For a 16th century conqueror, Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar—who ruled most of northern India and Afghanistan between 1556 and 1605—was surprisingly tolerant of his subjects.
Akbar, an orthodox Muslim, won Hindu hearts and minds by repealing two taxes, including the jizya, a tax on non-Muslim religious pilgrimages that Hindus had resented for years. He also applied an existing land tax more equitably, requiring nobles to pay tribute as well as working stiffs.
Considered by both Eastern and Western historians as one of the most enlightened rulers of medieval times, Akbar provides a model of benevolent.
-- Adapted from The Mughal Throne: The Saga of India’s Great Rulers, Abraham Eraly, Phoenix.
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