About the Book :
Twilight of the Sultanate is a political, social and cultural history of the Sultanate of Delhi from the invasion of Timur to the conquest of Babur (1398-1526). This period of a century and a quarter presents the spectacle of a curious contradiction of unceasing political upheavals and great cultural achievements. It is not only a coherent sequence of history and continuity that the author portrays in this volume, but the very atmosphere of those turbulent and disorderly days. Timur's capture of Delhi vivifies the terror of the times, amidst which Timur, who was sixty-three, 'immersed himself in pleasure and enjoyment.' 'No one ever achieved a victory over Bahlul Lodi,' and yet he could calmly tell his restive Afghan nobles: 'If you do not think me worthy of the Station (of monarch), you may choose someone else.' Sikandar Lodi, always loved to have the learned Ulema about him, but drank wine in secret 'to keep himself in health.' And Babur's keen intellect rightly noted that India 'has masses of gold and silver,' a fact in many ways responsible for her chequered history. "In the political field the first half of the 15th century was a period of decay; the second half of upheavals, but in the cultural field it was an age of sustained progress," says the author. This period witnessed great developments in architecture, music, education and social reform. "There was a continuous progress of synthesis in spite of all conflicts, political, social, intellectual." Muriel Wasi, therefore, in a review of the earlier edition of the Twilight of the Sultanate rightly observes: 'Even more interesting are the final observations of the author on the emergence of an integrated Indian culture.' As Professor Lal says" "Babur appreciated it and Akbar worked upon it." In brief, Twilight of the Sultanate "is a painstaking and scholarly book, which Indian medievalists will find indispensable."-The Time Literary Supplement, London.