The Transition in Bengal, 1756–75

A Study of Saiyid Muhammad Reza Khan

Saiyid Muhammad Reza Khan held the office of Naib Nazim and Naib Diwan of Bengal from 1765 to 1772. This study includes the early life of the Khan, but concentrates particularly upon the years from 1756, when the Khan first held public office, to 1775. There was much greater continuity and overlapping between the British and Mughal administrations than has been supposed. Company servants like Clive seemed to the local public to be simply Mughal grandees in British uniforms and the innovations supposed to have arrived with British rule actually occurred much later. Instead of the British gradually taking over the local administration under the urge to eliminate corruption, there was an administration carried on competently in traditional style by Reza Khan under attack from the East India Company's officers who were not so much concerned with rooting out this alleged corruption in the interest of justice and efficiency as increasing the revenues of the Company and adding the by-products to themselves.