Battle of Plassey
The Battle of Plassey was fought between the British East India Company and Siraj-ud-Daulah (Nawab of Bengal). Siraj-ud-Daulah was supported by the French. The battle took place on June 23, 1757. The victory of British East India company in the battle is one of the most important event in Indian History.
Clive did not delay once the conspiracy matured. He brought a few charges against the Nawab and advanced with his forces. The Nawab, too, proceeded to oppose his advance. On the bank of the river Bhagirathi, in the mango groves of a place named Plassey, the opposite forces met each other.
The date was the 23rd of June in the year 1757. On that day was fought the Battle of Plassey between the armies of Siraj-ud-daulah and Clive. There could be no comparison between the respective forces of the enemies. Because, the Nawab’s army contained 50,000 infantry and 28,000 cavalry. Clive’s army consisted of only 3,000 men, including English soldiers and Indian sepoys.
From the beginning of the battle, both Mir Jafar and Rai Durlav stood silently on with their vast forces without coming forward to fight. The two persons who fought desperately on behalf of the Nawab were the Hindu General Mohan Lal and the Muslim General Mir Madan. When Mir Madan fell dead on the field, the Nawab lost courage. But Mohan Lal continued to fight with heroic determination. For hours, the course of the war remained undecided and uncertain. Suddenly then, Mir Jafar advised the Nawab to send order to Mohan Lai to stop fighting. The dumbfounded Nawab sent that order to the fighting general. But Mohan Lal considered it a wrong order and continued to fight. Again and again the Nawab sent order to Mohan Lal to come back in order to satisfy Mir Jafar. Unable to disobey his superiors, Mohan Lal at length returned to Siraj. That was exactly what Mir Jafar wanted. When the fighting soldiers saw their leader withdrawing from the front, they lost heart and fled in all directions. In a moment’s time, the course of the battle turned for the worst. The Nawab realized his mistake. He could also know what Mir Jafar was. Amid terrible attack from Clive’s side, and with his army in panic, Siraj-ud-daulah fled from the field for life. With that ended the Battle of Plassey. With that, too, was decided the fate of Bengal and of India.
In the mango groves of Plassey was laid the foundation of the British Empire in India. The Battle of Plassey opened a new chapter in the annals of India. The ‘British Age’ in Indian history began.
The defeated Siraj-ud-daulah was caught at last. He was brought as a prisoner to his capital Murshidabad. There, at the order of Mir Jafar’s son, Miran, he was killed in cold blood. Siraj was not a good Nawab. But as the last independent Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and for his battle against the British, and his defeat and death, he occupied a permanent place in the tender memory of his nation. His misfortune invokes pathos and sympathy.