Battle of Buxar 1764- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 1: Indian History- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
Battle of Buxar 1764- Context
- Battle of Buxar was fought between the English Forces, and a joint army of the Nawab of Oudh, Nawab of Bengal, and the Mughal Emperor.
- Victory in the Battle of Buxar 1764 is considered as the decisive shift in the political power in India. After this Britishers rose as the main contender to the power seat in India.
Battle of Buxar 1764- Background
- After consolidating gains made at the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the British East India Company assembled an army consisting mainly of Indian sepoys and Indian cavalry.
- With this force, Britishers sought to assert their control of Bengal against the Mughal Empire.
- After the Battle of Plassey in 1757, Mir Jafar became the Nawab of Bengal in place of Siraj-Ud-Daulah. The British made Mir Jafar their puppet after he became the new Bengal nawab.
- Mir Jafar did not like this and tried to oppose Britishers with support of the Dutch East India Company. Britishers apprehended his plot.
- In this context, the British supported Mir Qasim (Mir Jafar’s son-in-law) to become the new Nawab, and Mir Jafar quit in favour of Mir Qasim under pressure from the Company.
- Mir Qasim, an able ruler, got to understand true British intentions and hence organized opposition with combined forces of the Mughal Emperor and Nawab of Awadh. This led to the Battle of Buxar in 1764.
Battle of Buxar 1764- Key Causes leading to Battle
- Desire for Independence: Mir Qasim desired freedom and established his capital from Calcutta to Munger Fort.
- Establishing his seat of power away from Britishers also helped him prepare well against Britishers without being too vocal about it.
- Support of Foreign Forces: He also gained the support of foreign experts to train his army, which included some who were in conflict with the British.
- Abolition of Tax: Misuse of “dastak” and “farmans” (trade privileges granted to Britishers) by EIC led to severe disadvantages to the Indian Merchant and Trader class.
- To end this discrimination, Mir Qasim abolished these taxes as a whole.
- This led to the equal treatment of both Indian merchants and English merchants, with no special treatment for the latter.
- For these factors, the English planned to overthrow him, and in 1763, war broke out between Mir Qasim and the Company.
Battle of Buxar 1764- Course of War
- 1763: War broke between forces of Mir Qasim and British East India Company. Mir Qasim suffered heavily and the English gained victories at Katwah, Murshidabad, Giria, Sooty and Munger.
- This forced Mir Qasim to flee Awadh (or Oudh).
- He wanted to take back Bengal and hence, formed a confederacy with the Shuja-Ud-Daulah (Nawab of Awadh) and Shah Alam II (Mughal Emperor).
- 1764: Combined forces of the Mughals, Nawab of Awadh and Mir Qasim met the British Forces in 1764.
- Mir Qasim led the Indian side while the British side was commanded by Major Munro.
- A combined army of 40,000 belonging to Mughals, Awadh, and Mir Qasim was brutally defeated by the British Army comprising of 10,000 men.
- Indian side lost the battle on October 22, 1764.
- Mir Qasim absconded from the battle and the other two surrendered to the English army.
- 1765: The Britishers forced a humiliating Treaty of Allahabad on Mughal Emperor and Nawab of Oudh in 1765.