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NationalismOpinion

Why didn’t the British take over Odisha when they took over Bengal?

The treaty of Allahabad was signed between Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, son of late emperor Alamgir II and Robert, Lord Clive of the East India Company, as a result of the Battle of Buxar of 22nd October 1764. The treaty marked the political & constitutional involvement and the beginning of the British rule in India. Based on the terms of the agreement, Alam granted the East India Company Diwani rights. Diwani rights were the rights to collect taxes from the emperors from the eastern province of Bihar, Bengal & Orissa.

When Robert Clive got the Diwani rights from Shah Alam II it was considered to be one of the greatest acquisitions of that time. These rights allowed the East India Company to collect revenue directly from the people of Bengal, Bihar & Orissa. However, only the Midnapore district was part of Odisha, then, the Marathas were in occupation of the rest of Odisha. Warren Hastings too attempted to negotiate with the Marathas of Odisha, but in vain.

The Marathas prevented the British from entering for 38 years, until 1803. Colonel Harcourt, sailed from the northern Circars and landing at Ganjam, defeated the Marathas and took control of Puri. The shift in momentum started showing in other parts of Odisha too. By October, Balasore & Cuttack were also captured from the Marathas. Post the Battle of Laswari, the Maratha Ruler, Raghoji Bhonsle II, of Nagpur gave up the province of Cuttack that included the princely states of Western Odisha, Balasore, and Coastal Odisha to the British on December 17, 1803. The Marathas tried their best to resist the British attack, but nevertheless they did not go down without a fight.


Alok shetty

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