Patna, April 17: The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh said that there is no other example in the human civilisation about the war waged by the farmers in a peaceful way against the oppression and injustice of the Britisher under the leadership of Gandhiji. The Minister of Agriculture said it while addressing a gathering at National Farmer Fair in Champaran.
He further said that the innocent, disarmed farmers raised their voice against the atrocities, exploitations, oppression and extortion of the Britishers and forced them to abolish the system through Satyagraha.
The Minister added that the Neeley Britishers had confiscated more than one lakh crore fertile lands and set up their kothis there. Farmers were being exploited and oppressed in different ways by Neeley Britishers under Khurki and Teenkathiya systems. Under Khurki system, the British planters used to pay some money to the farmers (Raiyyat) by mortgaging their lands and houses and compelling them to sow indigo.
The Minister said that the British administration and Jamindar had established “Teen Kahitya” system under which teen katha land out of one bigha was reserved for indigo (Neel) farming. The farmers had to bear the cost of indigo farming and the British planters used to keep the yields without compensating the farmers. Not only this, they were even exploited through the various taxes levied on them. Thousands of landless labourers and poor farmers were forced to sow indigo instead of other crops. Before 1867, 5 kathiya land system was reserved for indigo farming.
The farmers were forced to pay several taxes while delivering indigo into the factories such as Bapahi-Putahi, Marvah and Sagaura. Despite taxes, the factories used to play very low prices for the indigo and the farmers were never paid their dues in time.
The Minister said that in the latter half of the 19th century more than 47000-acre land was sown with indigo. The government and the landlords expanded indigo farming. However, the British planters used to reap the benefit and the farmer's condition remained the same.