Plassey: A tale of Trust and Betrayal IV (Final Part)

Even Siraj saw that none of his army other than the French army was functional. He called Rai Durlabh.
“What is going on Rai Durlabh? Why is the army not moving?”
“Sire, the army doesn’t want to fight. They won’t move. It’s a revolt it seems.”
Siraj was shocked. He didn’t know whom to believe. He suddenly was in a state of confusion.
“What do we do now Rai Durlabh? Call Mohanlal. I need his advice!”
Rai Durlabh was one of the traitors along with Yar Lutuf Khan who had already entered into a treaty with Robert Clive. He wanted to overthrow Siraj because he wanted to get a notable position in the court. Mir Jafar promised him one. He promised to make Rai Durlabh the “Dewan” if he helped him to overthrow Siraj. Rai Durlabh was doing his work. He saw Siraj was confused. He knew it was the best time for him to induce more fear in him.
“Sire, Mohanlal is too far. If he retreats now, it can be danger to him as well as to us.” Said Rai Durlabh
Siraj thought for a moment.
“What should I do now?”cried Siraj helplessly.
“Sire, I suggest you to leave the battlefield. Take some men with you and leave for Murshidabad. We will take care of the war.”
“But how can I leave the war and leave the battlefield like a coward?”asked Siraj.
“Don’t worry sire. I and Mir Jafar will make the army fight at any cost. Your presence can be dangerous for you at this moment. You go back to Murshidabad and I promise to send you the good news soon.”
Siraj was perplexed. At a moment, when fear, uncertainty and confusion prevailed in someone’s mind, it was difficult to take a decision then. Siraj thought Rai Durlabh was right. He decided to abandon the battlefield and run for his life. He left the commands on Mir Jafar and Rai Durlabh’s hands. He left with 1500 men and himself riding on a camel.
Mohanlal in the meanwhile, was stunned at the army’s behavior. He wanted to consult Siraj. He turned his horse back. But to his surprise, he saw Rai Durlabh with Siraj near his camp. He knew Rai Durlabh could not be trusted. He started to ride towards the camp. But he was blocked by Yar Lutuf Khan’s men.
“Why are you running back Mohanlal?” Mocked Yar Lutuf Khan.
“I am not a coward Lutuf Khan. I want to have a word with my Nawab. Leave my way.” Shouted Mohanlal.
“Your Nawab doesn’t need your help. You go and guard your army. Let Rai Durlabh do his work.”
“You are no one to command me. I am the commander. And I order you to leave my way. And may I know the reason as to why your army isn’t moving a bit?” asked Mohanlal out of disgust.
“Yes my friend. You can surely ask. The reason is that we don’t feel like fighting today. Ha ha ha.” He burst out in laughter with his army.
Mohanlal saw Siraj mounting a camel at a distance. He knew it was a conspiracy. They were making Siraj flee the battleground. He knew he had to reach his camp. But Yar Lutuf khan and his army weren’t giving him the way.
“Leave my way. My Nawab is in danger. He needs me”, requested Mohanlal.
“Your Nawab is a coward. Look! He is running away. And if you have to stop him, you will have to fight us”, said Yar Lutuf Khan.
Mohanlal saw the entire army was against him. He looked for help. But even Mir Jafar’s army was preparing to attack him. He knew it was a trap. He did not want to fight his own countrymen. The British had taken good advantage of greed and hunger, he thought.
“I do not want to fight my people Yar Lutuf Khan. You have skillfully sold your conscience to the foreigners in return of petty things. You will not understand the consequence now. But tell Mir Jafar that he and all of you along with this country will suffer because of this betrayal. Remember my words.” Said Mohanlal and turned his horse and raced out of the battleground.
Mohanlal understood the entire plan. Rai Durlabh, Yar Latuf Khan and Mir Jafar had pretended to extend their helping hands towards Siraj. Actually they were merely playing their parts as was directed by Clive. They wanted Siraj to leave, so that they can prove the army that the Nawab was a coward. Then they did not need to fight the war. Mohanlal knew that after Siraj , he would be their next target. And so was it.
“Kill him. I do not want that Hindu fool to leave. ” shouted Mir Jafar pointing to Mohanlal who was racing out of the battleground.
Yar Lutuf Khan charged his army to kill Mohanlal.
Mohanlal’s army on the other hand was standing shocked as they saw their commander fleeing the battleground.
Mohanlal was racing his horse. Yar Lutuf and his cavalry was behind him. They started shooting. Mohanlal knew he had to move faster. He dodged the bullets. But he was not much lucky. He was at the end of the other part of the hill, the border that separates Plassey and the river when a bullet kissed his shoulder and hit the bark of a tree.
Mohanlal reacted in pain. He slipped and fell off from his horse into the river. Yar Lutuf and his men checked the river to find any sign of Mohanlal. They even shot a few rounds in the river to confirm that Mohanlal was dead. After that they attacked the French army.
After an hour fight, the French army gave up. It was impossible for St. Frais to continue fighting against all sides. Both English and Siraj’s men were fighting against them. What was supposed to be the condition of English had now been the condition of the French.
Robert Clive with his army met Mir Jafar and felicitated him for his well defined betrayal. He declared Mir Jafar the new Nawab of Bengal and issued the arrest warrant for Siraj-ud-Daullah.

When SIraj reached Murshidabad, the news of his fall was everywhere. He was informed by a few trusted men about his arrest warrant. That night, Siraj disguised himself as a merchant and left for Patna in a boat. Mir Jafar came back with the English East India Company to celebrate his success as the new Nawab. The hunt for Siraj had begun.
Mohanlal was not dead on the other hand. He somehow managed to stay alive that night. He was helped by some of his faithful Yadav soldiers from the army. He took shelter in the underground Kali Temple at Juranpur, a Yadav dominated village near Plassey battle field. There he married in a Pallav Gope family later in his life and his many faithful solders settled in the nearby Yadav villages. Later on they became a terror for the Britishers. They continued their fight for freedom.
Siraj had taken shelter in Patna as a merchant and was not found by Mir jafar’s men for three months until someone decided to share the information in return of the reward on him. Mir Jafar’s son Mir Miran stormed into the house he resided. Siraj had just finished his daily namaz when Mir Miran and his army entered. Unarmed, Siraj surrendered and they took him to the banks of the river Ganga.
“You are one disgraceful king Siraj. I have orders to arrest you but I don’t feel like taking you back as a prisoner”, said Mir Miran.
“I do not intend to live as your prisoner Mir Maran. You and your father have brought enough disgrace to me and the country. Do me one last favour. Let me rest like a king,” replied Siraj.
On the banks of ganga, the sun was about to set. The cattles were going back home. The day had ended and the entire world waited for the dark night.
Siraj-ud-Daullah knelt down and closed his eyes. The end of his reign was inevitable.
Mir Maran took his sword. It was shining bright in the last rays of the sun. He swinged it in air and cut down Siraj’s throat with a blow. Siraj’s body lay still as it was separated from the head. The end of a brave king had come.
With Siraj’s death, there came the fall of India. It was the first mark of success in Indian History for the British as they skilfully used one Indian against the other. This marked the fall of all the countrymen as slowly the British entered into the kingdom of Bengal. That was the turning point of history. As a matter of fact, the betrayal in the Battle of Plassey indicated the long tyranny that was to come.
Siraj’s body lay still and cold. The Sun had set. The endless nights of pain and tyranny had begun.


[This is a work of fiction amalgamated with historic facts and evidences.]

One comment

  1. Excellently written. How far is the truth about Siraj’s flight to Patna as history has been saying that Siraj was nabbed at Rajmehal and betrayed to Mir Miran’s men by a fakir on 26th of june 1757. I shall be obliged if some lights are shed on above fact.
    Uday Bhanu sen

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