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“Tinkathia System” in Champaran meant
1. Cultivation of Indigo on the 3/20 area of land
2. Cultivation of Indigo on 3/19 area of land.
3. Cultivation of Indigo on 3/18 area of land.
4. None of these

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Correct Answer - Option 1 : Cultivation of Indigo on the 3/20 area of land

The correct answer is Cultivation of Indigo on the 3/20 area of land.

  • Tinkathia System:
    • The European planters had been forcing the peasants to grow indigo on 3/20 part of the total land (called the tinkathia system).
    • As the name suggests Tinkathia means teen kattha.
    • When the British introduced the Indigo plantation in Bengal( Bihar was part of it ) in the 1820s.
    • Under this system, those farmers who had 1 bigha land(1bigha=20 kattha) had to plant Indigo over 3 kattha.
    • If you have 2 bigha land you must have to plant Indigo over 6 kattha land.
    • The price of Indigo initially was high in the market but planters who were European usually paid very low prices to farmers.
    • Moreover, the seed and initial cost used to provided by European only.
    • It means farmers had to pay more in return they get less.
    • They were all finally debt-ridden with less fertile land.
    • This gave birth to several revolts and movements.
    • Indigo revolt(1859) and Champaran Satyagraha(1917) are the famous ones.

  • Significance of Champaran movement:
    • The Champaran Satyagraha of 1917 was the first Satyagraha movement led by Gandhi in India and is considered a historically important revolt in the Indian Independence Movement.
    • Gandhi traveled across the district to different villages, meeting farmers and taking note of their sufferings and complaints against the forced indigo cultivation.
    • He was given an ultimatum by the British government to leave Champaran.
    • Gandhi refused to leave and responded that he was ready to bear "the penalty of civil disobedience".
    • During the 31st session of the Congress in Lucknow in 1916, Gandhiji met Raj Kumar Shukla, a representative of farmers from Champaran, who requested him to come and see for himself the miseries of the indigo ryots (tenant farmers) there.
    • Gandhi Ji arrived in Champaran on 10 April 1917 with a team of eminent lawyers i.e.Brajkishore Prasad, Rajendra Prasad, Anugrah Narayan Sinha, and  Acharya Kripalani.
    • As Gandhi was arrested scores of Champaran tenants turned up in protest outside the jail, police stations, and courts.
    • Troubled by this unusual form of resistance that spilled no violence, the government was forced to let go of Gandhi.
    • Gandhiji here remarked, "The country, thus, had its first direct object-lesson in Civil Disobedience,".
  • Indigo Revolt:
    • The indigo farmers revolted in the Nadia district of Bengal by refusing to grow indigo during 1859.
    • In response to this, the planters increased the rents and evicted the farmers, which led to more agitations.
    • In April 1860, all the farmers in the Barasat division of the districts Nadia and Pabna went on a strike and refused to grow indigo.
    • The revolt was backed by the Bengali intelligentsia, Muslims, and missionaries.
    • The whole of the rural population supported the revolt.
    • The press also supported the revolt and played its part in portraying the plight of the farmers and fighting for their cause.
    • The play Nil Darpan (The Mirror of Indigo) by Dinabandhu Mitra written in 1858 - 59 portrayed the farmers’ situation accurately.
    • It showed how farmers were coerced into planting indigo without adequate payment.
    • The play became a talking point and it urged the Bengali intelligentsia to lend support to the indigo revolt.
    • Reverend James Long translated the play into English on the authority of the Secretary to the Governor of Bengal, W S Seton-Karr.
    • The planters who were treated as villains in the play sued Rev. Long for libel. Rev. Long was pronounced guilty and had to pay Rs.1000 as compensation and serve a month in prison.

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