Agrarian Poverty in Colonial Uttar Pradseh: The Dufferin Inquiry, 1887-1888
Edited by Shireen Moosvi
  • ISBN : 9789356870000
  • year : 2022
  • language : English
  • binding : Hardbound
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It is seldom recognized that Indian nationalism had its beginnings in the belief that India was being increasingly impoverished under British rule. To contest claims about the growing poverty in India, Viceroy Lord Dufferin, in August 1887, decided to institute an inquiry to establish whether ‘the greater population of India suffer from a daily insufficiency of food’. But, in effect, the inquiry as organized by the provincial governments and conducted by the district ‘Collectors’, extended to all material and social aspects of the lives of the rural poor in India. The printed volumes of the inquiry were not made available to the public. Agrarian Poverty in Colonial Uttar Pradesh: The Dufferin Inquiry, 1887–1888 thus brings to the reading public what has practically been a closed book till now. The text of the inquiry conducted in Uttar Pradesh (then known as ‘North-Western Provinces and Oudh’) is here preceded by a detailed Introduction providing a critical analysis about the material conditions and social customs of the poor, labourers, artisans, landlords, moneylenders and women, as well as an examination of the quality and substance of the reports.