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Character of Akbar (Mughal Emperor)

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The character of Akbar was that of a gentleman. Mughal Emperor Akbar, also known as Akbar the great, was a dutiful son, an indulgent brother and father and a loving husband.

His character was that of a faithful friends and he did everything to advance their interest. On the death of his intimate friend, Abul Fazl, Akbar wept bitterly and refused to touch food for two days. Although polygamous like other princes, he was thoroughly devoted to his wives. He had faith in human nature and considered it his duty to protect the poor and the helpless.

Mughal King Akbar used to wear a surcoat or tunic which came down to his knees. It was made of silk and interwoven with gold thread, decorated with embroidered patterns of flowers and foliage and fastened by a large clasp. His turban was so rolled up as to combine Hindu and Muslim styles. It was decorated with costly pearls and other gems. His trousers came down to his heels and were fastened by knots of pearls. As was the fashion of the time, he had always a dagger in his girdle.

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Also read: Biography of Akbar the Great (Mughal Emperor)

Extremely moderate in his diet, Akbar did not touch meat for more than nine months in the year. In his early days, however, he used to eat meat every day. Even then he was not fond of it. In his later years he gave up meat diet almost altogether. Akbar’s habit was to take one substantial meal a day but his menu consisted of a large number of dishes. He drank wine whenever he liked, though very sparingly indeed. But he was fond of fruit which he looked upon as a gift from Nature. A large variety was produced in the country under his direction and patronage.

Akbar had a religious character. Sometimes he was assailed by doubt, to remove which he would spend days and nights in study, thought and discussion with learned men.

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Also read: Religious Policy of Akbar

Akbar also displayed the strength of his character as a great soldier and general. Akbar was possessed of extraordinary courage and bodily strength. His uncommon power of endurance enabled him to defy inclemency of weather and other physical hardship to which most men succumb. Gifted with originality, organizing ability of a high order and a magnetic personality, he could easily enforce discipline among his troops and lead them on to success. His was, therefore, a career of unbroken victories. His army was almost perfect in organization, and he had made use of a system of warfare that was well-suited to the genius of our people and to the age in which he lived.

Akbar was the first ruler in Medieval India to  lay down the principle that the king was the father of all his people irrespective of caste, race or religion. He thus revived the ancient Hindu ideal and made a conscious effort to bridge the gulf between the ruler and the ruled. He saw the vision of a united India and worked hard to translate it into a reality. He was not satisfied with mere political unity, but desired to strengthen it by cultural, social and economic unity and, if possible, also by religious uniformity. No monarch in that age was inspired by more lofty ideals.

Akbar was a great both as a administrator and as a statesman. He was a constructive genius and possessed the rare gift of combining the knowledge of broad original principles of administration with a mastery over minute details of various departments of government. He had the ability of introducing new administrative devices congenial to the genius of the people and suitable for the emergency. Akbar abolition of the hated taxes like the pilgrims’ tax and the jiziya. Only a ruler of extraordinary ability and strength of character could have thought granting a complete religious toleration and equality of status to all religions.

Also read: Achievements of Akbar

In short, the character of Akbar was that of a very wise and courageous ruler and statesman who transformed the very basis of his government to suit the circumstances of the age and the welfare of all his subjects.

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