Jagat Seth: India’s richest person, from whom the British and Kings also used to take loans
Jagat Seth Gharana – Friends, we all know that before the British rule, our country used to be ‘Sone ki Chidiya’. The reason for this was the rich kings and princely states, whose treasuries were full. There was no poverty among the people. There were many such kings of the British era and before that, about whom most Indians do not know today.
If we turn the pages of history, we will come to know about many such special people, about whom we did not know till now. History itself is full of mysteries, which will be found locked in the books of authors for centuries.
Today we are talking about one such family, which emerged in the 1700s. It was the richest house (Jagat Seth Gharana) of India during the British period.
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The members of this household were such rich people, from whom the British also used to come for help of money. Till now you must have heard that the British have only ruled India and they never bowed their heads before anyone, but let us tell you that this is not right.
Even during the time of the British, there were such people in India before whom the British Empire kept bowing its head, that was Jagat Seth of Murshidabad, Bengal. Which is also called Jagat Seth of Murshidabad. He had simplified money transactions, tax collection, etc. in our country.
At that time he had so much wealth and status that he used to do direct transactions with the Mughal Sultanate and the British East India Company and also helped them when needed.
Who was Jagat Seth after all? (Biography of Jagat Seth)
At present, even though the city of Murshidabad, located in Bengal, is living in oblivion, but during the British period, this city was such a main trading center, whose discussions were far and wide and every person from this place and Jagat Seth. Was well acquainted. ‘Jagat Seth’ means Banker of the World, is a title.
This title was given to Fateh Chand in 1723 by the Mughal emperor, Muhammad Shah. Since then this entire Gharana became famous as ‘Jagat Seth’. Seth Manik Chand was the founder of this Gharana. This Gharana was considered to be the richest banker’s house of that time.
Seth Manikchand was born in the 17th century to Hiranand Sahu in a Marwari Jain family in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan. Manikchand’s father Hiranand left for Bihar in search of better business.
Then he started the business of Saltpetre in Patna, which earned him a good income. He had lent a lot of money to the East India Company, as well as had a business relationship with this company.
When Manikchand took over their father’s business…
Manikchand spread his father’s business a lot. He laid the foundation of his business in new areas, as well as started the business of giving money on interest. Soon he became friends with the Diwan of Bengal, Murshid Quli Khan.
Later he also started handling the money and taxes of the whole of Bengal. Then his family started living in Murshidabad, Bengal.
After Seth Manikchand, Fateh Chand took over his work. Even during the time of Fateh Chand, this family reached heights. The branches of this Gharana spread to Dhaka, Patna, Delhi, Bengal, and major cities of northern India. Whose main office was located in Murshidabad?
This company used to transact with the East India Company for loans, repayment of loans, buying and selling of bullion, etc. Robert Orm wrote about him that his Hindu family was the richest in the Mughal Empire. His chief also had a great influence on the Bengal government.
This house was also compared to the Bank of England. He also did many such special works for the Bengal government, which the Bank of England did for the English government in the 18th century.
Please tell that their income also came from many sources, such as they used to collect revenue tax and also worked as the treasurer of the Nawab. Landlords also used to pay their taxes through these. Through these, the Nawab also used to pay his annual tax to Delhi. Along with this, this house was also used to make coins.
Know how rich Jagat Seth was? (Know how rich Jagat Seth was?)
The status of Jagat Seth i.e. Seth Manikchand was worth seeing. However, he was not the Raja Maharaja of any place. He was the richest and famous moneylender of Bengal.
He was the only moneylender who used to lend money to every person. Not only this, even great kings and maharajas used to borrow money from them. Because of this, Jagat Seth was considered one of the most special people of Bengal.
He had an army of 2000 soldiers. Whatever revenue tax used to come in Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha, it used to come through them. It is difficult to estimate how much gold, silver, and emerald Jagat Seth had.
Yes, but at that time there was a famous saying about him that if Jagat Seth wanted, he could stop the Ganga by building a wall of gold and silver.
Talking about Fateh Chand’s time, his wealth would have been around 10,000,000 pounds in that time, which would be about 1000 billion pounds in today’s time. The documents of the English period also provide information that they had more money than all the banks of England.
According to sources, it is also estimated that in the 1720s, the entire English economy was also smaller in front of the wealth of Jagat Seth. To confirm this, also know that almost half of the entire land of undivided Bengal belonged to him, that is, if present-day Assam, Bangladesh, and West Bengal are included, then half of them are owned by him. Was right
What happened to this family later?
In 1744, Fateh Chand was succeeded by his grandson, Mahtab Rai and he became a new ‘Jagat Seth’. At that time, during the time of Alivardi Khan in Bengal, he and his cousin, ‘Maharaj’ Swaroop Chand had a lot of statuses.
Although Alivardi’s successor, Siraj-ud-Daulah, had alienated him, Siraj-ud-Daula had asked Jagat Seth for Rs 3 crore for the war expenses. In the time of the 1750s, this amount was huge. When Jagat Seth Mahtab Rai refused to give such a huge amount, Siraj-ud-Daula slapped him hard on it.
After this incident, Jagat Seth was worried about the security of his wealth and property. To avenge his humiliation, he made a conspiracy against Siraj-ud-daula by allying with him some people of the aristocrats of Bengal.
With which his aim was now, to remove Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula from the throne of Nawab. To carry out this work, Jagat Seth funded the Britishers during the Battle of Plassey of 1757. Then when the Battle of Plassey took place, Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula’s army of 50,000 was defeated by Robert Clive’s army of 3000 soldiers.
After this war, when Siraj-ud-Daula was killed, Mir Zafar became the Nawab, in whose power Mahtab Rai remained dominant. But Mir Zafar’s successor, whose name was Mir Qasim, thought that Mahtab Rai was a traitor.
Then in 1764, shortly before the Battle of Buxar, Mir Kasim ordered Jagat Seth Mahtab Rai and his cousin Maharaj Swaroop Chand to be imprisoned on charges of treason, and then they were shot. It is also said that when Mahtab Rai was shot dead, he was the richest person in the whole world.
Now the descendants of this family are missing
After the death of Madhav Rai and Maharaj Swaroop Chand, the entire empire of this Gharana went into decline and they lost most of their land rights.
The British East India Company borrowed money from him but did not even return it. Then the banking, economy, and entire power of Bengal came under the control of the British East India Company.
The battle of 1857 proved to be the last nail in his coffin. Thus in the 1900s the Jagat Seth Gharana almost disappeared. No one knows where their descendants are now like the Mughal descendants. The British Empire that had been established after the Battle of Plassey again took more than 200 years to disintegrate.