Battle of Plassey (23 June 1757)
British marched out to the grove of Plassey, about 100 Kilometers north of Calcutta, at the head of 1000 Europeans and 2000 sepoys, with 8 pieces of artillery. The Bengal viceroy’s army numbered 35,000 foot and 15,000 horse, with 50 cannon. On 23 June 1757, the Battle of Plassey was fought between the forces of Siraj Ud Daulah, and his French support troops and the troops of the British East India Company, led by Robert Clive. This event was a part of the Seven Years War.
In the battle of Plassey the forces of Nawab were defeated and Nawab fled the scene on a Camel along with his 2000 horsemen. He went first to Murshidabad and then to Patna by boat, but was eventually pursued by Mir Jafar’s soldiers.
On 2 July 1757, Siraj-Ud-Daulah was executed under orders from Mir Miran, son of Mir Jafar.
The Traitors of Plassey
The faithful commanders of Nawab were Mir Madan and Mohan Lal. The right arm of the army was commanded by Rai Durlabh, Center by Yar Lutuf Khan and Left close to British by Mir Jafar, all traitors.
The Nawab’s army had attacked vigorously in the beginning but Clive kept his ammunitions in reserve and soldiers safe under a groove / embankment. There was a rainfall, which led the ammunition and powder of Nawab drenched while the British used tarpaulins to protect their ammunition. When the Nawab’s army realized that the British ammunition is rendered ineffective Mir Madan asked the cavalry to take charge but the next moment a shot from British claimed his life. Nawab tried to reconcile with Mir Jafar, but he did not turn up.
The traitors of Battle of Plassey were as follows:
- Mir Jafar : He became the first titular Nawab of Bengal paving the way for British Empire in India.
- Jagat Set : A Marwari Banker. After 9 years of the Battle of Plassey, the entire family of Jagat Seth was beheaded by Mir Kasim.
- Omi Chand or Amir Chand : He tried to get 5% from the treasure after Mir Jafar becomes Nawab but was deceived by the British by fake treaty and this shock was enough to plunge him into mental retardation. He survived for some 10 years and died anonymously.
- Manik Chand: This was an officer in Calcutta
- Rai Durlab: He was the treasurer of Nawab.
- Ghaseti Neghum: The rich maternal aunt of Nawab.
Mir Jafar , the Gaddar-e-Abrar
Mir Jafar was placed as a titular Nawab of Bengal in 1757. The British extracted enormous sums from Mir Jafar as the price of his elevation. Mir Zafar paid 1 Crore 77 Lakh Rupees as compensation for the attack on Calcutta to the company and the traders of the city. The East India Company claimed 1.5 Crore. Clive was promised 280,000 Rupees.
The long cherished dream of becoming Nawab of Bengal of Mir Jafar was achieved. But he could not bear the extortionist policies of the British for long. When he realized that British expectations were limitless he tried to wriggle out of their grip. For this he took the help of the Dutch.