The Immortals: Mir Khasim Ali Khan- warrior Nawab who fought the British

Mir Khasim Ali Khan was a warrior Nawab who fought against the East India Company till his end with the conviction that he could ensure safety to his kingdom and liberty and prosperity to his people only by driving the British out of India. Khasim Ali became the Nawab of Bengal on 27 September. 1760, as the company rulers dethroned Mir Jafar.

Nawab Mir Khasim Ali was the nephew of Mir Jafar. By that time, the excesses of the officers and employees of the East India Company and the traders had reached very notorious proportions. People who dared to protest against the British had to face severe punishments like imprisonment and physical torture. Mir Khasim Ali Khan could not tolerate the atrocities of the East India Company employees.

Hence Nawab started taking independent decisions. He wrote a letter to the council of the East India Company, protesting against the atrocities of the company officials and employees in May 1762. But there was no response.

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Meanwhile, the atrocities by the Company officials increased manifold. Left with no other option, Mir Khasim Ali decided to fight with the East India Company. He shifted the capital of Bengal from Murshidabad to Monghyr in 1762.

Mir Khasim started a war against the East India Company force on 10 June, 1763. But, he had to leave the battlefield as the British force had gained upper hand. Then Mir Khasim reached Ouadh. He garnered support from Shuja-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Ouadh and Shah Alam-II, the Delhi emperor.

They agreed to be with him in the war against Company. Mir KhasimAli Khan faced the East India Company troops at Buxar with the hope of getting help from Ouadh and Delhi troops. But the Ouadh and Delhi troops did not come forward and they were confined only to spectator roles in war because of the conspiracy of the British rulers.

As a result of the act of treachery, Mir Khasim had to face defeat and was forced to leave the battlefield. Avoiding to surrender himself to the enemy, Mir Khasim Ali escaped from the battlefield. And he moved secretly approaching different native rulers to garner support so that he can fight against the British once again. He made several infructuous attempts to fight back against the British.

Mir Khasim Ali Khan died near Delhi in 1777.

The article is part of a book titled ‘The Immortals’, written by the author.

Syed Naseer Ahamad is a Telegu writer and journalist who has written several books on the role of Muslims in the struggle for the freedom of India. Many of his books have been translated into other languages. He can be contacted at naseerahamedsyed@gmail.com

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