Dr Meera Singh writes: “…. Sher Shah, in spite of his just and benevolent rule, primarily remained at best the builder of the second Afghan empire. He did not modify the Afghan principle of kingship as a tribal property. While he did centralize the admin­istration, he failed to alter the fundamental image of the Afghan monarchy and to that extent Akbar had to begin from the beginning.

“While Sher Shah showed no militancy towards the Hindus, his religious tolerance remained passive and lacked the moral and intellectual fervour of Akbar. If he did not persecute the Hindus, it was because he was tolerant by nature. Politically, how­ever, he continued to impose jiziya and legally the Hindus enjoyed an inferior status in the society.

There was no deliberate attempt to share power with the Hindus or the Rajputs. In this sense, he did not anticipate Akbar who by temperament was endowed with a horizon far broader. In that sense, it is Akbar who is rightly claimed as a national leader.

“Sher Shah, however, did anticipate Akbar in the field of administration; especially in the depart­ments of finance, land revenue and army, his reforms provided the basis for Akbar. Moreover, Sher Shah’s genuine concern for the welfare of the peasants proved to be a constant reminder and incentive to Akbar that it was the foremost duty of the ruler to look after his subjects and that the interests of the state and the people were synonymous.”

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