The battle of buxar was fought between British East India Company led by Hector Munro and the combined join forces of three Mughal rulers- Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal; Mughal emperor Shah Alam II and the Nawab of Awadh Shuja-ud-Daulah. On 23 October 1764, the battle was fought at Buxar which is in Bengal and located at the bank of river Ganges River.
This battle was actually an outcome of the clash between British east India company and Mir Qasim the Nawab of Bengal.
Reasons of Buxar Battle
Mir qasim was the most efficient Nawab of his time. He ran his administration quite effectively without getting influenced by Britishers. He suppressed the rebellions of Bengal and Bihar. He transferred his capital from Murshidabad to Monghyr.
He was becoming more and more powerful by strengthing his army. He wanted to stay away from Britishers that’s why he shifted his capital to avoid their interference. He also made proper arrangements for the manufacture of fire arms at his new capital. This attitude displeasured the Britishers most.
They saw it as a beginning of rebellion. Mir Qasim stopped the britishers from misusing the dastaks which was an important source of revenue for the Mir Qasim. This added fuel to the fire. And finally the last nail in the coffin was put when Mir Qasim put all end to the company’s trade of salt and bettel leaves.
The company was trading from his territory in salt and leaves without paying any taxes. This created fury among the Britishers. Few other measures were taken by him to stop trading of Britishers in his area. He actively promoted his own business. This provided enough reasons to Britishers to demolish his reign over that place.
British company tried hard to keep a check on him but Mir Qasim wanted to rule independently. A quarrel started among them. But this was just a beginning of the war.
Events of the battle of Buxar
- Shuja-ud-daula, the Nawab of Awadh wanted to destroy british supremacy in Awadh or Outh at that time.
- Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II had already taken refuge in the court of Nawab Shuja-ud-daula. He had promised to him that he would financially support him in case any war erupted between the Nawabs and English.
- Mir Qasim already revolted against British. He did not like the use of him as a puppet. As a result war broke at different places. He was defeated in three successive battles at Katwa, gheria and udaynal and fled to Awadh to take refuge.
- The three conspired against Britishers and decided to take revenge and fought a war to take their lost territories back.
- The combined army comprised 40,000 men where as Britishers were merely 10,000 yet the company won the battle. The Britishers won this battle in just a day.
- Lack of co-ordination and communication was the main reason behind the defeat. Also the weapons used by Britishers were more technologically advanced and were capable of causing mass destruction.
- Mirza Najaf Khan was leading the right flank of Mughal alliance forces and was the first to advance with his soldiers.
- Britishers retreated their advances within an hour.
- Under the command of Sir hector Munro, british army was divided into three parts. One left section was commanded by Major Stibbert; right section of Bengalese troops was headed by Major Champion; the center was the Bengal cavalry with four companies of sepoys.
- British Major Champion advanced first and attacked the nearby small village. This forced the Indian alliance army to move back. They then occupied the village.
- The Indian soldiers’ army retreated from the village and took a target of Major Stibbert section.
- Despite being more in number than the Britishers, the alliance army troops were encircled by them and took heavy causalities which eventually ended up in the defeat.
- Munro persuaded Shuja-ud-daula to betray his war companions. Shuja-ud-daula blowed up his boat-bridge after crossing the river abandoning his two alliance armies behind. Munro knew that shuja-ud-daula was the strongest of them all. But if Shuja-ud-daulaa turned up against his allies, the Britishers will stand in a win-win situation.
- Mir Qasim also fled with gemstones worth of 3 million rupees and later he committed suicide.
- Mirza Najaf Khan along with shah Alam II chose to negotiate with Britishers as they had no choice left but to surrender.
Importance and aftermath of Buxar battle
- British East India Company emerged as the supreme military without any opposition.
- With the defeat of Mir Qasim, the era of independents Nawabs finally came to an end.
- British east India company were given the diwani rights of Bengal by Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. This meant that they would collect revenue without any hassles of paying someone else.
- Battle of buxar confirmed the decisions of Plassey.
- Robert Clive signed two treaties at Allahabad known as Treaty of Allahabad with Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II in 1765. He became the first governor of Bengal.
- According to the treaty- Britishers East India Company would legally control the administration and economy of Bengal. Diwani of Bihar and Orissa wee also given to Britishers since they had won the war.
- The victory at Buxar resulted in the stripping of the control of Indian subcontinent from the hands of Indian Nawabs and Rulers to the Britishers.
- According to diwani’s rights, british would administer the Bengal and manage revenue of this large area also.
- In return of this right, Britishers would give Rs.26 lakh to the Mughal emperor shah Alam II.
- Shuja-ud-daula had to pay Rs. 50 lakh at the spot as the war-fare expenses to the company and Rs. 25 lakh later in installments.
The battle to rule over the Bengal which started at the success of Battle of Plassey in 1757 had come to an end. This battle also ends the puppet Nawab era which was started after battle of Plassey.