There was little change in the structure of the Hindu society during this period. Traditional caste system with the Brahmins on the upper strata of the society was prevalent. The subservient position of women also continued and the practice of sati was widely prevalent. The seclusion of women and the wearing of purdah became common among the upper class women. The Arabs and Turks brought the purdah system into India and it became widespread among the Hindu women in the upper classes of north India.
During the Sultanate period, the Muslim society remained divided into several ethnic and racial groups. The Turks, Iranians, Afghans and Indian Muslims developed exclusively and there were no intermarriages between these groups. Hindu converts from lower castes were also not given equal respect. The Muslim nobles occupied high offices and very rarely the Hindu nobles were given high position in the government. The Hindus were considered zimmis or protected people for which they were forced to pay a tax called jiziya. In the beginning jiziya was collected as part of land tax. Firoz Tughlaq separated it from the land revenue and collected jiziya as a separate tax. Sometimes Brahmins were exempted from paying jiziya.
Art and Architecture
The art and architecture of the Delhi Sultanate period was distinct from the Indian style. The Turks introduced arches, domes, lofty towers or minarets and decorations using the Arabic script. They used the skill of the Indian stone cutters. They also added colour to their buildings by using marbles, red and yellow sand stones.
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