Agricultural policies

EIC used every strategy in arsenal to colonize India. They participated in internal feuds, did treaties and used conspirators against their own ruler.

Colonise countryside:

  • Get Diwani rights of 100 million acres of land after battle of Buxar.
  • Decreased power of tribals by making forest as state property and monitoring their movement.
  • More number of police stations and control over village headmen & Zamindars
  • De industrialization by destroying Indian export & dumping Indian market with cheap british goods led to artisans movement to village. British through revenue & crop models took full control over them.

Revenue resources:

  • Main source was land from which they collected revenue based on Permanent settlement, Ryotwari & Mahalwari system.
  • They realized that they could use land for raw materials desired in their own country. So, they forced farmers to grow cash crops like Tea, coffee, Indigo etc.
  • Through Subsidiary alliance system, Drain of wealth by direct or indirect ways.

Redefine rights of people:

  • Decreased right of tribals over forest. Thus most of them became labours in tea plantation or mining.
  • Farmers no more have the right to grow according to choice.
  • Right of Village headmen was disturbed by forcing them to sign in place of ryots on what to grow in field.


  • British realized that they can use Indian field for raw material desired at home. So they forced farmers to grow crops like tea, coffee, Indigo, cotton etc. It led to multi-fold problems:
    1)Farmers don’t have the right to grow what they wanted.
    2)Farmers used to grow grains for self consumption but british interference created problem. It was one of the reason that famine of bengal took place.

Indigo was one such crop used by British. Indigo requires lots of water, so farmers cannot cultivate other crops like rice after its cultivation. This led to Blue rebellion where peasants refused to cultivate it followed by Indigo commission in Bengal by Govt.


Permanent settlement system was introduced by Lord Cornwallis to ensure predictable and steady flow of revenue and improve revenue base by encouraging landlords to improve land productivity.But result was not as intended by Britishers.

Under settlement ,They could retain it for long duration provided they paid rental. Since rental was fixed but not tax that could be taken from tenants, they could resort to rack renting and extract maximum for their pocket. Instead of improving land productivity, they exploited farmers by arbitrarily keeping high taxes.

They could easily live lavishly under existing system. Consequently big landlords lived luxuriously in cities and gave their zamindari rights to minor landlords. This led to sub-infeudation whereby there were as many as 70 intermediaries between
British and peasants.

This led to large scale deprivation of peasants and revenue loss of Britishers. Consequently Mahalwari and Ryotwari was introduced in rest of India. Though peasants were exploited in these systems also but absentee landlordism was not found.

Permanent settlement was introduced in UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha which happens to be among poorest states in India.