As an administrator, Akbar was second to none among the Muslim rulers of India. The basic principles on which his administration rested were nationalism, liberalism, and impartiality. He abandoned the traditional Muslim policy of the administration and ruled the country on several sound principles. According to him, the state being a secular institution should not spend on religious foundations. To him, religion is purely a personal matter and it has nothing to do with the state administration. That is why Akbar did not allow the Ulemas or the orthodox Muslims to interfere in politics.

Akbar’s administration was completely impartial. All subjects irrespective of their different religious background were treated equally. Akbar gave appointments to the people based on their merit and talent but not based on their religion. Raja Man Singh, Raja Todar Mal, and Birbal being Hindus enjoyed high offices during Akbar’s rule. His administration presented a national color. These had made the foundation of his government very strong and stable.

Abul Fazl’s Ain-i-Akbari gives a detailed account of his administration. However in brief it could be said that his administrative arrangement was known as Mansabdari System. Officers of different categories were in this system. High officials were Dewan, Mir Bakshi, Khan-i-Jahan, and Sadar-i-Sadar. Akbar divided his empire into 15 Subas (provinces) and each Suba was under the charge of a Subedar. Different departments such as military, judicial, and revenue performed their duties well.

Akbar’s revenue administration was a continuation administration of that of Sher Shah. But it had received a sea change by the Todar Mal’s Bandobast System. It was in fact a very popular measure in the direction of Land-settlement. Some of his other measures were also very popular. The liberality and utility of his administration were enjoyed by each Indian.

Akbar: the Centre of Administration

Akbar: The Third Mughal Emperor

Akbar was one of the greatest monarchs of the world. The time of Akbar like the Elizabethan era of Great Britain was also a glorious epoch in the history of India. He was a great conqueror and was the second or real founder of the Mughal Empire. He saved the Mughal rule at Delhi which had gone to the hands of the Afghans with the death of his father Humayun. In a crucial battle against Hemu, he had to exhibit tremendous courage and the ability to re-occupy the throne of Delhi.

After that, he had not looked back. As a conqueror of high repute, he had conquered almost a major part of the country to his credit. His empire extended from the Himalayas in the north to the Vindhyas in the south and from the Hindu Kush in the west to the river Brahmaputra in the east.

As an administrator, he excelled at all the Muslim rulers of the history of India. Alauddin Khilji and Sher Shah may be compared with him as administrators of high repute. His military, economic and revenue administration was out and out excellent. He brought a drastic change by introducing the Mansabdari System in administration. His Land revenue system under the able guidance of his revenue minister Todar Mai was a milestone. As a far-sighted administrator, he looked into the interest of the people of all communities.

His Rajput policy was an act of clever statesmanship. He knew without the support of the Rajput’s dream of a vast and prolonged empire could not be materialized. He made Rajput’s his friends instead of his enemies.

His real greatness was seen in his religious achievements. In a land of multi-religions like India, he adopted a liberal policy and allowed the people of all religions to profess their faith independently. He abolished certain objectionable taxes like Jaziya and pilgrim tax imposed on Hindus.

He respected the saints of the religions and invited them to his Ibadat Khana for religious discourses. To Hindus, he was a great liberal. To him, the Hindus and Muslims were the sons of the same soil and children of the same God. They were given equal status before the law, equal rights in administration, and equal freedom in matters of religion.

Akbar was far away from the narrow circles of his time. Through his Din-i-Ilahi, he thought of establishing spiritual unity among the people of different communities of India. Though he did not succeed in his mission his attempt for spiritual unity among the people of India was a praiseworthy step. Akbar was a great patron of learning and had men like Abul Fazl, Faizi, Todar Mal, Birbal, Man Singh, and Tansen at his court. He himself though illiterate had developed a tremendous passion for learning in association with the wise men.

He was also a patron of art and architecture. He laid the foundation of many majestic edifices. He was a great conqueror, administrator, diplomat, and statesman of high repute. He was also a lovable husband, an affectionate father, and an obedient son. Above all, he was one of the greatest monarchs of history.