Calcutta History, India
Calcutta emerged about 3 centuries ago. At the dawn of the fifteenth century, a reference to Calcutta (Kolkata) was found in the very famous novel called Manasa Mangal. In the novel, there is a mention of the character Chand Saudagar visiting the place to worship the Indian Goddess Kali while he was on his way to Saptagram. Calcutta also finds a reference in the in the famous book Ain-i-Akbari. Ain-i-Akbari is a famous work written long back in the times of the Mughal emperor Akbar who rules India in the sixteenth century.
The documented history of Calcutta begins in the seventeenth century when the East India Company came to India and took over Calcutta in the year 1690. Before Calcutta was established by British officials, it was merely a village located at a distance of around 60 miles to the north of the then capital – Murshidabad. The British constructed the old Fort William to station its soldiers in the city. It was in 1756 that Nawab Siraj-ud-Duala attacked the city and captured it. However, no later in 1757, British army under Robert Clive defeated the previously victorious in a very famous Battle of Plassey regaining the fort of Calcutta.
It was in 1772 that Calcutta became the capital of British India and Murshidabad started losing its importance. Calcutta saw a flourishing industrial growth especially in the nineteenth century that added to its importance. The city developed a good number of jute and textile industries that made it a rich center of India. Calcutta was the capital of India till 1912 after which the crown was given to Delhi. During the partition of India in the year 1947, Calcutta ended up with India as a part of West Bengal and became the capital of the state.
Once the British left India, they had already imparted too much political and administrative importance to Calcutta. Especially in the state of West Bengal, it was the largest as well as the most developed city. This importance did not fade away even after independence. Indians tried to establish Calcutta further by developing more and more industries there, especially of textile. Calcutta was built further and educational institutions for higher education were established. In the mid sixties and early seventies were times of hardships for the city.
During the India-Pakistan war in the year 1971, Calcutta was flooded with refugees that made it most populous city in the country. Economic reforms and policies of the government in the nineties gave a push to the development of the city again. In 2001, Calcutta was renamed to Kolkata and is today it is one of the most flourishing cities in India.
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