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The biggest long term impact of Akbar and his rule relates to religious tolerance and diversity. I agree with #2 in the way that we can relate India today, with its plethora of peoples and religions, to the policies of Akbar and the way that he championed religious tolerance.
In the short term, his main effect was to increase the size of the Mughal Empire by a great deal. In the longer term, there are those who think that Akbar's religious and ethnic tolerance was a major factor in creating the India of today with its many ethnic groups and (relatively speaking) tolerant society.
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