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THE DUAL ADMINISTRATION OF BENGAL

THE DUAL ADMINISTRATION OF BENGAL

  • After the decisive win of English East India Company in Battle of Buxar in 1764, the Company became Diwan of Bengal. Then onwards, it directly collected the revenue as well as nominated a deputy Subandar who was responsible for the Nizamat (police and judicial powers).
  • Mir Jafar was dead by 1765 and his son Najm-ud-daula was raised as the new Nawab by the Company. He was made to sign an agreement with the Company in 1765.
  • According to this agreement, administration of Bengal was left in the hands of a deputy Subandar who was nominated by Company and who could not be removed without its permission by this arrangement, the Company had the power without any responsibility associated with it while Nawab and his officials had the responsibility but no power to fulfill that.
  • Thus, it not only had the military power and the revenue power, but also the judicial and police powers through the proxy of deputy Subandar.
  • This was the apparatus of Dual Administration in Bengal. The government could be blamed for the misery of the people while the British enjoyed the riches of Bengal.

Robert Clive himself quotes –

‘I shall only say that such a scene of anarchy, confusion, bribery, corruption and extortion was never seen or heard of in any country but Bengal; nor such and so many fortunes acquired in so unjust and rapacious a manner. The three provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, producing a clear revenue of £ 3 million sterling, have been under the absolute management of the Company’s servants, ever since Mir Jafar’s restoration to the subahship; and they have, both civil and military, exacted and levied contributions from every man of power and consequence, from the Nawab down to the lowest zamindar.

  • The Company purchased goods to be exported from India from the revenues of Bengal.
  • In addition to this, the Company was asked to pay £ 400,000 per year to the British government from 1767. Nearly £ 5.7 million were drained from Bengal in year 1766, 1767, and 1768.
  • To make the matters worse, Bengal was struck with a severe famine in year 1770, the British policies heightened the sufferings of the people.
  • As a result, almost one-third of the population was wiped out.                          THE DUAL ADMINISTRATION OF BENGAL
  • In terms of the loss of lives, it was one of the most terrible famines in human history. The scourge of exploitation at the hands of British was limited to Bengal and some areas.
  • However, the Company was looking to spread beyond these regions and occupy as much area as they could.
  • This meant facing strong states like Mysore and the Marathas which needed able administrators and leaders.
  • Thus, from here onwards we delve into the history as per the Governor-Generals who brilliantly managed to expand the Company rule throughout the Indian subcontinent.

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