Mir Jafar

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For the village in Iran, see Mir Jafar, Iran.
Mir Jafar
Nawab Nazim of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa (Nawab of Bengal)
Shuja ul-Mulk (Hero of the country)
Hashim ud-Daulah (Sword of the state)
Ja'afar 'Ali Khan Bahadur
Mahabat Jang (Horror in War)
Mir Jafar (left) and Mir Miran (right).jpg
Mir Jafar (left) and his eldest son, Mir Miran (right).
Reign 1757–1760 and 1763-1765
Predecessor Siraj ud-Daulah
Successor Mir Qasim (after 1760) and Najimuddin Ali Khan (after 1765)
Wives Shah Khanum Sahiba (m. 1727, d. August 1779)
Babbu Begum (d. 1809)
Rahat-un-nisa Begum (Mut'ah wife)
Issue Sadiq Ali Khan Bahadur (Mir Miran)

Najimuddin Ali Khan Bahadur
Najabut Ali Khan Bahadur (Mir Phulwari)
Ashraf Ali Khan Bahadur
Mubaraq Ali Khan Bahadur
Hadi Ali Khan Bahadur
Fatima Begum Sahiba
Misri Begum
Roshan-un-nisa Begum Sahiba (Nishani Begum)
Husaini Begum and 2 more daughters.

Full name
Mir Jafar Ali Khan Bahadaur
Dynasty Najafi
Father Sayyid Ahmed Najafi (Mirza Mirak)
Born 1691
Died January 17, 1765
Burial Jafarganj Cemetery, Murshidabad
Religion Islam

Mir Jafar Ali Khan Bahadur, commonly known as Mir Jafar, second son of Sayyid Ahmad Najafi, (1691–February 5, 1765) was the first Nawab of Bengal under Company rule in India. He rose to power after betraying Nawab Siraj-Ud-Daulah at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. His rule is widely considered the start of British rule in India and was a key step in the eventual British domination of the subcontinent. His lust to become Nawab of Bengal led him to make a secret pact with Robert Clive and surrender to slaughter the Army of Bengal in Plassey, withholding his division from the fighting. Thus the British won the battle and established their rule in India. For this act the word "Mir Jafar" is now synonymous with "traitor" and he has been infamously called Gaddar-e-Abrar ("Betrayer of the true Faith") in Hindi and Urdu.[citation needed] Thus, he was installed as the Nawab in 1757 by the British East India Company. However, Mir Jafar failed to satisfy the constant demand of money from the British. In 1758, Robert Clive discovered that Mir Jafar through an agent, Khoja Wajid, had made a treaty with the Dutch at Chinsurah. Dutch ships of war were also seen in Hooghly. Circumstances led to the Battle of Chinsurah and the Battle of Biddera. English Governor Henry Vansittart of Bengal proposed that Mir Jafar was unable to cope up with the difficulties and Mir Qasim (Mir Jafar's son-in-law) should act as Deputy Subahdar. In October 1760, ultimately the company forced him to abdicate in favour of Mir Qasim. However, Mir Qasim's independent spirit led to his overthrow and Mir Jafar was restored as the Nawab in 1763. He ruled till his death on January 17, 1765 and lies buried at the Jafarganj Cemetery in Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.

Faujdar of the Nawab of Bengal[edit]

In the year 1747, the Marathas led by Raghoji I Bhonsle, began to raid, pillage and annex the territories of the Alivardi Khan. During the Maratha invasion of Odisha, its Subedar Mir Jafar and Ataullah Faujdar of Rajmahal completely withdrew all forces until the arrival of Alivardi Khan and the Mughal Army at the Battle of Burdwan where Raghoji I Bhonsle and his Maratha forces were completely routed. The enraged Alivardi Khan then dismissed the shamed Mir Jafar.[1]

Nawab of Bengal[edit]

Mir Jafar and his son Miran delivering the Treaty of 1757 to William Watts

After Siraj Ud Daulah’s defeat and subsequent execution, Mir Jafar achieved his long-pursued dream of gaining the throne, and was propped up by the British as puppet Nawab. Mir Jafar paid Rs. 17,700,000 as compensation for the attack on Calcutta to the company and traders of the city. In addition, he gave bribes to the officials of the company. Clive, for example received over two million rupees, Watts over one million[2] Soon, however, he realised that British expectations were boundless and tried to wriggle out from under them; this time with the help of the Dutch. However, the British defeated the Dutch at the Battle of Chinsurah in November 1759 and retaliated by forcing him to abdicate in favor of his son-in-law Mir Qasim. However, Mir Qasim proved to be both able and independent, willing to live with but not bow to the British. The Company soon went to war with him, and he was eventually overthrown. Mir Jafar managed to regain the good graces of the British; he was again appointed Nawab in 1763 and held the position until his death in 1765.

Shah Alam II's attempts to overthrow Mir Jafar[edit]

Main article: Treaty of Allahabad
The Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, as a pensioner of the British East India Company, 1781

"Some ill-designing people had turned his brain, and carried him to the eastern part of the Mughal Empire, which would be the cause of much trouble and ruin to our regimes."

Imad-ul-Mulk's letter to Mir Jafar, after the escape of the Mughal crown prince Ali Gauhar.[3]

In the year 1760 after gaining control over Bihar, Odisha and some parts of the Bengal, the Mughal Crown Prince Ali Gauhar and his Mughal Army of 30,000 intended to overthrow Mir Jafar, Imad-ul-Mulk after they tried to capture or kill him by advancing towards Awadh and Patna in 1759. But the conflict soon involved the assertive British East India Company. The Mughals were led by Prince Ali Gauhar, who was accompanied by Muhammad Quli Khan, Hidayat Ali, Mir Afzal and Ghulam Husain Tabatabai. Their forces were reinforced by the forces of Shuja-ud-Daula and Najib-ud-Daula. The Mughals were also joined by Jean Law and 200 Frenchmen and waged a campaign against the British during the Seven Years' War.[4]

Although the French were eventually defeated, the conflict between the British East India Company and the Mughal Empire would continue to linger and ended in a draw, which eventually culminated during the Battle of Buxar.

Legacy[edit]

Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, meeting with Mir Jafar after Plassey, by Francis Hayman.
Lord Clive receiving from the Nawab of Bengal a grant of money for disabled officers and soldiers

Mir Jafar was a puppet of British East India company. After the defeat of Nawab Sirajuddoula the British ruled Bengal for next 190 years. Mir Jafar is widely reviled by the people of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.[citation needed] The word "mirjafar" in Bengali and the phrase "meer jafar" in Urdu, are used much as quisling is used in English, and Jaichand of Kannauj in Indian history. Allama Iqbal, in his poetry wrote about his treachery in these words, "Jaffar az Bengal,Sadiq az Deccan; nang-e-deen, nang-e-millat, nang-e-watan" which mean Jafar(Mir) of Bengal and Sadiq(Mir) of Deccan are a disgrace to the faith, a disgrace to Nation, a disgrace to Country. British with the help of Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq were able to conquer Bengal and kingdom of Mysore (Sultanat-e-Khuda daad).

Mir Jafar's great-grandson Iskandar Mirza, who had joined Army in 1920 in Military Police, was appointed and served as the first President of Pakistan.[5][6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Humayun, Mirza (2002). From Plassey to Pakistan. Washington D.C.: University Press of America; Revised edition (July 28, 2002). ISBN 0-7618-2349-2. 
  • Murshidabad History-Mir Muhammad Jafar Ali Khan [1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Riyazu-s-salatin", Ghulam Husain Salim - a reference to the appointment of Mohanlal can be found here
  2. ^ "Seir Muaqherin", Ghulam Husain Tabatabai - a reference to the conspiracy can be found here
  3. A website dedicated to Mir Jafar

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Jaques, Tony (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A-E. Greenwood Publishing Group. 
  2. ^ Modern India by Dr. Bipin Chendra, a publication of National council of Educational Research and Training
  3. ^ Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 13. University Press. 1852. 
  4. ^ O`malley, L.S.S. Bihar And Orissa District Gazetteers Patna. Concept Publishing Company, 1924. 
  5. ^ Iskandar Mirza, Ayub Khan, and October 1958, by Syed Badrul Ahsan, The New Age, Bangladesh, October 31, 2005.[dead link]
  6. ^ Murshidabad family information, Christopher Buyers, July 2005 - May 2006.[dead link]
Mir Jafar
Born: 1691 Died: January 17, 1765
Preceded by
Siraj ud-Daulah (before 1757) and Mir Qasim (before 1763)
Nawab of Bengal
1757-1760 and 1763-1765
Succeeded by
Mir Qasim (after 1760) and Najimuddin Ali Khan (after 1765)