi Labh has been a known cholar ffiliated with Jamia Millia Islamia' History Department for very long period. Her connection in some ay or the other with Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and Jamia enabled her to restructure her tudy t an advanced tage with outstan-ding research quality output. She is already an author and po sesses many valuable articles on the economy of Delhi Sultanate, including foreign Publications (pakistan honoured her by specially publishing twice). She has also been an I.C.H.R. Fellow.
She obtained her Master's degree specializing inMedieval Indian History from Delhi University in 1989 before obtaining a P.G. Diploma in Mass Communications with some working experiences in th t field. Interestingly her training in different vocation initially influenced her original and inventory study pread over a long period of medieval time on secular but contro- versial economic subject done for the first time scientifically.
The source Materials that she collected for her Doctorate gave her insights into variou research articales in this subject. Creative writing combined with the cquired knowledge of several academic course including languages i.e. Persian, Urdu, Sanskrit etc. in her zenith. Otherwise there is not much to write on Subject like economy of Delhi Sultanate due to paucity of Source materials. Apart from the pursuit of her academic career, she has also been a good folk art painter as part of her extra-curricular activities.
This Book Presents the Controversial concept of Land Rights during Delhi Sultanate as a secular historical issue in suo motu. In the field of Historical research neither the available material is ever sufficient. nor the finality is ever attainable. I have also challenged some important ideological stereotype concepts i.e. feudalism, which is confronted with prejudices with the historians of medieval India by reinterpreting the past history in actuality without bias. Ideas, experimentation emerged due to various working experiences, maturity and contemplation of mint in the midst of multifarious distractions. I have been throughout a lone struggler, a free thinker, without any substantial guidance in reality.
I have tried to base my theories and analytical method on the nature of questions raised and to the sources at my disposal. The economic picture in perspectives emerged in all my articles by piecing together several obscure accounts spread over centuries and by bits of fresh evidence of supplementary nature exclusively ransacked from all sorts of literary books printed in Persian, of the period in question. The consequent long footnotes and references are evident.
In the course of my research a great many individuals, eminent scholars, experts and institutions were consulted and to all of them I express my gratitude, I specially record my debts to the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Intellectual milieu where I grew up and to it vast resources for comparative history. It was here that I got this rare privilege to live in the campus for many years and got to know and share thoughts with eminent historians i.e. Prof. Harbans Mukha, Prof. Muzaffar Alam, Prof. Satish Chabdra, Prof. Dilbagh Singh(in neighborhood for many years), Prof. K.N. Trivedi and several others.
I have also profited from Zakir Husain Library of Jamia Millia Islamia where I joined after doing M.A. from Delhi University to work on coveted Ph.D. Project on the advice of late Prof. Mooniz Raza (D.U.V.C. then) and Dr. S.Z.H. Jafri (now a Professor in D.U. Hist. Deptt.) I am also grateful to Central Archaeological Library, Indian Council of Historical Research Library, National Museum Library of Delhi and Calcutta etc. I would like to thank specially to the Asiatic Society of Calcutta. A major portion of work of thesis was completed during I.C.H.R. award of research fellowship and later on U.G.C. fellowship and for this I shall remain grateful to them.
To Jamia Islamia’s History Department I owe deep debt of my gratitude where my efforts to work on economic Indian History during early medieval period became successful. I am deeply grateful to Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Persian Language Department. I express my gratitude to retired Prof. A.W.Azahar, Prof.(Miss) Havivala, Prof. Mahmud Alam and others including Prof. Akhtar Mahdi, Prof. (Mrs.) Qazi an prof. Hasan for their help. I also thank hereby to former friends and brilliant scholars of Jawaharlal Nehru University for their companionship.
Finally, I am grateful to Chaukhamba Publisher for having agreed to publish the Book. I especially thank Mr. Neeraj Gupta for his consent and Mr. Ankur for his assistance during this publication.
I am entirely responsible for the opinions expressed in this book.
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