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Battle of Plassey: Witnessing the fall of last Nawab

Published : Thursday, 24 June, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 461
Alaul Alam

Battle of Plassey: Witnessing the fall of last Nawab

Battle of Plassey: Witnessing the fall of last Nawab

Very few battles in the history are as remarkable as the Battle of Plassey for its heart-touching pathos along with a tale of treacheries to the fullest brim.  Probably in the history, it appears as the single war where the indigenous spirit of many betrays for the petty personal interests tarnishing patriotic zeal to sell their motherland to the British East India Company.

The main plot of the tale evolved round the last Nawab of Bengal, Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula.  

Treachery not only was prevalent in the battle field, mostly it started as soon as Nawab Alivardi Khan declared his most adoring grandchild Mirza Muhammad Siraj-ud-Daula his next heir of kingship in the Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

After the expiry of Alivardi Khan, Siraj-ud-Daulah ascended to the throne in 1756 which made many in the royal family a matter of bad tooth leading them to be engaged in intrigues thinking that their all plots to fill up their personal wellbeing by growing ill intention might be shattered. The mentionable are Ghaseti Begum, the sister of Siraj's mother by blood and her son Shawkat Jung.

This heart aching of Ghaseti Begum was fueled when Mir Jafar, the army commander of Nawab Sirajud-Daulah and other courtiers like Jagat Seth, Umichand, Raja Raj Ballav in the same flock gave vent to conspiring behind her nephew's back and they left no stone unturned out of jealousy, luster and high ambition.

Historians added the plots of dethroning Nawab Sirajud-Daulah was not the British but the Indian scheme as British had hardly any role in the development of conspiracy that had been sheer out of internal crisis of Bengal.

Among the native defaulters, the most heinous was Mir Jafar Ali Khan, the army chief of Nawab Sirajud-Daulah whose very name conforms him as the worst betrayer in the South Asian country.

Shakespeare sketched a high ambitious character in the drama "Doctor Faustus" where we find Mr Faustus laden with sky high ambition which could not but tempt to sell his soul to Lucifer, the agent of the hell.  The same case we find happening for the snake like person Mir Jafar who could not but be tempted to being the Nawab of Bengal selling the motherland to the foreign intruders.

In fact the treacheries against Nawab surged in many folds when the East India Company with a hope to reigning over the whole India to establish their unique dominance in trade and commerce reinforced the native conspirers to oust Nawab as the patriotic Nawab Sirajud-Daulah declined upon the British grossly abusing the trade privileges incurring huge loss of revenue for the country.   

In addition to that, the East India Company strengthened the fortification around the Fort William without Nawab's approval and gave shelter to Krishna Das, son of Raj Ballav who fled Dhaka after misappropriating government funds as a part of plot of turning down Siraj-ud-Daulah.

However, tension mounted among the conspirators when Nawab destroyed the British fort marching towards Calcutta and named Calcutta Alinager after capturing it.  But under the leadership of Colonel Robert Clive and Admiral Charles Watson, the British recaptured Calcutta in January, 1757.

Out of sheer community interest, in an attempt to expand their trade and business, the British showed  cruel colonial attitudes stained with Machiavellian theory that fair or foul one must need to be prosperous that turned  our country a land of destitution .

The conspiracy and treachery went on unabated leading to the Battle of Plassey. Finally on 23 June, 1757 Lord Clive appeared with his European force of 3,000 and Sepoy troops and a much smaller force of artillery compared noticeably scanty in number with the Nawab's soldiers of 50,000, whose two-thirds infantry.

Mir Jafar, the army chief of Nawab, played as the most astounding betrayer in the battle field standing without any move with around one-third of the Bengali army, despite pleas from the Nawab. The British to be fortunate by the native unpatriotic treasons took the control of the Plassey with three thousand troops when the native treacherous were playing the last game suggesting Nawab to postpone the battle for the nightfall and invited Clive to take the chance breaking the war ethics, thus consequently we were defeated by the plotting of our heinous betrayers.

The historians orated that Clive's bigger plan of putting his own man on the throne of Murshidabad could have never been accomplished had the entire army of Siraj engaged in battle at Plassey  and the treacherous people like Mir Jafor , YarLutuf Khan, JagatSeths (Mahtab Chand and Swarup Chand), Umichand and Rai Durlabhwere  not born in Bengal.  

However, it made the last Nawab of Bengal dethroned with the people of Bangla experiencing two hundred years of confines and tortures under the East India Company ---the power of supremacy where Mir Jafar Ali Khan became the puppet Nawab.

Finally, the Bengal paradise was lost and defeated undergoing a long tragic tale due to the treacheries inside and outside of the Nawabship that we again could regain after 214 years in 1971 through the emerging of Bangladesh under the great leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The writer is a teacher
at Prime University and research
scholar at the IBS





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