Sunday, November 29, 2009

NIZAM OF THE DECCAN

NIZAM OF THE DECCAN

The founder of the Asaf­Jah house of Hyderabad was Kilich Khan, popularly known as Nizam-ul-Mulk. It was Zulfikar Khan who had first conceived the idea of an independent state in the Deccan. But with his death in 1713 the dream remained unfulfilled. Kilich Khan, disgusted with the Mughal emperor who had appointed Mubariz Khan as a full-fledged viceroy of the Deccan, decided to fight Mubariz Khan. He defeated and later killed him in the battle of Shakr-Kheda (AD 1724). He now assumed control of the Deccan. In 1725, he became the viceroy and conferred on himself the title of Asaf-Jah.

AVADH The founder of the independent principality of Avadh was Saadat Khan, popularly known as Burhan­ul-Mulk. Saadat Khan was a Shia. He had joined in a
conspiracy against the Sayyid brothers, which resulted in his being given a mansab of 5,000 and later of 7,000. Later, driven out of the court, he was prompted to found a new independent state. Saadat .Khan committed suicide due to pressure from Nadir Shah who was demanding a huge booty from him. He was succeeded by Safdar Jang as the Nawab of Avadh.

BENGAL Murshid Kuli Khan was the founder of the independent state of Bengal. He was a capable ruler and made Bengal a prosperous state. He was succeeded in 1727 by his son Shuja-ud-din. His successor, Sarfaraz Khan was
killed in 1740 by Alivardi Khan, the deputy governor of Bihar at Gheria, who assumed power and made himself independent of the Mughal emperor by giving him yearly tribute.

RAJPUTS The Rajputs tried to re-establish their inde­pendence in the 18th century. This forced the Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah to march against Ajit Singh (1708), who had formed an alliance with Jai Singh II and Durgadas Rathor. But the alliance was broken and the situation was saved. At one time the Rajputs controlled the entire territory extending from the south of Delhi up to the western coast.

MYSORE Another important state to make its appear­ance in the eighteenth century was that of Mysore. This territory located at the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats was ruled by the Wodeyars. Various powers, inter­ested in this territory, turned the area into a constant battlefield. In the end the Mysore state was brought under the rule of Haider Ali who ruled the state but not without troubles. He was involved in constant warfare with the British and so was his son TIpu Sultan.

KERALA Martanda Varma established an independent state of Kerala with Travancore as his capital. He extended the boundaries of his state from Kanyakumari to Cochin. He made efforts to organise his army along the western model and adopted various measures to develop his state.

JATS The agriculturist Jat settlers living around Delhi, Mathura, and Agra revolted against the oppressive policies of Aurangzeb. After some initial setbacks Churaman and Badan Singh succeeded in setting up the Jat state of Bharatpur. But it was under Suraj Mal that Jat power reached its zenith. He not only provided an efficient system of administration but also greatly extended the territory of the state. His state included territories from Ganga in the east to Chambal in the south and included the Subahs of Agra, Mathura, Meerut and Aligarh. However, the Jat state suffered a decline after the death of Suraj Mal in 1763. Thereafter the state split into small areas controlled by petty zamindars who mainly lived by plunder.

SIKHS Guru Gobind Singh transformed the Sikhs into a militant sect in defence of their religion and liberties. Banda Bahadur, who assumed the leadership of the Sikhs in 1708, was defeated and killed. In the wake of the invasions of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali, the Sikhs once again asserted their authority. At this stage they organized themselves into 12 misls or confederacies which exercised control over different parts of the state. The credit for establishing a strong state of Punjab goes to Ranjit Singh. He was the son of Maha Singh, the leader of the Sukarchakiya misl. Ranjit Singh brought under control the area extending from Sutlej to Jhelum. He conquered Lahore in 1799 and Amritsar in 1802. By the Treaty of Amritsar with the British, Ranjit Singh acknowledged the British right over the cis­Sutlej territories. Ranjit Singh provided an efficient admin­istration. He greatly modernised his army with the help of Europeans. But towards the close of his reign, the English forced him to sign the Tripartite Treaty in 1838 with Shah Shuja and the English Company whereby he agreed to provide passage to the British troops through Punjab with a view to place Shah Shuja on the throne of Kabul. Ranjit Singh died in 1839. His successors could not keep the state intact and gave it up to the British.

MARATHAS Perhaps the most formidable province to emerge was that of the Marathas. Under the capable leadership of the Peshwas, the Marathas uprooted the Mughal authority from Malwa and Gujarat and established their rule. At one time they claimed the right to be the chief inheritors of the Mughal dominion till their authority was challenged by Ahmed Shah Abdali in the Third Battie of Panipat (1761). The Marathas quickly recovered from the defeat and offered the most formidable challenge to the English East India Company in the struggle for political supremacy in India.

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