Alivardi Khan (Nawab of Bengal)
Alivardi Khan was the Nawab of Bengal for the period between 1740 and 1756.
He was born on 10th of May, 1671.
Immediately after becoming the Nawab, Alivardi Khan secured imperial confirmation of his new authority and began to govern the province in an independent manner. It may be noted that after paying the first year’s surplus revenue to Delhi, Alivardi Khan never paid any tribute to Delhi during the subsequent years of his administration. Trained in adversity, Alivardi had the abilities to become an efficient administrator. As had become customary, Alivardi appointed his immediate relatives to the covetous posts of naib nazims of Orissa, Bihar and Dhaka, giving them Hindu diwans who did most of the administrative work. The new Nawab’s nepotism annoyed the relatives of Shuja-ud-din and Sarfaraz Khan, and Alivardi faced the most serious opposition from Rustam Jung, the son-in-law of Shuja, who was the naib nazim of Orissa. Rustam Jung was defeated and banished to the south. But destiny allowed him no rest as the Marathas invaded year after year coupled with the rebellions of his Afghan generals, in alliance with their compatriots of Darbhanga in Bihar, proved to be a serious menace to his authority.
The tradition of efficiency in land revenue collection that had been established by Murshid Quli continued during Alivardi’s reign. In case of default personal severity was first used towards a zamindar. If it was found that the zamindar could not really pay the assessed amount, abatement was given and management was restored to the zamindar. A temporary reduction was made which was restored proportionally by augmentation in succeeding years. No, permanent deduction was made during the reign of Alivardi Khan.
In spite of an increase of cesses, Alivardi Khan did not have to face serious zamindari rebellions in Bengal, while it was said that “the zamindars were so well pleased with his conduct” that they made large extra contributions to his war expenses. Marshall has argued that the Nawab relied on the big zamindars, in particular, for much of their public revenue and for maintaining a stable order over wide areas, and in return the latter were allowed a considerable margin of profit on their collections and a free hand in administering their own territories.
Alivardi Khan died on 9th of April, 1756.