Exact Match
Pagri (turban) of Maharaja Nandakumar
Title Pagri (turban) of Maharaja Nandakumar
Accession Number R5829
Museum Name Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata
Gallery Name NA
Object Type Textile
Main Material Zari
Provenance Sri Gouri Shankar Roy of Murshidabad
Dimensions 30x18cm
Brief Description Decorated with straight zari ribbon. Colour - light brown & cream. Turban of Maharaja Nandakumar (1705 - 1775), Hindu Brahman official in Bengal, who in 1775, after having accused Warren Hastings (then Governor-General of India) of corruption, was himself accused and convicted of forgery and executed. Nandakumar held several posts under the nawab (ruler) of Bengal, primarily as a revenue collector. Although he had assisted the British at the Battle of Plassey (1757), Nandakumar generally was hostile to the British. This eventually led to conflict with Hastings, who, before becoming Governor of Bengal (1772) and then Governor-General of India (1774), had been employed in Bengal by the East India Company. In early 1775 Nandakumar accused Hastings of having accepted bribes from the nawab and others, a charge that may have had some basis. However, Nandakumar was in turn accused by Hastings of conspiring to coerce a third party to make the bribery accusation against Hastings. This charge against Nandakumar was soon dismissed, but in an unrelated case an accusation of forgery was then brought against him. Although the accuser was Indian, Nandakumar was tried in a British court newly established at Calcutta, where he was convicted and (because forgery was a capital crime in Britain) sentenced to death. Hastings denied that he had played any part in the proceedings, but his longtime friend, Sir Elijah Impey, was the presiding judge who imposed the death sentence. Nandakumar's execution shocked Indians and provoked strong protests from Hastings's critics and rivals, both in India and in England. The corruption charges against Hastings subsequently were dropped.