Lad Malika was the first wife of Sher Shah Suri, who had defeated Mughal Emperor Humayun to bring an end to the dominance of the Mughal Empire and become the founder of Suri Empire in India in 1540 before his expiry in an accident five years later.
According to the SemiMyth Entertainment, a company with a focus on deep strategic gameplay and well-researched history, there were a number of reasons behind Suri’s successful reign and one of those was Lad Malika. She was a woman of great sagacity and wisdom, and someone who possessed the talent for governance.
She was earlier married to Taj Khan. The duo had ruled their own little fiefdom around the Chunar Fort. They had hired few Central Asian generals and managed their affairs well. However, they were still a small fish in a sea of growing sharks.
Taj, however, had a problem. He had preferred Lad Malika over his other wives and sons. His oldest son, being unhappy with the discrimination, had attacked Lad Malika with his sword. Taj had tried to defend his wife and was struck, and later died from the wound.
Subsequently, there was a succession crisis in the little kingdom. The sons of Taj had not earned loyalty from anyone in the military while Lad Malika, who was well versed in the art of politics, had earned the loyalty of the generals.
Then Suri, being a powerful ruler in the region, had offered her protection and the opportunity to continue ruling the fort on her own. Suri and Lad Malika had also allowed the heirs and other wives of Taj to live and move on peacefully, with the exception of the oldest son who had killed his father. While accepting the marriage proposal, Lad Malika had given a handsome dowry to Suri, which was essential for funding his Afghan alliance and campaigns against Bengal and Bihar.
Malika is a prime example of a woman taking principal roles within the empires. The history has seen women taking roles outside of servitude and having the ability to rule successfully.