Sher Shah Suri, “The Lion King”, founder of the Suri Dynasty, was born in 1472 in Punjab. His original name was Farid. He was the son of a petty Afghan Jagirdar. Ill-treated by his stepmother, he left home at an early age. He went to Jaunpur where he set himself to serious study and there he acquired good command over the Arabic and Persian languages. Because of his abilities, he was soon appointed by his father to manage the family Jagir. But again because of his stepmother, he left his father’s Jagir and went to Bihar where he later joined the service of Babur.
Seeing the weaknesses in the Mughal rule and military organization, Sher Shah took advantage of the problems faced by Humayun. Eventually he managed to overthrow the Mughal rulers. His reign barely spanned five years, but is a landmark in the history of the Sub-continent. With his deep knowledge and practical experience, he made many brilliant additions and improvements to the existent system. Sher Shah was a capable military and civilian administrator. He set up reforms in various areas. Akbar later built on these reforms and extended them further. Many of these reforms pertained to the army, but the principal reforms for which he is remembered are those connected with revenue administration. Numerous civil works were carried out during his short reign.
Sher Shah ruled for a short period of five years in which he not only consolidated his power but also brought about important reforms. He died in 1545 from a gunpowder explosion. He was a practical and farsighted ruler who was way ahead of his contemporaries. He is remembered in history for the numerous reforms that he undertook to strengthen the government. He was in truth the greatest ruler that sat upon the throne of Delhi.
This article was last updated on Sunday, June 01, 2003