Sikandar Lodhi ruled over Delhi when Farid Khan was given the management of his jagir (Estate) by his father Hassan Khan. He then wrote a letter to his father expressing his determination to give the region an orderly and sustainable government.
“Justice is the key foundation and the root of development. Injustice weakens the foundations of government and destroys the nation.” Historian Abbas Sarwani’s book ‘Tarikh Sher Shahi’ indicates that this was written by Farid Khan in his letter.
That Farid Khan was Sher Shah Suri and this is the name that Farid Khan got after his victory over the Mughal emperor Humayun and taking over the power of northern India and then Bengal.
‘Where the farmer perishes, the king perishes’
Sarwani writes that ‘Farid intended to completely change farming methods, levy rates and collection arrangements and enacted several laws for reform.
He declared that farmers are the source of prosperity of the country. If their condition is bad then they will not be able to produce anything and if they are prosperous then there will be more production.
Historians believe that Sher Shah preferred farmers from his earliest days.
In his book The Last Spring: The Lives and Times of the Great Mughals, Abraham Erali wrote that Sher Shah believed that where the farmer perishes, the king perishes. He made sure that farmers’ bodyguards, army and finance officials did not oppress them, as is often the case.
They eliminated the lazy and corrupt officials who robbed the government with one hand and the peasants with the other.
He ordered that the accounts of the tax collectors be suddenly checked. Documents pertaining to the village should be confiscated before the head of the village is aware of such a raid.
Sher Shah chose a way to deal with a natural calamity like famine. He used to receive two and a half bushels of foodgrains from the farmers on a large plot of land, so that any trouble could be easily dealt with.
Sher Shah Soori
Abul Fazl has also given the rates of the crop fixed by Sher Shah. He says that Suri brought India under control of revenue management.
Rai (crop rates) were fixed for lands which were ‘palaj’ (under continuous cultivation) or ‘paravati’ (less uncultivated). This rate was based on three rates depending on the quantity of production: good, average or low. Their average rate of production would be normal and one-third of that amount would be taxed.
Tax assessments were relaxed but no concessions were allowed at the time of collection.
Historian Arvi Smith calls Sher Shah a far-sighted king who not only laid the general road from Calcutta to Peshawar (or Peshawar to Calcutta according to the people of Peshawar) but also provided police with trees, wells and inns for the convenience of travelers. He also decorated it with check posts.
Completing this long journey during his short five-year tenure is an example of his tact and management skills. The British even used the Grand Trunk (GT) Road to establish a cohesive nationwide connection.
About 1700 inns were built and according to Vidya Bhaskar, each inn had separate accommodation and food arrangements for Hindus and Muslims. Every traveler received free food from the government.
There was a population of people around the cabins, farmers used to come there to sell their grain.
“During the reign of Sher Shah, travelers were not afraid to stay in the desert,” Erali was quoted as saying. They camped at night, deserted or uninhabited, without fear: they left their belongings in the field, left their mules to graze, and slept comfortably and carefree, as if they were in their own house and landlord. The authorities in the area kept an eye on the passengers for fear that they would be harmed and that they would be harmed or arrested.
Authorities were held accountable for crimes committed in their area and were personally obligated to compensate victims.
Abbas Khan Sarwani explains that the duties of the ‘Muqaddam’ (head) of the village went far beyond the management of the village finances. He was held accountable for any crime committed in or around his village. In cases of passenger theft or murder, they were required to present criminals and stolen goods.
Referring to this strict principle, Sarwani wrote that “even an old and feeble woman could travel with a basket of jewels on her head and no thief or looter could approach her for fear of punishment of Sher Shah.” ? ‘
Irfan Habib calls it a ‘rough and ready’ system of maintaining law and order, which was continued by the Mughals.
Book, Sher Shah Soori
Paise Ka Baap ‘Father of Money’
Sher Shah was completely pragmatic. Free trade began between the various provinces of the empire, as the Israelis tell us, “prosperity came with peace and security.”
He was known as the ‘Father of Money’ and was a mathematician. He used to pay close attention to his father’s estate and then to the management of the empire. He improved the coinage system, and his silver rupee continued to be a standard coin for centuries after him.
Dr. Nowshad Manzar writes: ‘Make gold, silver and copper coins. The 167 gram gold coin was called Ashrafi and the silver coin weighing 175 grams was called rupee. Not only this, the 322 gram copper coins also started in the same period which were called price. In the time of Sher Shah, one rupee was equal to 64 dams.
Sher Shah maintained an effective and honest administration while exemplary punishments were given to the officials who were habitually rude and repeatedly committed crimes.
Eliminate fake recruitments and salaries
Implemented a ‘stain and face’ system in which fake payments were prevented by staining horses and creating a military identification list. This has led to the prevention of corruption by fake recruiting officers and improved the performance of the army.
Whenever possible, Sher Shah personally supervised the ‘stain and face’.
At one point a man tricked the soldiers into trying to get through. He was one of the many people who were forcibly recruited by a chief.
The king became suspicious of the soldier’s cunning. Discover where and who recruited him. The soldier lied that the king himself had recruited him in Manakpur. He may not have known that the officers have detailed records, so the details of Manakpur recruitment are actually available.
Therefore, he was asked to state the date and name of the village when and where he was interviewed. Apparently he failed and apologized to the king.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media, was promised an apology.
Eventually, all the cheaters were caught. The man was pardoned and properly recruited as a soldier.
Coin, Sher Shah Suri
The deception was given on the assumption that two years had passed since the king’s inspection of Manakpur, so the details of the reference would not be available, but the record was still intact and copies in Persian and Hindi.
During a visit, Sher Shah noticed that a rider was clearly looking restless. They told the man to get off his horse. Disturbed by the order, the man fell strangely. The king asked if he was a soldier or just a horse breeder because he did not seem to be good at riding.
He admitted that he was, in fact, only a ‘charvadar’ (horse feeder) and had been paid by an official to become a regular rider. The perpetrator of the fake offer was punished but the man was pardoned.
Sher Shah himself used to fix the wages of old and new recruits. On one such occasion a young man came to them on a high-bred horse. It was a picture of sophistication but Sher Shah set a very low fee for it.
Sheikh Khalil, a Sufi, recommended the young man and said he deserved a better salary.
The king told the young man to draw the bow. He could not pull it so that he could shoot an arrow. This meant that either he was too weak or not trained or he did not know how to do it.
Nevertheless, the Sufi argued that the bow was probably new and stiff and that it could not be pulled properly.
In response, Sher Shah ordered to bring his personal command. It was soft due to regular use in exercise but the man failed to pull it either. Now the Sufi said that it is heavy so there is an obstacle in the examination. So the king allowed him to lighten up, but he failed again.
Sher Shah concluded that examinations should be held to test the aptitude and sincerity of the candidate.
Recruiting incompetents not only compromises the overall strength of the military, but also puts the lives of such individuals at greater risk than usual on the battlefield. Even well-dressed, polite and sociable people can lead to surprising failures.
Thus the king emphasized that the suitability of the candidate is a very important factor. For example, beautiful looking lips are not necessary for good speech but they can be absolutely indispensable if one has to sell gauze.
Sher Shah Soori
Specialization in administration and politics
Sher Shah’s reforms are a testament to his expertise in administration and politics. Enthusiasm was an important element of his style of governing, which combined with his ability to generate energy. Positive energy. Sher Shah Suri said that a person with authority should always be diligent and active.
‘Workers’ (clerks), faces (keepers of detailed lists), horsemen (in-charge of stables), pheasants (in-charge of elephants), treasurers (treasurers)’ s equipment, rifles (weapons) The posts of Administrator), Kotwal (Law and Order Officer), Shaqdar (Officer-in-Charge of a Unit of Administration) and Munsif (Judge of a Unit of Administration) etc. were established for good management. Shaqdar Shaqdar and Judges were appointed for high level review and supervision of subordinates.
Vidya Bhaskar has written that Sher Shah said that it is the duty of the king to ensure that his ministers and officials are not dishonest, that all the officers who take and give bribes are not fit to be employed. I hate to see someone close to me who takes bribes.
Sher Shah Suri was responsible for providing better facilities to the people as well as giving them justice. That is why a department called Diwan-e-Qaza was set up to provide legal aid to the people with their problems so that justice could be done to the people.
Tomb of Sher Shah Suri in the Indian state of Bihar
Easy tax system
Sher Shah also took the initiative to fix the revenue system during his tenure. They decided to levy a border tax on the goods used by the business and a tax at the point of sale, simplifying the diverse and troublesome collection system.
While this relieved the business community from having to pay different taxes, it did benefit the people by making things cheaper and also helped to improve the business system.
Sher Shah Suri respected writers and intellectuals. Malik Mohammad Jaisi’s famous contemporary book ‘Padmavat’ came to light at the same time. In addition, many important books were published during this period.
Religious tolerance & harmoney
Dr. Manzar praises Sher Shah’s religious tolerance in such a way that ‘Sher Shah Suri also did the work of measuring lands in his time. For this he enlisted the special help of Hindu Brahmins.
During his tenure, people of Hindu religion held many important positions. Even Brahma Jeet Gaur was Sher Shah’s most worthy commander.
Historian Kalka Ranjan Qanun Go wrote that during the reign of Sher Shah, Hindus were not discriminated against or hated, they had the same respect as other people ie Muslims. Was
During the siege of a fort on May 22, 1545, Sher Shah could not recover from his gunshot wounds, thus ending a short but great era.
Columnist Irfan Hussain wrote long ago that “we have become so accustomed to associating the British with the early ideas of good governance in India that we overlook the fair and good governance of this very determined ruler.”
Sher Shah proved that he was one of the most successful rulers in the long and tainted history of India. Only five years of government, but almost five centuries ago, set the standard of governance that in the period that followed, despite the progress of mankind, failed miserably to reach it.
His opponent Mughal emperor Humayun called him ‘Ustad Badshahan’ or teacher of kings. According to Arvi Smith, Humayun’s son Mughal Emperor Akbar laid the foundations of his rule on Sher Shah’s policies and achieved great success.
In her book, If History Teaches Us Something, Farhat Nasreen writes that although Sher Shah’s reign lasted only a few years, it had a lasting effect on the Indian administrative system.