“Remembrance and Learning from Battle of Plassey”: Initiative by Bharat Bangladesh Pakistan People’s Forum: NCHRO representative attended.
June 23 2018
The Battle of Plassey was a decisive victory of the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal on 23 June 1757. The battle consolidated the British East India Company’s presence in Bengal, which later expanded to cover much of India; the imperialist power exploited the country for a long 200 years and eventually led to the British becoming the greatest economic and military power.
Bharat Bangladesh Pakistan People’s Forum (BBPPF) and South Asia youth front (SAYF) jointly organized “Remembrance and Learning from Battle of Plassey” near Siraj-Ud-Doullah statue at Plassey monument, Plassey, Nadia, West Bengal. BBPPF Secretary, Manik Samjhdaar, introduced the activists and briefed about the gathering which aims to promote a shared and deeper understanding of the reasons, consequences and lessons to be learned from the Battle of Plassey.
Exco member of NCHRO, Ansar Indori told in his speech “This is judged to be one of the pivotal battles in the control of Indian subcontinent by the colonial powers. The British consequently made enormous wealth from India and further used this revenue to increase their military might and push the other European colonial powers such as the Dutch and the French out of South Asia, thus expanding the British Empire. Gurmeet Singh from Punjab told in his address that, this year 2018 is historically very important year for centenary of Jalianwala Bagh massacre. He also sing a revolutionary song.
Battle of Plassey was held on June 23, 1757 at a place called ‘Plassey’ on the banks of River Ganges in Nadiya district, 22 miles south of Murshidabad, exactly 261 years ago. Robert Clive was the British officer in the battle and many people know that Robert Clive’s victory was eased by support from one very unlikely quarter: from Nawab’s uncle, Mir Jaffar and the Jagat Seth and Omichand. British defeated the Nawab, largely by means of bribes. It was a sham battle; the Bengali general, Mir Jafar, betrayed Siraj-Ud-Doullah. The formidable Bengal army of about 60,000 soldiers, 300 cannons and 300 elephants outnumbered Clive’s forces of 3,000 by 20 times, and yet ended up deserting or surrendering. The battle was lost by soldiers who did not fight and won by generals or subedars, not exactly gallant.
In the early 18th century, India was a gigantic cesspool of business interests torn between European powers, native rulers, and the local or migrant merchants. The English East India Company sought to gain access to the province of Bengal because it was the most successful industrial region in India. In 1750, India accounted for 25% of world economic production contrasted to England’s 1.9%. In the short term, the Battle of Plassey benefitted the Company and its officers in Bengal at the expense of the Indians. Clive immediately plundered the Siraj’s treasury, leaving the new Nawab, Mir Jafar, Clive’s ally, with nothing. The war is considered to be very unfortunate for India. This war starts the story of India’s slavery. George Bruce Malleson, in The Decisive Battles of India (1883), described Plassey as the most unheroic English victory. It was Plassey, however, that exposed the subcontinent’s internal conflicts, destroying the native dynasties then in power and also the economy of Indian subcontinent.
In addition to many organizations, history conscious people and intellectuals of the country, also participated.