Raja Todar Mal
Todar Mal was born in a small district of Uttar Pradesh. He probably belonged to a Vaishya (businessman) family.
Early career: Raja Todar Mal began his career in the service of Sher Shah Suri under whose guidance he gained valuable experience in the management of revenue affairs.
Next he served under Muzaffar Khan Turbati, the first finance minister of Akbar and helped him to organize the newly conquered Mughal provinces.
Great financial expert: When Akbar conquered Gujarat in 1573 he sent Todar Mal to organize the revenue settlement of the province. The excellent work he did there established his reputation as a great financial expert.
Military command: He was then called upon to assume military command and he played a conspicuous part in the conquest of Bengal and in the suppression of a subsequent revolt there.
Finance Minister: Akbar recognized his merit by promoting him to the position of Wazir and Finance Minister and making him a mansabdar of 7000, a position reserved only for the members of the royal family.
Achievement: But the greatest achievement of Todar Mal was his famous revenue settlement of the empire which has since remained the foundation of Indian land revenue policy.
Under his instructions the revenue accounts were kept in the Persian language and script. The Hindus had thus to learn Persian and this enabled them to qualify themselves for higher government service.
Praised by Abul Fazl: Great as a financier and solider Todar Mal was equally noted for his honesty. Abul Fazl speaks of him in terms of unreserved praise. There is no doubt that he was one of the ablest and most upright of Akbar’s officers.