A Page from History :- “Tyranny is unlawful in everyone, especially in a sovereign who is the guardian of his public.”

One day prince Adil Khan Sur son of Sher Shah, while riding an elephant through the streets of Agra, happened to look over a crumbled compound wall where he saw a lady (wife of a Mahajan) undressed and bathing. Smitten at the scene, he threw a Bira of Pan (Betel leaf) upon her and passed on.

While the chaste woman ,got so aggrieved at the thought that her honour was compromised, tried to kill herself, but was prevented , upon inquiry she narrated the whole episode to her husband. The Husband took the Bira of Pan and went to the court to lodge a complaint with the King Sher Shah. Sher Shah upon hearing the mishap , got enraged and summoned Adil Khan and after investigations, got convinced of the truth.


He decreed that the principle of retaliation should be enforced. Accordingly it was directed that the husband of the aggrieved woman, seated on an elephant, should pass through the street and see the prince’s wife in the same manner. Undressed and bathing. Everyone was staggered to hear the judgment. Great hullabaloo prevailed in the court at the prospect of a female member of Royal Harem being thus publicly dishonored. The courtiers and wazirs tried in vain to mollify Sher Shah but he was inflexible. He said that the accused happens to be a Kings son , is no reason why his guilt should be passed over with impunity.

Ultimately the complainant, seeing that his honour had been sufficiently vindicated, declared that he was fine with the justice by the King and thereby withdrew his complaint. Sher Shah believed, “Tyranny is unlawful in everyone, especially in a sovereign who is the guardian of his public.”

Tareekh i Sher Shahi – Abbas Khan Sarvaani
Khulasat al Tawareekh – Sujah Rai Bhandar
• Agra, Historical & Descriptive: Muḥammad Laṭīf Syed
Emperors of the Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Mughals – Abraham Eraly

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Khalid Bin Umar

Khalid Bin Umar is a history buff, a voracious reader of history and literature with an interest in heritage, Sufism and biographies. Endowed with command over languages he loves to explore and write primarily on the micro historical accounts.

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