Diwan Mohanlal (c. 1756 - 1757), was a Diwan of Siraj Ud Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal at Murshidabad. The Nawab made the decision of elevating a Hindu Kayastha bureaucrat named Mohanlal as his supreme Diwan. The elevation of a Hindu to such a prominent position caused the Muslim nobility, and in particular Mir Jafar, great offense. Mir Jafar was then the head of the armed forces, second only to the Nawab, and the elevation of a Hindu to a post above him was taken almost as a personal insult.
On the day of 23 June 1757 in the Battle of Plassey, Siraj-Ud-Daulah faced off against the British, apparently with overwhelming force, but at the critical time Mir Jafar's men stood watching passively while the soldiers of Siraj-Ud-Daula were decimated by the smaller but much better armed British forces. In the said 'so called' battle Mohanlal and his fellow leader Mir Madan fought their best on side of the Nawab Army. After the death of Mir Madan, he wanted to attack the British army rapidly and advised Siraj-Ud-Daula that the decision of retreat may be fatal for the Nawab. But the Nawab was already misguided by Mir Jafar did not consider Mohanlal's opinion.
Mohanlal was born in early eighteen century in a Royal Lal Yadav family of Purnea. He had two sons & a daughter. Raja Mohanlal was appointed "PESKAR" by Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah on 16 April 1756 & conferred "Maharaja" after Manihari War on 16 October 1756.
His son in law Bahadur Ali Khan was killed on 23 June 1757 in the battle of Plassey & hiselder son Raja Srimanta Lal of Purnea was killed by order of Miran, son of Nawab Mirjafar. He & his younger son Hukka Lal took shelter in Juranpur Kali Pith in Nadia district of West Bengal.
In popular culture
Mohanlal has been portrayed as a great patriot and the most trusted lieutenant of the nawab in the famous Bangladeshi movie Sirajud Daulah as well as in Indian movie Ami Sirajer Begam. Bengali poet Nabinchandra Sen also symbolized his heroic resistance in his poem Palashir Juddho and in the drama of Sachindranath Sengupta Sirajudullah.
It was stated that after the defeat of the battle of Plassey he fled to Mymensingh to save Siraj's child from the henchmen of Miran. Latter he took shelter in different places of Bengal such as Juranpur village Kali temple, a Shakti Peetha of Nadia district and Brindabanchandra Mandir at Guptipara, Hooghly. Few sources referred that Guptipara is the birthplace of Diwan Mohanlal.
- [permanent dead link] "Riyazu-s-salatin", A History of Bengal, Ghulam Husain Salim (translated from the Persian): viewable online at the Packard Humanities Institute
- Mir Jafar in the Banglapedia
- Yadavs of Indian (2009, English Edition) by Dr. Swapankumar Ghosh, Kolkata, published by Pandulipi Pages 133-135. ISBN Number: 978-93-83895-39-7
- ^ "Riyazu-s-salatin", Ghulam Husain Salim - a reference to the appointment of Mohanlal can be found [permanent dead link] here
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