Every day is significant in history and in future. Specifically speaking every single day has its own importance in the history of Indian Independence or in general history of India. Today’s article will be about what happened today, years ago.
Today – 23rd June in the year 1757, was the day the famous Battle of Plassey started. So, with this article we are gonna dive into Indian history day by day. We will go in detail about the Battle of Plassey.
The Battle of Plassey took place between British East India Company and The Nawab of Bengal with his French allies. The British side was spear headed by Robert Clive while the Nawab at that time was Siraj ud-Daulah. The location of this battle was from where it got its name: Palashi (Plassey) on the banks of Hoogly river. Spoiler alert: British won. It was what we call “won by a landslide” in today’s terms. This should be a surprise because, the Nawab’s force combined with his French allies was much larger compared to that of Robert Clive’s.
Why is this battle important in the history of India?
There were a lot of battles and wars in the history of India’s Independence. But our history books do not talk about all of them. Firstly because it would take years to cover all that syllabus. Secondly, because not all battles were an important turning point in Indian history. Though every soldier’s sacrifice is respected. So, why is The Battle of Plassey important? We’ll see. This victory was a huge advantage to the East India Company in many ways. It was, in other words, a pivotal battle in the control of Indian subcontinent by the colonial powers. First and foremost, It aided the British to sieze control over Bengal entirely. After or due to this war, the British had big influence and control over the Nawab which helped them cover their losses due to previous causes. This battle also aided them to expand their military power. In the span of next hundred years, they won control over Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan and Myanmar. In short, this victory was the start of nearly two centuries rule of British over India.
What did it cost for India?
So we have seen what the British have gained from this battle. Let’s delve into what it cost us. Speaking in terms of casualties the Nawab’s forces lost 500 people to death and injury. Looking at the colonizer’s side, there were 22 deaths reported and 50 injured. This vast change in proportion is obvious because of the size of the army. More the soldiers, more the casualties. Now looking at the political side, the French were no longer a strong force in Bengal. Robert Clive placed Mir Jafar – commander of Siraj ud-Daulah’s army on the throne resulting in Mir Jafar becoming the first dependent Nawab of Bengal. Siraj ud-Daulah was then sentenced to death by Mir Jafar’s son. This battle led to a lot of similar puppet governments under the control of East India Company.
Now, to commemorate the turning point in Indian history, there is a monument situated in Palashi itself which is in West Bengal, India. So if you ever want to take a historic visit, I believe this could be a good choice.