Akbar-Brief Life Sketch
Akbar-Brief Life Sketch
Akbar-Brief Life Sketch
Akbar was the third Mughal Emperor. His full name was Abul Fateh Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar. He was born on 15 October 1542 in a place called Amarkot in Sindh province. His father was the second Mughal emperor Humayun and his mother was Hamida Banu Begum. After the death of his father Humayun in 1556, Akbar ascended the Mughal throne at the age of 14. For the first four years of his life, Bairam Khan, a loyal follower of Humayun, ruled the Mugal Empire as the guardian of Akbar. Within two years of Akbar’s reign, Himu, the general of Adil Shah, one of the successors of the Afghan king Shershah, invaded Akbar’s kingdom. Bairam Khan defeated Himu and killed him. This battle is known as the ‘Second Battle of the Panipath’. As a result of this war, the next chapter in the history of India was determined and the foundation of the Mughal Empire in India was strengthened. Akbar established his capital at Agra on the banks of the river Jamuna. By 1560, Akbar had conquered Ajmer, Gwalior and Jaunpur, respectively and expanded and strengthened the Mughal Empire. At that time, Bairam Khan seemed to be arbitrary, so Akbar deposed him and took over the power of the Mughal Empire in 1560 AD. After a long period of nearly 40 years of military might and diplomatic foresight, Akbar conquered many Indian kingdoms and became the ruler of a vast empire. Emperor Akbar’s empire extended to Kabul-Kashmir in the north, Indus-Baluchistan in the west, Bengal-Orissa in the east and Ahmednagar in the south.
To facilitate his rule, Akbar divided his empire into 15 provinces or sub-divisions and divided them into districts, Parganas and village panchayats. This system remained almost unchanged during British rule. The skill and foresight that Akbar showed in the formation of a united army, civil administration, religion and social reform almost 450 years ago today has been highly praised by historians. Apart from this, Akbar’s system of governance was also significant in terms of revenue reform such as land survey, division of agricultural land according to fertility and determination of revenue rate. In this context, the intelligence and foresight of his minister Todaramal is also noteworthy.
Akbar was a contemporary of progressive statesmen such as Queen Elizabeth of England, the Persian Emperor Abbass the Great and the French Emperor Henry IV. Akbar was illiterate though he had a strong interest in education. The royal court of this emperor, which was fond of art and literature, was attended by scholars and historians such as Abdul Fal, poet Faizi, singer Tansen, musicologist Raj Bahadur, and Birbal. In addition to many Sanskrit texts being translated into Persian in Akbar’s day, Abdul Fazle also wrote a number of reliable chronicles entitled ‘Ain-e-Akbari’ and ‘Akbarnama’.
Akbar’s religious view was liberal. As a witness to the great religious renaissance in India in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a religious curiosity was aroused in Akbar’s mind. To this end, he established ‘Ibadatkhana’ in Fatehpur Sikri and regularly held religious discussions with scholars of various sects such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Jainism. Akbar was much impacted by those religious discussions and in 1582 he gave birth to a new religion called ‘Din-e-Ilahi’. His aim was to unite Indians by means of his religion, although Akbar’s attempt was unsuccessful. He abolished the pilgrimage tax, jijiya tax, etc. which were imposed upon the Hindus by the previous Muslim rulers.
Towards the end of his life, Akbar suffered a great deal of grief and emotional distress. His son Selim (later Emperor Jahangir) rebelled against him. Akbar suppressed the revolt. He was also saddened by the untimely death of his two sons, Murad and Daniel. In addition, the assassination of his Chief Secretary Abul Fazal and the death of the poet Faizi also caused special grief for Akar in his old age. Akbar died on 17 October 1605 in Agra.
Akbar’s secular and liberal principles, good relations between the rulers and the ruled, good governance etc. ushered in a new chapter in the history of India. Akbar’s foresight and talent in various fields of state expansion and governance are still recognized as the best. 0 0 0
N.B. The article ‘Akbar-Brief Life Sketch’ originally belongs to the book ‘Introduction to World Personalities‘ by Menonim Menonimus. Akbar-Brief Life Sketch
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