Saadat Ali Khan

Saadat Ali Khan I

The Puritan King Aurangzeb died in 1707 and after his death the throne of Delhi passed in the hands of 8 Mughal rulers by 1719.

The immediate successor of Aurangzeb was prince Muazzam styled Bahadur Shah-1, who was followed by Jahandar Shah, Farrukhsiyar, Rafi ud-Darajat, Rafi ud-Daulah, Nekusiyar, Muhammad Ibrahim. The Empire had already broken into pieces and when Mohammad Shah Rangila sat on the throne, the Mughals had became nominal heads of Hindustan by 1719.

The Nobles as expected, rose and the prominent provinces of the Mughals became independent.

  • Out of them, the most important were Oudh under Saadat Ali Khan, Bengal & Orissa under Murshid Quli Khan and Deccan (Hyderabad) under Asaf Jah-I.

These experienced people were the decorated courtiers of Aurangzeb and were far ahead in popularity than the new Mughal rookies in the Red Fort of Delhi.

  • The only positive thing about these rulers was that they never declared rebellion till the Old Lion was alive.
  • The new Mughals became weaker and dependent upon these nobles and to purchase their loyalty, compromised on the conditions they were ruling their respective territories.

In the last Module, we have studied that after the Battle of Chinsura, the British deposed Mir Jafar and placed his son-in-law Mir Kasim as Nawab of Bengal. Mir Kasim, soon began to show a will of his own, and to cherish dreams of independence. He eventually shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger in Bihar where he raised an independent army.

  • The problem was the free trade. It was during Farrukhsiyar reign, in 1717, that the British East India Company purchased duty-free trading rights in all of Bengal for a mere three thousand rupees a year.
  • Mir Kasim opposed that the imperial Dastak was discriminatory. The British could trade without paying taxes but the other local merchants with dastaks were required to pay up to 40% of their revenue as tax.
  • In a reaction, Mir Kasim abolished all taxes on the local traders as well. This upset the British and hostility was renewed.

The forces of Mir Kasim overran the Company offices in Patna in 1763, killing several Europeans including the resident. In the initial skirmishes Mir Kasim was successful but his forces were defeated in two battles by Major Adams at Gheria and Udhunala. He had to fled and take refuge to Nawab of Awadh Shuja-ud-Daula.

Shuja-ud-Daula refused to deliver to the British. The war was prolonged. In Delhi Shah Alam or Ali Gauhar succeeded his father Alamgir II. On October 23, 1764, there was a decisive battle at Buxar.

Saadat Ali Khan I

Saadat Ali Khan I was the Subedar Nawab (Governor) of the Mughals in Awadh from 1722 to 1739. He was son of a merchant of Khurasan. When Nadir Shah attacked in 1739, he was in the battle from Mughal side. He died just after this attack and was succeeded by Safdarjung, who as soon as sat on the throne, paid Nadir Shah 2 Crore Rupees. Safdarjung was succeeded by Shuja-ud-Daula in 1753.