Monday, August 18, 2014

Sher Shah Sur شیر شاه سور


The Portrait on right is that of Sher Shah Sur from 1570's manuscript "Tarikh-i Khandan-i Timuriya" written by an anonymous author (used by Annette Beveridge in the English translation of Humayun-nama of Gulbadan Begam)


A distinguished nobleman and foster brother of Akbar, Mirza Aziz Koka praise Sher Shah Sur in a 1611's letter written to Emperor Jahangir as;
"Sher Shah Afghan, who was not a 'malak' (angel) but a 'malik' (king), established such a stable government that his memory is still alive. He turned Hindustan into a garden and the kings of Iran and Turan developed a desire to see it. Hazrat Arsh Asyani (Akbar Badshah) continued Sher Shah's regulations for fifty years without changing them". [Maktubat-i-Khan-i-Khanan wa Gwaliornama as quoted by Iqtidar Husain Sidiqqui]

In one of his farmans Sher Shah Sur said, "If the insufficiency of rain destroys the crops of the year , it is necessary that the poor should be helped with money from the treasury so that as far as the resources of the state permit they might be saved from the whirlpool of destruction". ["Some aspects of Muslim administration", R.P.Tripathi, pp-305-306]

"The difference between Sher Shah and other great rulers of Upper India was that he was capable of doing all his work himself , with the requisite personal knowledge of the details of both civil and military administration - a knowledge he deliberately acquired in his youth. He was never obliged to trust to , or lean upon, others for details, was his own Commander-in-Chief, his own Prime Minister, his own Controller of Customs and Revenue , his own treasurer, his own Minister of Agriculture and Public Works, his own Master of the Mint and his own Provincial Governor of the very many miniature districts he set up" [Sir Richard C.Temple, 1922]

It is the most important fact that Sher Shah Sur gave order to use nagri script in his coins and farmans when the Arabic script was familiar in Hindustan. The re-use of nagri script on the coins especially on the silver coins of Surs had a historic significance. His attempt to re-introduce the nagri script appears to win the good-will of Hindu masses. Sher Shah's silver coin to which he gave Sanskrit appellation of rupaiya originated from the Sanskrit word rupahli also showed his efforts to reconcile with the Hindu subjects of his state. It has been found a stone inscription in Persian with the translation in Sanskrit belongs to the region of Sher Shah. It Shows that government issued public proclamation in the Persian, the official language of the state, its Sanskrit translation was given side Communication and Surveillance in India by side for the convenience of Hindu subjects. It means that Hindi was also patronized on the state level. ["The Origin and Development of Sylheti Nagari", A.H.Dani]