Thursday, March 10, 2005

Only The Good Die Young - Sher Shah Suri

Born as Farid Khan in 1472 in a humble family, he earned the title of "Sher Shah" after killing a tiger single handedly. He eventually rose to uproot Babar's legacy and snatch crown of Delhi from Humayun. In the process, humbled the mighty Mughal army twice and Humayun had to escape into jungle, where he spent next 15 years of his life. Sher Shah is considered to be the best Muslim king of India by many. In his short term in office, lasting mere five years (1540-45), he organised a vast network of road, including the famous Grand Trunk road; many rest-houses on those roads; planted trees along the roads. His empire was divided into various smaller paraganas, an entire administration tree was devised by him. His minister, Toder Mal (who was later included in Akbar's nava-ratanas), formulated a tax collection system, which was in use till the British overtook. Sher Shah's military character was marked by "a rare combination of caution and enterprise"; his political conduct was, on the whole, just and humane; his religious attitude was free from medieval bigotry; and his excellent taste in building is well accepted.

He died from an accidental explosion of gunpowder on the 22nd may, 1545. His premature death allowed the Mughals to come back with the help of Persians and the path of India's future was altered for ever!

1 comment:

Sid said...

yes, but afterall this altered destiny produced a great but brutal legacy, which even today stand as a testimony to the enormity and the greatness of the Mughals themselves.