Estimate of Sher Shah / Sher Shah Suri

Estimate of Sher Shah

Estimate of Sher Shah
 Sher Shah Suri

Although Sher Shah was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, nor was he brought up under very favorable circumstances, rather he was subjected to tortures and torments due to the stern behavior of his step-mother and brothers, however, he was silent and calculating. He had all the worldly wisdom. There may not be any attraction in his character but he had a strong will to achieve his goal.

Sher Shah did not believe in chivalry only. He followed the policy of a shrewd diplomat and utilized every diplomatic trick to attain victory against his enemy. He established his control over the forts of Chunargarh, Raisin and Rohtasgarh by stratagem and also achieved victory against Maldeo of Marwar by an excellent trick of throwing false letters near his camp. He defeated Humayun twice when he was perturbed due to flood and his arms and ammunition were drenched, but he was quite emotional at times. He returned safely the ladies of Mughal harem, after the battle of Chausa, who were captured after the flight of Humayun. His practice of providing free flood to the poor and the needy and his swing towards the development of art and learning also indicates that he was a successful ruler and had all the qualities of a great ruler in him.

Some modern historians have highly estimated his wisdom and ability. Dr. J.N. Sarkar writes, “In the conditions of the homes of their boyhood, their early life and training, and the development of their character even as in the steps by which they mounted the thrones, the forsaken son of Shahji Bhonsle was the exact parallel of the son of Hasan Sur. Shivaji and Sher Shah were not only alike in character and genius but also grew up amidst like circumstances.”

H.G. Keene writes, “His brief career was devoted to the establishment of the unity which he had long ago perceived to be the great need of his country. Thought a devout Muslim, he never oppressed his Hindu subjects. His progresses were the cause of good to his people instead of being, as is too often the case in India, the occasion o devastation……… it is a welcome task to take note of such things as a break in the long annals of rapine and slaughter, and we can do so without hesitation; for the acts of Sher Shah are attested by his enemies, writing when he was dead, and when his dynasty had passed away forever.”

Sher Shah was a great organizer and an efficient commander. The successes which he attained against the Mughals and the Rajputs indicate towards his ability and capability. E.B. Havell writes, “Sher Shah showed brilliant capacity as an organizer, both in military and civil affairs. By dint of indefatigable industry and personal attention to the smallest details of administration, he restored law and order throughout Hindustan, in the short space of five years.”

Besides a statesman, ruler and commander, Sher Shah was a lover of education and learning. He also contributed to the development of architecture during his reign. V.A. Smith has written about him, “Sher Shah was something more than the capable leader of a horde of fierce Afghans. He had a nice taste in architecture, manifested especially in the noble mausoleum at Sasaram in Bihar which he prepared for himself. He also displayed an aptitude for civil government and instituted reforms, which were based to some extent on the institutions of Alauddin Khalji and were developed by Akbar …… he reformed the coinage issuing an abundance of silver money, excellent in both fineness and execution. That is good record for a stormy reign of five years. If Sher Shah had been spared he would have established his dynasty, and the Great Mughals’ would not have appeared on the stage of history.”

 Dr. K.P. Qanungo has aptly written about him, “The accession of Sher Shah marked the beginning of that era of liberal Islam which lasted till the reaction of Aurangzeb’s reign … Sher Shah may justly dispute with Akbar the claim of being the first who attempted to build up an Indian nation ….  The work of Sher Shah’s administrative genius did not perish with his dynasty, but lasted throughout the Mughal period with some inevitable changes due to the greater expansion of the empire …… The revenue and currency system which prevailed in India with very little modification down to the middle of XIX century were not the achievements of Akbar but of Sher Shah.”

The greatest contribution of Sher Shah was the organization of the Afghans who were scattered here and there, before his ascendancy. He organized them into a compact whole and made them a power. Prior to him they were being defeated and driven by the Mughals but Sher Shah infused a national spirit in them and successfully exiled Humayun and enthroned himself. Thus Sher Shah was a successful commander, a shrewd politician and an efficient ruler and can be safely ranked among the best administrators of India.


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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