Nearly all historians have talked very high about Babur’s personality and character.
In the words of Lane-Poole,
“Babur is perhaps the most captivating personality in oriental history”.
Likewise Dr. V.S. Smith observes, “He is the most brilliant Asiatic prince of his age and worth of a high place among the sovereigns of any age or country”.
Founder of the Mughal empire:
Babur conquered a significant part of India. He made Delhi his capital. He won three important battles in India. With his victory in the Battle of Panipat, he captured the throne of Delhi-a throne coveted by every important ruler of India. With this, he gave a severe blow to the power of the Afghans.
With the victories in the battle of Khanwa and Battle of Chanderi, he destroyed the power of the Rajputs. His victory at Ghagara crushed the remaining power of the Afghans. He, thus succeeded in laying down the foundation of the Mughal empire in India that had the longest period of survival in India.
As a general:
He was never discouraged by defeats. In grave crisis and heat of battle, he was calm and resourceful. He knew the art of using several tactics and strategies in war.
As a diplomat:
In India, he successfully maintained a balance among his Mughal, Afghan and Indian nobles.
As a soldier:
Babur was fearless in battles. He was a fine fencer, good archer and superb horseman.
As a physically strong man:
He was a very strong man and could run on a rampart holding two men in his arms. He swam across several rivers in India. He could ride a horse for eighty miles without any break.
As an emotional speaker:
In the Battle of Khanwa when his soldiers had lost courage, his emotional appeal to them worked wonders for them. They fought valiantly and won.
As a scholar:
Babur was a scholarly king. His command over Turki language assigns him a place in the world of scholars. Babur also possessed good knowledge of Arabic and Persian. His Tuzki-Babri or Baburnama (Memoirs) ranks among the best autobiographies of the world. His collection of poems in Turki called the Diwan is also considered as one of the best contemporary poetic works.
As a builder:
Babur constructed many buildings at Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Bayana and Dholpur. He planted several gardens of fruits and flowers. In his Memoirs Babur wrote, “Six hundred and eighty labourers used to work everyday on my buildings at Agra while 1941 stone cutters worked everyday on my buildings at Sikri, Bian, Dhaulpur, Gwalior and Kol (Aligarh).”
Affectionate in domestic relations:
In his will he advised his son Humayun, “Do not fight against your brothers even though they may deserve it.” Babur was an obedient son, an affectionate father, reliable friend, lovable husband and a good relative.
Overall qualities of Babur:
According to Prof. Rushbrooke, Babur possessed these eight fundamental qualities: Lofty judgement, noble ambition, the art of victory, the art of government, the art of conferring prosperity upon his people, the talent of ruling mildly the people of God, ability to win the heart of his soldiers and love of justice.
Dark Side of Babur’s Personality:
In his battles of Khanwa and Chanderi with the Rajputs, he invoked the slogan of Jihad (Holy war against the non-Muslims) whereas in the Battle of Panipat with Ibrahim Lodi, he raised no such slogan. He is said to have built a mosque at Ayodhya at the site of a temple dedicated to the birth place of Lord Rama whom Hindus worship as an Avatar (incarnation of God).
Non-identification with India:
In his will, he desired to be buried in his native land at Kabul. This indicates that he did not identify himself with India.
Not an able administrator:
According to Rush Brooke Williams, “Babur is considered as the founder of Mughal” empire not in the capacity of a ruler but rather that of a conqueror.
Personal bad habits:
Babur was fond of drinking. He was a habitual opium taker.