Friday, 19 December 2014

British atrocities on Indian weavers -Indian holocaust -British Raj

Woman weaver, Tamil nadu,India

Woman weaver,Assam,India.
Under the British rule only a section of British administrators were obnoxious, discriminatory and unscrupulously committed atrocities against the natives, in particular, farmers and weavers.

The British had no mercy for the poor, but talented weavers and they shamelessly engaged in the disdainful act of chopping off their forefathers’ hands in Bengal a generation ago because they demanded reasonable money for their products and did not want to sell them at rock-bottom price and ultimately they lost their livelihood, not to speak of their hands. Further, the British were more keen to dump their textiles in India and discouraged local production of textiles.

The victims' grand sons and relatives mostly weavers of Mahua Dabar in Awadh, in retaliation  and in a fit of rage, cut off a few British heads during the turmoil (sepoy mutiny) of 1857. Missing from the pages of British-India history is  Raj’s revenge on the weavers, and the place where this thing happened; the place has been found, thanks to one man’s effort, reports Tapas Chakraborty. The place exited prior to 1823. After this year, there were no govrnment records! This place was deliberately erased from the record by the British.

In the early 19th century, the East India Company, eager to promote British textiles, had cut off the hands of hundreds of weavers in Bengal so that they won't  continue their profession. After the invention of ginning wheel in England, their production capacity increased many times. In order to use India as a dumping ground for the British prodcts, to begin with, they wanted the Indian cottage industry removed for ever so that the Indian people would be forced to buy British textiles. India's huge population, to the British merchants, was an asset. In the wake of this retrograde policy, Indian economy was very much affected. The British rulers discouraged the local cottage industries every possible way in order to take the British products to every nook and corner of India.  

Twenty weavers’ families from Murshidabad and Nadia had then fled to Awadh, whose Nawob resettled them in Mahua Dabar and allowed them to carry on with their livelihood.

Many of the first-generation weavers had already lost their hands, but they taught the craft to their sons and the small town of 5,000 people soon became a bustling hand loom center.

The historians’ report names the six soldiers beheaded by the mob: Lt T.E. Lindsay, Lt W.H. Thomas, Lt G.L. Caulty, Sgt Edwards and privates A.F. English and T.J. Richie.

On June 20, 1857 the 12th Irregular Horse Cavalry surrounded the town, slaughtered hundreds and set all the houses on fire. The Raj decreed that no one could live in the place from then on. On the colonial revenue records, the area was marked 'gair chiragi' (non-revenue land). The fury exhibited by the British
 in response to the ruthless murder of British soldiers was unmatchable.

Yet the 1757-1947 Indian Holocaust and the 1942-1945 Bengali Holocaust have been erased or neglected from British history – thus, for example, there is absolutely no mention of these enormous atrocities in recent Anglo Histories such as “The Story of India” by Michael Wood (BBC, 2007), “The Britannica Guide to India” (Robinson, 2009), “A History of the English-speaking Peoples.
Indian historian Amaresh Misra claims in his 2 volume work “War of Civilizations: India AD 1857” that the British killed 10 million Indians in retaliation for 2,000 British killed in the 1857 rebellion (the so-called Indian Mutiny). Amaresh Misra : “It was a holocaust, one where millions disappeared. It was a holocaust ....... because they thought the only way to win was to destroy entire populations in towns and villages. It was simple and brutal. Indians who stood in their way were killed. But its scale has been kept a secret" (Randeep Ramesh, “ India 's secret history: “a holocaust, one where millions disappeared…” Author says British reprisals involved the killing of 10 million Indians spread over 10 years”, Guardian, 24 August, 2007 ). However, British writers in a process of continuing  holocaust denial, put the number of Indians killed at about 10.000.

The unscrupulous British company, through breach of trust, denial and outright cheating slowly brought havoc on the entire once self-reliant, proud Indian weaving community and finally made them kneel before them and  saw to it that they were penniless and driven  to abject poverty.

......“We must starve for food” In 1823 the British East India Company and the rulers received a petition from 12,000 weavers stating ..................

Our ancestors and we used to receive advances from the Company and maintain ourselves and our respective
A weaver in an Indian

 families by weaving Company’s superior assortments. Owing to our misfortune, the aurangs have been abolished ever since because of which we and our families are distressed for want of the means of livelihood. We are weavers and do not know any other business. We must starve for food, if the Board of Trade do not cast a look of kindness towards us and give orders for clothes.''

Proceedings of the Board of Trade, 3 February 1824. The rulers never had mercy on them.