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Raja Ganesha


Raja Ganesha a Hindu landlord of Bhaturia and Dinajpur. Ganesha (Kans of the Muslim historians) became the king of Bengal by usurping power from the weak Iliyas Shahi sultans in the early 15th century.

His origin is not definitely known. He was one of the nobles who came to prominence in the Iliyas Shahi court of Firuzabad (pandua) towards the close of ghiyasuddin azam shah's reign. He was a great intriguer in Bengal politics during the time of saifuddin hamza shah, Shihabuddin bayazid shah and alauddin firuz shah and for at least four years (1410-1414 AD) effective power was concentrated in his hands. He became the de facto ruler and in a state of confusion and political turmoil dethroned (and probably killed) Alauddin Firuz Shah and assumed the throne of Bengal in 1414.

Raja Ganesha followed a policy of persecuting and eliminating the Muslims in an attempt to destroy Muslim power in Bengal. Persecuted Muslims rallied round Shaikh nur qutb alam who addressed an appeal to the Jaunpur sultan, Ibrahim Shah Sharqi, imploring him to come to the rescue of the Muslims. Ibrahim Sharqi marched with his army into Bengal and pitched his tent at Sarai Firuzpur. Ganesha submitted to Nur Qutb Alam, who demanded his conversion to Islam. He offered his son Jadu to be converted instead. Jadu embraced Islam and was placed on the throne. He issued coins in his new name of jalaluddin muhammad shah. After the departure of the Jaunpur forces, Ganesha dethroned and confined his son and began to exercise royal power by issuing coins in his newly assumed title of 'Dhanujamardanadeva'. He again started persecuting the Muslims, put Shaikh Anwar to death and banished Shaikh Zahid to sonargaon. But soon, Ganesha was overthrown and probably killed (1418 AD) by his son Jalaluddin. [MA Taher]