Battle of Plassey and Buxar: Beginning of British rule in India.

 

BATTLE OF PLASSEY

Battle of Plassey paved the way for the beginning of the British empire. It was the first victory of Britishers in India, which made east India company more than a trading company.

battle of plassey in action
battle of plassey in action

After the death of Aurangzeb, Nawab of Bengal came into the picture and asserted their
autonomy. The East India Company was given many relaxations from taxes and was allowed to fortify. Nawab’s of Bengal refused to this grant, which laid to conflicts with the Britishers. Nawab of Bengal’ Siraj-ud-Daulah’ asked Company to stop fortification and pay taxes. East India Company didn’t agree to any of these negotiations, which led to the Battle of Plassey.

Nawab seized fort William, and all prisoners, i.e., soldiers, civilians, were kept in the dark dungeons. There was no window or any other source of ventilation for the prisoners due to which many of the prisoners were dead. This initiated the fire of revenge with Nawab. Robert Clive was made commander in chief of British forces. French also joined the Nawab’s side as an enemy of an enemy is a friend. On 23 June 1757, Battle of Plassey took place near the ghats of the Ganga river.

battle-of-plassey-in-action

The fate of the Battle of Plassey was decided way before the real Battle happened, as Mir Jafar turned out to be a traitor. Mir Jafar was the commander of Nawab’s army; he decided to help Britishers on the condition that he will be the new Nawab of Bengal. The Battle didn’t last long, and Siraj Ud Daulah was captured. Mir Jafar was made the new Nawab of Bengal.

Britishers now realized that the unity of Indians can be broken down easily via bribing them. People can betray their masters, rulers, and family member for the throne. The East India company then realized that India was a country where trade should take place by interfering in the nation’s politics. They became an integral part of the administration body.

The Battle laid the foundation stone for the British rule in India. The deaths of many captured civilians and prisoners even though it was unintentional but still was the main reason for Britishers to start the war. This gave the reason for British armed forces to fight. Selfishness among the people of Bengal to become Nawab was wrong in one way or another. Britishers had a great sense of nationalism, while Indians were unaware of the term nationalism.


There were many intruders within the army itself. If Indians were able to understand the meaning of nationalism, then present India would have a different fate. Either the development brought by the Britishers wouldn’t be present right now, or something else better or worse might have occurred for India as a nation.

BATTLE OF BUXAR

The Battle of Buxar was fought between Britishers and the combined forces of Nawab of Awadh Shuja ud Daulah, Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim, and the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. Mir Qasim wanted to be an independent Nawab. He introduced different norms and taxation policies and also shifted his capital from Monghiyar to Murshidabad.

battle of buxar

After the Battle of Plassey, Britishers wanted puppet nawabs, but Mir Qasim was not one. The British officials were annoyed by Mir Qasim as now Bengal’s administration was slipping through their hands.

The Battle was the final nail to the coffin in establishing British rule over the eastern side of India. The British armed forces were led by Hector Munro that included ten thousand men while combined forces of the Nawabs and the Mughal emperor included forty thousand men.

On 23 October 1764 Battle of Buxar took place which witnessed the defeat of Nawabs and
Mughal emperor. Mughals’ army strength was 40,000 men, including 140 cannons, while
the Britishers were 10,000 in number, including 30 cannons. The main reason for the defeat was lack of coordination within the forces, the Nawab and Mughals.

As a consequence, Mir Qasim fled and died in the northwest; Shah Alam II surrender while Shuja ud Daulah tried to fight against Britishers but died in 1765. The Battle brought an end to Nawab rule, and all the administration went to the hands of the East India Company.

My views on the Battle

armies fighting in battle of plassey

As it is said that too many cooks spoil the dish, the testimony to this fact is the Battle of Buxar itself, where the Nawabs and Mughals with no coordination entered the battlefield and were defeated ruthlessly. Later while visualizing the defeat, the alliance was broken immediately, and Shah Alam II took shelter in the British camp.

This incident might be the deciding factor for the outcome of the war. It would have brought more honor for the Mughal emperor to die in Battle rather than taking shelter in opponents camp.if the other Rulers instead of escaping from the battles would have tried to defeat the Britishers as a whole; then, the outcomes must have been different.


The Battle also resulted in the signing of the treaty of Allahabad. The treaty was one-sided and favored only the Britishers. The financial rights, i.e., Diwani rights of fiscal rights, were now in Britishers’ hands. Now this means army strength and financial support all were present for Britishers, and these two factors are more than enough to intervene in country politics.


The thought of colonizing India was practically applied after the Battle of Buxar. The ordinary people began to be afraid of British armed forces, which made Britishers more powerful. The Britishers later were able to rule in India for almost two centuries, which changed India’s fate.

Image credits: Wikipedia

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