Dr. Bipul Chandra Goswami
(Continued from Monday)
Embarrassingly, it is the absolute truth that during the period of India Shining, our country was invaded by Alexander the Great (326, B.C.), Mohammad Ghori (1175 A.D.), Babar (1524 A.D.) who have looted our precious wealth. Centuries of Mogol rule from Agra and Delhi by Babar, Humayun, Akbor, Jahangir, Shanjahan and Aurangazeb from 1524 to 1707 subjugated us for centuries with contempt and established a vast mogal empire spreading their rule of law, culture, religion and sometime imposing zizia kar to subjugate the countrymen to fall in line with their culture and governce.
Portuguese (1505-1961) invaded and settled in isolated places of Goa, Daman and Deu and Dutch (1605-1825) occupied Cochin and French (1673-1954) invaded and occupied Pondichery, Mahe and Karikol. British East India company with their mighty military force landed in Calcutta during the rule of Sultan Ibrahim Khan (1617-1624) and occupied Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and established their rule in the eastern states of the country. Gradually they spread out in the whole country from the central, western, southern and northern states during the Indian Rebellion defeating our kings and queens like Ra Pratap, Jhansi Ki Rani, Chatrapati Shivaji of maharastra, Maharaja of Mysore and Tipu Sultan. Slowly, and gradually the powerful East India company with their mighty force defeated the Maratha Warriors in Delhi in 1837 and made a pact with the last Mogol Emperor of Delhi, Bahadur Shah Zaffar (1837-1857) and helped him with military force to rule Delhi. But after the Indian Rebellion in 1857, British exiled Bahadur Shah Zaffar to Burma and brought Delhi under British control. Filly, the east India company fully occupied Delhi and Established Delhi Darbar in 1911 and transferred their reign of power to the King George the Fifth and Queen Marry of England by Establishing a temporary secretariat in Delhi in December, 1912 and shifted the British India Capital from Calcutta to Delhi.
The East India Company having a big business plan to spread out to Assam for tea cultivation and trade then shining in Chi, defeated the Burmese occupied forces in Assam, and made an agreement know as Yandaboo Treaty on 24th February, 1826 with Burrnese Authority and Ahom King. As a result, the east India company took over complete administrative control of Assam, Manipur, Cachar and Khasi Jaintia Hills. It is noteworthy that after taking over Assam and discovery of the tea. plant in Assam by Robert Bruce (1823), the East India company had fully concentrated on the plantation and manufacture of tea, discovered coal deposits in Margherita and Ledo in upper Assam. This had fulfilling the energy requirements for starting up of tea factories, setting up of railway tracks from Margherita to Saikhowaghat by the (ARTC) in 1882, and started river vigation by steamer from Saikhowaghat to Calcutta (by joint steamer company) through the river Brahmaputra for trade and commerce for a machive tea industry.
British Parliament in London ected an Wasteland Act for Assam in 1859 and allotted thousands of hectares of prime government lands as fee simple grants to the British private capitals for large scale tea plantations and imposed heavy land revenues to our farmers growing agricultural crops and som, sowalu, mejankari (muga food plants) plantations, that led to the farmers uprising.
The wide scale expansion of the tea garden in upper Assam, in the old Sibsagar district, which was the Virgin field of Muga culture, indirectly impacted the flourishing Muga and Mejankari Silk culture due to imposition of high land revenue and environmental pollution created by the Chemical sprays for diseases and pests control of the tea gardens discouraged the muga farmers. /The finest and costliest mejankari silk now extinct, is the product of the same muga silk worm (Aritherca assama, westwood) devoured on the leaves of the mejankari plants (Litsasa citrata Blume) which are scarce in Assam Forests, but can be found in the forest areas of the Sibsagar district.
(To be continued...)