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Successors of Mohammad Shah and the War of Independence

Successors of Mohammad Shah and the War of Independence

Successors of Mohammad Shah and the War of Independence

Ahmad Shah, the son of Mohammad Shah (known as Shah Rangila) ascended the throne on April 29, 1748 when his father died. Despite having prowess in the battlefield, he was unable to handle the administrative affairs of his day.

He had defeated Ahmad Shah Abdali in the battle of Sarhind but in political affairs his knowledge and skill measured not up to scratch and he had to depend on Safdar Jang, his Wazir. Safdar Jang, being not proficient in political and administrative affairs, could not control the Empire ransacked by the Nadir Shah. Due to his inability, Ghazi-ud-Din Khan Feroz Jang lll dismissed him and blinded after imprisoning him where died in 1775. His son Bedar Bakht Mohammad Shah Bahadur (Shah Jahan IV) came to power in 1788 for a short interval. Indulged heavily in women in the royal palace, Ahmad Shah was soon taken by Marathas and other enemies in ambush. Marathas captured Sindh and Gujrat while Bangish clan in Doab and Rohilas revolted in Rohilkhand in 1750.

Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India in 1749 and Moeen-ul-Mulk, the governor of Punjab and the former Chief Minister of Mughals decided to face him but accepted reconciliation later on seeing the weak position of his army. The lieutinent of Multan was replaced by the King with Shahnawaz Khan who was resisted by the orders of Moeen-ud-Din who waged war against him deteriorating the state of the Empire. During the last years of Ahmad Shah, anarchy reached its zenith. In the Battle of Sikandarabad, decided the fate of Ahmad Shah who was defeated, arrested and blinded by General Ghazi-ud-Din.

Akbar Shah ll (second son of Shah Alam ll) sailed the drowning Empire from 1806 to 1837. British East India Company broke in the Empire and spread its influence to the whole of India started its own coins discarding the status of the lieutenant of Mughal Emperor. Akbar Shah ll was confined to only Red Fort of Delhi mainly on being good terms with Lord Hastings. East India Company replaced the Persian written on coins with English which was sufficient enough to understand the intentions of the British. They provoked the Nawab of Oudh to leave the centrality of the Empire and claim his own position. The intrigues of the British to break the Empire into chunks brought fruits and they became the ruler of the land where they landed as traders. They became the vampire of the Empire which nourished them.

British had their foothold from Sindh to Bengal up till 1845 while Punjab was under the Sikh regime. River Indus came under their hold after the Second World War. In January and February 1857, the issue of cartridges greased with the fat of the pigs came forward which led to the massive unrest among Indian soldiers hired by the British Crown. It required to take it into mouth before using it and pig was strictly forbidden in the religion especially Islam. The unrest initiated at Merut proliferated to the other regions of the Empire turning into a war. Begali soldiers waged a war against the British government. The British forces could not stand the unexpected jolt from the Indians soldiers and were pushed back by the Indians in the beginning. The Indians drove them out of Delhi and Bahdur Shah Zafar, the last remarkable Mughal King was enthroned by the Indians. A man of literature was forced to command a military coup which was inferior to the foe in equipment, skills, and prowess. The coins in the name of the King were issued and the Indians took Bahadur Shah Zafar as a symbol of freedom from the British.

The War could not go well in spite of some initial successes against the British. Lack of discipline, artillery, order, and military approach led to the failure of the War of Independence and the Rebels had to bear the retribution of the British, the conquerors. They tossed their vengeance against the Indians especially the Muslims. Delhi was blood-showered as the penalty of revolt. Bahadur Shah Zafar was arrested from the Tomb of Humayun and was imprisoned in Rangoon. His sons were beheaded and their heads were presented to Bahadur Shah Zafar as meals putting in a dish. Bahadur Shah died in the prison.

An Empire starting from Babur in 1526 with the heroic chic finally ended in smoke. The internal conflicts, disputes of the Rajas and rulers of the Empire and the wars of accession after the death of every king led to the disintegration of the Empire. They went on indulging themselves in women, wine and mutual warfare and the Empire slipped away from their hands. They could not continue the military command, administration, religious tolerance, and defense ploys adopted by their predecessors which resulted in their decline. A flurry of events in the last ten years of the Empire is sufficient enough to tell the tale of decay. Lack of the required abilities and capabilities paved the way to the hurried end of the rule of more than 200 years. The British grabbed the occasion and split the Empire into small parts and captured it with no obscurity. The elegy of the past glory was written on the walls of history.

The British ruled over India for almost 100 years when a freedom movement led by Mohammad Ali Jinnah and other Muslim leaders succeeded to win freedom from the British Raj in 1947. British divided India into two dominions, Pakistan and India according to the population of Muslim and Hindu states respectively. The Sun of the British Empire began to set and the world tasted freedoms from the Kingdom of the British.

About SAIMA ASHRAF

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