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HistoryofBengalandBangladesh

Md.RabiulHaque
AssociateProfessor
DepartmentofPopulationSciences
UniversityofDhaka

TheJanapada

The
Janapada

Vanga Radha Gauda Pundra Samatat Harikela

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Vanga

It is difficult to ascertain its exact location in different periods


of history, but broadly it may be said it have denoted areas
in the south and southeastern part of present Bangladesh.

May have extended to areas in southern West Bengal in the


earlier period, but the area within the two main streams of
the Ganges (from the Bhagirathi to the PadmaMeghna)
formed the core of this territorial unit.

Greater Dhaka and Mymensingh areas and to some extent


Barisal and Faridpur region was part of Vanga

Radha

Probably included a large part of the modern Indian state of


West Bengal. Two divisions of Radha, viz, Daksina Radha
(south Radha) and Uttara Radha (north Radha). The river
Ajay is usually regarded as constituting the boundary line
between north and south Radha.
Northern Radha included the western parts of the modern
district of Mursidabad, the entire district of Birbhum, and
some parts of Santal Parganas, and northern part of Katwa
subdivision of Burdwan district.
Daksina Radha included different large settlements of modern
districts of Howrah, Hughli and Burdwan in West Bengal.

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GaudaandPundra

Gauda
Lay to the northwest of Bhagirathi river and its core area was
Murshidabad. Gauda was the capital city of many rulers of
ancient and medieval Bengal.
Apart from Murshidabad, Birbhum, and western Burdwan
formed the territory of ancient Gauda.
Gauda
Pundra
Situated in the district of Bogra and adjacent areas. From
archaeological sources, it is known that the capital of
Pundra, Pundranagara, was the earliest urban centre in
Bangladesh.

Samatata andHarikela

Samatata
Situated in the Meghna river valley. It appears to have
consisted of Comilla and Noakhali areas of Bangladesh and
some areas of Tripura in India. Its boundaries are well
defined by the lofty hills and mountains of Tripura and
Arakan in the east and the Meghna (combined waters of the
PadmaMeghnaBrahmaputra) in the west.
Harikela
Identified as Chittagong and its adjacent areas. Probably
situated somewhere in the Ramu, Dianga, or in Chittagong
metropolitan area.

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BengalatDifferentPeriod

The first great and wellorganized empire of the Subcontinent was the
Mauryan Empire (c. 320180 BC). Mauryan rule was established in
Bengal by Emperor Asoka.
We know little about the history of Bengal from the fall of the Mauryas
(2nd century BC) to the rise of the Guptas (4th century AD).
The period of the Guptas is generally considered to be the 'golden age'
of Indian history.
history During this period,
period India was controlled by a strong
central government, which brought peace and prosperity and
political stability for a considerable time. This period is remarkable
for its trade and commerce, in which Bengal participated fully.
Towards the end of the sixth century AD, the Gupta rule in Bengal
weakened and around 600 AD, Shashanka, a minor military officer
of the Guptas, became ruler of Bengal. Shashanka's rise marked a
new era in the history of Bengal.

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MuslimRuleinBengalandIslam

In 1204, the first Muslim ruler, Bakhtiyar, captured Nadia and


established Muslim rule. He was killed by one of his
commanders, Ali Mardan Khalji in Devkot.
After his death, the Sultan of Delhi extended his authority into
Bengal.
It was a period of instability and there was infighting amongst
rivals
l for
f theh Delhi
lh Sultanate,
l so the
h Turkish
k h rulers
l off Bengall
were almost independent.
The spread of Islam in Bengal was also enabled by Muslim
saints called Sufis.
Sufis arrived in Bengal from the Middle East or Central Asia as
early as the time of the arrival of Bakhtiyar Khalji.

MuslimRuleinBengalandIslam

After Bakhtiyar, Bengal rulled by his lieutenants Shiran Khalji,


Iwaz Khalji & Ali Mardan Khalji (1212 to 1227), then Turkish
and Sultans.
Notable rulers of Bengal of this period were Nasiruddin,
Alauddin Jani and Tughral Khan. During Tughral Khan's time
Balban, the Sultan of Delhi, declared independence
p of Bengal
g
from Delhi.
Tughral was defeated (1281) and Bengal came firmly under the
control of Delhi Sultanate.
Balbans son Bughra Khan (12818791) and grandson Kaikaus
(12911300) ruled Bengal virtually independently from Delhi.

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NotableSufisandPirs
One of the earliest and most revered Sufis of Bengal was Shah
Jalal (died 1346), who arrived and settled in Sylhet with his
313 disciples. It is said that his simple life, love of ordinary
people of different religions and castes and his Keramati
(power of making miracles) attracted the people of Sylhet to
Islam.
Baba Adam Shahid, who selected the Dhaka region as his area
of activity sometime in the fourteenth century.
century He is buried
in Munshiganj.
Hazrat Khan Jahan Ali (died 1459), who preached Islam in
Khulna and Jessore and settled in Bagerhat. He built the
famous shatgambuj or SixtyTomb mosque there.

NotableSufisandPirs
Hazrat Shah Makhdum (died 1313), who preached and settled
in Rajshahi.
Hazrat Bayazid Bostami (died 874) is associated with a famous
dargah situated on top of a hillock at Nasirabad in
Chittagong. Popular belief has it that he visited Chittagong
long before the Muslim conquest of Northern Bengal in 1204.
This belief is based on the fact that Chittagong was a seaport
where the Arabs came for trade as early as the ninth century

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TheNawabiRule

Murshid Kuli Khan(Muhammad Hadi) appointed Dewan of


Haydrabad then Bengal in 1700 and later appointed
Subadar(1717). During the end of Aurangzebs reign,
subahdar Murshid Kuli Khan shifted the capital from Dhaka
to Murshidabad
Murshid Quli did not openly
p y severe the connections with the
Mughals, but he asserted his authority in a way that would
help him run the affairs of Bengal virtually independently.
This trend of ruling Bengal independently from central Mughal
administration was adopted by rulers of Bengal until the
British took over. Revenue Administration System of Murshid
Kuli Khan

MurshidQuliKhantoSirajudDoula

After Murshid Quli Khans death, the masnad passed on to his


soninlaw Sujauddin Khan. It was during his reign that Bihar
was incorporated into the province of Bengal and Alivardi
Khan was appointed to the office of administrator of Bihar.
After Sujauddin Khans death in 1739, his son Sarafraz Khan
ascended the throne. But he was unfit and, Alivardi Khan,
Jagat Sheth, Alamchand and his own brother Haji Ahmed
conspired
i d against
i t him.
hi
Ultimately, in 1740, Alivardi Khan subjugated the power and
became the Nawab of Bihar, Orissa and Bengal. Alivardi Khan
was a tactful governor, always keen to do best for his
province.
Alivardi was succeeded by his grandson Mirza Muhammad Siraj
uddoula in 1756.

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EuropeanTraders

Portuguese: Goa in 1510, Bengla at 1517, Hugli in 1536. By the


order of Akbar in 1580 they established permanent factory at
Hugli.
Olandas (Dutch): Dutch East India Company was formed in
1602. They made factory at Machilipatnam & Pulicut in
Bengal Chuchura, Kaseim Bazar, Baranagar etc. They
defeated by English in 1759.
Denamar: Denamar East India Company was formed 1616 and
made centre at Sreerampur in Bengal.
French: French East India Company was established in 1664.
They came in Bengal in 1674 & made centre at Chandannagar,
Kasimbazar etc.

TheEastIndiaCompany

The East India Company (EIC) was founded in December 1600


by a group of businessmen, who obtained the Crown's
charter from Queen ElizabethI for exclusive permission to
trade in the East Indies for a period of fifteen years.
They had to fight for the spice trade with the Dutch, but they
could not establish a lastingg outpostp in the East Indies
(modernday Indonesia and Malaysia).
Eventually, ships belonging to the EIC arrived in India, docking
at Surat, which was established as a trade transit point in
1608.

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TheEastIndiaCompany

The company built its first factory in India in the town of


Machilipatnam by 1610.
The company asked the British government to open diplomatic
relations with the Mughal Empire to find an ally against the
Dutch.
In 1633, the East India Company set foot in Bengal by
establishing a factory at Hariharpur as they obtained a
F
Farman f
from E
Emperor Sh j h permitting
Shajahan itti them
th t pursue
to
trade and commerce in Bengal
The most important privilege was obtained from the Bengal
governor, Shah Suja, who permitted the English to carry out
trade in Bengal without any customs duties, in lieu of an
annual lump sum of just Rs. 3000.

TheEastIndiaCompanyinBengal

In 1668, a new factory was opened at Dhaka, the capital of


Bengal.
The founding of Calcutta by Job Charnock in 1690 completed
the process of factory settlement and began the process of
establishing political dominance by the company in Bengal.
The rebellion of Shobha Singh in 1696 offered the company an
opportunity to obtain permission to fortify the Calcutta
settlement
ttl t and
d thus
th arrange its
it own defence
d f
The company obtained a farman (1717) from the Emperor
Farrukhshiyar, that confirmed the company's right to duty
free commerce in the country. It also made an additional
grant of zamindari right over thirty eight mouzas around the
company's Calcutta zamindari.

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CompanysConflictwithSirajuddaulah

Firstly, the British were misusing the trade privileges in Bengal and
Sirajuddaula demanded stricter trade practices from the British
Secondly, in anticipation of the breaking out of the Seven Years War,
the British and the French began to strengthen their settlements in
Bengal without the Nawabs permission. The Nawab ordered them
to demolish their fortifications. The French carried out his order,
but the British did not pay any heed to it.
it
Lastly, the British lack of respect furious Sirajuddaula. The British
refused to hand over one of Sirajuddaulas officers, Krishnadas,
whom they were protecting. They also insulted one of the Nawabs
special envoy to Fort William. This prompted Sirajuddaula to attack
Calcutta and take control of the city and rename it Alinagar.

TheBattleofPalashi

Robert Clive, the Governor of the Company came to a secret


agreement with the Murshidabad Darbar faction, who
opposed the young Nawab.
MirJafar, the recently dismissed Bakhshi of the Nawab, was
chosen to be the next Nawab of Bengal. Then Clives forces
met those of Sirajuddaula
j at Palashi on 23 June 1757.
Mir Mardan, Mohanlal, Khwaja Abdul Hadi Khan, Naba Singh
Hazari and a few others put up a brave resistance, while
others under MirJafar, Yar Latif and Ray Durlabh Ram
avoided any serious involvement.

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TheBattleofPalashi

The British had not expected even this much resistance and it was
reported that at one point Clive had thought of retreating.
However, around three in the afternoon, things took a turn for the
better for the British when Mir Mardan was struck by a cannon
ball and killed.
Siraj then sought the help of Mir-Jafar, who advised the Nawab to
suspend action for the day in order to renew his efforts the next
day.
This message was also relayed to Clive who, upon finding the
Nawabs men in retreat, launched a fresh assault on them. This
ultimately led to a general rout.
The battle was over by afternoon with Clive marching towards
Sirajuddaulas capital city, Murshidabad.

TheBattleofPalashi

TheCausesofdefeated
TheResultoftheBattle
TheBritishRuleandIndependence

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TheDualAdministration

After the battle of Palashi, the East India Company ruled


Bengal through a series of puppet rulers, such as MirJafar,
Mir Qaseim, Nazumddula, Saifuddoula
The Diwani Treaty, negotiated by Clive after the war of Buxar
in 1764, allowed the region to be governed by collaborators
including Mir
MirJafar
Jafar and Mir
MirKaseem
Kaseem in return for surplus
revenues which were channeled to the company.
From 1765 to 1772, the company shared revenues from
Bengal but took no responsibility in administering it. This
system came to be known as dual administration.

TheCompanyRule

Land Revenue
Five Year Plan
Yearly plan
Then in 1784, the British government passed the India Act
and took direct control of the Indian possessions. It
appointed
i d a GovernorGeneral,
G G l who
h wouldld have
h controll off
the three presidencies. There would also be provincial
governors and a CommanderinChief of the armed forces.
To establish an Englishstyle land revenue system in Bengal,
Cornwallis introduced the Permanent Settlement in 1793.

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PermanentSettlement

The main features of the Permanent Settlement were that


the zamindars who had so long been mere collectors of
revenue were made the permanent owners of the land,
subject to the payment of a fixed sum to the British.
The zamindars were given security of ownership as long as
there was no nonpayment of revenue.
The Permanent Settlement also created a body of zamindars
in Bengal who were loyal to the Government.
The zamindars became rich and spent money for
educational and cultural progress.
However, the system had some fundamental flaws as well.

OppositiontotheBritish

FakirSanyasi Movement
z TheFakirSanyasiresistancemovementwasplannedandled
byMajnuShah,aMuslimSufisaintoftheMadariasect.
z BhabaniPathak,aBhojpuriBrahmin,formedacommon
alliancewithMajnuShahandalsoledtheSanyasirebels.
z TheytargetedthosezamindarsloyaltotheBritishand
undertook a guerilla style of warfare
undertookaguerillastyleofwarfare
z Therebelswerefedinformationbyvillageswhooftentold
themaboutthemovementofthecompanytroops.
z Therebelslostalmostalloftheirpersonnelinanwaragainst
theBritisharmyon1786
z Themovementgraduallylostitsdirectionbythelate1790s
afterthedeathofMajnuShah.

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OppositiontotheBritish

TheRebelion
TheRebelion ofTitu
ofTitu Meer
z Titu Meer was a Muslim religious leader who aimed to
improve the position of Islam in Bengal. He was worried
that Muslims were losing their faith under the rule of the
British.
z He was also disturbed by the inhumane way the indigo
planters and the zamindars treated the cultivators.
cultivators His ideas
brought him into conflict with several Hindu zamindars.
z He formed a makeshift army and trained it in the use of
lathi and other indigenous arms. He built a strong fort with
bamboo poles at Narkelbaria.
z However, after a few ealrly victories, they were finally
beaten by a british force under Colonel Stewart in 1831

OppositiontotheBritish
The Faraizi Movement
z The movement was started by Haji Shariatullah. The unique about his bloc
was that it did not resort to the violent methods used by other opponents
of the British such as Titu Meer.
z Shariatullah objected to this exploitation and directed his followers not to
pay illegal taxes charged by the landlords.
z The movement gained the greatest momentum in those places where the
Muslim peasantry was depressed under the oppressive domination of
Hind zamindars
Hindu amindars and European
E ropean indigo
indi o planters.
planters
z In 1831, the landlords of Dhaka secured the expulsion of Shariatullah from
Nayabari, where he had set up his propaganda centre.
z Shariatullah died in 1840, but his work was carried on by his son, Dudu
Miyan. After Dudu Miyans death in 1860, the Faraizi Movement
continued to influence agrarian life in eastern Bengal as late as early
1880s, under the leadership of Noa Miyan, his son, but the movement
lacked the spirit of earlier years.

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ThewarofIndependenceof1857

The Causes
Political Causes
The administrative reforms of Cornwallis
Dalhousis `Doctrine of Lapse
The mistreatment of the Mughal emperor
Economic Causes
The grievances of the landholding classes excessive taxation
Thegrievancesofthelandholdingclassesexcessivetaxation
PrivilegeoftheBritishinTradingandBusiness
Religious Causes
ActivitiesoftheMissionaries
Military Causes
DiscontentedamongtheSepoys
IntroductionofAnfieldRifle

ThewarofIndependenceof1857
Events of the war
Rebellion spreads to region of Bangladesh
The war started at Barrackpur under the leadership of Mangal Pandey on
29 March 1857 and soon spread to Meerut, Delhi and other parts of
India.
In November 1857, the Native Infantry of Chittagong rose in open rebellion
and released all prisoners from jail
Mili
Military sent to stop rebellion
b lli
Trials
Most of the fugitives were, however, arrested and put up for summary trial
by a hurriedly constituted Court Martial. Of the accused sepoys, 11 were
sentenced to death and the rest were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Reasons for the failure of the uprising
Lack of unity British strengths

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ThewarofIndependenceof1857

TheOutcome
z TheCompanyruleendedwiththeBritishGovernment
takingovertheadministration
z Muslimslostmuchoftheinfluenceandpower
z Hindusfilledthevacuum
Differentinterpretationsofthewar
z ToIndianhistorians,itwasthefirstwarofindependence
againsttheBritish
z TotheBritish,theeventsof1857areknownasTheIndian
Mutiny

ThePartitionofBengal,1905

Reasons
z TheprovinceofBengalwasahugearea,havingapopulation
3timesthatofBritainitself
z TheBritishfoundittoolargetoadministerefficiently
z CurzonpartitionedBengalbydetachingeastBengalfromthe
province,andaddedittoAssamtoformanewprovinceof
EastBengal,withDhakaasthecapital.
Reactions
z Themuslims ofEastBengalwelcomedit,butthehindus
reactednegatively
z TheMuslimleaguewasformedin1906
z Swadeshi movementstartedinprotest
z TheBritishgovernmentreverteditin1911

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Lahore Resolution

z At the annual session of the Muslim League held in Lahore on 22


March 1940, the premier of Bengal, FazlulHaq, put forward the
resolution
z The demand was:
Resolved that it is the considered view of this session of the All
India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be
workable in this country or acceptable to Muslims unless it is
designed on the following basic principles, viz., that regions in
which the Muslims are numerically a majority, as in the north
western and eastern zone of India, should be grouped to
constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall
be autonomous and sovereign

The Partition of India, 1947


z The Cripps Mission in 1941 proposed an independent Indian
Dominion, with provision for provinces to opt out from it
z In 1942 Congress started the Quit India movement
z In the elections held in 1946, Muslim league won 87% of the
Muslim vote, while the Congress got 91% of the non
muslims
z The Cabinate Mission in 1946 proposed three groups of
states in post British India including one in Bengal and Assam

But it was rejected and finally the British left India giving
birth to 2 different States, India & Pakistan

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THANKS

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