Monday, November 30, 2015

Sher Shah Suri was a Pashto speaker

 Sher Khan (r. 1540-1545) spoke Pashto and had much affection for it. Abbas Khan Sarwani, the author of Tarikh-i-Sher Khani (Sarwani c. 1586) writes that when his grandfather Shaykh Bayazid came to Sher Khan, the latter said in the Afghan language Shaykha Nazgha Bughu (O Shaykh embrace me)" (p. 124). He also used to put questions to newly recruited Afghans in their native tongue and 'whoever replied in chaste language was asked to draw a bow and if he did it properly, he was given a higher salary than the rest. He said: "The Afghan tongue is dear to me" (Sarwani 163).