Clive, Mir Jafar and Mir Qasim as Nawab and his Failure UPSC Notes | EduRev

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CLIVE AND MIR JAFAR

  • The victory at Plassey was Clive’s victory over Siraj-ud-Daula and not Mir Jafar’s.
  • He bosted of his victory to everybody and made it his concern to obtain a formal recognition for Mir Jafar from the Mughal emperor using the influence and wealth of Jagat Seth for the purpose.
  • Clive undertook on himself the duty to appoint to responsible offices only to the men who could deliver themselves efficiently.
  • A complication arose when in 1759 the Dutch led an expedition into Bengal.
  • The Dutch, like the British, had considerable commercial transactions in Bengal. They had their factories at places like Patna, Dacca, Pipli, Chinsura and Kalikapur, near Kasimbazar.
  • Their territorial possessions, however, existed only at Baranagaore and Chinsura, with their council established at the latter place.
  • In October 1759, six or seven Dutch vessels from Batavia full of European and Malayan troops arrived at the mouth of the Hooghly.
  • Clive wrote a strong letter to the Nawab asking him to send his son to chastise the Dutch, to which Mir Jafar did not agree.
  • Then the English made necessary preparations, and marched against the Dutch whom they gave a battle on the plains of Bedara, on November 25, 1759. The Dutch were put to a total rout, after which they sued for peace.

The Second Revolution

  • Clive sailed for England in February 1760.
  • After his departure, the governorship was held temporarily be Holwell for a few months.
  • He was relieved by Henry Vansittart in July 1960.
  • The enormous amount exacted by the English as price for Mir Jafar’s elevation to the throne was a serious drain on his treasury.
  • Weaknesses of the Nawab’s administration led to a fall in the collection of land revenue.
  • The abuse in the field of trade, caused chiefly by the illegal practices of the company’s servants, reduced the customs revenue.
  • Unable to settle the company’s demand in cash, Mir Jafar assigned to it some portions of the district of Nadia and Burdwan.
  • Holwell held Mir Jafar responsible for all troubles and advocated his removal from the throne.
  • Holwell found in the Nawab’s son-in-law Mir Qasim a person who could save the situation.
  • Vansittart accepted Holwell’s plan and allowed him to finalise arrangements with Mir Qasim.
  • The result was the treaty of September 27, 1760 with Mir Qasim.
  • Mir Jafar agreed himself to step down in favour of the latter provided he was promised sufficient allowance for his maintenance and safety.
  • Mir Qasim was proclaimed the new Nawab. This was the second revolution in Bengal.
  • Qasim signed a treaty with the English company whereby the latter undertook that if he was raised to the office of Neabut (deputy Nawab), and as successor to the Nawab Mir Jafar, he would remain in firm friendship with the English company.
  • The English army would assist him in the management of all his affairs, while to meet their charges the Nawab would assign to the British the lands of Burdwan, Chittagong and Midnapur.
  • The English also would have the right to purchase one-half of the cement produced at Sylhet for three years.
  • And Mir Qasim is also said to have promised to pay off the arrears due to the English army, to help meet a part of the charges on the Carnatic War and to pay twenty lakh rupees to the members of the Calcutta Council in the shape of presents

MIR QASIM AS NAWAB AND HIS FAILURE

  • Mir Qasim felt urgently the need of introducing reforms in the army so that it should become an effective instrument to deal with the internal and the external dangers.
  • .Internally, there were the refractory chiefs like Raja of Birbhum and Ram Narain, the Deputy Governor of Bihar, who had to be suppressed, and though secretly, the English also whose main object was to make puppets of the Nawabs.
  • Externally, the fear of Shah Alam’s attacks of Maratha incursions and of the nefarious designs of the Nawab Wazir of Oudh towards Bengal was a constant source of anguish.
  • The striking power of the army had to be increased which, however, it was not very safe to do. For the British were bound to grow jealous of any such action.
  • As a first step towards this direction, therefore, he decided to shift his capital to Monghyr which was not only the central place to administer the whole of the province, but also sufficiently distant from Calcutta to give him independence from the British.
  • A factory for the manufacture of guns and fire-locks was established at Monghyr.
  • French and American officers were engaged for the training of his officers, and the whole military department was organised after the European fashion.
  • The Calcutta Council was getting seriously estranged against the Nawab because of his constant refusal to reimpose trade duties on the Indians.
  • They decided to send to him a mission on which they appointed Hay and Amyatt, two of its members who were known for their hostile opinions about the Nawab.
  • Such a mission was doomed to failure. The mission placed its demands before the Nawab in which they demanded that the trade duties should be reimposed on the Indians and the company should be compensated for its losses on this account.
  • It demanded proprietary rights on the three districts ceded to the Company by the 1760 treaty and release of the Seths whom he had imprisoned allegedly for their pro-British attitude.
  • The mission also placed before him the lines which should guide the future relations between his servants and those of the Company.
  • The Nawab not only rejected all these demands, but also detained Hay promising to release him only after one of his own men detained by the Calcutta authorities was freed.
  • This made the matter serious and on getting this information, as the Nawab wrote to Calcutta, Ellis attacked and captured Patna.
  • The Nawab immediately retailiated and sent his men to stop Amyatt also from returning to Calcutta. Fire was exchanged in which Amyatt was killed.
  • The Nawab also sent his troops which re-captured Patna taking Ellis and some other Englishmen as prisoners. And all these developments clinched the issue.

The War

  • The Calcutta Council decided that Mir Qasim should be removed and replaced by Mir Jafar again on the Bengal throne.
  • Negotiations were opened with the latter who had still been enjoying his pension granted him at the time of deposition .
  • The agreement was struck, and Major Adams marched against Monghyr with his army of 1,100 Europeans and 4,000 sepoys, as against 15,000 strong army of the Nawab which met him at Katwah where the first battle between the two armies was fought on 19th July 1763. The British, as usual, were victorious.
  • By 5 September three more battles had been fought successively at Giria, Suti and Udyanala in all of which the Nawab was humbled, and now feeling unsafe at Monghyr he decided to leave for Patna.
  • Reaching Patna, he had several of the English prisoners including Ellis and Hay inhumanly put to death. Walter Rheinhardt a German in his service, who perpetrated this atrocity, earned the title Somru (sombre).
  • Some of his Indian prisoners like Raja Ram Narain and the Seth brothers, Raja Rajballabh and Rayrayan Umid Ray, who were suspected of complicity with the British, were also disposed of by throwing them into the Ganges.
  • By such acts, however, he could not retrieve his sinking fortunes, and he had to flee to seek help from the Nawab-Wazir of Oudh whom he had already written to.
  • Shuja met Mir Qasim in January 1764 and finally committed himself to his cause in March 1764.
  • It was agreed that Mir Qasim would meet the expenses of Shuja’s army at the rate of Rs. 11 lakh per month, cede to him the province of Bihar after his restoration to the throne of Bengal, and pay a sum of Rs. 3 crore on the successful conclusion of the expedition.
  • After some military operations around Patna (May 1764), Shuja took up his residence in the fort of Buxar and spent the rainy season there. Major Carnac, who was initially in charge of the Company’s force sent against Shuja, was unable to deal with the situation satisfactorily.
  • He was replaced by Major Hector Munro who occupied the important fortress of Rohtas (September 1764) and reached Buxar (October 1764) at the head of any army estimated at between 30,000 and 50,000. Here he inflicted complete defeat on Shuja in a pitched battle (October 23, 1764).
  • A part from the basic defects of Shuja’s army, his inefficient management of the operations in the field was responsible for his disaster.

Consequences of Battle of Buxar

  • The Battle of Buxar was the result of Mir Qasim’s alliance with Shuja and is, on that ground, linked with political developments in Bengal.
  • But it did not affect the fortunes of Mir Qasim, for he had cut off his connection with Shuja before Munro’s attack. The impact of the defeat fell exclusively on Shuja. One single blow reduced the most important and influential ruler of North India to dust.
  • He made desperate efforts to continue fighting; but after the occupation of Varanasi, Chunar and Allahabad by the English (November 1764-February 1765) he was deserted by his troops.
  • He became a fugitive, seeking aid and shelter from his hereditary foes the Rohilla and Bangash Afghans as also the Marathas.
  • His two subahs Avadh and Allahabad came under effective English occupation. When all his efforts for renewal of war failed, he sought security in unconditional surrender to the English (May 1765). Shah Alam has already found shelter with the English
  • Buxar was a great victory for the English in the military sense. At Plassey, Siraj-ud-daula’s defeat was due chiefly to the treachery of his own generals. At Buxar, the English emerged victorious without the aid of treachery in Shuja’s camp.
  • Shuja, moreover, was not a foolish and inexperienced young man like Siraj; he was a veteran in war and politics. Victory over such an enemy raised the political prestige of the Company
  • Its ascendancy in Bengal survived the last challenge, and the door was now open for the projection of its influence into the Avadh Allahabad region.
  • Treaty of Allahabad (1765)
  • Clive returned to Calcutta in May 1765 as governor of Bengal for the second time. The problem of the company’s relations with Shuja and Shah Alam awaited solution.
  • Clive made the final settlement through the treaty of Allahabad with Shuja-ud-daula (August 16, 1765).
  • Shuja’s old dominions were restored to him with the exception of Kora and Allahabad which were given to Shah Alam. Balwant Singh of Varanasi, who had assisted the English in the war, was confirmed in possession of his zamindari on condition of paying Shuja the same revenue as before.
  • “Perpetual and universal peace, sincere friendship and firm union” were established between the Company and the Nawab.
  • In case of invasions of the dominions of either party by a third power, the other should help him with a part or the whole of his forces.
  • If the Company’s force were employed in the Nawab’s service, their extraordinary expenses were to be met by him. Nothing, however, was said about the expenses of the Nawab’s troops if they were employed in the Company’s service.
  • He was required to pay a war indemnity of Rs 50 lakh and to allow the Company to trade duty-free in his dominions.
  • The Puppet Nawabs of Bengal
  • After the battle of Buxar, the English recalled their old puppet, Mir Jafar, to the throne of Bengal, who by accepting the English condition of numerically limiting the forces of Bengal, crippled himself militarily.
  • The victory at Buxar and Mir Jafar’s death a few months later (February 1765) completed the establishment of the Company’s power in Bengal.
  • The English selected as his successor his minor son Najm-ud-daula and secured his consent to a treaty (February 1765) which placed the government completely under their control.
  • The Nawab’s position became worse within a few months. Clive, on his return as governor (May 1765), persuaded Najm-ud-daula to make over all the revenues to the Company in lieu of an annual pension of Rs. 50 lakh.
  • On Najm-ud-daula’s death (1766) his minor brother Saif-ud-daula was proclaimed his successor. The new Nawab’s pension was reduced by Rs. 12 lakh.
  • He signed a treaty (1766) by agreeing that the protection of the provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and the force sufficient for that purpose, be left entirely to the Company’s discretion and good management. He died in 1770.
  • His successor was his minor brother Mubarak-ud-daula who had to submit to a further cut of Rs. 10 lakh in his pension.
  • In 1775 the Supreme Court at Calcutta decided that the Nawab was not a sovereign prince; one of the judges referred to him as “a phantom, a man of straw”.

The Dual Government

  • The Nawab of Bengal had two powers to exercise:
  • l The Diwani which included the functions in connection with the departments of revenue and civil justice.
  • l The Nizamat which consisted of criminal justice and military power.
  • When the Mughal power at the centre had not yet declined, the Governors of Bengal enjoyed the powers of Nizamat, while for the Diwani departments, a separate Diwan was appointed by the Emperor himself.
  • When the Governor of Bengal declared his independence, he had assumed both the authorities himself although theoretically the Diwani powers he still held in trust for the Emperor.
  • Evidently, therefore, the Nawab’s parting with his Nizamat authority was a great step towards an ultimate establishment of the British sovereignty in Bengal.

The Acquisition of Diwani

  • Clive secured from Shah Alam an agreement in August 1765 whereby he brought for the Company the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa in lieu of an annual pension of 26 lakh rupees and the districts of Allahabad and Koras already referred to.
  • Thus was the complete authority, Nizamat as well as the Diwani secured by the English in Bengal.
  • Under this system the Nawab continued to handle the actual work of criminal, civil and police administration in lieu of a fixed payment by the Company. But the ultimate authority lay in the hands of the British who were responsible also for the external defence of the country.
  • For the collection of revenues too, the existing administrative machinery was retained although the ultimate revenue authority passed on to the Company itself.
  • This was a government in which responsibility was held by the native administrators while the authority was enjoyed by the British, or in other words authority was completely divorced from responsibility.

Abolition of the Dual Government

  • Everybody was enriching himself at the cost of the Company, but the Company itself fell
  • into debt. The Director thought that the major
  • cause of their decreasing profits was that their revenues were being intercepted in India by the native agents.
  • An effort was therefore made in 1769 to appoint English supervisors over the Indian district officers.
  • This scheme failed and ultimately in 1771 the Directors decided to stand forth as Diwans and take upon themselves the entire responsibility
  • of the management and collection of the Indian revenues. Warren Hastings was appointed for the task.
  • Immediately after his arrival in India, Hastings removed the Naib Diwan from his office and constituted the President and the Council into a Board of Revenue.
  • The treasury was shifted from Mushidabad to Calcutta and the district supervisors were converted into Collectors, the declared duty of the native officers who were now named Diwans, being to assist the Collectors.
  • The judicial machinery of the country was also reorganised. Every district was given a civil court termed as the Diwani Adalat which was to be presided over by the Collector who would be assisted by the Indian district officers.
  • A separate criminal court was also given to every district under the name of the Faujdari Adalat.
  • This court was to be presided over by the Qazi, who would be superivsed by the Collector and assisted by a Mufti and two Maulvis.
  • At the headquarters two superior courts were established: Sadar Diwani Adalat presided over by the Governor and the Council, and the Sadar Nizamat Adalat presided by Darogah-i- adalat who would be controlled by the Gove- rnor and the Council and assisted by the Head Qazi, the Mufti and the three other eminent Ma-ulvis.
  • The Sadar Diwani Adalat was to hear appeals from the District Diwani Adalats while from the District Faujdari Adalats the appeal could be carried to the Sardar Nizamat Adalat.
  • Such were thus the changes introduced by Hastings signifying the entire assumption of the Government by the Company itself. The revoultion in Bengal was thus consummated. 
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