Mir Qasim

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Mīr Qāsim (Kāsim)
Nasir ul-Mulk (Victor of the country)
Etmaz ud-Daula (Politician of the state)
Ali Jah (Of High Rank)
Nusrat Jang (Victorious in War)
Nawab Mir Qasim.jpg
Reign 1760–1763 (Declared deposed by the East India Company, 7 July 1763)[1]
Coronation October 20, 1760 (Invasted by the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, in person, at Patna, 12 March 1761)
Full name Mīr Muhammad Qāsim Alī Khān
Titles Nawab Nazim of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa (Nawab of Bengal)
Died 8 May 1777(1777-05-08)
Place of death Kotwal near Delhi
Predecessor Mir Jafar
Successor Mir Jafar
Consort to Nawab Fatima Begum Sahiba, daughter of Mir Jafar and Shah Khanum
Issue

Mirza Ghulam Uraiz Ja'afari
Mirza Muhammad Baqir ul-Husain
Nawab Muhammad Aziz Khan Bahadur

Nawab Badr ud-din Ali Khan Bahadur
Dynasty Najafi
Father Mir Razi Khan
Religious beliefs Islam

Mir Qasim (also spelt Mir Kasim; full name:Mir Kasim Ali Khan) (d. May 8, 1777) was the Nawab of Bengal from 1760 to 1763. He was installed as Nawab by the British East India Company replacing Mir Jafar, his father-in-law, who had himself been installed by the British after his role in the Battle of Plassey. However, Mir Jafar had started to assert independence by trying to tie up with the Dutch East India Company. The British eventually overran the Dutch forces at Chinsura and replaced Mir Jafar with Mir Qasim.[2] Qasim later fell out with the British and fought them at the Battle of Buxar. His defeat has been suggested as the last real chance of preventing a gradual British control of large parts of South Asia following Britain' s victory in the Seven Years War.[3]

The alliance with the English East India Company[edit]

Nawab Mir Jafar had sent to Calcutta his kinsman, Mir Qasim, to represent him at the Conference regarding the Administration and settlement of the apportionment of 10 annas of the revenue to Mir Jafar and 6 annas to the English, and regarding the enjoyment of the office of Diwan by Mir Jafar.

On the death of Sadiq Ali Khan (Mir Miran); the eldest son of Nawab Mir Jafar, the Army demanding their pay which had fallen into arrear for some years mutinied in a body, besieged the Nawab in the Chihil Satūn Palace, and cut off supplies of food and water. In consequence, the Nawab wrote to Mir Qasim Khan to the effect that the army had reduced him to straits for demand of arrear pay.

Mir Qasim Khan, in concert with Jagat Seth conspired with the English Chiefs, and induced the latter to write to Nawab Mir Jafar to the effect that the mutiny of the army for demand of pay was a very serious matter, and that it was advisable that the Nawab abandoning the Fort should come down to Calcutta, entrusting the Fort and the Subah to Mir Qasim Khan.

Mir Qasim with full self-confidence, on attaining his aim, returned to Murshidabad. The English Chiefs leaguing with Mir Qasim Khan brought out Nawab Jafar Khan from the Fort, placed him on a boat, and sent him down to Calcutta. Mir Qasim entered the Fort, mounted the masnad of Nizamat, and issued proclamations of peace and security in his own name. He sent a message to Raja Rajballab to bring back the Emperor to Azimabad Patna, whilst he himself afterwards set out for Azimabad, in order to wait on the Emperor, after attending to and reassuring his army, and making some settlement in regard to their arrears of pay. Leaving his uncle, Mir Turab Ali Khan, as Deputy Nazim in Murshidabad, Mir Qasim carried with himself all his effects, requisites, elephants, horses, and treasures comprising cash and jewelleries of the harem, and even gold and silver decorations of the Imambara, amounting to several lakhs in value, and bade farewell to the country of Bengal. After arriving at Monghyr (Munger), and attending to the work of strengthening its fortifications, he marched to Azimabad (Patna), in order to wait on the Emperor. Before Mir Qasim’s arrival at Azimabad, the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II had returned to that place, and the English going forward to receive him had accommodated His Majesty in their Factory. Sub¬sequently, Qasim Ali Khan also arrived, had the honour of an audience with the Emperor, and received from the latter the title of Nawab Ali Jah Naṣiru-l-mulk Imtiazu-d-daulah Qasim Ali Khan Nasrat Jang. But the officers of the Emperor marking some change in the conduct of Qasim Ali Khan marched back with the Emperor to Benaras, without giving any intimation thereof to the aforesaid Khan. Nawab Qasim Ali Khan followed them up to the confines of Buxar and Jagadishpur, and after pillag¬ing those places returned to Azimabad, halted at the residence of Ram Narain, and set himself to the work of administration of the affairs of that place.

Conflict with British[edit]

The Navab's arrival before Clive's position

Upon ascending the throne, Mir Qasim repaid the British with lavish gifts. To please the British, Mir Qasim robbed everybody, confiscated lands, reduced Mir Jafar's purse and depleted the treasury. However, he was soon tired of British interference and endless avarice and like Mir Jafar before him, yearned to break free of the British influence. He shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger in present day Bihar where he raised an independent army, financing them by streamlining tax collection.[4]

He opposed the British East India Company's position that their imperial Mughal licence (dastak) meant that they could trade without paying taxes (other local merchants with dastaks were required to pay up to 40% of their revenue as tax). Frustrated at the British refusal to pay these taxes, Mir Qasim abolished taxes on the local traders as well. This upset the advantage that the British traders had been enjoying so far, and hostilities built up. Mir Qasim overran the Company offices in Patna in 1763, killing several Europeans including the Resident. Mir Qasim allied with Shuja-ud-Daula of Avadh and Shah Alam II, the itinerant Mughal emperor, who were also threatened by the British. However, their combined forces were defeated in the Battle of Buxar in 1764.

The short campaign of Mir Qasim was significant as a direct fight against British outsiders. Unlike Siraj-ud-Daulah before him, Mir Qasim was an effective and popular ruler. The success at Buxar established the British as a powerful force in the province of Bengal-Bihar-Orissa in a much more real sense than the Battle of Plassey seven years earlier. By 1793 they were completely in charge of this former Mughal province

Mir Qasim was defeated by during the Battle of Murshidabad, Battle of Gherain and the Battle of Udhwa nala.

Death[edit]

Plundered of most of his treasures, placed on a lame elephant and expelled by Shuja-ud-Daula after he had been routed at the Battle of Buxar, 23 October 1764; he fled to Rohilkhand, Allahabad, Gohad and Jodhpur, eventually settling at Kotwal, near Delhi ca. 1774.

Mir Qasim died in obscurity and abject poverty possibly from dropsy, at Kotwal, near Delhi on 8 May 1777. His two shawls, the only property left by him, had to be sold to pay for his funeral.[5]

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

Mir Qasim
Born: (Unknown) Died: May 8, 1711
Preceded by
Mir Jafar
Nawab of Bengal
1760 - 1763
Succeeded by
Mir Jafar