Peasant Revolts under Crown or British Rule
Indigo Revolt (1859-60)
Before chemical dyes, natural indigo dye was of high value around the world. Many Europeans tried to become indigo planters in India.
The Europeans employed local farmers to grow the Indigo. These Indigo plants were processed into dye at the planter factories. The dye produced in these factories was then exported to various European countries.
During the early 19th century, India supplied the highest Indigo to Great Britain. The System of Indigo cultivation is very oppressive.
The peasants were forced to grow the Indigo crop rather than the food crop. The British planter gave the cultivators, a cash advance to help them pay the rent of the land and other farming expenses.
This advance cash is to be repaid with interest. The amount earned by the farmer was not enough to pay the cash advance with interest, as a result, they fell into debt.
Then the farmers against forced to enter into another contract to grow indigo. As a result, the peasant was never able to clear the loans.
The loans and debts were passed on from the father to the son. The Indigo Revolt started in 1859. The revolt started as a strike, as the farmers of a village in Nadia District in Bengal refused to grow Indigo plants.
This news quickly speaks to the other indigo-growing districts of Bengal. This revolt then became Violent.
The peasants from the Hindu and Muslim religions, along with the women participated in the revolt. The Indian journalists in Calcutta wrote about the brutality of the planters.
The play Nil Darpan (Mirror of the Indigo) by Dina Bandhu Mitra drew attention in India and Europe. The indigo industry quickly declines in Bengal.
By the end of the 19th century, chemical blue dyes came into use as a result natural Indigo dye declined
Result of indigo revolt
Due to the indigo revolt, the English government appointed the Indigo Commission in 1860. Then a notification was issued stating, that the farmers should not be forced to Indigo.
(b) Deccan Riots 1875
After the power transfer from the company to the crown, deindustrialization forced workers out of the land. Heavy taxation affected agriculture.
The deaths due to famine increased. The Deccan peasant uprising first recorded rioting incident against the moneylenders in the Deccan occurred in May 1875 in Supa, a village near Poona.
Also, some cases of riots were reported from almost 30 villages in Poona and Ahmadnagar. The rioting mostly happened against Gujarat moneylenders.
Under British rule, peasants were forced to pay revenue directly to the government. Also, under a new law moneylenders were allowed to attach the mortgaged land of the defaulters and auction it off.
This made a transfer of lands from the cultivators to the non-cultivating classes. The cultivators were trapped in the vicious cycle of debt and unable to pay the remaining amount, as a result, the cultivator was forced to abandon cultivation.
Deccan riots commission was set up after the revolt. It submitted its report to the British Parliament in 1878. The Agriculture Relief Act was passed in 1979.
Accordingly, the farmer could not be arrested if they were unable to pay their taxes or debts.