The rulers of Awadh/Awadh ke Nawab VI

I was writing about Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah and the two battles – significant for the future course of Indian history – he was personally involved it. I had written about the Third Battle of Panipat (1761) last time, but the one which finally sealed the fate of North India was the Battle of Buxar in 1764. 

Lets not go deep into the causes and all…. It will suffice to say that the battle was fought in October of that year between the forces under the command of the British East India Company (slightly over 7,000), and the combined armies of the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim and Shuja-ud-Daulah, totalling 40,000. It was decisively won by the British.

The Treaty of Allahabad ending the conflict, restored Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula to Awadh, with a subsidiary force and guarantee of defence. However, the districts of Allahabad and Karra were taken away and given to Shah Alam II, who also found solace with a tribute and in turn, gave the imperial grant of the diwani (revenue authority) in Bengal and Bihar to the Company.  This acclimatised, as it were, into the Indian scene by becoming the Mughal revenue agent for Bengal and Bihar.

The arrangement made the British East India Company the virtual ruler of Bengal since it already possessed decisive military power. All that was left to the more or less figurehead nawab was the control of the judicial administration – which was also taken away some years later.

In less than 100 years later, the Company was the unquestioned master of India , with no competing power having survived. It would meet a serious challenge in 1857 no doubt, but overcoming it, its power was been safe… well for an another 90 years or so. However, it is not my intention to give you an account of Indian history.

Let us return to Awadh and its Nawabs… for now Shuja-ud-Daulah.

The point of spending some time in describing these battles was to tell you what all the first three Nawabs were upto.  As I said, they resided in Faizabad, which was their capital,  when not dealing in power politics in North India and it was this city that occupied their attention – when they could spare it.

However, after Buxar, Shuja-ud-Daulah spent the last decade or so of his life in his principality only, all his pan-Indian ambitions have being crushed by the new, upcoming power. He lies entombed in that city only.

It was however his son and successor, Mirza Amani Asaf-ud-Daulah, who soon after coming to power in 1775 took the major decision of shifting his court to Lucknow – chiefly to escape the influence of Shuja-ud-Daulah’s widow, the Bahu Begum. Once ensconced comfortably in Lucknow,  he did some things which have made him the most recognisable  of the Nawabs of Avadh – after Wajid Ali Shah – that is.

Those who have been regularly following this post will know a little about Asaf-ud-Daulah as I have written about him…. thought quite some ago. Well those who have read it but forgotten, as well as those just coming here, dont have to fear as I will deal with it anew.

I could have begun here only, but I felt it deserved a new post as it marks the beginning of the Nawabs of Awadh ruling from Lucknow….. and what they did there.

To be continued…. soon

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One response to this post.

  1. this is so helpfull sir.

    Reply

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