Monday, October 31, 2016

Abundance and low prices during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Lodi

According to Tarikh-i-Daudi ;
 "One of the most extraordinary phenomena of Sultan Ibrahim's time was that corn, clothes, and every kind of merchandize were cheaper than they had ever been known to be in any other reign, except perhaps in the time of Sultan 'Alau-d din Khilji; but even that is doubtful. Moreover, in the time of the latter, the cheapness was occasioned by every kind of disgusting interference and oppression, and by a hundred thousand enforcements and punishments; whereas the cheapness of this reign was occasioned by abundant harvests. In the time of Sikandar, also, the markets were very cheap, but still not so much so as in the time of Ibrahim. Ten mans of corn could be purchased for one babloli; five sirs of clarified butter, and ten yards of cloth, could be purchased for the same coin. Everything else was in the same exuberance; the reason of all which was, that rain fell in the exact quantity which was needed, and the crops were consequently luxuriant, and produce increased ten-fold beyond the usual proportion. The Sultan had likewise issued an edict that his chiefs and nobles of every degree should take nothing but corn in payment of rent, and no money was to be taken from the cultivators on any account. The consequence was, that countless quantities of grain accumulated in the several jagirs, and as ready money only was necessary for maintaining the personal expenses of the nobles, they were eager to sell their grain at any price which was procurable. The abundance of God's blessings reached such a height, that ten mans of corn would sell for a bahloli. Gold and silver were only procurable with the greatest difficulty. A respectable man with a family dependent on him might obtain wages at the rate of five tankas a month. A horseman received from twenty to thirty as his monthly pay. If a traveller wished to proceed from Delhi to Agra, one bahloli would, with the greatest ease, suffice for the expenses of himself, his horse, and escort" (Extract of Tarikh-i-Daudi in Elliot's history of India, Vol-4, p-476)

Sultan Ibrahim Lodi and his court - Illustrations from the Manuscript of Baburnama of late 16th century