Saturday, Nov 26, 2022
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Plassey : Amid Betrayal And Pride

"The battlefield is nothing. The sugar mill is more interesting."

Noontime at Palashi/Plassey, 150 km from Calcutta along NH 34, 20 km north of the Tropic of Cancer. Two hundred and forty-three years ago, it was around this time that a sudden downpour drenched the uncovered gunpowder of the army of Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal and rendered its cannons useless.

I stand in the general area where the young Colonel Robert Clive would have stood that day, watching the Bengal infantry launch a new attack on the mango grove where the British forces lay hidden. The whites had been nifty with their tarpaulins, the gunpowder was crackling dry. Their cannonballs tore through the charging soldiers, killing general Mir Madan, a setback Siraj’s army never recovered from.

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