Monday, June 23, 2008

June 23rd - The Day your ancestors Sold you Out!



The Battle of Plassey (Bengali: পলাশীর যুদ্ধ, Pôlashir Juddho) was a decisive British East India Company victory over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies, establishing British rule of India for the next 190 years. The battle took place on 23 June 1757 at Palashi, West Bengal, India, on the riverbanks of the Bhagirathi River, about 150 km north of Calcutta, near Murshidabad, then the capital of the Nawab of Bengal. The opponents were Siraj Ud Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, and the British East India Company. The battle was waged during the Seven Years' War(1756–1763) and in a mirror of their European rivalry the French East India Company sent a small contingent to fight against the British East India Company. Siraj-ud-Daulah had a numerically superior force, and made its stand at Plassey. The British, worried about being outnumbered and not above some bribery, reached out to Siraj-ud-Daulah's deposed army chief - Mir Jafar, along with others such as Yar Latif and Rai Durlabh. Mir Jafar thus assembled his troops near the battlefield, but made no move to actually join the battle, causing Siraj-ud-Daulah's army to be defeated. Siraj-ud-Daulah fled, eventually to be captured and executed. As a result, the entire province of Bengal fell to the Company, with Mir Jafar appointed as their puppet Nawab.

Today, Plassey is judged to be one of the pivotal battles leading to the eventual formation of the British Empire in India. The enormous wealth gained from the Bengal treasury, and access to a massive source of foodgrains and taxes allowed the Company to significantly strengthen its military might, and opened the way for eventual British domination of all of India. However, the Battle of Buxar that followed ten years later was probably more definitive in establishing British rule in India.

3 comments:

ibrahim said...

TK
I dont think you really believe that it was betrayal by Mir Jaffar that led to Siraj ud Duala's defeat at Plasey. Arent we trying to find refuge behind such excuses.
IMHO it was a stuggle for supremacy between the two unequal civilizations. Even if Plassey was not lost Muslims would have been defeated at some other place. You may know that Clive fought several battles against Siraj udduala before Plasey all of these were won by the british. Eachh time Clive retreated to his ships docked in the Bay of Bengal and prepared and planned for the next battle. So what I am trying to say is that Muslims were destined to be defeated by an emerging civilization from a continent waking up from long slumber.
commoner

ibrahim said...

TK
I dont think you really believe that it was betrayal by Mir Jaffar that led to Siraj ud Duala's defeat at Plasey. Arent we trying to find refuge behind such excuses.
IMHO it was a stuggle for supremacy between the two unequal civilizations. Even if Plassey was not lost Muslims would have been defeated at some other place. You may know that Clive fought several battles against Siraj udduala before Plasey all of these were won by the british. Eachh time Clive retreated to his ships docked in the Bay of Bengal and prepared and planned for the next battle. So what I am trying to say is that Muslims were destined to be defeated by an emerging civilization from a continent waking up from long slumber.
commoner

Taban Khamosh said...

Ibrahim, I see your point and agree. I was just pissed because remembering and studying our defeats and failures by trying to study history can bring us to the same kind of perceptive insights that you mentioned. But we are pretending as if these things didn't happen. I agree that it was a historical process, but I guess I was just picking out one of the land mark events that indeed points to the historical decay process that the british took advantage of.

The tragedy is that we haven't hit rock-bottom yet and we think it started in 1947 while our deterioration hasn't really stopped since it started even before the Britishers sniffed out the decaying civilization.

Thanks for your comment. sorry it took me a while, I'm not usually checking my blog these days and commentes went un-moderated.