Estimate of Babur / Achievement of Babur

Estimate of Babur / Achievement of Babur

Achievement of Mughal Empire Babur

All historians, modern as well as contemporary, have praised the character and personality of Babur. V.A. Smith characterizes Babur as “The most brilliant Asiatic prince of high age and worthy of a high place among the sovereigns of any age or country. Lane-Pool describes Babur as “The most fascinating personality in the History of the East.” Havell remarks, “His engaging personality, artistic temperament and romantic career make him one of the most attractive figures in the history of Islam.” Ferishta portraits him, “In his person, Babur was handsome, his address was engaging and unaffected, his countenance was pleasing and his disposition affable.” Mirza Haider, cousin of Babur and the author of Tarikh-i-Rashidi, describes him as “Adorned with various virtues and clad with numberless excellences, above all which towered bravery and humanity…… Indeed no one of his family before him ever possessed such talent, nor any of his race performed such amazing exploits or experienced such strange adventures.”

Mughal Empire Babur was undoubtedly a man of outstanding genius, a lover of fine arts, a born naturalist, a keen and critical observer of men and things and an accomplished writer who immortalized himself not merely as the founder of one of the most glorious dynasties that have ruled in India, but also as the prince of autobiographers. Really as a gentleman, Babur possessed everything required. He was an obedient son, a sincere friend, a devout husband and an affectionate father.

Babur possessed a good health and fine physique. He was well built and stout. He bore every hardship of life and strain cheerfully. He digested the poison given to him by the mother of Ibrahim Lodi.

Babur had a firm faith in God and always attributed his success to the grace of the Almighty. Once he said, “Nothing happens but by the will of God. Reposing ourselves on His protection, we must go forward.” But he was not a fanatic. He concluded a treaty with the Shia ruler of Persia and promised to propagate shia sect in his kingdom, but he declared war against the Rajputs – a Jihad for political motive – otherwise his treatment towards Hinds was not partial. Dr. S.R. Sharma has also remarked, “There is no evidence of his ever having destroyed Hindu temples or otherwise persecuted the Hindus on account of their religion.” Dr. R.P. Tripathi has also observed, “As compared to what happened in the near and Middle East between the Shias and Snnis, in the western countries these cases are simply insignificant.” Erskine has aptly remarked, “no part of his character is more admirable than his uniform humanity and kindliness of disposition. If, in the course of his memoirs, some cruel executions appear, they belong to the age, not to the man.”

Babur was a worthy soldier and efficient commander. The history of Babur is merely a record of his brilliant generalship. Babur was “an admirable horseman, a fine shot, a good swordsman and a mighty hunter.” He is specially known in the history for his conquest of northern India. Although Babur was not a born General like his ancestor Timur or Chengiz Khan, he had to fight against people of different races in Central Asia which provided his first-hand experience of commanding. No doubt he lost some of the battles but he did not lose courage and ultimately succeeded in getting the rank of efficient commander. He waged wars against the Uzbegs, Mongols and Afghans and learnt the Tulghma warfare, ambuscade and fire-arm and artillery from them respectively. He also learnt effective and proper use of cavalry from the Turks. All these strategies combined together helped him in getting success against India. Babur loved his soldiers very much and provided them with all the facilities required; but being a strict disciplinarian, he could not tolerate disobedience from his soldiers. He punished them severely in case; they acted against the wishes of their master. He even used violence to prevent outrage. Ferishta writes about his disciplinarian attitude, “it is certain, his presence alone saved the honor of Daulat Khan’s family.”

He used to award severe punishments to his soldiers for their negligence and incompetence. The soldiers who engaged themselves in the loot of Bhera willfully were punished by him. He writes in his memoirs, “ I put some of them to death and slit the noses of some others and had them led about the camp in that condition.” Besides these virtues he possessed in an eminent degree the supreme qualities of a born leader of men. He enjoyed and suffered with his men and he had a firm faith in the Persian proverb, “In the company of friends, Death is a nuptial feast.” Hence he did not leave his friends in the terrible stormy night and remained with them all through the night.

Babur was not only an efficient commander, but also a successful diplomat. At the time of his coronation, he was surrounded with many problems as his kith an kin were creating difficulties and threatening his own existence, but with the ability of a shrewd politician and successful diplomat he forced them to withdraw. His attitude towards the Shia ruler of Persia was also full of diplomacy. Seeing no way out he concluded a treaty with him and agreed to expand Shia sect in India. He started the tradition of marrying the Rajput princesses as he got married his sons, Humayun and Kamran with the captive daughters of medina Rai. He dealt with Sher Shah Suri and only by accepting his formatl submission, left him in Bihar so that he could watch the activities of Jalal Khan. Babur understood very well the capacity and caliber of Sher Shah Suri, hence he directed his nobles to be watchful of his activities in these words, “keep an eye on Sher Khan. He is a clever man, and the marks of royalty are visible on his forehead."

Besides his military achievements and diplomatic victories Mughal Empire Babur was a scholarly king. He is known for his significant victories in India but even if he had not achieved all these victories and had written only his autobiography, Tuzuk-i-Baburi, he would have been equally popular. His autobiography is not only a work of history but also a masterpiece of literature. His command over Turki language, his style, his diction, has really assigned to him a high place among the scholars of the world. Babur was also well versed in Arabic and Persian. Mrs. Beveridge has praised the autobiography of Babur “as one of those priceless records which are for all time.” Babur’s account of India is very attractive and effective. He has also thrown light on the climate, animals, birds, fruits, art, industries, and socio-economic life of the people of India. He also wrote a collection of Mansavis called the Mubayyin. It is a treatise on Muslim law. He also composed poems in Persian.

His other treatise known as Khat-i-Baburi also deserves mention. Seeing all his composition and writings, it is obvious that Babur was scholar first and soldier only next. Lane-pool has also written about him “Soldier of fortune as he was, Babur perception …… His battles as well as his orgies were humanized by a breath of poetry.”

As a ruler Babur performed his duties very efficiently. He extended his empire from Badakhshan to Bengal, from the Oxus to the Ganges, from Bhera in the west to Bihar in the East; from the Himalayas in the North to Chanderi in the south. He believed in absolute monarchy and hence assumed the title of ‘Padshah’. The position of monarch had declined in India during the reign of Tughluq rulers, Babur added to its power and prestige. He was not only loved by the people of India but feared too. Babur also maintained law and order in his vast dominion and looked after the welfare of his subjects sincerely. He ordered his officers and subordinates to be vigilant towards the good of the people. Babur did not allow his soldiers to indulge in plundering in Bhera for the realized this country to be his own territory. Undoubtedly, he was a staunch Muslim ruler but he tried to provide evenhanded justice to his people.

Apart from this, he also did what was necessary, in order to ensure speedy communication in his dominion. He took care in establishing a regular series of post-houses, at the distance of about fifteen miles from each other and stationed relays of six horses and proper officers at each. The old practice of measuring the roads after the departure of the king continued in his times and he replaced gaz-Sikandari with gaz-Baburi. Ferishta writes, “The gaz-Sikandari or yard of Sikandar, which prevailed when he reached India was suspended by the gaz-Baburi which continued in use till the beginning of the reign of Jahangir Padshah.”

Babur being a man of high aesthetic tastes did not neglect the fine arts. He has written in his memoirs, “I every day employed on my places 680 persons and in Agra, Sikri, Bayana, Dholpur, Gwalior and Koli, there were every day employed on my works 1491 stone-cutters.” He also planted a number of gardens of fruits and flowers. His works of public welfare brought respect and affection for Babur in return.

Mughal Empire Babur had the virtues of a successful monarch but he was not an administrative genius. He did not introduce any change in the old system of administration in his empire. The old and worn-out machinery continued to work everywhere. In fact, he had no ability to do any constructive work with regard to administration. He divided his empire into jagirs for his nobles and princes. It weakened the newly established Mughal rule in India. Dr. A.L srivastava writes, “Babur was a poor financier.” He did not care to enhance the financial resources; rather he spent and distributed the entire money which he received from the forts of Delhi and Agra unwisely, without thinking over its pros and cons. The empty treasury proved to be a great hurdle in the way of his successor and he had to suffer a lot for the shortcomings of his father. R. C. Mujumdar has rightly remarked, “Babur’s legacy to Humayun was of a precarious nature.”

Condemning the economic policy of Babur and throwing light on administrative weaknesses of his empire Rushbroke Williams has aptly remarked, “He bequeathed to his son a monarchy which could be held together only by the continuance of war condition, which in times of peace was weak, structure-less and invertebrate.”


Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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