cont from page 1....
its trade items was not enough of a task for the dozens of foot soldiers it had employed.
East India Company Strawberry & Pepper Jam
In 1690 Aurangzeb Alamgir succumbed to John Child’s requestsAfter Mir Jumla came Shaista Khan, who served as the subahdar of Bengal from 1664 to 1668. Shaista Khan was perhaps the first one to notice the East India Company’s bulging garrisons, which according to James Lawford were big enough to produce two companies. Keeping this in view, Shaista Khan declined the Company’s request to fortify their settlement in Hooghly. As a reaction to this denial, in 1681, the English attempted to instate their own governor in the province, for which they were punished by levying duties heavy enough to put an end to their trading activities in the province. But the English were not ones to give up – they were ones to keep fighting even if it was utterly foolish to do so.
In 1688 King James the Second of England sent a fleet of ten ships to help the East India Company in its fight against the subahdar of Bengal. Needless to say, the Mughal governor served a humiliating defeat to the small band of Englishmen. The King’s reckless move resulted in the English being ousted from Bombay, too, and were en route being banned from practicing trade in India – but the lure of gold saved them.
In 1690, Aurangzeb Alamgir, the famed iron fisted, lethal Mughal ruler, succumbed to John Child’s – the Company’s Agent of Surat and later Bombay, too – requests and allowed the English East India Company to continue its trade with India – in return for 150,000 rupees per annum. Needless to say, the English took the offer, and made India pay a much heavier price in the years to come.
One can only wonder how a trading company managed to gather enough artillery and soldiersTaking the Indian Bull by the Horns – and Hurling it to the Ground
After Aurangzeb was gone – in 1707 – the Mughal Empire was reduced to nothing but a puppet show orchestrated by the Empire’s nobility. The fading power of the throne granted India’s foreign settlers a chance to expand their trade and garrisons unchecked. It is said that by the mid-1700s, the English East India Company’s garrisons held enough guns to provide two guns for one soldier – a generous amount of arms for a “trade organization”.
It was only a matter of time, then, that the English – who had been silently fuelling their arsenal with weapons and soldiers with the help of their navy – gained supremacy, first over Bengal after emerging victorious in 1757’s Battle of Plassey, and then over northern India as a whole, after defeating the combined forces of Shah Alam II, Mir Qasim and Shuja-ud-Daulah in 1764’s Battle of Buxar.
One can only wonder how a trading company managed to gather enough artillery and soldiers in its handful of trading outposts to defeat the forces of an Empire quite a few times bigger than the country it came from. Much of the credit for this goes to the Company’s (essentially, the British) navy, which was one of the best in the world at the time. And the rest of it, with the stupidity and greed of the Mughal rulers and nobility – including that of the “ironman” Aurangzeb Alamgir, who could not sniff out the snake in the grass even after being bitten twice.
- See more at: http://www.thefridaytimes.com/tft/wh....QhTZYItS.dpuf