Friday, March 22, 2013


In 1763 Mir Kasim fled from Bengal and formed an alliance with the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and Shuja-ud-daula of Awadh. However, in Battle of Buxar in 1764, the combined forces were defeated and Treaty of Allahabad was signed in 1765. In accordance with the treaty Shah Alam II granted the diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to the Company. This grant meant that the Company could collect the revenues from the province.

[caption id="attachment_2875" align="aligncenter" width="300"]BATTLE OF BUXAR BATTLE OF BUXAR[/caption]

Importance of this battle- Before the grant of diwani, the English used to bring bullion to trade with India. The balance of trade was in the favour of India. But after gaining the diwani rights, the English bought Indian goods from the revenues collected from the province of Bengal and then exported them. Due to this the balance of trade no longer favoured India but led to greater exploitation of the country by the English. The Battle of Buxar had important political consequences for India.

The Battle of Buxar in 1764 and the subsequent treaty of Allahabad in 1765 officially marked the end of the nawabi rule in Bengal and the beginning of the dual government by the Company. The Treaty of Allahabad gave the diwani rights from the Emperor whereby the Company gained the right to collect revenues from the subedar of Bengal but sent an annual payment to the Emperor. But before this, the Company had gained the nizamat (police, administration of justice and military defence) powers from nawab Najm-ud-duala in February 1765. Combination of these two powers gave the Company virtual run of the government. The Company, on the other hand, was not eager to govern as their primary aim was to utilize the revenues from Bengal to purchase goods and trade further. The Company thus exercised the powers through its Indian agents yet retaining the actual powers in their own hands. This led to a system of dual government or Double Government under Clive. This system of government was divested off all responsibility to the people which led to the breakdown of administration, disruption of law and order, general decline in trade and commerce, heightened exploitation of the populace, all of which led to significant reduction in the revenues collected by the Company, which in turn made the Company exploit the people more. The outbreak of the Great Famine of 1770 brought to light the sorry state of affairs of Bengal and the need for some . concrete steps was felt.

The Regulating Act of 1773 sought to rectify the problems created under Clive. The Company instead of showing profits was in fact in debt to the Bank of England and the Government. The servants of the Company were too busy with making private profits. The Prime Minister Lord North decided to tighten the reins over the Company when its charter was due for renewal in 1773. The Regulating Act established the office of Governor-General at Fort William and among other clauses imposed a banned the servants of the Company from receiving gifts and pecuniary advantages from Indian Princes or Zamindars. Warren Hastings was appointed as the Governor of Bengal in 1773 and the dual system of administration of Bengal was transferred in the hands of the servants of the Company. From the time of Warren Hastings began the process of interaction between the British and the Indians whose effects, are still felt. The Act set up a system whereby it supervised (regulated) the work of the East India Company but did not take power for itself. It had, however, proven to be a failure within a few years and the British government decided to take a more active role in the affairs of the Company.

The capture of Bengal by the Company ushered in the period of British colonial rule that was to last for close to two centuries, thus ensured unrepentant exploitation of India.


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