(Last Updated on : 31/01/2009)
Under the supremacy of the British in India, the economic condition of the rural India was much affected. The peasants were ruthlessly crushed and they were forced to cultivate indigo in their lands instead of foods crops. The peasants continuously crushed, gradually organized a revolt against their oppression. However the Indigo Cultivators Revolt was primarily directed against the British planters who behaved like the feudal lords in their estates. The revolt enjoyed the supports of all categories of rural population. The zamindars, moneylenders, rich peasants and even the karmacharis of indigo concerns.
Right from the beginnings of the 19th century many retired officials of the East India Company and some slave traders of England owned several lands from the Indian zamindars in Bihar and Bengal. In these lands they began a large-scale cultivation of indigo. First of all the price was too low in India. Hence the Indigo planters could make enormous profits by cultivations indigo in India.
The indigo planters committed great cruelty and oppressions on the indigo cultivators in the process of forcing them to grow indigo crops under terms, which were least preferable to them. In April 1860, all the cultivators of Barasat subdivision and in the districts of Patna and Nadia resorted to strike to articulate their demands. This strike was the first general strike in the history of Indian Peasantry. The peasants collectively refused to cultivate and to sow the seeds of indigo. The strike gradually spread to Jessore, Khulna, Rajshahi, Dacca, Malda, and Dinajpur and in the extensive regions of Bengal. The British Government got alarmed when s encountered the unified resistance. The Government of India apprehended a great agrarian uprising. The Government ordered a notification to be issued enjoining on the police to protect the riot in the possession of his lands, on which he was at liberty to sow any crop he like. But he was prohibited to interfere in the on the part of the planter or anyone else. The planter however if he liked could move to the civil court for breach of contract. Ultimately the indigo Commission was appointed in 1860. The Commissions made several recommendations, which were embodied in Act VI of 1862. The Indigo Revolutions had widespread influence and it was extended in the regions of Bihar an Uttar Pradesh.