Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Commercial cash crop and the development of capitalist economy: A study of colonial tea plantations in Darjeeling hills
Other Titles: Karatoya, NBU J. Hist. Vol 11, March 2018, p 99 - 118
Authors: Sarkar, Tahiti
Keywords: Tea plantation
Colonial Capital
Imperial Objective
Zone of Tea Cultivation
Imperial political project
Imperial cash crop
Political Economy
Dependent Development Economy
Technology Transformation
World Capitalist System
Issue Date: Mar-2018
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: The present study focuses primarily on the development of Darjeeling hills as a region of tea plantation since the beginning of the mid-nineteenth century. The development of tea plantation ushered in infusion of colonial capital, which completely altered the existing feudal economy. Darjeeling’s potential and possibilities as a zone of tea cultivation had attracted the immediate attention of the EIC officials who sought to transform the almost uninhabited forested tract of Darjeeling into a tea region. Large tracts of virgin forest and grasslands were cleared by British Planters and cultivated with tea. In establishing and cultivating their estates it was apparent that the planters were initially able to secure labor from the neighboring Nepal hills. In fact, tea as commercial plantation in Darjeeling since early fifties of the nineteenth century had been a sheer coincidence which was taken place as a part of larger imperial project. Since then tea continued to be the backbone of the economy of Darjeeling hills. The expansion of tea industry in Darjeeling had fundamentally altered the nature of political economy of Darjeeling hills and that too at the cost of forests, ecology and environment in particular. The colonially induced expanding tea plantation lovably called ‘imperial cash crop’, owned and engineered by the British planters under the patronage of British East India Company gave rise to an insular economy hitherto unknown by the indigenous people lived in so far on tradition based subsistence economy. The substantial quantum of profits accrued from Darjeeling tea used to be siphoned out to Europe and tea labourers had to be kept satisfied with wages only. Such a situation gave rise to a kind of dependent development economy in Darjeeling under the aegis of new technology transformation. In this way, as a part of grand imperial political project, Darjeeling hill was drawn into the world capitalist system.
ISSN: 2229-4880
Appears in Collections:Karatoya Vol.11 (March 2018)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Karatoya vol 11 Article No 9.pdfCommercial cash crop and the development of capitalist economy: A study of colonial tea plantations in Darjeeling hills224.44 kBAdobe PDFThumbnail

Items in NBU-IR are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.