Ques 1: When was the ‘Diwani’ of Bengal granted to the East India Company?
Ans: The ‘Diwani’ of Bengal was granted to the British East India Company, in 1765.
Ques 2: During the Mughal rule what was the status of the ‘Diwan’?
Ans: During the rule of the Mughal Empire, the Diwan served as the chief revenue officer of a province.
Ques 3: What were the benefits reaped by the East India company as the Diwan of Bengal?
Ans: With the appointment as the Diwan, the Company became the chief financial Administrator of Bengal. The company could now administer the land and revenue resources of Bengal and could utilize the revenue to meet the expanses of the Company.
The Company now had the liberty to trade in all the goods it wanted to.
Ques 4: What were the ambitious plans of the East India Company?
Ans: The East India Company wanted to colonise the country side and organise revenue resources. Its priority was to redefine the rights of the people. The Company was also keen to produce the crops it wanted, in India.
Ques 5: Give a brief description of the ‘ryotwari system’.
Ans: The ‘ryotwari system’ was introduced by Captain Alexander Read. This system was further developed by Thomas Munroe. According to the new system the revenue was to be collected directly from the farmers or ryots. This was necessary as the zamindari system was not prevalent in the southern regions. The lands of each farmer were separately assessed and the revenue was fixed accordingly. This system was also known as the Munro System.
Ques 6: What were the disadvantages of the ryotwari system?
Ans: The revenue fixed by the British officials in the ryotwari system was too high for the farmers. The farmers who were unable to pay the revenue left the farms. As the farmers left their farms the villages in the region wore a deserted look.
Ques 7: Why did the British want to grow the ‘indigo plant’ in India?
Ans: The indigo plant grows primarily in the tropics and this was the primary reason for the British to turn to India for the growth of the indigo plant.
By the thirteenth century Indian indigo was being used by cloth manufacturers in Italy, France and Britain to dye cloth.
The demand for Indian indigo grew, as European cloth manufacturers wanted only Indian Indigo as it produced a rich blue colour. Due to this demand the price of Indian indigo rose in the European market and mediated the British to grow more indigo in the Indian soil.
Another reason was the industrialisation of Britain as this resulted in the expansion of cotton production creating an enormous new demand for cloth dyes.
Indigo production in other countries began to decline and the demand for Indian Indigo increased in European countries. This demand made the East India Company to expand the area under indigo cultivation.
Ques 8: What were to the two major systems of indigo cultivation in India?
Ans: The two major systems of indigo cultivation in India were the ‘Nij’ system of cultivation and the ‘Ryoti’ system of cultivation.
Ques 9: What were the main features of the ‘Nij’ system of cultivation?
Ans: In the ‘nij’ system of indigo cultivation the planter produced indigo in lands that he directly owned. He either bought the land or rented it from other zamindars and produced indigo by directly employing hired labourers.
Ques 10: What were the main features of the ‘Ryoti’ system of cultivation?
Ans: Under the Ryoti system, the planters forced the ryots or peasants to sign a contract. The village headman was also forced to sign an agreement on behalf of the ryots. The peasants received a loan from the planters to cultivate their land. Due to this the peasants were forced to cultivate indigo in 25% of their land.
The peasants received seeds and ploughs for cultivation from the Planters. They had to cultivate the crop and harvest it. The harvested indigo crop had to be given to the planters.
Ques 11: Give a brief description of the method of producing indigo dye?
Ans: The indigo leaves were fermented in a steeping vat. Then the liquid was extracted and oxidized in a beating vat. Finally a blue precipitate was allowed to form from the liquid in a settling vat. This precipitate was collected, dried, and compacted. This dried compacted material is the indigo dye.
Ques 12: When did the ‘Blue rebellion’ break-out?
Ans: Indian farmers rebelled against being forced to grow indigo plants. In March 1859, thousands of ryots in Bengal refused to grow indigo. This was known as the ‘Blue rebellion’.
Ques 13: What were the findings of the Indigo Commission?
Ans: The Indigo Commission was set up to enquire into the system of indigo production. The Commission declared that the Planters were unfair and that the farmers were not paid enough for their toil. The Commission also stated that in future the farmers could refuse to grow indigo plants and the Planters did not have a right to force them.
An Indigo dye factory in Bengal, 1867Ques 14: What was the out come of the Blue Rebellion?
Ans: After the ‘Blue Rebellion’, indigo production collapsed in Bengal. Planters shifted their operation to Bihar.