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FarrukhSiyar

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FarrukhSiyar was the grandson of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah I. He succeeded to the throne after Jahandar Shah. He was born on 20th of August, 1685 and died in 1719. He had reigned for six years from 1713 to 1719.

His reign was one long attempt at the conspiracy against Abdullah Khan and Hussain Ali Khan, two Sayyid brothers who had been instrumental in raising him to the throne. There began a quarrel FarrukhSiyar and the Sayyid brothers. The Sayyid brothers declined to attend the court and the Mughal emperor had to visit him to resolve the issues.

FarrukhSiyar started plotting against the Sayyid Brothers. The main consequence of this perpetual plotting was the complete alienation of the ministers from their sovereign and confusion and disorder in the empire.

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An important event that occurred during his reign was the issuance of a farman (grant) in favor of the British East India company. Under the terms of the farman, the East India company was allowed to trade in Bengal without paying any duty. This greatly helped the British to establish its dominion in the region.

During his reign, an expedition was undertaken against Ajit Singh, ruler of Marwar, who had on the death of Bahadur Shah expelled the imperial officers from Jodhpur. He had even captured Ajmer. Hussain Ali Khan was directed to punish the Rathor king. Ajit Singh was forced to submit.

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Hussain Ali Khan had to return hurriedly, as during his absence the FarrukhSiyar had formed a plot against Abdullah Khan. The minister felt harassed and offered to resign. FarrukhSiyar was frightened and removed his chief adviser Mir Jumla from the court to the governorship of Bihar in order to appease the Sayyid brothers. In return for this Hussain Ali Khan accepted the governorship of the Deccan and in April 1715 proceeded to take charge of it in person.

The next expedition was against the Sikh guru Banda who had built a large fort near Sadhaura and was ruling over the locality. The Mughal army besieged the fort, but the Sikhs fought most obstinately. Yet, they had to evacuate the fort. The Mughals also besieged Lohgarh.

Attempts were also made to put down Churaman Jat. On account of the mediation of the Sayyid brothers, Churaman was allowed to remain in possession of his fort on condition that he should submit to the emperor. Jai Singh was directed to raise the siege and Churaman visited Delhi in April 1718.

Meanwhile Husain Ali Khan secured the assistance of the Marathas by promising to Chhatrapati Shahu the chauth or one-fourth of the revenue of the Dakhin, the sardeshmukhi or ten per cent of the collections, the confirmation of Shivaji’s hereditary dominions and the release of Shahu’s mother and half-brother who were kept prisoners in Delhi. He further agreed to pay the salary of the Marathas and was joined by about 11,000 of them under the command of Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath.

During the interval, FarrukhSiyar kept on plotting against the Sayyid brothers. It was decided to remove FarrukhSiyar. On February, 1719, Rafi-ud-darajat, a son of Rafi-ush-Shan, was brought out and placed upon the throne.

FarrukhSiyar was imprisoned. He died in the same year.

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