Ruling the Countryside

The British East India Company successfully eliminated all the competition in trade from the India. The East India Company got the Diwani rights for Bengal. They were interested in the profits from cotton and silk trade but reluctant to assume the direct responsibility of the administration. The British policies of trade and revenue led to the decline of agriculture in Bengal, resulted in a terrible famine during 1770. Later, British implemented Permanent Settlement, Ryotwari System and Mahalwari System for revenue collection. In Permanent settlement, the owners of lands were called zamindars while in Mahalwari Settlement the collectors were asked to survey villages and to measure the land to count revenue. The Ryotwari System was applied in the southern territories. All the revenue systems had failed due to high rate of revenue.

The Company exported various commodities to the European market. Opium and Indigo were important commercial crops. Indigo was used to dye cotton. Demand for Indigo increased due to the starting of industrial revolution in Europe. The plantation of indigo had received heavy investment by the European planters. They adopted Nij Cultivation and the Ryoti Cultivation but Indigo cultivating peasants wanted to grow rice in the place of indigo. During the Blue rebellion, ryots of Bengal refused to grow indigo and to pay the rents to the planters. It also had the support of the local zamindars and the village headman. Later, Mahatma Gandhi also launched the movement against the indigo planters of Champaran (Bihar).

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