Tuesday, March 11, 2014

289. Nanda Kumar Roy, Maharaja

Maharaja Nanda Kumar , also called Nuncomar(1705? - died 5 August 1775) was born in 1705 in Birbhum. He was a King of West Bengal, and Indian tax official best known for his connection with Warren Hastings. He was appointed collector of Burdwan in 1764 in place of Hastings, which resulted in a long-standing enmity. He was hanged in Kolkata in 5 August 1775, for alleged forgeries committed by him.He was an overseer of Murshid Kulikhan. After the battle of Palasi   Nandakumar was conferred with the title "Maharaja" by Shah Alam II in 1764. He was appointed as Collector of Burdwan, Nadia and Hugli by the East India Company in 1764, in place of Warren Hastings.Ha has his site Nandakuamr comunications in Kerala. He learnt Vaishnavism from Radhamohana Thakura.

Charges against Hastings

Maharaja Nandakumar accused Hastings of bribing him for more than one-third of a million of rupees and claimed that he has proof against Hastings in the form of a letter.


Nandakumar pressed an accusation against Warren Hastings of East India Company, who happened to be a school friend of Sir Elijah Impey and some historians are of the opinion that Maharaja Nandakumar was falsely charged for forgery and Sir Elijah Impey, the first Chief Justice of Supreme Court in Calcutta gave judgement to hang Nandakumar. Nandakumar's hanging was termed as a judicial murder by certain historians. Macaulay also accused that both of them conspired to execute a judicial murder. Maharaja Nandakumar was hanged at Calcutta, near present day Vidyasagar Sethu, during Warren Hasting's rule on 5 August 1775. During those days, the punishment for forgery by any native was hanging. He was the first martyr who was hanged.


Maharaja Nandakumar was reasonably respectable person and his hanging created panic in local people which resulted in Bengali exodus from Calcutta to places like Benaras etc.

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