Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mirza Birjis Khadir Bahadur

Date of Birth: 1845 and Date of Death: 14th August, 1892
            Mirza Birjis Khadir Bahadur, son of Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Awadh and Begum Hazrat Mahal, was born in 1845.  His original name was Mohammad Ramzan Ali Bahadur.  He regained Awadh which was occupied illegitimately by the British and became the ruler of Awadh at a very younger age on 7th July, 1857, under the guardianship of his mother Begum Hazrat Mahal.  The British retreated from Lucknow because of the gallantry exhibited by the local warriors, native rulers under the table leadership of the Begum Hazrat Mahal.  Later, Mirza Birjis Khadir declared Nawab of Awadh.  He ruled his kingdom Awadh for about 10 months.  He ruled his kingdom Awadh for about 10 months.  When Queen Victoria’s proclamation was released on First November, 1858, a counter declaration was issued in the name of Birjis Khadir on 31st December, 1858.  The British generals could not tolerate the challenge from Birjis Khadir.  Consequently, the British generals Collin Campbell, Havelock, James Qutram and others surrounded Lucknow with heavy troops.  The Sikhs and Gurkhas fought on the side of the East India Company.  Though the people of Lucknow and Awadh soldiers fought their level best, they could not win the battle.  Left with no other option, Birjis Khadir and Begum Hazrat Mahal had to retreat to the Nepal forests.  The Begum passed away in 1879 in Nepal and later Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab, too died in East India Company prison at Calcutta.  After the death of the Wajid Ali Shah, the British conspired to eliminate Birjis Khadir and his family.  They invited him to Calcutta for discussions.  Unaware of the cunning intentions of the British, Birjis Khadir reached Calcutta along with his family.  Accompanied by his son Khurshid Khadir and daughter Jamal Ara Begum, he attended the dinner hosted by the British on 13th August, 1893; they were served poisoned food.  All the three died after consuming it.  However, Mohabbat Ara Begum, wife of Birjis Khadir, and younger daughter Husna Ada Begum could survive, as they did not join for the dinner.  Thus, Mirza Birjis Khadir Bahadur fell prey to the deceitful conspiracy of the British on 14th August, 1892.

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