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Shah Alam
--: Biography of Shah Alam :--

 Shah Alam 

Shah Alam (1728-1806) King of Delhi  was also a poet and had a Divan in Urdu and Persian.Shah Alam who who was the son of Alamgir II was enthroned in 1759. After the defeat of Shuja-uddaula, his prime Minster, at Buxar in 1764, he was forced by the British to grant them the diwani of Bengal in 1765, on the promise of paying 240,000 Rupees annually to him by the East India Company, from the revenues of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. 

Shah Alam II Shah Alam was also known as Ali Gauhar. He was the son of Alamgir II. As a prince he was completely under the sway of the vazir, Gazi ud din, but to break away he escaped from Delhi and tried to establish himself in Bengal. Upon his father's assassination by Gazi ud din, he declared himself emperor. He was under the East India Company's patronage for a long time, until the Marathas, who had occupied Delhi in 1771, invited him to become the emperor in Delhi .Note, Shah Alam II was also the acceptable choice of Afghans and Abdali who had gained control of Delhi post 1761.

Under his able general Mirza Nazaf Khan (who was later to be sidelined), Shah Alam II marched towards Delhi. On the way he had successes against the Afghan Rohillas and the Jats, collecting huge revenues from them. He also launched several attacks on the Sikhs, but being a poor judge of character he chose some unsuitable people to lead the Mughal army. They colluded with the Sikhs, forcing a Mughal retreat. Shah Alam, realising the indispensable nature of his general, Mirza Najaf Khan, again invited him to lead the Mughal forces. But after Mirza Najaf's death, Shah Alam once again relied on the old traitors. This wrecked the Mughal empire from within. The Marathas too had evacuated Delhi. Sensing an opportunity, the Afghan Rohillas marched on Delhi in 1788, but financially, Delhi was already bankrupt. Finding nothing to loot, the Afghans blinded Shah Alam II just before the Marathas returned to save him and drove away the Rohillas.
The blind emperor ruled for some time, but it was evident that the Mughal empire was a pale shadow of its former self.

With Maratha power also waning, the British attacked Delhi in 1803. The emperor was helpless against them. The British kept Shah Alam as a figurehead until his death in 1806, and his son,

Ali Gauhar was born to "Shahzada" (Prince) Aziz-ud-Din, son of the deposed Mughal Emperor Jahandar Shah, on 25 June, 1728. Alongside his father, he grew up in semi-captivity in the Salatin quarters of the Red Fort. However, unlike the majority of Mughal princes growing up in similar circumstances, he is not recorded to have become a decadent prince by the time his father became emperor, and therefore was naturally given high appointments in the course of his father's reign.
Shah Alam II was acknowledged emperor by the Durrani Empire his declared reign extended to the: 24 Pargana's of the Sundarban's Mir Qasim, Nawabs of Bengal and Murshidabad (and Bihar),Raja of Banares, Nizam of Hyderabad, Nawab of Ghazipur, Hyder Ali's Mysore, Nawab of Kadapa and Nawab of Kurnool, Nawab of the Carnatic of Arcot and Nellore, Nawab of Junagarh, Rohilkhand of Lower Doab, Rohilkhand of Upper Doab, and Nawab of Bhawalpur.

Upon his father's accession, he became the "Wali Ahd" (Crown Prince) of the empire, and became his father's principal agent, though almost all power lay in the Wazir Imad-ul-Mulk's hand. His quarrels with that amir, and fear for his own life, caused him to flee Delhi in 1758.

Prince Ali Gauhar, afterwards Emperor Shah Alam II had been the heir apparent of his father Alamgir II. Prince Ali Gauhar's father had been appointed Mughal Emperor by Vizier Feroze Jung III and Maratha Peshwa's brother Sadashivrao Bhau who had completely dominated and later killed Alamgir II and kept Prince Ali Gauhar under surveillance. After a daring escape from Delhi, Prince Ali Gauhar appeared in the eastern provinces in 1759, hoping to strengthen his position by gaining control over Bengal, Bihar and Odisha.

Very soon however, Najib-ud-Daula, forced the usurper Feroze Jung III to flee from the capitol after he gathered a large Mughal Army outside Delhi, which deposed the recreant Shah Jahan III. Najib-ud-Daula and Muslim nobles and then planned to defeat Marathas by maintaining correspondence with the powerful Ahmad Shah Durrani. After Ahmad Shah Durrani decisively defeated the Marathas, he nominated Ali Gauhar as the emperor under the name Shah Alam II.

In the year 1760 after gaining control over Bengal, Bihar & parts of Odisha, the Mughal Crown Prince Ali Gauhar and his Mughal Army of 30,000 intended to overthrow Mir Jafar and Feroze Jung III after they tried to capture or kill him by advancing towards Awadh and Patna in 1759. But the conflict soon involved the intervention of the assertive East India Company. The Mughals clearly intended to recapture their breakaway Eastern Subahs and were led by Prince Ali Gauhar, who was accompanied by Muhammad Quli Khan, Kadim Husein, Kamgar Khan, Hidayat Ali, Mir Afzal and Ghulam Husain Tabatabai. Their forces were reinforced by the forces of Shuja-ud-Daula, Najib-ud-Daula and Ahmad Shah Bangash. The Mughals were also joined by Jean Law and 200 Frenchmen and waged a campaign against the British during the Seven Years' War.

Prince Ali Gauhar successfully advanced as far as Patna, which he later besieged with a combined army of over 40,000 in order to capture or kill Ramnarian a sworn enemy of the Mughals. Mir Jafar was in terror at the near demise of his cohort and sent his own son Miran to relieve Ramnarian and retake Patna. Mir Jafar also implored the aid of Robert Clive, but it was Major John Caillaud, who dispersed Prince Ali Gauhar's army in the year 1761 after four major battles including Battle of Patna, Battle of Sirpur, Battle of Birpur and Battle of Siwan.

The Battle of Buxar was fought on 22 October 1764 between the combined armies of Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal; Shuja-ud-Daula the Nawab of Awadh; the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and the forces under the command of the British East India Company led by Hector Munro, and. The battle fought at Buxar, then within the territory of Bengal, a town located on the bank of the Ganges river, was a decisive victory for the British East India Company.

He was a very intelligent and hard working since he was a child and had mastery over contemporary literature. On one hand he received religious education and on the other, he attained mastery over history and oriental languages. Apart from these, he had phenomenal command over Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Indian languages. Shah Alam Sani had fought against the British East India Company during the Battle of Buxar. He reformed the Mughal Army under the command of his general Mirza Najaf Khan and is thus known as one of the last effective Mughal Emperors. In a war with Afghans, Shah Alam was blinded by Afghan army.




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