Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Francis Carnac Brown, British cotton planter in Malabar, testifying before a Parliamentary Committee in 1846 says "The story of cotton in India is not half told, how it was systematically depressed from the earliest date that American cotton came into competition with it about the year 1786, how for 40 or 50 years thereafter one half of the crop was taken in kind as revenue, the other half by the sovereign merchant at a price much below the market price of the day which was habitually kept down for the purpose, how the cotton farmer's plough and bullock were taxed, the Churkha taxed, the bow taxed and the loom taxed, how inland custom houses were posted in and around every village on passing which cotton on its way to the Coast was like every other produce taxed afresh; how it paid export duty both in a raw state and in every shape of yarn, of thread, cloth or handkerchief, in which it was possible to manufacture it; how the dyer was taxed and the dyed cloth taxed, plain in the loom, taxed a second time in the dye vats, how Indian piece goods were loaded in England with a prohibitory duty and English piece goods were imported into India at an ad valorem duty of 2 1/2 per cent. It is my firm conviction that the same treatment would have long since converted any of the finest countries in Europe into wilderness. But the Sun has continued to give forth to India its vast vivifying rays, the Heavens to pour down upon the vast surface its tropical rains. These perennial gifts of the Universal Father it has not been possible to tax."

Revenue & taxes were levied by the East India Company.

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