Administration of Sher Shah Suri

In Shershah, we find a benevolent autocrat.  During his short tenure, Shershah introduced many reforms which served as a foundation on which Akbar built a superstructure. Administration of Sher Shah Suri has been thus greatly appreciated.

Sarkars and Parganas

The first five year of Sher Shah’s administration were used in setting up a new template for civil administration in India. He divided the entire Kingdom in 47 divisions and called them “Sarkars”. These Sarkars were divided into Parganas. Every Pargana was under a Shikqdar, who looked into the law and order of his Pargana. At Pargana Level:

  • Munsifswere appointed to collect the revenue.
  • Amir was to hear the Civil Cases
  • Qazi or Mir-i-adal was to hear the criminal cases.
  • Muqqadams were to chase and arrest the culprits, and if they failed to do so, were liable to get punished.

India’s First Rupia

  • The first Rupee (Silver coin) was introduced by Sher Shah and was called “Rupia” which remained in use throughout the Mughal rule.
  • He issued copper coins which were called DamHalf Dam and quarter Dam as per the denomination.

Raja Todar Mal and Land measurement

Todar mal Khatri, prior to become a celebrity under the reigns of Akbar as Raja Todar Mal was groomed in Sher Shah’s administration. Whether, he did any finance and revenue related works with Sher Shah is not clear, but it is believed that he acquired considerable experience in revenue affairs.

  • The land was measured and for this measurement Sikandari Gaj was used which was equivalent to 39 inches. The Sikandari Gaj was introduced by Sikandar Lodi.

Taxes, Revenue and Lands

  • The Patta system was introduced during the reign of Sher Shah, where the area sown, types of crops cultivated and revenue share was written on a Paper.
  • He introduced direct remittances of the taxes to the Central Government so that the taxpayers are saved from any exploitation by the middle officers.
  • Jagir system was discouraged and a new arrangement Qabuliyat was introduced. Qabuliyat was a deed of agreement between the peasant and government.
  • The survey charge was fixed at 2.5% that was calledJaribana and the collection charge was fixed at 5% that was known as Muhasilans.

Infrastructure: Sadak-i-Azam

A major road running across the Gangetic plain was built by Sher Shah for administrative and military reasons.This “Sadak-i-Azam” was the precursor of the Grand Trunk Rood. This Road was initially built by Sher Shah to connect Agra to Sasaram, that was his home town. It was extended to Multan in west and Sonargaon in West. (Sonargaon is now in Bagladesh). This road is one of the greatest legacies of Shershah. During the Mughal era, this Sadak-i-Azam extended till Kabul. The same road was improved by the British and renamed as Grand Trunk Road that ran between Calcutta to Peshawar.

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  • madhu

    very nice answer and i belive it will help others

  • Dilip

    Excellent info about him! Thanks.

  • Pooja S

    muqqadams are village heads,they are also designated to chase culprits who rob merchants and travellers

  • Peerzada Tawseer

    Excellent work done
    keep it up. and please send me PDF’s related to current affairs