- The Company considered Mir Kasim to be the ideal puppet for them. On the other hand, Mir Kasim defied the Company’s expectations. Ram Narayan, Bihar’s deputy governor, refused to deliver the state’s revenue accounts despite the nawab’s repeated pleas. He couldn’t stand Mir Kasim’s brazen defiance of his authority. On the other hand, English officials in Patna favored Ram Narayan.
- Company officials’ exploitation of the Company’s dastak, or trading authorization, intensified tensions between the nawab and the English (a permit that exempted selected items from duty payment).
- Due to the misuse of the dastak, the nawab lost tax revenue. Local businesspeople were also compelled to compete unjustly with Company businesspeople. Thanks to an imperial farman, the English corporation was able to trade in Bengal without having to pay transit dues or tolls. For their personal business, the Company’s servants, on the other hand, claimed the same privileges. The Company’s servants also marketed Dastak to Indian merchants for a commission.
- They also used force to obtain cheaper goods, which went against the principle of duty-free commerce. Duty-free shopping simply meant getting a good deal in an otherwise competitive market. Mir Kasim sought to abolish all tariffs, but the British objected, demanding special treatment over other companies. In 1763, a dispute over transit duties between the Nawab and the Company ignited hostilities between the English and Mir Kasim. The English won consecutive fights at Katwah, Murshidabad, Giria, Sooty, and Munger. In order to recapture Bengal from the English, Mir Kasim fled to Awadh (or Oudh) and formed a confederacy with Shuja-ud-daulah, the Nawab of Awadh, and Shah Alam II, the Mughal Emperor.
Result of Battle of Buxar
The combined armies of Mir Kasim, the Nawab of Awadh, and Shah Alam II were defeated by English forces led by Major Hector Munro in a fierce fight at Buxar on October 22, 1764. Mir Kasim’s English counter-offensive was quick but effective. The fact that the English defeated not only the Nawab of Bengal, but also the Mughal Emperor of India, made this battle significant. The English were established as a significant force in northern India, with ambitions to dominate the entire country, following their triumph.
When relations between Mir Kasim and the Company worsened, Mir Jafar, who became Nawab in 1763, consented to hand over the territories of Midnapore, Burdwan, and Chittagong to the English for the maintenance of their troops after the battle. The English were granted duty-free trade in Bengal, with the exception of a 2% fee on salt. After Mir Jafar’s death, his minor son, Najimud-dula, was named nawab, albeit the administrators retained genuine administrative power.