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Impact of British Land Revenue System on Indian Rural Life

From the beginning, the company wanted to earmark the maximum amount as land revenue. Hence, initially, the farming system was introduced by Warren Hesitzings, under which the right to recover land revenue was being given as contracts. As a result, farmers were exploited in Bengal, and agricultural production declined.

A new experiment was further conducted by the Carnavalis as a Permanent Settlement. Through this, the zamindar intermediaries were transformed into lords of land and independent peasants as subordinate ryots. Above all, the amount of the government was fixed forever and the ryots were left at the grace of the zamindars. The revenue fixation affected the rural community in many ways.

Some of these effects are as follows:

They were oriented towards the production of cash crops, but despite the commercialization of agriculture, there was no improvement as the landowners and middlemen got the major part of it.

Due to the maximum amount of land revenue, the farmers could not have any surplus that they could use after the crop was destroyed. Hence famine and starvation in rural areas increased even more.

The zamindars had no interest in investing in agriculture and the farmers were not in a position to invest. Hence agriculture went backward. Premchand, in his novel Godan, has a very poignant portrayal of the impact of the resulting settlement on the rural life of North India.

Development of Modern Industries in India

The founding of modern industry in British India is believed to have started in 1850 AD. Earlier, while on the one hand, the Indian hand industry was declining, on the other hand, some new industries were also being born. The development of new types of industries appeared in two forms – plantation industry and factory industry. The British here first took a special interest in plantation industries based on cash crops such as indigo, tea, coffee, etc. After 1857, factory-based industries developed, which included these industries – cotton, leather, iron, sugar, cement, paper, wood, conch, etc.

The first cotton textile industry in the country, ‘Bombay Spinning and Weaving Company’ was founded in 1854 AD by a Parsi industrialist Kavasji Dabur. The first sugar factory in India opened in 1909 AD and the first jute factory in Bengal in 1855 AD. The first attempt to produce modern steel was made in 1830 AD by Josiah Marshall Heath in the Arcat district, south of Madras. In 1907, with the efforts of Jamsetji Nauserwanji Tata, ‘Tata Iron and Steel Company’ was established. In this way, these industries continued to develop gradually.

KultiWest Bengal1870Bengal Iron Works Company
SakchiJharkhand1908From this iron-steel factory in India
Jamsetji Tata set foot in the industry.
HirapurWest Bengal1907It was the first Indian Iron Steel Company
Was known by name.
BhadravatiKarnataka1923First Mysore Iron and Steel Company’s
It was later known as ‘Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Company’ which was the first public sector unit. 
BurnpurWest Bengal1937First Steel Corporation of Bengal Names
  The factory established later was merged with the ‘Indian Iron and Steel Company

Various Factory Acts in British-India

The first commission on Indian labor was formed in 1857 AD. It was formed on the demand of the industrialists of Lancashire. Its purpose was to study the working conditions of workers in Indian factories.

Apart from this, the British Government implemented several Factory Acts in India, whose details are as follows:

Factory Act of 1881 AD: In this factory act brought in during the time of Lord Ripon, arrangements were made for the protection and protection of young workers. But this act could only apply to factories where the number of workers is at least 100. In this, children below the age of 7 years were banned from working and the period of work of children of 7 to 12 years was fixed at 9 hours. Apart from this, arrangements for one hour of rest and 4 days of leave in a month were also provided.

Factory Act of 1891 AD: This factory act brought in at the time of Lord Lansdowne provided for the benefit of adult workers. The Act came into force at all places where at least 50 workers worked together. In this, children below the age of 9 years were banned from working in the factory and the working hours of children from 9 years to 19 years were fixed for 7 hours daily. Women were banned from working from 8 am to 5 am in the night. Their working hours were fixed at 11 hours per day and a day off was also announced for them.

Factories Act of 1911 AD: The Factories Act of 1891 AD was amended and introduced in 1911 AD and fixed the working hours of men 12 hours per day. This act, brought in the time of Lord Harding, prohibited young children from working in factories between 7 pm and 5 am.

Factories Act of 1922 AD: This Act, brought in the time of Lord Reading, was applicable to those factories where more than 20 workers worked or used electricity. In this Act, the age of children working in the factory was increased from 12 to 15 years and their working hours were reduced to 6 hours per day. Subsequently, the Act was partially amended in 1923 AD, 1926 AD and 1931.

Factories Act of 1934: This Act brought in the time of Lord Willington established a distinction between seasonal factories and factories always functioning. The working hours of adult workers were fixed at 11 hours per day. The daily working hours of adult laborers in the industries or factories working regularly were fixed for 10 hours and arrangements were made for the comfort and treatment of the workers.

Factories Act of 1946 AD: In the time of Lord Wavell, the Factories Act of 1934 AD was amended. The amended Act reduced the working hours of workers from 11 hours to 9 hours. Also, emphasis was placed on the arrangement of canteens in factories employing more than 200 workers.

Since all the above Factories Acts were brought at a time when India was a slave, therefore no special attention was paid to the facilities of the workers. Subsequently, the first comprehensive factory act of independent India was introduced in 1948, in which efforts were made to improve the condition of workers.

Factory Act of 1881 AD:Lord Ripon
Factory Act of 1891 AD:Lord Lansdowne
Factories Act of 1911 AD:Lord Harding II
Factories Act of 1922 AD:Lord Reading
Factories Act of 1934 AD:Lord Wellington
Factories Act of 1946 AD:Lord Wavell


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