Friday, June 23, 2017

Events During Reign of Lord Canning, the First Viceroy of India

Lord Canning was the Governor General of India from 1856 to 1862 during which time the Government of India Act 1858 was passed.

In this act, a new position was created in the Indian Administration known as the office of the Viceroy.

The position of Viceroy was held by the Governor General of India hence making Lord Canning the first viceroy of India.

We all know that the great mutiny known as the Sepoy mutiny happened in 1857.

This was one of the significant events during the tenure of Lord Canning.

Apart from this, some important events which happened were the passing of the Indian councils act 1861, withdrawal of the  Doctrine of Lapse, introduction of Indian Penal Code 1858, establishment of the High Courts of India, Bengal rent act of 1859, collection of experimental income tax etc.

Queen Victoria’s Proclamation, 1858

In November 1858, a royal proclamation from the Queen of England was sent to the grand Darbar of Allahabad by Lord Canning.

This proclamation stated that Queen Victoria had taken direct control of the Government of India.

It also established principles upon which the governing of India shall be conducted in the future.

Some of the key features of this Queen's Proclamation of 1858 are as follows:

1. Treaties and agreements which were negotiated and made by the East India Company with Indian princely states would still be valid and honoured.

2. East India Company will not be allowed to extend its territories and neither would any Indian state allowed to intrude on British territories.

3. The status and dignity of the native Indian princess would be honoured.

4. Queen Victoria through this proclamation stated a desire that British people in India should enjoy prosperity and social advancement which could only be achieved by a state of internal peace and good government.

5. There will be no discrimination on the basis of race or otherwise for admission to various services or offices of the government. This meant that Indians as well as British nationals hold equal status when it comes to recruitment offices.

6. The people of India who did not directly partake in the murder of a British national during the sepoy mutiny will receive complete amnesty.

7. This proclamation was known as the Magna Carta of the people of India.

The end of the company’s Army

Once the government of India came directly under the Crown, the army of the East India Company was dissolved.

The last assembly of the company's Army was held on 1st September 1858.

Any members of its army which were still left in India were incorporated as a part of the British royal Army.

Indian sepoys were also recruited in the regular service of British army.

Government of India Act 1858

The Government of India Act received ascent from Queen Victoria on August 2nd 1858 and came into force on November 1st 1858.

This act provided for the liquidation of the assets of East India Company so that they could be transferred and taken under the control of the British government.

The key points for this are:

1. The secretary of state of India now held the powers of the Board of Control and court of directors of the East India Company. Taking the full control and authority of the Indian Administration was the whole purpose behind creating this office.

2. The secretary of state of India was accountable to the British Parliament and was also a member of the British Parliament.

3. The secretary of state for India had 15 members out of which more than 50% of the members must have lived in India for at least 10 years

4. As the secretary of state of India was accountable to the British Parliament, the members could ask him on any matters related to the Indian Administration.

5. The Governor General or the viceroy was a representative of the British parliament in India. The office of Viceroy was created to act as a diplomat so that he could negotiate with other princely states in India. Both the offices of governor general and the viceroy were held by a single person. The viceroy was responsible to the secretary of state for India

6. The Government of India Act centralised the structure of administration but it was only a formal change and it did not cause any significant changes in the lives of the general public of India.

Indian Councils Act 1861

In 1861, the British Parliament passed the Indian Councils act which provided for the addition of a fifth member to the governor general’s council.

By doing this, the burdened office of the governor general finally had some adequate help.

Apart from this, about 6 to 12 members were also added for the sole purpose of making laws.

The governor general was also empowered with some special powers so that he could easily perform his duties without going through lengthy channels.

He now had the power to delegate some of his tasks to the individual members of his executive Council.

The Indian Councils Act also provided the governments of Bombay and Madras with legislative powers.

Indian Civil Services Act 1861

This act stated that any person, Indian or otherwise could be recruited to any of those offices which were mentioned in the Act.

The only condition was that he must have been a resident of India for at least 7 years.

Any candidate who wished to be recruited, had to pass an exam in the local language of the district in which he wants to be employed.

But this act also maintained that some of the principal civil offices in India were reserved for people who had serviced in the covenanted Civil Service means that only British people were eligible for these offices.

When Indians demanded to be recruited in the covenanted Civil Services, they were turned down.

Indian High Courts Act 1861

By this act, the Supreme Courts, Sadar Diwani Adalat, and Sadar Faujdari Adalat were combined and High Courts were established in India.

The jurisdiction of above mentioned courts was absorbed by the High Courts.

Every High Court composed of one chief justice and 15 judges at the most.

The high court of judicature of Fort Williams was established on 1st July 1862, the first chief justice of this court was Sir Barnes peacock.

This court was later named as the Calcutta High Court and was the first High Court of India whose first Indian judge was Justice Shambhu Nath Pandit.

The Bombay High Court was established on 14th August 1862.

Madras High Court was established on 26th June 1862.

On 17th March 1866, a High Court of judicature came into existence at Agra for the North Western provinces. It was shifted from Agra to Allahabad in 1869 and it later became the High Court of Allahabad on 11th March 1919.

Indian Penal code 1862

The Indian Penal Code was drafted in 1860 and was enacted in 1862.

Before this time, justice was served on the basis of “the English criminal law”.

One more important thing about the Indian penal code is that the initial sketch was drawn by Lord Macaulay in 1830s.

Introduction of Income Tax

As mentioned above by the Indian Council act 1861, a fifth member was added to the executive Council of the governor general.

This member was added as a finance member.

James Wilson was the first finance member of governor generals Council.

Initially he proposed three different types of taxes but his successor was the one who introduced the income tax.

His name was Laing.

A person who had an income of more than rupees 500 had to pay 5% tax per year.

Among other financial reforms, the government significantly reduced its expenditure on military.

Salt taxes were also increase in order to boost the revenue from the Indian states.

Mild policy of Lord Canning

Lord Canning was given the title of ‘Clemency Canning’.

After the mutiny of 1857, he did not seek vengeance from the Indian Sepoys.

His Policy was liberal and tolerant which is why he imparted some level of faith in the Indian community at that time.

He provided the Indian princes with different favours who had helped the British during the revolution.

He also was a part of the abolishment of the doctrine of lapse which finally made it clear that the British government shall not interfere unless it's a case of misgovernance and once the situation was back to normal the British shall withdraw from that it.

Canning died within a month of leaving India in March 1862. He was succeeded by Lord Elgin.

Social Reforms of Lord William Bentinck (Sati, Infanticide & Thugs) in Indian Society

Lord Bentinck became the governor general of India after Lord Amherst.

He took office in the year 1828.

Bentinck was the first governor general who took significant steps to weed out the social evils that plagued the country at that time like sati pratha and infanticide.

Lord Bentinck was a compassionate leader and administrator.

He reorganised the law and order of the country and established several new laws and reforms.

He controlled the activities of the thugs, distributed the Subordinate Services among the Indians, established freedom of press and also made several reforms in order to improve the prevailing educational system.

Before Lord Bentinck became the Governor General of India, none of his predecessors paid any attention to the prevailing social evils in the Indian society.

Lord Bentinck tried to change several cruel rituals of the Hindu society which included sati pratha and killing of infants.

In the 19th century, the ritual of sati pratha was dominantly practised in Bengal.

According to this ritual, a devoted wife had to burn herself with the dead body of her husband.

It was considered to be an act which symbolised an uninterrupted and never ending union of the couple.

The reason behind the popularity of this ritual was a false degree of devotion by a wife to her husband.

Apart from Lord Bentinck, several princes and foreign mercenaries had also taken several steps to remove such rituals from the prevailing society.

But these measures were not applicable by law and therefore failed miserably.

Before Bentinck’s time, the East India Company had stuck to its previous policy according to which it had to stay away from the social and religious ways of the Indian people.

But Lord Bentinck looked down at the cult of sati pratha and declared this ritual as illegal.

Following his predetermined aim to reform the Indian society, he sought guidance and assistance from elite Indians like Raja Ram Mohan Roy who himself was trying to condemn the practice of Sati by publishing and distributing pamphlets among the general people.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy agreed to assist Lord Benitink in his attempts and provided him with all the help he needed.

Before Lord Bentinck initiated the process for the introduction of anti-Sati laws, he collected data about all the prominent cases which had emerged at that time and took the opinions of army officers, the judges of the nizamat Adalat and the superintendent of the police which represented different provinces in Bengal.

After a proper discussion with all of these people, he finally declared the practice of Sati illegal by the regulation number XVII of December 1829.

In this regulation he declared that the practice of Sati in any form was illegal and the practitioners would be liable to be incriminated by the courts.

Initially this regulation was only applied in the Bengal presidency but later on in 1830, this regulation was also applied in different forms to Madras and Bombay Presidencies.

Although there was no public disorder or riots of any sort, some orthodox Bengali people made an unsuccessful appeal to the privy Council which protested the interference of the East India company in the religious rituals.

But ultimately, sati pratha was completely eradicated from the society due to the significant steps taken by William Cavendish Bentinck.

In the 19th Century Bengal, infanticide was also one of the bigger problems of the society.

Killing of girl babies was pretty common in those days and it was mostly popular among the Rajput.

A girl child was considered to be evil and the mother who bore a girl child was cursed for her mistake.

This practice was quite common in Gujarat and Banaras where the tribes like Jharija Rajput, Jats and Mewati.

It's not like that these practices were legal at that time but the laws and measures which were applicable had proven inadequate and unsuccessful.

Lord Bentinck recognised this practice as inhumane and immoral and therefore took strict steps in order to suppress it.

He reorganised Bengal regulation XXI of 1795 and regulation III of 1804.

He put a ban on sacrificing of children at special occasions which was being practised in the Saugar islands in Bengal at that time.

Lord Bentinck was a true social worker even though he was a British Governor General.

He took significant and effective steps to reduce the growing number of thugs day by day.

These thugs belonged to a section of the society which descended from Assassin's and robbers who preyed on travellers.

When the Mughal Empire fell, the administration of Bengal was left in ruins which directly led to an increase in the number of thieves and thugs.

Although there were some officials who were given the duty to control the activities and movements of these criminals but instead, they started helping them in exchange of a small part of their spoils.

Lord Bentinck had had enough of these petty crimes and hence decided to deal with this problem once and for all.

He declared harsh punishments for those who provided these thugs protection.

Now, when Bentinck passed laws banning infanticide and sati pratha, there were some people who did not support these actions but when he took measures against thievery, the public opinion changed in his favour.

After this law was passed, 1500 thugs were captured and sentenced to death.

This brought a quick end to organised thugs.

Bentinck remained Governor General of India for 7 years in which he achieved amazing levels of social and economic progress for the Indian society.

William Bentink objectively worked for legislative, financial and educational reforms while giving less priority to administrative reforms.

This sort of dedicated work liberated India from different social evils.

Bentinck was very farsighted and he abolished transit duties in order to encourage free trade.

He also developed and enhanced steam transport by river and ocean.

As far as production industry is concerned, he encouraged the production and cultivation of tea and coffee, iron and coal et cetera.

After centuries of the rule of the Mughals and several years of abuse from the East India Company, Lord Bentinck was the first who actually worked for the betterment of the Indian society and improve their quality of living.

For this he attracted a lot of admirers even from the Indian society.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Dual System of Government in Bengal Under Lord Clive

Robert Clive was appointed as the governor of Bengal for the second time in May 1765 with the objective to resolve the increasing problems in India which surfaced after the Battle of Buxar.

He was also given the position of the commander in chief of Bengal.

As soon as he returned to Bengal as its commander in chief, Robert Clive laid out detailed and extensive plans for reforms.

Introduction of Dual system of government in Bengal was the main part of these reforms.

After the British victory in the Battle of Buxar, Vensittrat was appointed as the governor of Bengal.

In the heat of his victory, he was also tempted to conquer the area of Awadh by removing the Nawab from his throne.

But Robert Clive was smarter than him.

He did not approve with this idea.

He realized that Awadh could prove to be an important territory in the near future due to its crucial location between the British and Maratha territories.

The Maratha force was very strong at that time and Robert Clive wanted to avoid an invasion from the Marathas at any cost.

So he made Awadh a strong and independent territory such that it would act as a buffer between the British and Maratha territories.

He restored the Nawab of Awadh to his throne and in return he received an annual tax of fifty lakh rupees from him.

The Nawab also let go off two strong areas which were Kora and Allahabad.

Apart from all this, he also promised the British East India Company that he will support and co-operate with them in times of danger.

At the same time Robert Clive made a treaty with the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II, according to which the British East India Company would give him the status of the emperor of Delhi.

He also convinced the emperor to bestow the Diwani rights upon the company of the territories of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

Diwani rights means that the Company now had the authority to collect the revenue all these three states.

In return for these rights, the company would pay the Mughal emperor twenty six lakh rupees per year.

This proposal was accepted by Shah Alam II and hence, the British got control of the revenue of Bengal Bihar and some parts of Orissa which were to the north of river Swarna Rekha.

Apart from establishing a strong fiscal status and authority of the British East India Company in the Bengal region, Robert Clive also wanted a strong foundation and status of the company in terms of jurisdiction and politics.

To achieve this goal, after the death of Mir Zafar, Robert Clive placed his son Nizam Ud Daula on the Throne of Bengal.

Nizam Ud Daula was just a public figure but as far as administration was concern he had no actual power.

Clive was determined to distinctly distinguish the status of the Nawab of Bengal, East India Company and the Emperor of Delhi.

Therefore he persuaded the Nawab of Bengal to part with the military powers and criminal jurisdiction in Bengal.

It was known as Nizamat at that time.

Therefore with these Nizamat rights from the Nawab of Bengal and the Diwani rights from the Mughal emperor, the East India Company now had control over the fiscal revenues and the military power of Bengal.

This added to their power and stronghold over the entire Bengal region.

The Nawab of Bengal was still in charge of the police administration and received 53 lakh rupees from the British East India Company every year.

This way, the Bengal administration was divided between the East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal and hence it was called as the dual system of Administration or government.

However Robert Clive did not take direct control of Bengal’s administration.

He left it in the hands of two deputies which were appointed by the Nawab of Bengal with the approval of the British East India Company.

The two deputies were Mahammad Riza Khan who was the deputy Nawab of Bengal and Raja Sitab Roy who was the deputy Nawab of Bihar.

Critical Analysis of the Dual System of Government in Bengal

The dual administration system was very beneficial for the British because the direct result of such a governing system was that the while the British had all the power in the region, they did not have any of the responsibilities.

Civil and police responsibilities rested with the deputy Diwans which were appointed by the Company’s directors.

This system had various disadvantages and led to the ultimate breakdown of Bengal’s administration.

The local peasants suffered huge losses due to the unreasonable tax structure which proved to be a huge burden on the farmers.

There was considerable decline in the agricultural industry.

Local handlooms businesses were all but destroyed and trade had become way too costly for the local merchants to continue.

Abolition of Dual System of Government

The dual system of government served to be beneficial only for a certain period of time as it served the immediate need of circumstances created by the aftermaths of the battle of Buxar.

This system brought the Nawab of Bengal under British control which was vital for the British expansion.

The Farmans of the local Nawabs carried no weight without the support of the company, but Clive knew that this unofficial control of the British over the Bengal region would be considered as a breach of the international diplomatic etiquette at The Hague (The Dutch Parliament) or at Paris.

Therefore, he found the middle ground of dual government through which he could unofficially control the region but at the same time maintain the fa├žade of a local authority still being in power.

This way, he would attract much less criticism diplomatically and conduct the company’s business without much interference from the British parliament.

This dual system of governance was finally abolished by Warren Hastings in 1772.

He reasoned that this system was never meant to be a permanent solution for administration.

It was merely a result of tough situations which required an urgent and yet effective solution to the administration struggle in Bengal during 1765.

Battle of Chinsurah (1759) Explained through Video Lecture

The battle of Chinsurah is also known as the Battle of Biderra.

The battle took place on 25th of November 1759 near Chinsurah during the Seven Years War.

It was fought between the British East India Company and the Dutch East India Company.

The forces of the Dutch East India Company were invited by the then Nawab of Bengal, Mir Jafar.

Mir Jafar had siezed the throne as the Nawab of Bengal by betraying Siraj Ud Daula.

Since then, he had been under the influence and power of the British East India Company and wanted to get out of their claws by any means necessary.

Therefore, he sought help from the Dutch East India Company.

Now the British and the Dutch were not at war with each other.

Despite this, the Dutch forces moved up the Hooghly River in Bengal.

There they were met by the British forces which contained a mixture of European and local troops.

The two forces met at Chinsurah which is located just outside Calcutta.

The British forces won the battle and were led by Colonel Francis Forde.

The naval vessels which were used by the Dutch to deliver the troops to the battlefield were defeated in a separate battle on November 24th.

Background to the Battle of Chinsurah

In 1757, the French outpost at Chander Nagore was captured by the British East India Company.

This was too much for Mir Zafar who had danced enough on the Company’s whims.

So he decided to ask the Dutch East India Company for help.

He promised them that he would help in bringing their troops into the area in secret meetings and negotiations.

The countries of Britain and Dutch Republic were at peace at that time but tensions were rising due to the Seven Years’ War.

Moreover, the hero of the Battle of Plassey, Robert Clive was busy fighting the French.

Seeing such a good opportunity, Dutch leaders at the outposts of Chinsurah decided to make good use of it and expand their influence in the area.

They sent additional troops to Chinsurah which contain a fleet of 7 ships, which consisted of more than 1500 European and Malay troops.

These soldiers came from Batavia.

They reached the mouth of the Hooghly River in October 1759, when Mir Zafar was in a meeting with Robert Clive in Calcutta.

Mir Jafar had been forced to take help from the British East Indian Company so that he could tackle the threats on his Northern borders.

In his meeting with Robert Clive, he promised that upon his return to Hooghly, he would ask the Dutch to leave immediately.

After his meeting with the Dutch directors at Hooghly, Zafar informed Clive that he had given the Dutch some special privileges for the meantime and their ships would leave as soon as circumstances would allow.

But Robert Clive was very cunning.

He figured out that the Dutch were recruiting around the areas of Chinsurah and hence he treated this situation as a real military issue which gave him ample amount of time to prepare for the threat.

Clive had four naval ships at his disposal out of which he sent one to request the assistance from Admiral Cornish who was at that time, patrolling the eastern coast of India.

However, this ship was captured by the Dutch forces.

Clive rolled out the military calls for volunteers who would fight alongside him.

He increased the fortification on the river and sent Colonel Francis Forde with only 500 soldiers towards Chandranagar.

The main objective to send Francis Ford was to capture the Dutch outpost which was located at Barnagore.

This was to prevent the Dutch from capturing Chandranagore if they tried to do so.

On 21st November, Dutch troops landed on the northern shores of Hooghly River, just outside the range of the English river batteries.

They started their march for Chinsurah.

Events during the Battle of Chinsurah

Naval battle

After the capture of one of the British ships, Clive was left with only 3 vessels named as the Duke of Dorset, the Calcutta and the Hardwicke.

These three vessels followed the Dutch ships up the Hooghly River.

Once the Dutch ships had deployed the troops on the coast they began moving down the stream.

On 23rd November commander of the British flotilla, Charles Wilson, indicated to the Dutch ships that he wanted to pass them.

The Dutch Ships threatened to fire upon the British ships if they tried to do so.

Clive sent an ultimatum to the Dutch stating that they must retreat from the outpost which the Dutch had captured.

This ultimatum was rejected and on the following day, the two naval fleets engaged in a two hour battle.

Consequently, the Duke of Dorset defeated the Dutch flag ship vessel Vissingen, and Hardwicke and Calcutta grounded another ship having chased down two other fleeing ships.

The reinforcement British ships moved up the mouth of Hooghly and captured the fleeing ships.


On 24th of November, the infantry divisions of both the Dutch and British East Indian Company engaged in battle.

British forces were led by Colonel Forde.

Forde pushed the Dutch forces back to Chinsura and captured the Dutch artillery.

Soon enough, Forde received reinforcements from Calcutta which increased the total size of his army to 1200 soldiers.

Mir Zafar also sent 100 cavalry riders just to pretend to be helping out the British forces.

But in truth, they were instructed to just observe from the sidelines and support whoever was victorious.

Colonel Forde learnt from the prisoners of war that the Dutch would be receiving reinforcements the next day.

He immediately sent word to Robert Clive asking for his advice on the matter.

He was of the opinion that fighting the Dutch reinforcements would be considered as an act of war between the two countries at a time when they were at peace.

Robert Clive simply wrote back, "Dear Forde, fight them immediately".


Colonel Forde, having received clear and concise instructions from Robert Clive, chose the plains of Biderra as his forte.

It was located between Chinsurah and Chandernagore.

At 10 o'clock on the morning of 25th November, the Dutch forces arrived and marched through the center of the village of Biderra.

As soon as they entered, Forde ordered his artillery to attack.

The Dutch soldiers kept moving forward in spite of heavy artillery strikes.

When the front of the attacking army reached the center of the field, they found themselves facing a wide ditch which had been prepared by the British on the previous night.

They got confused and stopped.

Once the front of the force had come to a halt, the rear still kept pushing forward, creating an environment of utter confusion.

Meanwhile, Forde ordered his infantry to fire upon them with muskets as they were in range.

Before the Dutch could understand that they had to retreat, they had already suffered huge losses.

But Forde was not done with them yet, he sent out his cavalry after the retreating soldiers to finish them off.

At this time, the 100 cavalry men sent by the Nawab were asked to attack too, but they remained put.

They only joined the fight when a second wave of cavalry was sent after the retreating Dutch.

The defeat for the Dutch was so appalling, that only thirteen European soldiers managed to return alive from the battle.

Consequences of the Battle of Chinsurah

This was a huge victory for the British East Indian Company.

Mir Zafar was replaced by his son in law after his Betrayal was discovered and the British further strengthened their position in the Bengal region.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Battle of Buxar Detailed Explanation through Video Lecture

The Battle of Buxar was fought between the British East India Company and the coalition forces of the Nawabs of Bengal and Awadh and the Mughal emperor.

Video Explanation can be found at

The East India Company's forces were led by Major Hector Monroe whereas the Indian coalition forces were led by Mir Qasim- the Nawab of Bengal, Shuja Ud Daula- the Nawab of Awadh, and Shah Alam II the Mughal emperor.

The battle was fought at Buxar which currently is in Bihar, on 23rd October 1764.

Buxar was in Bengal at that time.

Causes that led to the Battle of Buxar

After the Battle of Plassey, Mir Qasim sat on the throne of Bengal as its Nawab.

Mir Qasim was an independent and skilled Nawab, Bengal had ever seen.

He introduced several reforms during his reign, for example the expenditure on administration and palaces were reduced and he redirected those funds to manufacture fire locks and guns.

In his reign, new taxes were imposed and the capital, which was previously Monghiyar, was shifted to Murshidabad.

The increase in tax collection resulted in regular payment of salaries to the standing army.

All these reforms annoyed the officials of the British East India Company as they only wanted Mir Qasim to be a puppet Nawab whereas Mir Qasim had always tried to keep himself away from the influence of the British.

This caused a number of conflicts between him and the British.

Before the Battle of Buxar was fought, Mir Qasim was defeated between thrice from June to September 1763.

As a result of these successive defeats, he was forced to flee Bengal to Allahabad where he met Shuja Ud Daula, the Nawab of Awadh.

At the same time, Shah Alam II had just took the throne as the Mughal emperor and he wanted to bind several states as one physically stronger Empire which included Bengal.

At that time Bengal included the areas of Bihar and Orissa.

To achieve this goal, Shah Alam II first needed to overthrow the British dominance over this area.

However he was unable to overpower them.

So he took shelter under Shuja Ud Daula.

Now, Shuja Ud Daula had always wanted to destroy the English Supremacy in the Bengal region.

Therefore the three rulers joined their hands against the British and the main cause of conflict became the share of Bengal.

They declared war against the East India Company on 23rd October 1764 at a place called Katkauli which is six Kilometers from Buxar.

Just like the Battle of Plassey, the battle of Buxar also did not last more than a few hours but it also registered itself as one of the most significant battles ever fought in the Indian history.

In the Battle of Buxar, the combined forces of India contained 40000 men while the British East India Company fought with only 10000 men out of which 7000 were from the British army.

The Indian forces were led by Shah Alam II, Shuja Ud Daula and Mir Qasim while the East India Company's forces were led by major Hector Monroe.

Lord Clive was absent at that time and was in England.

In the battle, 847 soldiers of the British forces were killed while more than 2000 soldiers from the Indian side were killed.

After the battle, the British made a stone memorial at Katkauli in remembrance of the fallen soldiers.

Aftermath of the Battle of Buxar

The battle was won by the British East India Company in the leadership of major Hector Monroe.

The three combined forces of Mir Qasim, Shah Alam II and Shuja Ud Daula got defeated under the leadership of Major Munro.

After the defeat, Mir Qasim fled to the North- West and died there.

Shah Alam II left the company of Shuja Ud Daula and took shelter in the British camp.

Shuja Ud Daula was the only left leader who tried to defeat the British until the year 1765, but was unsuccessful.

He also had to flee to Rohilkhand.

According to major historians, the main cause of defeat of the Indian forces was the lack of coordination among leaders.

Consequences of the Battle of Buxar

One of the immediate consequences of the Battle of Buxar was that it lead to the Allahabad treaty between Lord Robert Clive and Mughal emperor Shah Alam II.

After the defeat of Nawab Mir Qasim, the era of Nawabs came to an end.

With the victory at Buxar, the British East India Company secured the Diwani rights or the fiscal rights which meant that the East India Company could now manage the revenues of large areas.

To give you an estimate of the area under the company’s dominance, I would say that it included Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and even some parts of Bangladesh.

To secure these fiscal rights, the British made a treaty with the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II under which the Company would give 26 lakh rupees to the Mughal emperor.

After being victorious at Buxar, the company’s army moved towards Awadh and gained control over Banaras and Allahabad.

Shuja Ud Daula had to pay the Company 50 lakh rupees as expenses of war and 25 lakh rupees more in installments.

The Allahabad treaty made the dominance of the British over Eastern India, official.

The Treaty also provided for a few men from the Company's Army to be placed at the Allahabad fort which had now become the fort of the Mughal emperor.

They were placed their for the protection of the emperor.

Significance of the Battle of Buxar

The Battle of Plassey may have laid down the foundation of the British East India Company's dominance over Bengal, but the Battle of Buxar cemented their roots.

Major Hector Monroe, following the footsteps of Robert Clive, strengthened the East India Company's position and dominance over the whole of Bengal.

Revenues which were collected from states of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa went straight to the company’s treasury.

This brought the Mughal emperor under total influence of the British East India Company.

Moreover the Company now had full authority and control over the army, finances and revenues of the region.

The responsibility to collect these revenues rested with the Nawabs but they had no influence or power.

With all these revenues collected, the Company now had enough funds to carry out their plans of expansion.

According to the British history, Ramsey Muir, the Battle of Buxar finally riveted the shackles of the Company's rule in Bengal.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Everything about the Battle of Plassey Explained through Video Lecture

The Battle of Plassey was fought in the year 1757 AD.

Video Lecture can be found at

It was fought between Siraj Ud Daulah with the support of the French Company and East India Company.

Siraj Ud Daulah was the Nawab of Bengal at that time and this battle was fought about 30 kilometers from Murshidabad.

This battle is considered to be a turning point in our history and it basically established the foundation of the British rule in India.

East India Company was headed by Robert Clive who had just returned after being victorious in the three Carnatic Wars.

Background of the Battle of Plassey

In the year 1717, the East India Company had secured special privileges through a Royal Farman by the Mughal emperor Farukhsiyar.

According to this Farman, the East India Company had the right to conduct their business of export and import, without paying any taxes in Bengal.

The company also had the right to issue passes or Dastaks to smoothly move their goods.

This Farman was a point of conflict between the East India Company and the Nawabs of Bengal.

When the Throne of Bengal was inherited by Siraj Ud Daula, who was a quick tempered person, things became worse.

He demanded that the East India Company must trade on the same basis and terms which were applicable to them in the times of Murshid Quli Khan.

Obviously, the Company refused to do so and without the permission of the Nawab of Bengal, started to build fortifications in Calcutta.

In response to this, Siraj Ud Daulah attacked the fortifications of British East Indian Company in Calcutta which led to the tragedy of Black hole of Calcutta.

It was followed by the Battle of Plassey in 1757.

Robert Clive, who was heading the forces of the East India Company, saw this as an opportunity to establish the Company’s foundations in Bengal.

He convinced Mir Zafar to betray Siraj Ud Daula by promising him Bengal’s throne.

Start of the Battle of Plassey

On 23rd June 1757, in a small village and a mango grove between Calcutta and Murshidabad, a place known as Plassey, the forces of the East India Company and the army of Siraj Ud daula met face to face.

Siraj Ud Daula had an army of fifty thousand men along with the support of the French.

But Clive commanded only 800 European soldiers and 2200 Indian sepoys.

During the battle, a storm hit the battlefield which rendered the gunpowder of the Siraj Ud Daula forces useless.

He thought that the gunpowder of the Company’s army would also be affected in the same way and launched a cavalry attack.

This cavalry was met with brutal gunshots and canon strikes from the British army.

The battle was over within a few hours.

Siraj Ud Daula fled the battlefield along with 2000 of his soldiers.

He was killed while he was making a run for Bihar by Mir Zafar’s son, Miran.

Mir Zafar was soon put on the Throne of Bengal by the East India Company.

However, soon enough he realised that he was only a puppet Nawab and the British were ruthlessly taking advantage of him.

He was soon replaced by a more loyal puppet named as Mir Qasim.

Consequences of the Battle of Plassey

This was the first victory of the East India Company, which started as a succession war for the throne of Murshidabad.

The French Company’s ambitions for Bengal were shattered once and for all.

The French company was left with only four areas which they kept until the Independence of India.

The French never challenged the British supremacy again except at Masulipatnam in 1759 which they also lost.

By winning this battle, the East India Company had established their roots in our country.

Soon after this war, the company rejuvenated its forces with the tax collected from the Bengal province.

This tax also funded a considerable number of subsequent battles which were fought with other states resulting in the company's expansion in India.

Aftermath of the Battle of Plassey

The East India Company extorted huge sums of money from Mir Zafar as the price to put him at the throne of Bengal.

Mir Zafar paid one crore and seventy seven lakh rupees out of which the East India Company received 1.5 crores.

The rest was for Robert Clive.

Although Mir Zafar had eventually succeeded in fulfilling his long term goal of sitting at the throne, but he was not at peace with the way the British were extorting him.

When he realized that the demands and favors of the company would never end, he planned to retaliate with the help of the Dutch.

He started secret negotiations with the Dutch East India Company to bring soldiers into Bengal to fight the British.

The Dutch leaders took advantage of this opportunity and sent forces at Chinsurah.

The battle took place both at sea and on land and was won by the British East India Company.

Mir Zafar was removed from his title and replaced by his son in law Mir Kasim. 

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Cabinet Committees and Empowered Group of Ministers in Indian Parliament

The Cabinet is the highest decision making government body of our country which is headed by the Prime Minister.

However, given the huge workload of various issues which need to be addressed, sometimes either the Cabinet or the Prime Minister delegate some of the work to special committees.

These committees deal with special problems and are constituted according to the situation.

Following important points can be noted with respect to these Cabinet committees

1. The concept of Cabinet committees is not mentioned in the constitution, hence they are called extra constitutional.

These committees are based on the Rules of Business which provide a provision for setting up of such committees

2. There are two types of Cabinet committees, Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees.

Standing Cabinet Committee is a committee which is permanent in nature.

Ad Hoc committees are those committees which are temporary in nature.

These committees are formed periodically to deal with special problems.

Once the situation is resolved by the relevant committee, it is then dissolved.

For example, in 1962 after the Chinese invasion, an Emergency committee was setup.

3. Cabinet committees are formed by the Prime Minister as per the requirements of the situation and time.

Therefore the number of such committees which differ from time to time and their composition also varies.

4. The number of members in a Cabinet committee can be anywhere between three members to eight members.

These members are generally cabinet ministers but other ministers are also not banned from such committees.

5. Such committees not only include senior Cabinet ministers but also those ministers who are closely related to the situation at hand.

6. The Cabinet committees are generally headed by the Prime Minister.

But if the Prime Minister is not a member of a Cabinet committee, then other members of the Cabinet can also be the head of the committee, especially the Finance Minister and the Home Minister.

However, whenever the Prime Minister is a member of a Cabinet committee, he automatically becomes the chairman of the committee.

7. The main objective of these committees is to examine and investigate the situations at hand and also make some proposals for the resolution of such issues.

These proposals are presented to the Cabinet which then takes the appropriate decision.

This does not mean that the Cabinet committees don’t have the authority to take decisions.

But any decision taken by the Cabinet committee can be reviewed by the Cabinet

8. The Cabinet Committees serve as a device to reduce the huge load of work that falls upon the Cabinet.

Also, with the formulation of such committees, it is possible for government to examine a certain issue thoroughly so that desirable consequences can be achieved.

The principle behind the formation of such communities is the division of labor and efficient delegation of workload.

9. Some of the important standing committees are the Political Affairs committee, the Economic Affairs Committee, Appointments Committee and the Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

Out of these Committees, the first three are chaired by the Prime Minister himself whereas the Parliamentary Affairs Committee is headed by the Home Minister.

The most powerful Cabinet committee is the Political Affairs Committee which is also known as a Super Cabinet.

Functions of the Standing Committees

Political Affairs Committee: This committee deals with all policy making or policy revision matters including both domestic and foreign.

Economic Affairs Committee: This committee monitors and examines the government’s activities in the economic sector.

Appointments Committee: This committee deals with all the higher level appointments in The Central Secretariat, Public Enterprises and Financial Organizations.

Parliamentary Affairs Committee: This committee monitors the development of the government’s business in the Parliament.

Empowered group of ministers

A GoM is a group of ministers appointed either by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet or the Cabinet Committees to investigate, examine and propose solutions for a certain issue.

An Empowered Group of Ministers or EGoM is a Group of Ministers who are authorized to take decisions after appropriate examination of the issue.

In other words, GoM only has the authority to investigate and report to the Cabinet, which then takes the appropriate steps and decisions for the resolution.

But an Empowered or authorized GoM can also take the appropriate decisions themselves to resolve the issue that they have investigated.

This authority is provided to them by the permission of the establishing body like the Cabinet, the Cabinet committees or the Prime Minister.

Both of these group of ministers are appointed in accordance with the Indian Transaction of Business Rule, 1961.

This rule provides for a provision of setting up of an Ad Hoc committee of ministers, including Group of Ministers which may be appointed by the Cabinet, or the standing committees of the Cabinet like the Parliamentary Affairs Committee etc, or by the Prime Minister, to investigate and report directly to the Cabinet about matters which have been delegated upon them.

This provision is mentioned in para 6(4).

This rule also states that all decisions taken by such group of minister and ad hoc committees are subject to be reviewed by the Cabinet.

Important Facts about Council of Ministers in Indian Parliament

In India, we have a parliamentary system of government which is based on the British model of government.

In such a system, the real executive authority is the Council of Ministers which is headed by the Prime Minister of the country.

Our constitution does not describe in detail the principles of our parliamentary system except in Article 74 and Article 75 of our Indian Constitution.

The constitutional provisions related to aid and advise the President are mentioned in Article 74 while some other provisions are mentioned in Article 75.

We will now discuss them in brief:

Article 74 of Indian Constitution - Provisions of the Council of Ministers to aid and advice the President -

1. Article 74 provides for the Council of Ministers which is headed by the Prime Minister, to aid and advise the President.

The President will perform his functions and duties according to the advice provided by this Council.

The President can also ask the Council of Ministers to reconsider their advice but he has to act on the reconsidered advice.

2. Any advice or recommendations given by the Council of Ministers is outside any judicial review.

Article 75 of Indian Constitution - Other constitutional provisions related to the ministers

1. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President and other members of the Council of Ministers are appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, by the President.

2. According to the 91st Amendment Act of 2003, the total strength of the Council of Ministers must not exceed 15% of the total strength of Lok Sabha.

3. According to the 91st amendment of 2003, a member of either the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, who has been disqualified on the basis of defection, is automatically disqualified as a Minister.

4. All the ministers of the Council of Ministers hold their office according to the will of the President.

5. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Lok Sabha as a single unit.

6. The oaths of the members of the Council of Ministers are administered by the President.

7. A person who has been appointed as a minister, can hold such a position for 6 months if he is not a member of either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.

8. The salaries and benefits of the ministers are determined by the Parliament

Composition of the Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers has three different sub categories, Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers.

The difference between these three bodies of ministers is their political importance and their ranks.

At the top of these three bodies lies the Prime Minister who is the supreme governing  unit of the country.

Cabinet Ministers

This is a very small body consisting of about 15 to 20 members.

These ministers hold very important ministries of the central government like the Home Ministry, Defense Ministry, and Finance ministry.

These ministers attend the cabinet meetings with the Prime Minister and play a very crucial role in all the political and strategic policies of the country.

Ministers of State

The ministers of state may be given independent Ministries or departments or they can be assigned to work alongside the cabinet ministers.

When the ministers of state are assigned to work alongside cabinet ministers or if they are given some specific department under their ministries, or if they are given their own Ministries, in every case, these ministers act and function under total authority and supervision of the cabinet ministers.

In other words, the ministers of state are under full authority of the cabinet ministers and their rank is inferior to them.

Even when the ministers of state are given the charge of individual ministries, they are still not allowed to attend the cabinet meetings.

However, they may be invited to discuss a matter of their concerned Ministry.

Deputy Ministers

The deputy ministers are not given charge of individual ministries.

They are assigned to assist the cabinet ministers and ministers of state.

As they are also not the members of the cabinet, hence they do not attend any cabinet meetings.

Apart from the above three categories of ministers, there’s also a 4th category of ministers which is known as the Parliamentary Secretaries.

The parliamentary secretaries don’t have any department under their control.

Their basic function is to assess the senior ministers and help them to perform their respective parliamentary duties.

However since 1967, no parliamentary secretaries have been appointed.

Then there is the case of Deputy Prime Ministers.

Deputy Prime Ministers are appointed only for political reasons for example L.K. Advani served as the deputy Prime Minister to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Appointment of Ministers

As we have discussed, Prime Minister is appointed by the President and the other ministers are appointed on his advice, also by the President.

Usually, members of either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha are appointed as Ministers, but a person who is not a member of either of these houses can also be appointed as a minister, given that he becomes a member of either of these houses, either by Election or by Nomination, within 6 months of joining his office.

Note: A minister has the right to speak and take part in the proceedings of both the houses of the Parliament but he can only exercise his right to vote in the house of which he is a member.

Nature of the advice given by the Council of Ministers to the President

According to the 42nd and 44th Constitutional Amendment acts, the advice which is given by the Council of Ministers to the President is binding on the President.

This means that the President must act on the advice which has been given to him by the Council of Ministers.

Moreover any such advice which has been given by the Council of Ministers is outside the scope of the Judiciary system.

That is, it cannot be challenged in a court of law.

Role of the Cabinet

The cabinet is the highest decision making authority of the nation’s union government.

It is the highest policy making body of the central government

It acts as an advisory body to the President

It deals with all the emergency situations and is the main crisis handling body

It deals with all the major financial matters

It makes and manages all the foreign policies and Foreign Affairs.

It makes sure that that the decisions made by the cabinet are implemented by the Council of Ministers.

The  word Cabinet was introduced in our constitution by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1978, under Article 352 of Indian Constitution.

According to Article 352 of Indian Constitution, Cabinet is defined as the Council headed by the Prime Minister and consisting of other ministers of cabinet as appointed under Article 75.

Its roles and responsibilities are not mentioned in our constitution and are totally based on the conventional system which was developed in Britain.

Very often people confuse Cabinet with Council of Ministers.

These two bodies are not the same.

The Council of Ministers consist about 60 or 70 ministers whereas the cabinet only consists of 15 to 20 members.

There are three subcategories in the Council of Ministers where as there are no subcategories in a cabinet.

Also, decisions taken by the cabinet are binding on all members of the Council of Ministers.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Prime Minister of India: Oath, Term, Appointment, Powers & Functions

According to our constitution, the head of our country is the President.

But the head of the government is the Prime Minister.

In other words, the President is the nominal executive authority of the nation whereas, the Prime Minister is the real executive authority.

Appointment of the Prime Minister of India

Article 75 of the Indian Constitution states that the President of India will appoint the Prime Minister.

Other than that, no specific procedure for the appointment of the Prime Minister is mentioned in the Indian Constitution.

But this does not mean that the President of the country can select any person as the Prime Minister.

Conventionally speaking, in a parliamentary system of government, the leader of the majority party in Lok Sabha is selected as the Prime Minister by the President.

If there is no party with absolute majority in the lower house, then the President is free to use his own discretion to select and appoint a Prime Minister.

Usually the President selects the leader of the largest party or the leader of the largest coalition in the Lok Sabha.

Such a candidate is then the given one month to receive the vote of confidence from the house.

For example, in 1979, President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy appointed Charan Singh as the Prime Minister who was the leader of the coalition at that time.

This was exercised due to the dissolution of the Janata Party government which was headed by Morarji Desai.

Another situation in which the President might have to use his own personal judgement to select a Prime Minister is in case of the Prime Minister's sudden death and there is no obvious candidate to take up the position.

This happened in 1984 when Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi was killed.

Giani Zail Singh, who was the President at that time appointed Rajiv Gandhi as the Prime Minister.

Doing so, he ignored the precedent to appoint a caretaker Prime Minister.

This Precedent was followed is the case when Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri died.

Both of these times, the President appointed the senior most minister at that time as an acting Prime Minister until the formal election  by the ruling party.

Both these times Gulzarilal Nanda acted as the Prime Minister.

In case the ruling party elects a new leader, then the President has to appoint the chosen person from the ruling party as the Prime Minister.

According to a judgement passed by the Delhi High Court in 1980, a person who has not yet proven his majority in the Lok Sabha can also be Prime Minister, given that the President gives him a reasonable amount of time to prove is majority.

Examples of this provision are Charan Singh in 1979, VP Singh in 1989, Chandrashekhar in 1990, Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1996, Deve Gowda in 1996, I K Gujral in 1997 and once again Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998.

The Supreme Court in 1997 provided that a person can be appointed as the Prime Minister of the country even if he is not a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.

But he can only be Prime Minister for 6 months after which he ceases to hold this position unless he becomes a member of either of these houses.

According to the Indian Constitution, the Prime Minister can be a member of either of the houses of Parliament.

It is not necessary for a candidate to be from Lok Sabha.

For example Indira Gandhi, Deve Gowda and Manmohan Singh were the members of Rajya Sabha.

This provision is different in Britain where the Prime Minister must be a member of the lower house or the House of Commons.

Oath of the Prime Minister of India

1. The Prime Ministers swears true faith and allegiance to the Indian Constitution.

2. He or she swears to uphold and maintain the sovereignty and integrity of India.

3. He or she swears to faithfully perform the duties of his/her office.

4. He or she is swears to do right by all the classes of people with accordance to the constitution and the law, without any fear, favor, affection or ill will.

5. Apart from this, the Prime Minister also has to take an oath of secrecy. In this oath, the Prime Minister swears that he will not directly or indirectly reveal to anyone, information on any matter which is brought for his consideration or which he learns as a Union Minister except in cases where revealing such information is required for him to perform his duties like formulation of new policies and strategies.

Term of the Prime Minister of India

The term of the Prime Minister is not fixed and he holds his position according to the will of the President.

But it does not mean that he can be removed at any time. As long as the Prime Minister has the support in Lok Sabha he cannot be dismissed.

It is only after he loses support in Lok Sabha that he has to resign or the President can dismiss him.

The salary and benefits of the Prime Minister are decided by the parliament.

They are similar to a member of parliament.

In addition to this, he also gets free accommodation, travel and medical facilities.

Powers and functions of the Prime Minister of India

With respected to Council of Ministers

The powers of the Prime Minister as the head of the Council of Ministers are:

1. The prime minister recommends candidates who can be appointed as ministers. The President can only appoint those people as minister which have been recommended for the required post by the Prime Minister.

2. Prime minister has the power to designate different offices among the ministers.

3. The Prime Minister can recommend a certain minister to be removed from office to the President or he can ask the concerned ministers to resign. However he himself does not have the power to fire a Minister.

4. The Prime Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers and he presides over its meetings. He has the power to influence the council's decisions.

5. He controls and monitors the activities of all the Ministries.

6. If the Prime Minister resigns from the Council of Ministers, it is automatically dissolved.

In case the current Prime Minister dies, then the council of Ministers is dissolved automatically which creates a vacuum.

However if a minister from the Council of Ministers dies, then it only creates a vacancy which the Prime Minister may or may not choose to fill.

Powers of the Indian Prime Minister with respect to the President of India

The Prime Minister acts as a mediator and a channel of communication between the President and The council of ministers. The duties of the Prime Minister are: 

1. To inform the President of all the decisions which were made by the Council of Ministers related to the administration matters of the Union.

2. To ask the council of minister to consider a decision which has been made by one of the ministers without the consideration of the Council of Ministers.

3. To recommend candidates for the appointments of Attorney general of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Chairman and Members of the Union Public Service Commission, Election Commissioner, Chairman and Members of the Finance Commission etc.

Powers of the Prime Minister with respect to the Indian Parliament

The Prime Minister is the head of the lower house or Lok Sabha. He has the following powers:

1. The Prime Minister advises the President whether to summon or suspend the sessions of parliament

2. The Prime Minister can recommend to the President the dissolution of Lok Sabha

3. The Prime Minister announces various government policies on behalf of the government on the floor of the Lok Sabha.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Navratnas in the Court of Mughal Emperor Akbar

Akbar was a great Mughal Emperor who was a great lover of intellect and arts.

Despite his illiteracy, he had a great passion for knowledge and was interested in accumulating erudition from the great minds at that time of his reign.

He had a great affinity for academia and arts which in turn influenced his choices in the royal court.

For this, he had some of the great men who were genius in their field in his court.

There were 9 courtiers in Akbar’s reign and they were popularly known as Navratnas or Nine Jewels. 

The story of the grandeur of Akbar is incomplete if we don’t mention the name of his Navratnas.

The same is discussed under the following headings below:

Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak

He was the Grand Vazir or Prime Minister in the court of Akbar.

He was the author of Akbarnama that contains every single detail about the reign of this famous Mughal emperor.

He was the brother of Faizi and translated Bible in Persian when he was a royal courtier.

He was born in Agra but has his ancestral ties in Yemen.

He was extremely bright since his childhood and could read and write in Arabic since the age of 5.

He came to the court of Akbar in 1575 and was extremely influential in converting Akbar’s views towards religion as liberal.

He was killed while returning from the war in Deccan by Vir Singh Bundela.

His son was appointed as Governor of Bihar in 1608 by Jahangir.

Todar Mal

He was the Finance Minister and Commerce Minister of Mughal Empire and one of the Navratnas in the court of the ruler Akbar.

He was the only Hindu courtier next only to Raja Birbal out of the 9 ratnas.

He was born in Uttar Pradesh and he belonged to a typical Kayastha or Agrawal family of the Hindus.

During the early phase of his career, he was a writer by profession but slowly moved to higher ranks in the reign of Sher Shah Suri.

As a courtier, he introduced land survey and settlement system, standard weight and measures, revenue districts and officials.

He also introduced a new land revenue system called Dahsala Zabti System where crop yield were surveyed on a basis of 10 year period.

He was also an able warrior and contributed a lot in many battles.

He died in the year 1589 in Lahore and was survived by two sons namely Kalyan Das and Dhari.

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana

He was the Defense Minister in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar.

He was a poet and one of 9 important ministers at that time.

He was popularly known as Rahim and has composed a large number of Urdu couplets and wrote several books on astrology.

He was the son of Bairam Khan who was the trusted guardian and mentor of Akbar.

He was born in Lahore and was known for his strange ways of giving alms to beggars where he never looked at their face and maintained his gaze down.

He made a major contribution in writing dohas which are popular in today’s time also.

He translated the memoir of Babur called Baburnama from Chagatai Turk to Persian language.

He had very good knowledge of Sanskrit.

Although he was Muslim by birth but he was a very big devotee of Lord Krishna and all his poetry were dedicated to Him.

His tomb is situated at New Delhi near to Humayun’s tomb.


He was a Hindu adviser and Foreign Minister in the court of Akbar.

Birbal is extremely popular in the Indian subcontinent for his folk tales that focuses his wit and humor.

He was appointed by Akbar as singer and poet.

He was a very legendary and famous figure in India because of his cleverness.

He was the only person who adopted Din-i-Ilahi; the religion founded by Akbar.

Birbal’s actual name was Mahesh Das and he was born in 1528 in Uttar Pradesh.

He had very good knowledge of Hindi, Sanskrit and Persian language.

His reputation in the court grew with time and he became the closest friend of Akbar.

He played the role of military figure and religious adviser for his emperor.

He was killed in a war but his body was not found for cremation.

Akbar considered Birbal’s loss as one of the greatest tragedies since his accession to the throne.


He was the Education Minister in the court of Akbar and mentor of Shahzadas.

He was a scholar and poet of the late medieval period in India.

He was the elder brother of Abul Fazal who was one of the nine ratnas of Akbar’s court.

Faizi was known to be a genius person and apart from appointing him as one of the nine gems, he was appointed to tutor the sons of Akbar.

He was born in Agra and is known for his poetic works in Persian.

More than 100 different poems were written by Faizi but the titles are not known to anyone.

He wrote a commentary on Quran and translated Lilavati which is a Sanskrit work on mathematics into Persian language.

He even translated Ramayana, Mahabharata and Panchatantra into the Persian language.

Mulla Do-Piyaza

He was the Home Minister in the court of Akbar and one of the nine ratnas.

He was one of the intelligence advisers of the Mughal Emperor but is often considered to be a fictional character.

He has often been depicted as the rival of Birbal and although there is no record in the Mughal era about this courtier, some scholars are of the opinion that he was a historical figure and his original name was Abdul Monin.

He was born in India and left for Iran in the year 1582 and was buried in Handia in 1620.

Fakir Aziao-Din

He was the Religious Minister in the court of Akbar and one of the nine ratnas.

He was a Sufi mystic and was known for his vast knowledge on religion.

He advised his emperor on several religious matters and was instrumental in making Akbar’s religious views as liberal.

Akbar had a lot of respect for him because of his knowledge on wide range of topics.

There is no historical record about his birth, life and death.


He was the Culture Minister and a versatile singer in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar.

He was first spotted by Akbar where Tansen was imparting his services in the court of Ram Chand who was a Hindu King in the city of Gwalior.

He was requested for his presence in the court and consequently became one of the nine ratnas.

He was given the title of Mian by Akbar which means a learned man.

Tansen is remembered in the history for his contribution in North Indian and Hindustani classical music.

A number of different musical schools in India are founded on the basis of his contribution to music.

He has written two books on music called Sri Ganesh Stotra and Sangita Sara.

Raja Man Singh I

He was the Chief of Staff of the Mughal Army of Akbar and one of the nine ratnas.

He was born in the year 1580 and Akbar married his aunt.

Many historians claim it to be the main reason he was inducted in the court of Akbar.

The emperor was extremely fond of him and referred him as his “son”.

He made an active contribution in the Battle of Haldighati against Rana Pratap in 1576.

Later on, he became the Governor of states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Bengal.

He died a natural death in the year 1614 and was a big devotee of Lord Krishna.