Analyze the causes of the Indigo Revolt



Analyze the causes of the Indigo Revolt

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Indigo Plantation
Indigo had high price in the market during that period. It was used for dyeing, for, no artificial colours were used then. With the industrial revolution in the 18th century in England, textile industry gathered much momentum and the demand for indigo further increased. It was necessary for the British industrialists to get indigo plantation spread to more regions in India. They gave the farmers a good amount as advance for the cultivation of indigo. The farmers succumbed to the temptation of the Company owners and widely planted indigo as they were in trouble with no other means to pay the heavy land tax.

Explotation of Farmers
Each farmer who accepted the advance amount from the British was liable to plant indigo in a fixed portion of his land. The farmers were also compelled to cultivate it at the most fertile part of the agricultural land. So the land used for the cultivation of food grains was to be reserved for indigo plantation. Due to the interference of the British agents in the harvesting season, the farmers received only a lower price for indigo. Later when artificial colours were invented, indigo became obsolete. This made the plight of the farmers more miserable, for they had used much of their land for indigo cultivation.

Indigo Revolt
In 1859 the farmers of Bengal organized themselves and declared that they were giving up indigo cultivation. They attacked indigo factories with bows, arrows, swords and spears. Several women also participated in the revolt. The rioters excommunicated the British supporters and those who worked for the British. Hearing the news, several educated people from Calcutta reached the revolt areas and extended their support. The revolt had a strong effect on the government. The government immediately appointed a commission to study the problems of the indigo farmers. The commission found that the indigo farming was uneconomic and proposed to stop it.

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