Theme 10 - Colonialism and the Countryside - Exploring Official Archives -…
Theme 10 - Colonialism and the Countryside - Exploring Official Archives
1. Bengal and the Zamindars
1.3 Why zamindars defaulted on payments
Initial demands were very high
Agricultural produce were depressed
The sunset law
Limited power of Zamindar
1.4 The rise of Jotedars
Also known as
Haoladars, Gantidars or Mandals.
most of the Auctioned
estates of Zamindars
Located in the villages
1.2 The problem of unpaid revenue
Famine and agricultural decline.
Problem in finding individuals
who can improve agri as well as pay revenues to state.
(not land owners bur Revenue collectors)
1.1 An auction in Burdwan
Auction in Burdwan
, Bengal in
1.5 The zamindars resist
The zamindars resisted in many ways:-
Raja of Burdwan transferred
some Zamindaris to his
since The company declared that the
property of women will not be taken over
manipulated the Auctions
=> bidded for high price => never paid => again auction. This continued.
At last the estates were sold back to Zamindars for low price.
Other people who
bought estates from outside zamindari
Lathyals of former Zamindars.
Great depression of 1930s
=> Jotedars consolidated their power in countryside.
1.6 The Fifth Report
the Select Committee.
Triggered intense debates
in British parliament.
Many groups in Britain
wanted the revocation of Royal charter.
2. The Hoe and the Plough
2.1 In the hills of Rajmahal
Hunters, shifting cultivators, gatherers, charcoal producers, silk worm rearers
Lived in Rajmahal hills
Zamindars have to pay the tolls to Paharia chiefs in order to get protection for their travel and goods through the hills
Moved in to the lower hills.
2.2 The Santhals: Pioneer settlers
were invited to settle in
. Region demarcated and pillars were laid.
Given target of clearing 1/10th of the forest in first 10 years.
fertile land was not accessible for Paharias.
Slowly, the land levies were increased and zamindars and money lenders started to control the Damin lands.
This lead to a
Santhal Revolt (1855-1856)
The british identified the key persons and arrested them.
2.3 The accounts of Buchanan
He has been given troops, surveyors, geologists etc by the company
He has been asked to write about the resources and possibilities to commercialise them.
He has always been seen as an
agent of Sarkar
He mostly wrote about, soil, iron-ore, salt-making, etc.
critical about forest dwellers
and had a view that the
forests had to be changed as agricultural lands.
3. A Revolt in the Countryside
The Bombay Deccan
3.1 Account books are burnt
12th May 1875
, The revolt started in
, village near
Then it spread to over 6500 villages and reached Ahmadnagar.
(Moneylenders) and burnt the
(account books) and
They also burnt some houses.
Police posts were deployed quickly and the revolt was brought into control.
3.2 A new revenue system
Permanent settlement Act
was never extended beyond the Bengal provinces.
The reason for this is the
production was higher than the "Avergae rent".
was introduced which
deals with the Ryots directly instead of Zamindars
3.3 Revenue demand and peasant debt
First revenue settlement in Bombay Deccan
were very strict in collecting the revenue and in pleasing the superiors.
1/3 of the cattle killed
Half of human population died
and many peasants left with no cattle of land to survive.
3.4 Then came the cotton boom
3/4th of the cotton were coming from America.
Manchester cotton company
Cotton supply association
Then since there was
civilian revolt in America
used to occupy
90% of the Britain imports in 1962
But this did not give prosperity to all peasants but for some rich peasants.
3.5 Credit dries up
civil revolt ended in America,
the cotton produce was increased.
This ended up in decline of cotton demand from India.
Most moneylenders refused to fund on along term
Credits piled up. Unpaid loans increased.
3.6 The experience of injustice
, British passes a
loan bonds between moneylenders and Ryots
will have only a
validity of 3 years
(To reduce the interest accumulation)
But the Moneylenders turned the law down by
the ryots to sign a
new loan bond after 3 years.
4. The Deccan Riots Commission
When the revolt spread in deccan
The Govt of Bombay was not seeing it serious.
But Govt of India wanted the Govt of Bombay to form a commission and investigate.
Thus the commission submitted a
Deccan Riots Report
to British parliament. The commission held
and the reports contained:-
(peasants, ryots, eyewitnesses)
(about different revenue systems across the region)
Collated reports of collectors