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Nawabs of Bengal (full title, the Nawab Nizam of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa) were the rulers of the then provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Between 1717 and 1765, they served as the rulers of the subah (or province) of Bengal. However, the Nawabs of Bengal were subordinate to the Mughal Empire. Murshid Quli Khan arrived as the Diwan of Bengal in 1717 AD. Before his arrival there were four Diwans. And, after his arrival, Azim-ush-Shan held the Nizam's office. Azim got into conflict with Murshid Quli Khan over imperial financial control. Considering the complaint of Khan, the then Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb ordered Azim to move to Bihar. Upon his departure the two posts united in one and Murshid Quli Khan became the first Nizam cum Diwan of Bengal. Murshid Khan was appointed the "Nawab Nizam of Bengal" and he emerged as the ruler of Bengal under the Mughals. Murshidabad remained the capital of the Nawabs of Bengal until their rule. . The Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah, was betrayed in the Battle of Plassey by Mir Jaffer. He lost to the British East India Company, who took installed Mir Jaffer on the Masnad (throne), as a "puppet ruler" and established itself to a political power in Bengal. While, Clive himself became the first British Governor of Bengal.

In 1765, Robert Clive, of the British East India Company, secured in perpetuity for the Company the Diwani (revenue and civil justice) of the then Bengal subah from the then Mughal Emperor, Shah Alam II and thus the system of Dual Government was established and the Bengal Presidency was formed. In 1772 the Dual Government system was abolished and Bengal was brought under direct control of the British. In 1793, when the Nizamat (military power and criminal justice) of the Nawab was also taken away from them, they remained as the mere pensioners of the British East India Company. After the Revolt of 1857, Company rule in India ended and the British Crown took over the territories which were under the direct rule of the British East India Company in 1858, which marked the beginning of the British Raj. These territories, including the territory of the Nawab Nazims came under the direct rule of the British Crwon and British Raj was established in India. Thus, the Nawab Nizams remained just the titular heads of their territory, which was now ruled by the British Crown, and they had no political or any other kind of control over the territory. The last Nawab of Bengal, Mansoor Ali Khan abdicated on 1 November 1880 in favour of his eldest son.

Nawabs of Murshidabad succeeded the Nawab Nizams of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa as Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad, following Mansoor Ali Khan's abdication They got the title changed as the title of the Nawab of Bengal was abolished in 1880. They had little or no say in the share of the revenue collected and were ceased to use any force. After Indian Independence in 1947, all the non-princely states were subject to a test of religious majority in which the Muslim majority areas formed the Dominion of Pakistan, while the other regions formed the Dominion of India. It is a fact that Murshidabad (the capital city for both, the Nawabs of Bengal as well as the Nawabs of Murshidabad) became a part of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) for two days, as it had a Muslim majority. However, it became a part of India on 17 August 1947. The Pakistani flag was brought down from the Hazarduari Palace and the Indian tricolour was hoisted atop the palace. The Nawabs, after the takeover by the British had no actual power and after merging with India too, they had yielded power, as the Government of India took over control of all the areas that merged with India. Furthermore, with the promulgation of the Indian Constitution on 26 January 1950, the Dominion of India was transformed into the Republic of India, and the Article 18 of the Indian Constitution (which is a part of the Right to Equality, a fundamental right in India), titles were abolished. The Article prevents the state from confirming any title except those titles given by the Government to those who have made their mark in military and academic fields. Such titles and awards include the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Shri and the Padma Vibhushan (the Supreme Court of India, on 15 December 1995, upheld the validity of such awards). Thus, with the promulgation of the Constitution, the title of the Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad was abolished. And although, the Nawab Waris Ali Meerza held titles such as Raes ud-Daulah, they were not officially or legally recognised.

Waris Ali Meerza, the third Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad, died in 1969, and he took no steps during his lifetime to establish his succession. And before declaring his successor Waris Ali died. Since then there was no clear successor to Waris Ali and the titular office/post was in dispute, and a legal battle ensued. The case reached the Supreme Court and finally, the Supreme Court judges, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R K Agrawal, gave their judgement on 13 August 2014, declaring the then 72-year-old Abbas Ali Meerza (full name, Syed Mohammed Abbas Ali Meerza), who happened to be the son of the only daughter of Waris Ali’s father, Wasif Ali Meerza (the third Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad), the successor and the legal heir to the former Nawab of Murshidabad, Waris Ali Meerza, thus ending the dispute over the successor to the titular office, a dispute which had been on since Waris Ali's death in 1969. However, as titles have been abolished in India, the title of the Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad no longer exists. However, Abbas Ali Meerza can now legally succeed Waris Ali Meerza's office legally, but his title of the fourth Nawab Bahadur of Murshidbad would be unofficial,as the title is not legally and officially recognised.

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