CHENNAI: It’s not a coincidence that raindrops are shaped like tears. It’s nature’s modus operandi; nature is venting out its “feelings”. As cute and ignorant as that sounds, rain can be the Japan to your America or the Italy to your Germany, depending on how you look at it. Just like how I resort and abuse my trope of breaking the fourth wall, and play God, the readers of this particular part of the paper, just underwent a 101 in dealing with the rain going through a nervous breakdown, a.k.a, the floods.
Rains make people happy, some people. It does create a mess, however. And certain trope abusers and fourth-wall breakers who are skeptical about enjoying rain in all its supposed glory know that rain’s ancestors haven’t exactly been true representatives of their human counterparts — happy-go- lucky.
Rains ruin lives, rains damaged cities, but, how often have we heard of rains affecting battles and thereby influencing the results. That’s because we don’t have wars anymore, and I can’t do a good job of being sarcastic. 258 years ago, when the rain meant not taking bad pictures on Instagram, but a source of water, there was a day when the rain was least expected, a day that a phenomenon as trivial as the rain should not have affected the outcome, a day when Modern India’s foundations were laid.
Sir Robert Clive, the English East India Company’s (EEIC) representative had illegally set up fortifications for the company’s factories. Siraj ud-Dulah, the Nawab of Bengal, decided to confront Clive. One thing led to another, and like most good anti-climatic David and Goliath stories, Goliath won. The Nawab had to compensate for the British’s losses by giving up the entire country, metaphorically and thereby paving a way for the British to set up shop here and teach us a lesson in colonialism.
What did the rain have to do with the Battle of Plassey? Unlike the floods, this time, around, the rain did play the second villain in this genre film-like war. There was a rainstorm that caused the Bengal Army’s artillery to not function (as the gunpowder got wet). Thinking that the enemy would have suffered the same fate, they charged. This, however, turned out to be a fatal mistake as the charging soldiers were quickly shot down, due to the fact that the Company’s army had taken the precaution of covering their ammunition.
Well, what if there hadn’t been a rainstorm? What if the Nawab’s ammunition had been waterproof? For starters, common cold won’t be an obstacle that the Nawab would’ve had to add to his list of setbacks. Even though the baseless yet argument, “If not for this battle, they would’ve beaten us in another one”, is extremely convincing, the significance of the battle at Plassey doesn’t seem to be recognised. The British were only then establishing their economic and political prowess in India. Had they lost the battle, there is a good chance that the morale in the British camp would be low post-battle, and that in turn would’ve affected their ambitions; all of this, in an ideal world. Had the British lost the battle, their colonial ambitions in India might have been strictly restricted to only the economy, and East India Company, the world’s richest establishments at one point of time, might’ve remained the richest, to date.
Then who would’ve ruled India? The Mughals had fallen apart after Aurangazeb, the Marathas weren’t all that powerful after Shivaji’s passing. Maybe, the answer to that question might’ve been in the hands of this little man who has a complex named after him.
(When he isn’t writing, the creative producer with The Rascalas watches a lot of ‘cat videos’ on YouTube)