Dark Stories History

How the British Ravaged India

Table of Contents


The British colonial rule lasted for over 200 years. During this time, the British extracted vast amounts of wealth from India, while leaving the country’s economy in shambles. The de-industrialization of India, the impoverishment of the peasantry, policy induced famines and the death + displacement of millions of people are all legacies of the British Raj. They ravaged India’s ancient economy, society, and culture. The British Raj was a system of exploitation and oppression that caused immense suffering for the Indian people. It left India impoverished and underdeveloped, and it created a legacy of inequality and injustice that persists to this day.

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Abundance to Abject Poverty

In the year 1700, India’s share in the world’s economy was a staggering 27 percent, more than all of Europe combined. But 250 years later, India’s share had plummeted to less than 3 percent, and its people were left impoverished.

Yes, that is correct. According to Angus Maddison, an economist who compiled historical data on the world economy, India’s share of the world economy in 1700 was 27.0%, while Europe’s share was 23.3%. This means that India’s economy was larger than the combined economies of all of Europe at that time.

Here is a table of the top 10 countries by share of world economy in 1700, according to Maddison:

RankCountryShare in world economy (1700)
5Ottoman Empire6.4%
6Great Britain5.4%
Top 9 Economies in 1700

It is important to note that these figures are estimates but they provide a general indication of the relative sizes of the economies of different countries in the early 1700s.

World’s economy:

1700 CE India’s share 27% (Europe’s share – 23%)

250 years later – India’s share: less than 3 percent

Impact of British Rule

The fact that India’s economy was so large in 1700 is a testament to the country’s long history of economic development. India was a major center of trade and commerce for centuries, and its economy was based on a diverse range of industries, including agriculture, textiles, and manufacturing.

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India in the 18th Century

In 1707 CE, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb died, and the empire went into a spiral of instability. The Mughal Empire was on the brink of collapse, and regional powers started fighting for supremacy. India was vulnerable.

The British saw this as an opportunity. They bribed and barged their way into a dominant position in the subcontinent. The British were different from other foreign powers who had come before them. They didn’t just want to loot and leave. They wanted to extract India’s resources forever. And they succeeded.

By the time India won its independence in 1947, the British had destroyed India’s native institutions, de-industrialized its economy, severed its trade networks, and divided its people along religious, regional and cultural differences. In just 200 years of colonial rule, the India that once inspired the world was unmade.

The deliberate bleeding of India by the British as the greatest crime in all of history.

American scholar, Will Durant

Before colonialism, India was a great industrial and manufacturing nation. Its textile goods, jewelry, precious stones, pottery, porcelains, and metalwork were renowned worldwide.

India was a far greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any in Europe or Asia. Its textile goods, exquisite jewelry, precious stones, pottery, porcelains, fine metalwork were renowned worldwide.

From the writings of JT Sunderland

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Ancient Indian Industries

Textile Industry

India was a textile superpower for most of its long history. The textile industry was a major driver of economic growth and prosperity in India for centuries. It helped to create jobs, boost economic activity, and spread Indian culture around the world.

There were many textile centers in the subcontinent, each with its own unique specialty. Coastal Andhra Pradesh was a block printing hub, while Gujarat and Bengal were known for their high-end woven products. These items were in high demand all over the world, and India enjoyed a 25–30% share of the global textile trade by the mid-18th century.

The thriving textile trade had a significant effect for the entire economy. The popularity of Indian textiles led to the creation of stable international distribution networks. By piggybacking on these networks, other Indian artisans could sell their goods worldwide at a reduced cost. As a result, many different industries flourished alongside the Indian textile industry.

For example, the demand for Indian textiles led to the development of a thriving dyeing and finishing industry. This industry employed millions of people and helped to create a vibrant and diverse textile market.

The textile industry also helped to promote economic growth in other sectors. The demand for Indian textiles created a need for new infrastructure, such as roads, canals, and ports. This infrastructure helped to boost economic activity in other sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing.

The textile industry also helped to spread Indian culture and influence around the world. Indian textiles were highly prized for their quality and craftsmanship. This helped to introduce Indian culture to people all over the world.

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Shipbuilding Industry

India’s shipbuilding industry was also a behemoth, with several ports engaged in constructing elaborate ships with fine workmanship. Indian vessels combined elegance and utility and were known for their durability, outlasting English ships by far.

In the early 17th century, the Bengali merchant fleet was one of the largest and most powerful in the world. It consisted of nearly 5,000 ships, each capable of carrying up to 500 tons of goods. These ships were built in Bengali ports by skilled artisans who had the knowledge and expertise to craft elaborate wooden, iron, and brass fittings.

One British maritime observer noted that Indian vessels “combine elegance and utility and are models of fine workmanship.” Merchant contracts indicate that Bengali ships were much more durable than English ships. Bengali ships had an average lifespan of over 20 years, while English ships were not known to last more than 12.

Bengali ships were much more durable than English ships. Bengali ships had an average lifespan of over 20 years, while English ships were not known to last more than 12.

Merchant contracts from that time period

The Bengali merchant fleet played a vital role in the Indian economy. It transported goods all over the world, including spices, textiles, and raw materials. The fleet also helped to spread Indian culture and influence to other parts of the world.

The decline of the Bengali merchant fleet began in the late 17th century, as the British East India Company began to assert its dominance over the Indian economy. The British company imposed high taxes on Indian ships and forced them to use British ports. This made it difficult for the Bengali merchant fleet to compete, and it eventually declined.

The decline of the Bengali merchant fleet was a major blow to the Indian economy. It deprived India of a valuable source of revenue and trade, and it contributed to the country’s economic decline. The loss of the fleet also had a cultural impact, as it limited India’s ability to interact with other parts of the world.

Since the 6th century CE India was a pioneer in the global steel industry, producing Crucible formed steel known as wootz or Damascus steel.

Historical Records

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Steel Industry

India was a longtime pioneer in the global steel industry. As early as the 6th century CE, crucible-formed steel, which came to be known as wootz or Damascus steel in the West, was being produced for export by Indian blacksmiths, particularly along the Malabar coast and in the Deccan.

Arab and European officers regularly imported blades from India. While these blades were purchased as wartime implements, they were so robust and beautifully crafted that they also served as a mark of high status in times of peace.

The production of wootz steel was a complex and time-consuming process. The steel was made by mixing together iron and carbon in a crucible, and then heating the mixture to a very high temperature. This process created a steel that was incredibly strong and flexible, and it also had a distinctive wavy pattern.

Wootz steel was in high demand throughout the world, and it was used to make a variety of weapons and tools. It was also used to make decorative items, such as jewelry and daggers.

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Side Effects of British Rule

The British came in and destroyed all of that. They established a legal monopoly over Indian textiles, disrupted trade links, dismantled native industries, and imposed harsh tariffs. As a result, India’s economy stagnated, and skilled artisans and workers were impoverished.

Exploitation by Taxation

Peasants also faced unimaginable hardships under British rule. If they couldn’t pay their taxes, they were subjected to physical torture, and their farmland was often confiscated by the British. This exploitative system created tens of millions of landless peasants for the first time in Indian history.

Impacts of British Raj – NYCU

By the end of the 19th century, India had become Britain’s largest source of revenue, its biggest buyer of exports, and a provider of highly paid employment for British civil servants and soldiers. All of this was funded by Indian taxes.

The British were open about their exploitative intentions. The UK’s Prime Minister, the Marquess of Salisbury, even said, “India is to be bled of money; the Lancet should be directed to those parts where the blood is congested.”

The British refused to integrate with India or consider it their home. They saw India as eternally foreign, which justified their creation and maintenance of an extractive colony.

“India is to be bled of money; the Lancet should be directed to those parts where the blood is congested”

The UK’s Prime Minister, the Marquess of Salisbury

In contrast, the Turkic peoples who invaded India and established empires such as the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire did not repatriate India’s wealth to their original homelands. India became their new home, and their loyalties and energies were directed toward its prosperity.

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The cost to India

The British, on the other hand, ruled India as disconnected tyrants, with most of the revenue extracted from India flowing back to their distant homeland. Modern economists estimate that the total amount of wealth extracted from India by the British is around a staggering $43 trillion.

Total amount of wealth extracted from India by the British is around a staggering $43 trillion

Modern economists

British built overpriced Indian Railways

The British built railways in India, but they were not a sign of good intentions. The railways were built to benefit British businesses, not the Indian people. The British government guaranteed high profits for British investors, and when the railways didn’t make enough money, Indian taxpayers had to cover the losses.

Every mile of Indian rail cost 18,000 pounds to construct, compared to only 2,000 pounds for the same mile built in the United States.

Inflated costs of the Indian Railways

Initially, the Indian railways were positioned as a grand investment scheme for British shareholders. The government guaranteed substantial returns of at least five percent per year, and when the revenues fell short, Indian taxpayers covered all the losses. These taxpayer-backed guarantees made railway construction extremely inefficient. Here’s a fun stat: every mile of Indian rail cost 18,000 pounds to construct, compared to only 2,000 pounds for the same mile built in the United States.

The railways were also built to help the British exploit India’s natural resources. The railways made it easier to transport grain and other agricultural products out of India, which led to famines.

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British Policy induced Famines

Over the course of British rule in India, an estimated 35 million preventable deaths were caused by famines, which is millions more than those killed under Stalin or Mao and five times more than the Holocaust. The British were directly responsible for this tragic loss of life.

Over the course of British rule in India, an estimated 35 million people died in famines. The British were directly responsible for this tragic loss of life.

Historical Records

They exported Indian foodstuffs to Britain and other European countries, even during drought periods. As a result, food in India became too expensive for people to afford.


Dr. Charles Hall aptly summarized the situation: “India starves so that its annual tax revenue to England may not be diminished by a dollar” .

The British had no interest in provisioning for Indian lives. Famine non-intervention was official government policy, despite the fact that heavy-handed British intervention and market manipulation sparked the famines in the first place.

“India starves so that its annual tax revenue to England may not be diminished by a dollar”

Dr. Charles Hall

Even when good people, Indians, and foreigners worked together to help famine-affected peasants, the British government made efforts to stop them. They were furious that their own failures were being highlighted.

Scores of corpses were tumbled into old wells because deaths were too numerous for proper funeral rites. Mothers sold their children for a single meal, and husbands flung their wives into ponds to escape the torment of seeing them perish from hunger.

Account of the British official

Amid these scenes of death, the British government in India remained unmoved. Newspapers were persuaded into silence, and orders were given to civilians not to acknowledge that civilians were dying of hunger.

Since British rule ended, there hasn’t been a single large-scale Indian famine. Independent India has its flaws, but it has been overwhelmingly better at providing for the care, safety, and prosperity of its own people.

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Dark Stories

The New King!

Table of Contents


This article/post is an attempt at a historical account of the UK’s royal family from William the Conqueror to Charles I.

It highlights the stories of betrayal, ambition, murder, and power struggles that shaped the monarchy. The video covers several monarchs and notable events, including the Norman Conquest, the War of Roses, the Tudor dynasty, the rivalry between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots, and Charles I’s execution, which led to the formation of a republic.

The New Monarch of United Kingdom

King Charles III was just crowned the King of the United Kingdom, which is composed of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

As such, he is the head of state of these four countries, and he has certain ceremonial and symbolic duties associated with each of them.

In addition, King Charles is also the head of the Commonwealth, which is a group of 54 member states, most of which are former British colonies or territories.

However, his role in the Commonwealth is mainly ceremonial and symbolic, and he does not have any direct political authority over these member states.

Let’s learn a little bit more about his heritage and history.

Monarchs of England since 1702

Let’s look at the list of Kings and Queens who were the rulers of England from about the time the British East India Company started it’s ‘business’ within the Indian Subcontinent.

  1. Queen Anne: 1702-1714
  2. King George I: 1714-1727
  3. King George II: 1727-1760
  4. King George III: 1760-1820
  5. King George IV: 1820-1830
  6. King William IV: 1830-1837
  7. Queen Victoria: 1837-1901
  8. King Edward VII: 1901-1910
  9. King George V: 1910-1936
  10. King Edward VIII: January-December 1936
  11. King George VI: 1936-1952
  12. Queen Elizabeth II: 1952-2022
  13. King Charles III: 2022-present (as of May 2023)

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The Story of the British (UK) Royalty


Read below if you just want the information

Information mentioned in the video article

King Charles’ Bloodstained Crown | The Untold Story of UK Royals

SourceLink to video

It (The British Empire) was built on the blood of murdered relatives, the sweat and blood of slaves and colonial subjects, and by some accounts, the premature deaths of 100 million Indians because of British policy.


The history of the UK Royals is a story of power, violence, and ambition.

From the Norman Conquest of 1066 to the present day, the history of the monarchy is filled with betrayals, murders, and looted colonies. The Meghan Markle scandal may have made headlines, but the story of the UK Royals is far more scandalous than many realize.

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William – 1066 – 34 generations ago

It all began with the arrival of William in Britain in 1066. William and his army defeated Harold, the king of England, in the Battle of Hastings. William was crowned King on Christmas Day in the year 1066 at Westminster Abbey. Charles, the current King, is separated from William by 34 generations.

The history of the UK Royals is filled with betrayals, murders, and looted colonies.

Henry – may have killed his nephew the king

Many historians believe that William’s younger brother Henry killed William II, who was hunting in Southern England when he was killed by his own noble. Henry secured the treasury in Winchester and rushed to London, where he made himself king.

In the UK Royal history, betrayals and murders were not uncommon.

jon – 1199 – killed his 16 year old nephew

King Jon, who took the throne in 1199, had a rival – his brother’s son named Arthur. Jon ordered his 16-year-old nephew and rival’s eyes and genitals to be removed. When the jailer refused to carry out the cruel act, Jon personally murdered his nephew and threw his body into a river.

war of roses – 30 year civil war

Cut to the 15th century, one of the bloodiest chapters in English history was unfolding – The War of Roses. It was a 30-year ruthless and barbaric civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York.

edward iv first york king – killed his brother george

After the York’s won, Edward IV, their King, grew suspicious of his brother George the Duke of Clarence, and imprisoned him. He drowned George in a pot of wine.

the next king – made edward iv’s sons vanish

In 1483, Edward IV died, and his successor, his 12-year-old son, also named Edward, was heading to London when his uncle stopped him. He put Edward and his brother in the Tower of London, and nobody has seen them since. The murderous uncle made himself king, but decades later, two skeletons were found in the tower. Did they belong to Edward and his brother? No one knows.

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Henry vii (house of tudor) – executed 57000

Henry VII, one of the monarchs of the House of Tudor, executed around 57,000 people in 36 years, which is around four people per day.

elizabeth i – executed rival mary, queen of scots

Elizabeth I, his daughter, had a rivalry with Mary, the Queen of Scots. Elizabeth imprisoned Mary for 18 and a half years and executed her in 1587.

Mary’s execution was a gruesome affair, taking three swings of the ax to behead her. This event is often cited as one of the darkest moments in British history, and has been compared to the brutality of the Game of Thrones.

James vi son of mary of scots becomes king james i

After Elizabeth’s death, the throne passed to James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England. James was the son of Mary Queen of Scots, the same woman whom Elizabeth had executed.

Era of colonialism starts

This was a significant moment in British history, as it marked the beginning of the Stuart dynasty and the start of a new era of colonialism.

Charles i (17th century) delusional

In the mid-17th century, Charles I became king of England. Charles was a delusional ruler who believed that he had been appointed by God. When the parliament disagreed with him, he went to war, but was defeated in 1645 and executed three years later.

This event was a turning point in British history, as it marked the end of the monarchy and the beginning of a republic.

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charles II 1660

However, this was short-lived, and in 1660 the monarchy was restored with the coronation of Charles II.

With the restoration of the monarchy came a new era of colonialism, as Britain began to expand its empire across the globe.

The economic model – Profit from Slavery

Over the next few centuries, Britain would invade around 90% of all countries, becoming the superpower of the 18th century. The economic model that sustained this empire was slavery, and Britain perfected it.

Although they did not start the slave trade (that would be Portugal and Spain), they transported around 3.4 million Africans to their colonies. Of these, 2.7 million reached their destination alive, while the rest perished. This was all done with royal approval, as Charles II had institutionalized slavery during his rule.

Today, the current king of Britain, Charles III, is carrying the burden of this legacy.

His direct ancestors bought slaves in Virginia, and yet there has been no apology for this dark chapter in British history.

The real Legacy – Murder, Slavery, Colonial Loot

Looking back, it is hard to know what to make of this Empire and this Throne. It was built on the blood of murdered relatives, the sweat and blood of slaves and colonial subjects, and by some accounts, the premature deaths of 100 million Indians because of British policy.

The Loot

The impact of the British monarchy on the world is hard to overstate. It is estimated that they took resources worth 45 trillion dollars, which is 15 times Britain’s current GDP, from India alone.

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Impact of the Royal Follies

The entire world has had to pay for the Royal Family’s mistakes, as seen in the first world war. The three rulers of the major powers during the war, George V of England, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, were all cousins. Their rivalry ended with the death of 20 million people.

Recap – Royal Legacy – Murder & Plunder

This flashback is a necessary reminder of the real history of the British throne, the blood they spilled, the innocents they executed, and the lands they plundered.

The throne is soiled by cruelty and ruthlessness, and it is important to acknowledge this history in order to move forward.

The British monarchy continues to have a powerful influence on the world, and it is up to us to hold them accountable for their actions, have their current Royal generation, their government, acknowledge the atrocities and demand justice for the victims of their past.

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Dark Stories

British – Traders to Rulers & Looters

Table of Contents


  • Learn more about how the British ravaged India for almost 200 years.
  • The British came to India as traders but soon became rulers. They exploited India’s resources, people, and culture for their own benefit.
  • The British imposed heavy taxesfamineslaws, and wars on India. They also divided India into religious and ethnic groups to weaken its unity.
  • The British took away India’s wealtharteducation, and freedom. They also destroyed India’s industriesagriculture, and environment.
  • The British left India in 1947 after a long struggle by the Indian people. But they left behind a legacy of povertyviolence, and injustice that still affects India today.

What were the British doing in India?

The British arrived in India in the early 17th century, primarily as traders – specifically as the British East India Company who were interested in establishing trade routes and developing profitable business opportunities.

Initially, the British East India Company, which was granted a charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, focused on trading in textiles, spices, and other luxury goods that were highly valued in Europe.

Learn More

Over time, the British East India Company expanded its influence and power in India, establishing trading posts and building alliances with local rulers.

Top Image source – Map of British India, 1914 (NZ Ministry for Culture and Heritage)

How did the British go from traders to rulers?

The British East India Company gradually transitioned from being a trading company to a political and military power in India.

The company began to take on administrative and military roles in India, and by the mid-18th century, it had established de facto control over many parts of the country.

During the 19th century, British rule in India became more formalized, and the British East India Company was replaced by the British Raj, a colonial government that was established in 1858 after the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Under British East India Company’s rule, India was transformed in order to support the profit of the British and the company. Economically, politically, and socially, with the introduction of new technologies, infrastructure, and systems of governance all designed to extract every single resource which they monetize for the monarchy.

The British rule in India was characterized by exploitation, discrimination, and violence, and it had a profound impact on Indian society and culture.

Indian nationalists and reformers began to call for independence from British rule in the early 20th century, and India finally achieved independence in 1947, after decades of struggle and resistance.

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There were several strategies that the British East India Company used to achieve this, including:

Military conquest

The British East India Company used its military power to conquer Indian states and expand its territory. The British East India Company recruited Indian soldiers and trained them in European military tactics, which gave them an advantage over Indian armies that were still using traditional methods of warfare.

The British East India Company also used a divide-and-rule policy, exploiting existing tensions and conflicts between Indian states to weaken them and make them easier to conquer.

Diplomacy and alliances

The British East India Company also used diplomacy and alliances to expand its power in India. The company established friendly relations with some Indian rulers and formed alliances with them against other Indian states.

The British East India Company also made use of Indian intermediaries, such as local traders and bankers, to build relationships and gain influence.

Economic control

The British East India Company gained economic control over Indian markets by establishing a monopoly over certain goods, such as opium, and by imposing tariffs and taxes on Indian trade. This allowed the company to generate revenue and control the Indian economy.

Cultural influence

The British East India Company also had a significant impact on Indian culture and society. The company promoted the English language, education, and Christianity, which helped spread British cultural influence in India. This also had the effect of eroding traditional Indian culture and values.

The British East India Company used a combination of military, political, economic, and cultural strategies to gain power in India and establish British rule.
East India Company – LOOTED India with impunity Source

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The dark side to these strategies

There was a sinister and a dark side to the strategies used by the British East India Company to establish its rule in India. Using the same areas as above:

Military conquest

The British East India Company’s military campaigns often involved violence, brutality, and massacres.

For example, the company’s conquest of Bengal in the late 18th century was marked by atrocities such as the massacre of the inhabitants of the city of Patna.

Diplomacy and alliances

The British East India Company’s alliances with Indian rulers often involved corruption and coercion. The company would bribe or threaten rulers to gain their loyalty, and would then use them to subjugate other Indian states.

Economic control

The company’s economic policies had a devastating impact on Indian industries and agriculture. The imposition of extremely high tariffs and taxes on Indian trade, as well as the company’s control over certain goods, led to the impoverishment of Indian farmers and artisans.

The British East India Company’s monopoly over opium production also had a damaging effect on Indian society, as it led to widespread addiction and social disruption.

Cultural influence

The British East India Company’s promotion of English language, education, and Christianity had a negative impact on Indian culture and society.

Traditional Indian knowledge systems and languages were marginalized and denigrated, and Indian society was forced to adopt Western cultural norms and values.

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Source – The total loss in Indian lives -conservatively over 25+ million

There were several famines that occurred, some of which were caused or exacerbated by the policies of the British East India Company.

Conservatively, over 25+ million Indian lives were lost aided greatly by the policies of the British East India Company – sanctioned by the British crown


Here is a list of some of the major famines that occurred in India during this period:

Bengal Famine of 1770

This was one of the deadliest famines in Indian history, which occurred during the early years of the British East India Company rule in India.

It is estimated that the famine resulted in the deaths of over 10 million people, or about one-third of the population of Bengal at the time.
Bengal Famine – Source

The famine was caused by a combination of factors, including crop failures, extremely high taxes collected with the use of force, and the forced export of food grains to Britain.

Evidently, this had a significant impact on the American Boston Tea Party. (Warning – the following account has graphic famine related accounts)

Madras Famine of 1782-83

This famine occurred in the Madras Presidency (present-day Tamil Nadu) and was caused by a severe drought. It is estimated that the famine resulted in the deaths of around 5 million people.

The commodification of grain and the cultivation of alternative cash crops during the period; exorbitant taxes are also believed to have played a part in causing the famine, along with the export of grain by the colonial government

and some were reduced even to cannibalism.

Meanwhile, Queen Victoria had been crowned Empress of India, and a grand celebration was underway, with over 60,000 guests and exquisite food and wine.


Viceroy Lord Lytton is believed to have overseen the export of 325 million kilograms of wheat to England while the Indian population was under the ravages of the deadly famine.

Chalisa Famine 1783-84

The Chalisa famine occurred in the year 1783-84 in the Chalisa region of present-day Uttar Pradesh in India. The exact death toll from the famine is not known, but it is estimated that around 11 million people died due to starvation and disease.
Doji bara famine of 1791-92

This famine occurred in the areas of present-day Maharashtra and parts of Gujarat, and was caused by crop failures and drought. It is estimated that the famine resulted in the deaths of around 11 million people.
Bengal Famine of 1943 (after the British Govt took over)

This famine occurred during the Second World War and was caused by a combination of factors, including crop failures, the forced recruitment of laborers by the British, and the diversion of food grains to support the war effort.

It is estimated that the famine resulted in the deaths of at least 3 million people.

To be fair – it’s worth mentioning that while the policies of the East India Company definitely point to heavily contributed to most of these famines, they were not the sole cause.

Many of these famines were also caused by natural factors, such as droughts and crop failures.

Nonetheless, the policies of the British East India Company, including the imposition of high taxes, introduction of cash crops for the company’s benefit and the forced export of food grains, undoubtedly worsened the impact of these famines on the Indian population.

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Some of the sources (in addition to the Wikipedia articles linked to above):

  1. Bengal Famine of 1770:
  • Davis, M. (2002). Late Victorian holocausts: El Niño famines and the making of the Third World. Verso Books.
  • Sen, A. (1981). Poverty and famines: An essay on entitlement and deprivation. Oxford University Press.
  • Biswas, A. K. (1975). Famine in Bengal, 1770-1771: A study in administrative response. Cambridge University Press.
  1. Madras Famine of 1782-83:
  • Davis, M. (2002). Late Victorian holocausts: El Niño famines and the making of the Third World. Verso Books.
  • Maharatna, A. (1996). The Madras famine of 1782-83: A case of government failure? The Indian Economic & Social History Review, 33(1), 1-24.
  1. Doji bara famine of 1791-92:
  • Davis, M. (2002). Late Victorian holocausts: El Niño famines and the making of the Third World. Verso Books.
  • Kulkarni, S. S. (1963). The Doji bara famine of 1791-92 in Maharashtra. Indian Economic and Social History Review, 1(3), 289-306.
  1. Bengal Famine of 1943: (after the British Govt took over)
  • Sen, A. (1981). Poverty and famines: An essay on entitlement and deprivation. Oxford University Press.
  • Guha, R. (1990). An agrarian history of South Asia. Oxford University Press.

Please note that these sources may contain different estimates of the number of deaths caused by the famines vs what’s reported in Wikipedia, as there is often disagreement among historians and scholars about the exact number of people affected; which obviously would be embarrassing if widely discussed in today’s world. However, they provide a good starting point for further research on the topic.

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Did any key people help this transition ?

Robert Clive

Robert Clive, also known as Clive of India, was a key figure in the British East India Company’s expansion of territorial control in India in the mid-18th century – especially from traders to rulers.

Clive first arrived in India in 1744 as a clerk in the East India Company. He rose through the ranks quickly, and by the 1750s, he was serving as a military commander in the company’s wars against Indian rulers.
Robert Clive – Source

Clive’s military campaigns, which included victories at the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and the Battle of Buxar in 1764, helped establish British control over large parts of India.

In addition to his military achievements, Clive was also involved in the company’s internal politics and governance in India.
Robert Clive helped East India Company Plunder India – and got his share of the LOOT.

He served as Governor of Bengal twice, from 1757-1760 and from 1765-1767, during which time he implemented a number of important reforms in governance and administration.

Clive’s legacy in India is complex. While he is often credited with establishing British control over India, his military campaigns were marked by violence and brutality, and he was criticized for his role in the corruption and exploitation of Indian resources and wealth. He also faced criticism in Britain, where he was accused of corruption and abuse of power.

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Other Notable British East India Company Employees

There were several other East India Company employees who rose to power in India and played important roles in the company’s expansion of territorial control and exploitation of India’s resources and wealth.

Warren Hastings

One such figure was Warren Hastings, who served as the Governor-General of India from 1774-1785. Hastings was involved in several military campaigns in India, including the First Anglo-Maratha War, and he also implemented a number of important administrative and legal reforms during his tenure.

However, he was also criticized for his role in the corruption and exploitation of Indian resources, and he faced impeachment proceedings in Britain in 1787.

Richard Wellesley

Richard Wellesley, served as the Governor-General from 1798-1805.

Wellesley was responsible for implementing the company’s policy of “subsidiary alliances,” which involved forming alliances with Indian rulers in exchange for control over their foreign relations and military forces.

This policy allowed the British East India Company to expand its territorial control in India without the need for direct military conquests, but it also contributed to the weakening of Indian states and the loss of their sovereignty.

Lord Dalhousie

Lord Dalhousie, served as the Governor-General from 1848-1856 implemented a number of important reforms in infrastructure, communication, and law, but also contributed to the annexation of several Indian states; and Siraj-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Bengal who was defeated by Clive in the Battle of Plassey and whose deposition marked the beginning of British rule in Bengal.

The British East India Company’s rule in India was marked by exploitation and abuse of power, and many of its employees and officials were involved in corruption, violence, and the plundering of India’s resources and wealth.

While some individuals may have also made important contributions to governance and administration, their actions were ultimately overshadowed by the company’s overall legacy of exploitation and oppression.

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Get the real story – read review and not the popular sanitized narrative – Buy book

For more of a summary check out –

Inglorious Empire: What the British did to India

and for a more detailed account read

An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India

by the same author

Review of MJ Akbar’s book Source Buy the book
History Stories

The Dental Health Story

Table of Contents


Below is an overview of the history of dental health and hygiene, tracing its development from ancient times to the modern era. It explores various cultural practices and beliefs about dental health, as well as the evolution of scientific understanding and technological advancements in dentistry.

The post highlights the importance of dental hygiene in preventing oral diseases and maintaining overall health.

The post also highlights the history of dental health from across the world from ancient to modern times and the adoption of dental hygiene practices and how some had to overcome cultural resistance.

Why is dental health or hygiene important?
  1. Prevention of Tooth Decay: Good dental hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing help to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums, preventing the formation of cavities and tooth decay.
  2. Prevention of Gum Disease: Poor dental hygiene can lead to the buildup of plaque and bacteria, which can cause gum disease. Gum disease can cause gum recession, bone loss, and eventually tooth loss.
  3. Fresh Breath: Good dental hygiene helps to prevent bad breath, which can be caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth.
  4. Overall Health: Poor dental hygiene has been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Good dental hygiene helps to reduce the risk of these and other health problems.

What about the people in ancient times? How did they manage to take care of their dental health? Let’s take a quick look at different practices around the world.

Dental hygiene in ancient times – around the world

Dental hygiene practices using natural ingredients have been found in several parts of the world, including:


Indigenous peoples across Africa had their own traditional methods for maintaining dental health. For example, the Maasai tribe in Kenya and Tanzania used sticks from the arbor tree to clean their teeth, while the Himba people in Namibia used a mixture of crushed tree bark and charcoal to brush their teeth.

Some African tribes also used natural remedies to treat toothaches, such as chewing on garlic or using a paste made from ginger and salt.

Ancient Egypt

Egyptians used a mixture of salt, pepper, and mint to clean their teeth, and they also used twigs from the Salvadora persica tree (also known as the “toothbrush tree”) to clean their teeth.

China and Southeast Asia

Traditional dental health practices in China and Southeast Asia include the use of natural remedies such as herbs and roots.

For example, people in China have used ginseng and green tea to promote dental health and fresh breath for centuries.

In Southeast Asia, the use of betel leaf, which contains antiseptic properties, was a common practice for cleaning teeth and freshening breath.

Additionally, traditional Chinese medicine includes acupuncture and acupressure points that can be used to relieve tooth pain and other dental problems.

Ancient india

Ancient Indians used various methods to take care of their dental hygiene. One such method was the use of twigs from specific trees, such as neem, banyan, and mango, which were chewed on one end to create a brush-like tip. These twigs were believed to have antibacterial properties and were used to clean teeth and freshen breath.

Another method was the use of herbal tooth powders made from ingredients such as cinnamon, salt, and alum. These powders were applied to the teeth and gums using a finger or brush.
More information about dental health in India

Additionally, oil pulling, or swishing oil (such as sesame or coconut) in the mouth for several minutes, was also a common practice for oral hygiene.

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Ancient Greece and Rome

The Greeks and Romans used a variety of natural ingredients for dental hygiene, including charcoal, myrrh, and frankincense.

Ancient Romans used urine as a mouthwash

Source 1 & Source 2

People in ancient Greece also used a mixture of alum and honey to clean their teeth and freshen their breath, while ancient Romans used urine as a mouthwash (due to its high ammonia content).

Yes, that is a historical fact. The ancient Romans did use urine as a mouthwash, among other uses, due to its high ammonia content. This may seem strange to us today, but it was a common practice in ancient times when people had limited knowledge and resources for maintaining oral health.

The Greeks and Egyptians, also used various substances for dental hygiene, including crushed bones, eggshells, and ashes. It’s important to note that while these practices may seem strange or unappealing to us now, they were based on the limited knowledge and resources available at the time, and were considered effective by the people who used them.


In ancient Europe, dental hygiene practices were limited, and tooth decay was a common problem.

During the Middle Ages, people in Europe used a variety of natural remedies to treat toothaches and other dental problems, such as using a mixture of salt and pepper or placing a piece of raw onion on the affected tooth.

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North America

Sage was used by several Indigenous groups in North America, such as the Navajo and Pueblo tribes, as a natural antiseptic to clean their teeth and gums. Chamomile was also used by some groups, such as the Cherokee, as a natural remedy for toothaches and gum inflammation.

Indigenous groups in North America, such as the Inuit (Eskimo) and First Nations tribes in Canada, had their own unique dental health practices. The Inuit, who lived in the Arctic region, did not have access to plants for cleaning their teeth, so they used a traditional method of chewing on animal hides or sinews to keep their teeth clean.

It is important to note that the use of specific plants for dental health varied depending on the region and cultural practices of each group.

South America

Dental hygiene practices in South America vary by country and region.

In some areas, natural remedies like herbs and bark are still used, while in others, modern dental hygiene products are more common.

The Indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest also had their own methods for maintaining dental health. For example, the Yanomami tribe in Brazil and Venezuela used a mixture of crushed tree bark and charcoal to clean their teeth, while the Matsés tribe used a type of vine with antiseptic properties to rinse their mouths and promote oral health.

In ancient Peru, people used to chew on coca leaves to clean their teeth.

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Caribbean Islands

The Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean Islands, such as the Taíno and Carib, used various natural methods to maintain their dental health. For example, the Taíno used a mixture of crushed seashells and plant ashes to clean their teeth, while the Carib chewed on guava leaves to freshen their breath and promote dental health.


Aboriginal people in Australia traditionally used chew sticks made from twigs of the tea tree plant, which contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. They also used clay from termite mounds as a toothpaste, which helped to remove plaque and bacteria. In addition, some Aboriginal groups used eucalyptus leaves to freshen breath and as an antiseptic.

New Zealand

The Māori people of New Zealand used a variety of natural materials to maintain their dental health, such as horopito leaves, which have antibacterial properties, and the roots of the kūmarahou plant, which were used as a natural toothbrush. The sap of the kawakawa tree was also used to treat toothaches and other dental problems.

Other Pacific Islands

Indigenous peoples on other Pacific Islands, such as Fiji and Samoa, also had their own traditional dental health practices. For example, in Samoa, coconut oil was used for oil pulling, which involves swishing oil in the mouth to remove bacteria and improve oral health. In Fiji, the bark of the Dilo tree was used to treat toothaches and gum infections.

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How did modern toothpaste evolve?

Toothpaste as we know it today was first developed in the 19th century.

The earliest recorded recipe for a modern toothpaste was created by a British physician named Dr. Washington Wentworth Sheffield in the 1850s.

Dr. Sheffield’s toothpaste was a powdery substance made from chalk and soap, and it was sold in a jar. Other early toothpaste formulations included a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, which was used as a tooth powder.

In the early 20th century, toothpaste began to be sold in tubes, which made it more convenient and hygienic to use. In the 1950s, the first fluoride toothpaste was introduced, which helped to reduce tooth decay.

The widespread adoption of toothpaste was initially slow, due to several factors. One was the cost – early toothpaste formulations were expensive and not accessible to everyone.

Another factor was the lack of education around dental hygiene – many people didn’t understand the importance of brushing their teeth regularly.

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Brushing teeth in the USA

Let us take a look at how dental hygiene was practiced in the US of A for more context, as it is a country well known to be one of the most technological advances but a relatively new nation.

During the recruitment of soldiers for World War I in the US army, it was found that many potential recruits had poor dental hygiene. This was a concern for the army because soldiers with bad teeth were more likely to develop infections and other health problems.

In the early 1900s barely 7% of the US population brushed their teeth. Thanks to an innovative campaign by a start adverting executive, it went up to 65% within a decade – and a star Pepsodent was born!

Pepsodent Vintage Ad
Pepsodent Advertisement – from an old newspaper

Read more about it below:


Read more about the Pepsodent Ad Campaign and how it has an important lesson on The Power Of Habit!

However, as dental health education campaigns became more widespread and toothpaste became more affordable, the use of toothpaste and toothbrushes became more common.

Today, toothpaste is widely used around the world, and there are many different brands and formulations available to suit different needs and preferences.

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Photo by Loren Joseph on Unsplash

Dark Stories Did You Know History

Portuguese Inquisition In India

Table of Contents


The Portuguese Inquisition in India was a brutal and horrific period of religious persecution that began in the 16th century and lasted for over 250 years. The Inquisition was established to enforce religious conformity among the population and was modeled after the Spanish Inquisition.

The Inquisition targeted Jews, Muslims, and Hindus, forcing them to convert to Christianity or face severe punishments, including unspeakable torture and cruel death sentences.

Many people were accused of being heretics or secret Jews and were subjected to brutal interrogations and trials.

The Inquisition had a profound impact on Indian society and culture, as it also included the destruction of many ancient temples and religious sites, and forced many people to flee their homes and communities. It also resulted in the loss of many important historical and cultural artifacts.

The Inquisition was finally abolished in 1821, but its legacy continues to impact India to this day.

The Portuguese In India

The Portuguese Empire conquered the province of Goa in 1510 CE, and made it the capital of Portuguese India.

The video with an overview

The Portuguese Inquisition – The atrocities in Goa, India – Source OddCompass
Video with more details – a descendant’s account
The Goan Inquisition – a descendant’s account

The Inquisition – a high level summary

In 1560 CE, the Portuguese brought their Catholic Inquisition to Goa to establish a Catholic stronghold in Asia where religious laws would be strictly enforced.
Goa Inquisition – Source

What we know about the inquisition has been lost due to the destruction of records by the Portuguese government in 1821 when the inquisition was abolished

Everyone is affected

Both natives and Portuguese settlers were subject to extreme punishment, including imprisonment, torture, and even death by immolation. The Goan Inquisition created a persecution hell, and many people fled for India hoping to escape persecution.

The Portuguese inquisition became a theocratic arm of the state subject to the authority of the king, and it served a political function as well, censoring books, attacking political dissidents, banning non-standard cultural practices, and more.

Policies regarding Indian Muslims were oppressive, though mosques were not outright destroyed in the pre-inquisition era.

The Portuguese also established an inquisition in Goa which lasted for nearly three centuries and was characterized by oppression and bloodshed.

Hidden History
The Inquisitor

The Goan Inquisition was jump-started in 1543 CE with the arrival of Saint Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuits. The Inquisition had an influence on colonial administration, and Portuguese religious and secular infrastructure was deployed to destroy the enemies of the Inquisition.
A saint to some – but not to those he tortured – Source

The Goan Inquisition was a period of intense religious persecution in which the Portuguese targeted Jews, Hindu and Muslim converts to Christianity, and Hindus in an effort to expunge native culture and religion and incentivize conversion to Christianity.

Those convicted of religious crimes were subject to fines, public whipping, imprisonment, torture, execution, and burning alive at the stake. The Portuguese even banned Jews from Goa outright, causing an exodus of Jewish new Christians to the Malabar coast and the Middle East.

The target of the Inquisition

The Inquisition’s primary target was Hindus, and sweeping anti-Hindu laws were imposed by the colonial administration, including the outlawing of open practice of Hinduism and prohibitions against constructing new temples or repairing damaged ones.

The oppression led to a mass exodus of non-Christians out of Goa, and even those who converted to Christianity faced restrictions from maintaining their old customs.

The persecution resulted in the loss of well-connected merchants, formerly Jewish new Christians, and Hindus, which ultimately crippled the competitive ability of the Portuguese in India.

Warning – this section has graphic information about the tortures

Some of the the documented atrocities from the article above:

Conversion method

M. D. David, author of Western Colonialism in Asia and Christianity, writes: “…A particularly grave abuse was practiced in Goa in the form of ‘mass baptism’ and what went before it. The practice was begun by the Jesuits and was initiated by the Franciscans also. The Jesuits staged an annual mass baptism on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25), and in order to secure as many neophytes as possible, a few days before the ceremony the Jesuits would go through the streets of the Hindu quarter in pairs, accompanied by their African slaves, whom they would urge to seize the Hindus. When the blacks caught up a fugitive, they would smear his lips with a piece of beef, making him an ‘untouchable’ among his people. Conversion to Christianity was then his only option.

The below examples do not include seizure of lands, property, destruction of temples, banning of local religion, books, traditional customs and what would be considered run of the mill sexual assault, torture & executions. So read with caution.

Unspeakable atrocities

The Archbishop living on the banks of the Ethora said in a lecture that, “The post of Inquiry Commission in Goa is regarded as holy.” Thus, the Indian ladies who opposed or resisted the sexual advances of the assistants of the commission were put behind bars and then forcibly used by them to satisfy their carnal desires. Then they were burnt alive as opponents or heretics of the established tenets of the Catholic Church.

Mentions in Literature

Also, the famous writer of the 19th century, Alexandre Herculano, wrote in his book, Fragment about the Inquisition, how no one was excused from the tortures of the Inquisition: “… the terrors inflicted on pregnant women made them abort… Neither the beauty nor decorousness of the flower of youth, nor the old age, so worthy of compassion in a woman, exempted the weaker sex from the brutal ferocity of the supposed defenders of the religion… There were days when seven or eight were submitted torture.”

Paul William Roberts, in Empire of the Soul, Some Journeys in India, writes about the methods of the Portuguese Inquisition: “Children were flogged and slowly dismembered in front of their parents whose eyelids had been sliced off to make sure they missed nothing. Extremities were amputated carefully, so that a person could remain conscious even when all that remained was a torso and a head… Those subjected to other diabolical tortures could also be counted in the thousands and the abominations continued until a brief respite in 1774… The evil resumed, continuing, almost incredibly, until June 16, 1812. At that point, British pressure put an end to terror (with) the presence of British troops stationed in Goa.”

Dr. Trasta Breganka Kunha, a Catholic citizen of Goa, had written: “In spite of all the mutilations and concealment of history, it remains an undoubted fact that religious conversion of Goans is due to methods of force by the Portuguese to establish their rule. As a result of this violence the character of our people was destroyed. The propagation of Christian sect in Goa came about not by religious preaching but through methods of violence and pressure. If any evidence is needed for this fact, we can obtain it through law books, orders and reports of the local rulers of that time and also from the most dependable documents of the Christian sect.”

The article linked above has more sources in it.

The top image is also from that article

A more detailed article

Translation of the book by a French Doctor written during the Inquisition in India

A recap of the Portuguese Inquisition

The Portuguese arrived in Goa in the early 16th century and established a trading post. They also brought with them their religion, which eventually made Goa less attractive as a trade center.

The Dutch were able to take advantage of this and became the dominant European trading force in the subcontinent.

The Portuguese also established an inquisition in Goa which lasted for nearly three centuries and was characterized by oppression and bloodshed.

Sadly, much of what we know about the inquisition has been lost due to the destruction of records by the Portuguese government in 1821 when the inquisition was abolished. The terror and oppression brought by the inquisition will never be forgotten.

History Stories

The Chola Empire

Table of Contents


Southern India’s ancient history is quite interesting but literally unknown and deserves a closer look.

This post provides an informative look into the history and cultural legacy of the Chola Empire, highlighting its lasting impact on South India and Southeast Asia.

It delves into the Cholas’ impressive military and economic power, which allowed them to expand their influence beyond South India and establish a vast maritime trade network throughout Southeast Asia.

The Cholas

The Cholas were a dynasty with a medieval empire from the southern part of India that dominated their contemporaries in India and Southeast Asia and established extensive intercontinental trade networks.

The Chola dynasty was established in the Kaveri River Delta around 300 BCE, and the empire was reliant on the sea for its wealth from the beginning.

Here is a video which gives a quick overview about one of the greatest Southern Empires – The Cholas!

The Video Story

The South Indian Dynasty with Ambition – The Cholas – Source OddCompass

Governance and Administration

The Cholas underwent a Golden Age in the medieval era, with Tamil arts, culture, and language flourishing. Their government administration was centralized and improved, and the Cholas kept copious records from administrative reports to legal disputes to internal reviews of official misconduct. The Cholas also introduced elected councils, whose officials were subject to regular auditing, undercutting the role of local feudatories, consolidating Chola power, and creating the infrastructure necessary to maintain a large, well-run empire.

Raja Raja Chola
Raja Raja Chola

Raja Raja Chola

Raja Raja Chola I was the third ruler of the Chola dynasty, which ruled over a significant part of southern India from the 9th to the 13th century. He reigned from 985 to 1014 CE and is considered one of the greatest monarchs in Indian history.

During his reign, Raja Raja Chola expanded the Chola Empire’s boundaries and brought many new territories under his rule. He is credited with building a powerful navy and creating a strong standing army, which allowed him to conquer and control territories beyond the southern region of India.

Raja Raja Chola was a patron of the arts and culture, and his reign saw a flourishing of Tamil literature, architecture, and temple construction. He commissioned the construction of the famous Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an iconic symbol of Chola architecture.

Additionally, Raja Raja Chola is known for his administrative reforms, including improvements to irrigation systems, trade and commerce, and the establishment of a strong and efficient bureaucracy. His reign was marked by stability, prosperity, and cultural achievements, making him a revered figure in Tamil history and culture.

Rajendra Chola

Rajendra Chola
Rajendra Chola

It was Rajendra Chola I, who put the Cholas on the world stage as Crown Prince. Rajendra led campaigns against neighboring rivals under the command of his father Raja Raja Chola, and together they extended the boundaries of the empire over much of South India and Sri Lanka, defeating their enemies in 14 deep political and familial alliances with the developers of Bengi.

By the time Rajendra Chola I ascended to the throne in 1014 CE, he had inherited an empire on the precipice of historical greatness.
Campaigns in Southern India

Rajendra was a busy man, using his navy to blockade and subdue rebellious lords along the Malabar Coast, carving out territories belonging to the western Chalukyas, supporting his nephew’s succession claims in Telugu country, finishing his father’s conquest of Sri Lanka, occupying the Maldives, and establishing Chola dominance over the Andaman Islands, thus securing a forward base into Southeast Asia. He also installed his sons as regional viceroys to further entrench central control over these dominions.

What’s a Thalassocracy?

The term thalassocracy can also simply refer to naval supremacy, in either military or commercial sense.
Campaigns in Northern ndia

In 1023 CE, Rajendra decided to raid northern India. He marched with his armies to the northeast all the way up to the banks of the river Ganges. On the way, he defeated the forces of Kalinga, and with the path clear to Bengal, he descended upon the Pala Kingdom and defeated them too.

Rajendra was so pleased with himself that he filled up large tanks with water from the river Ganges and transported them all the way back to the Chola heartland to commemorate the victory.

He constructed a formidable temple at the center of a new capital city, Gangaikondacholapuram, meaning conqueror of the Ganges, and blessed it with his pillaged holy water.

The Maritime Silk Road

The Cholas’ control over the maritime Silk Road was invaluable, and their military and administrative dominance gave them the ability to position their economic machinery more favorably in the global markets. The Chola military offensives were part of the strategy to suppress rivals that might otherwise compromise their supremacy over the maritime Silk Road trade. It is hardly a coincidence that nearly a half-century of conflict led to Chola domination over Southeast Asian trade networks.

Conquests in South East Asia

The Chola Dynasty was one of the most dominant powers in South India during the medieval period. Their influence extended beyond their mainland borders and reached the Southeast Asian region. The Cholas were renowned for their naval power, and they had established their dominance over the maritime Silk Road trade routes.

However, in the early 11th century, a powerful kingdom called Srivijaya emerged in the Malay Archipelago. This kingdom started interfering with Chola interests by disrupting their trade and engaging in piracy.

This caused competition between the Cholas and Srivijaya for control over the central region of the maritime Silk Road.

To counter this threat, the Cholas decided to launch a naval campaign against Srivijaya . This campaign involved three major Southeast Asian players: Srivijaya , Tambralinga, a Malay Kingdom based in what is now southern Thailand, and Angkor, an ambitious Peninsular Kingdom based out of what is now Cambodia.

The Cholas were allied with Angkor, while Srivijaya was allied with Tambralinga. Religion may have played a role in this diplomatic arrangement, as Tambralinga and Srivijaya were Buddhist kingdoms, while Angkor and the Chola Empire were Hindu Shaivite.

The Cholas were well-prepared for the war, having imported the talents of Chinese shipbuilders to work on research and development for their navy.

They had implemented critical naval technologies, including watertight hull innovations that allowed their fleet to traverse rougher seas, a Mariners compass, and further advancements in a flamethrower weapon, not unlike the legendary Greek fire utilized by the Byzantine fleets.

When the war began, Srivijaya was the main target of the Chola navy. Rajendra Chola, the leader of the Cholas, split his fleet into two groups – the main invasion fleet and an auxiliary force. The auxiliary force was sent to the entrance of the Straits of Malacca, where the Srivijaya fleet was waiting, positioned to take on what they assumed would be the bulk of the Chola fleet.

However, the Cholas had a surprise in store for Srivijaya. They sent their main invasion fleet south of Sumatra, positioned behind the island, and used the element of surprise to circle around the island and attack the southern capital of Palembang. The Cholas successfully sacked the city and defeated the Srivijay fleet in the Straits of Malacca, which led to their dominance over the central region of the maritime Silk Road.

The aftermath of the campaigns

In the aftermath of the war, the Cholas established a colony in Sumatra, which became an important center for trade and culture. The Cholas also expanded their influence over the other Southeast Asian kingdoms, such as Kambuja (present-day Cambodia) and Champa (present-day Vietnam), through political alliances and marriage ties.

The Chola Empire continued to flourish until the end of the 13th century, when it began to decline due to external invasions and internal conflicts. However, the legacy of the Cholas lives on through their remarkable achievements in art, literature, architecture, and technology.

The Cholas left behind an impressive body of literature in the Tamil language, including epic poems such as the Silappatikaram and the Manimekalai, which are considered among the finest works of classical Tamil literature. They also built magnificent temples, such as the Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Did You Know History Stories

Trade ages ago

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Trade with Ancient Rome

There is evidence that the Romans had trade relations with India as early as the 1st century BCE, as documented in the writings of the Roman historian Pliny the Elder.

Pepper and ginger grow wild in their country, yet here we buy them by weight, using so much gold and silver!

Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder was a Roman author and naturalist who lived during the 1st century AD. In his work “Naturalis Historia,” he wrote extensively about the trade between Rome and India. He described the Indian Ocean as “the most peaceful of all seas” and wrote about the trade winds that facilitated travel between India and the Red Sea.

Pliny also wrote about the high value of Indian spices and the Roman empire’s demand for them. He noted that the Romans had to pay in gold and silver to acquire Indian spices, which were highly prized for their taste and medicinal properties.

He also wrote about Indian textiles, pearls, and precious stones that were highly prized by the Romans.

Pliny’s accounts provide valuable insight into the economic and cultural exchange between Rome and India during the ancient period.

According to historical accounts, the Roman trade with India was primarily conducted by Indian merchants who traveled by sea along the Red Sea and Indian Ocean trade routes. The trade was driven by a demand for spices and other luxury goods that were not available in the Mediterranean region.

Some notable examples of Roman figures who were known to have been interested in spices and Indian goods include Julius Caesar, who is said to have been a fan of Indian pepper, and Cleopatra, who was known to have imported large quantities of spices into Egypt.

The Roman trade with India is believed to have continued for several centuries, although the exact duration of the trading partnership is not known. Indian spices and other goods were highly sought after in Rome, and the trade was likely a major source of income for Indian merchants.

In terms of the goods that were imported from India to Italy and Greece, spices were certainly among the most highly valued items. Other Indian goods that were popular in Rome included textiles, ivory, and precious stones.

It is not clear what the Indians were taking back from Italy and Greece, as there are few records of the goods that were exported from Rome to India during this period. However, it is likely that the Romans would have exported a range of goods to India, including metals, wine, and olive oil, which were highly prized in the Mediterranean region.

Trade with Ancient Greeks

There is evidence of trade between ancient Greeks and Indians, particularly in the Hellenistic period (323 BCE-31 BCE) when Alexander the Great’s conquests brought the Greeks in contact with various Indian kingdoms.

The Greeks were interested in Indian goods such as textiles, precious stones, ivory, and spices, and Indian exports to Greece included goods such as indigo, pepper, ginger, and cinnamon. The Greek historian Megasthenes, who lived in India during the 4th century BCE, wrote about the Indian exports in his book “Indika.” Greek historian Strabo also mentioned Indian spices in his work “Geographica,” describing their uses in cooking and medicine.

The Greeks also exported their own goods to India, such as wine, olive oil, and textiles. Some Greek colonies were established in northwest India, and archaeological evidence suggests that there was trade between the two regions, with Greek coins and pottery found in India and Indian goods found in Greek settlements.

The Greek-Indian trade relationship was not as significant as the Roman-Indian trade, but there is evidence of cultural and economic exchange between the two regions.

Trade with Ancient Egypt

There is evidence of trade between India and Egypt dating back to ancient times. The Egyptians were known to trade with India for spices, aromatic woods, textiles, and other luxury goods. The ancient Egyptians were also known to have used Indian spices in their embalming practices.

Archaeological excavations at several sites in Egypt have revealed the presence of Indian spices, including black pepper, ginger, and cardamom, which were imported from India. These spices were highly prized by the Egyptians, who used them not only for culinary purposes but also for medicinal and religious purposes.

One of the most significant pieces of evidence for Indian-Egyptian trade is the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a Greek manuscript that dates back to the 1st century CE. The Periplus describes the trade routes between India and the Red Sea, and provides a detailed account of the commodities traded between India and Egypt, including spices, precious stones, ivory, and textiles.

In addition, several ancient Egyptian texts and inscriptions have been found that mention the importation of Indian spices. For example, the temple of Kom Ombo, which dates back to the Ptolemaic era, contains a relief that depicts the transport of Indian spices, including cinnamon and cassia, from the Red Sea to the temple.

Records or artifacts from those times
Latest news article from April 2023
Source – In addition to a Buddha statue, Sanskrit inscriptions from 2000 years ago were found, as were coins from the Satavahana empire from Southern India.

There have been several archaeological findings that indicate the trade relationship between India and the ancient Roman and Greek civilizations.

One example of such a finding is the discovery of Roman coins in India, particularly in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. These coins, dating back to the 1st century BCE, suggest that Roman traders were present in India during that time.

Another important archaeological discovery is the ancient port of Muziris, located in present-day Kerala, which was a major trading center for the Romans and Greeks. Excavations at the site have uncovered several artifacts, including amphorae (a type of container used to transport goods), pottery, and coins, all of which point to a thriving trade relationship between India and the ancient world.

Additionally, the discovery of a Roman glass bowl in Pompeii, Italy, that was made in India is further evidence of the trade relationship between the two civilizations.

In terms of written records, the ancient Greek historian Herodotus mentions the trade relationship between India and the Greeks in his writings, specifically in his book “The Histories.” He writes about the various goods that were traded, including spices, textiles, and precious stones.

Coins from India, Egypt, Greece and Rome

Coins from ancient India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome provide evidence of trade between these regions. For example, Indian coins from the Kushan period (1st-3rd centuries CE) have been found in archaeological excavations in Egypt, suggesting that there was direct trade between the two regions during this time.

Similarly, Greek coins have been found in archaeological sites in India, particularly in the northwestern region, which was once part of the Hellenistic world. These coins indicate that there was some level of trade and exchange between the two regions during the Hellenistic period (4th-1st centuries BCE).

Coins from the Roman period also provide evidence of trade with India. Roman coins have been found in southern India, particularly in the region of Tamil Nadu. These coins suggest that there was direct trade between Rome and India during the early centuries CE, with Indian spices being one of the major commodities exchanged.

The symbols and inscriptions on these coins also provide insights into the political and economic conditions of these regions at the time. For example, some Indian coins from the Kushan period depict rulers such as Kanishka and Vasudeva, who were known for their patronage of Buddhism and the arts.

There is no direct evidence on the costs of spices in these regions at the time, as there are no surviving records or accounts of the prices.

However, we can infer from the fact that spices were traded over long distances that they were valuable commodities that commanded a high price in these regions. It is likely that spices were exchanged for other goods, such as precious metals, textiles, and other luxury items, or simply being directly purchased with gold or silver.

Did You Know Stories

The Curry Story!

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This post provides a quick peek into the history and cultural significance of curry, highlighting its diverse and enduring appeal as a cuisine that has captured the imagination of people all over the world.

What is Curry?

The word curry has become popular around the world and is now widely used to refer to a variety of dishes that are typically made with a combination of spices and herbs, vegetables, meat, or fish, and a sauce or gravy.

What is curry? Watch to get a quick overview

There is no – just curry!

When the British colonized India, they encountered a variety of spice-based dishes that were served with rice, and they began referring to them collectively as “curry” as it was too complex for their delicate culinary background.

However, it’s worth noting that the term “curry” is not used in the same way in South Asian countries, where the cuisine is more diverse and complex than what is commonly referred to as “curry” in the West.

Then what is curry?

Did you know that curry actually originated in South India over 4,000 years ago, using local spices such as turmeric and pepper to create a delicious and flavorful blend?

While curry is found in various forms across South East Asia and other regions, it is the cultural significance it holds that is most important.

It is not just a specific dish or spice, but rather a term used to describe a variety of dishes that originate from different countries and cultures.

The word “curry” actually comes from the Tamil word “kari” meaning sauce. It was the British who introduced the word to describe the spice-based dishes they encountered in India.

South indian Chicken curry
South Indian Chicken Curry – Source with Recipe

Curry can be made with a variety of meats, including chicken, goat, lamb, pork, shrimp, and fish. Vegetarian and vegan curries are also popular. The heat level can vary widely, from mild to extremely spicy, depending on the type and amount of chili peppers used in the recipe.

Curry leaves are an essential ingredient in many Indian and Sri Lankan curries, and coconut milk is a common ingredient in Thai curries, while yogurt or cream is often used in Indian curries to create a creamy texture.

Indian vegetarian curries
Different Vegetable Curries Source – has recipes for popular vegetarian dishes

Interestingly, curry powder, commonly used in Western-style curries, is actually a Western invention. In India, most curries are made by blending spices together fresh for each dish.

Curry from around Asia

Curry is a term now used to describe a variety of dishes originating from different countries and cultures, including India, Thailand, Japan, and others. Despite its clearly Indian origins, curry has had a significant impact on the cuisine of many countries around the world.


Japanese curry (known as “karē” in Japanese) is a popular comfort food in Japan and is often served with rice or noodles.

Japanese Pork Curry
Japanese Pork Curry – katsu kare – Source with Recipe

Japanese-style curry typically includes meat and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions, and is thicker and sweeter than Indian or Thai curries.

The curry roux used in Japanese curry is made with a blend of spices, including turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, but it is milder and sweeter than Indian curry.

Some popular Japanese curry dishes include katsu curry (served with breaded and fried pork or chicken), beef curry, and vegetable curry.

Burma (Myanmar)

Burmese curries are known for their strong flavors and use of local spices, such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass.

Burmese Fish Curry
Burmese Fish Curry – amat hin – Source with recipe

One popular Burmese curry dish is “ohn no khao swè” a coconut milk-based chicken noodle soup that is flavored with a blend of spices, including turmeric, paprika, and chili powder.

Another popular Burmese curry is “amat hin” a spicy fish curry made with tomato, tamarind, and chili.

Malaysia and Singapore

Malaysian and Singaporean curries are heavily influenced by Indian cuisine, but they also incorporate local spices and ingredients, such as lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves.

Malaysian Chicken Rendang Curry
Malaysian Chicken rendang curry – Source with recipe

One popular Malaysian curry dish is “rendang” a dry curry made with beef, chicken, or lamb that is flavored with a blend of spices and coconut milk.

Another popular Malaysian curry is “laksa” a noodle soup that can be made with a curry broth that is flavored with spices and coconut milk.

Singaporean Curry Laksa
Singaporean Curry Laksa – Source with recipe

In Singapore, “curry laksa” is a popular dish that features a spicy coconut milk-based broth with noodles, seafood, and vegetables.


Indonesian curries are known for their complex flavors and use of local spices and ingredients, such as turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, and tamarind.

One popular Indonesian curry is “rendan” which is similar to the Malaysian version, but is usually spicier and more complex in flavor.

Indonesian Seafood Curry - or Gulai
Indonesian Seafood Curry – or Gulai – Source and recipe

Another popular Indonesian curry is “gulai” a curry made with meat, fish, or vegetables that is flavored with a blend of spices and coconut milk.


In the Philippines, curries are not as commonly consumed as they are in other Southeast Asian countries, but there are some traditional Filipino curries.

One popular Filipino curry dish is “kare-kare” a peanut-based stew that is made with oxtail, beef, or pork, and is usually served with vegetables and rice.

Ginataang Manok
Filipino Chicken Curry – Ginaatang Manok – Source and Recipe

Another popular Filipino curry is “ginataang manok” a chicken curry made with coconut milk and spices such as ginger and turmeric.


Thai curries are known for their bold and spicy flavors, and they often include a combination of meat, vegetables, and aromatic herbs.

Thai curries are typically made with a paste that includes ingredients such as lemongrass, galangal, chili peppers, and shrimp paste.

Some popular Thai curries include green curry, red curry, and massaman curry.

Thai Chicken Curry
Thai Curry – Source

Green curry is spicier than red curry and is made with green chili peppers, while red curry is milder and sweeter than green curry and is made with red chili peppers.

Massaman curry is a relatively mild curry that is flavored with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, and is often made with beef or chicken. Thai curries are typically served with rice or noodles.


Cambodian curries are characterized by their use of herbs such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal.

Cambodian Curry
Cambodian Curry Amok – Source

Fish amok is a popular Cambodian curry dish made with fish, coconut milk, and a blend of spices including turmeric, garlic, and chili.

Another popular Cambodian curry is kari sach ko, a beef curry flavored with lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime leaves.


Lao curries are known for their spiciness and often feature local ingredients such as buffalo meat and padaek, a fermented fish paste.

One popular Lao curry is “mok pa” a fish curry that is steamed in banana leaves with a blend of spices, including galangal, lemongrass, and chili.

Laos Curry
Laos curry – Kaeng Nor Mai – Source

Another popular Lao curry is “kaeng nor mai” a bamboo shoot curry that is typically made with pork and flavored with a blend of spices including garlic, ginger, and turmeric.

Current usage of the word curry

The term “curry” then spread to other parts of the world, and today, it is commonly used to refer to a range of South Asian-inspired dishes that are served in Western countries.

When people in western countries hear the word “curry” they often think of a spicy, flavorful dish that is made with a combination of spices and served with rice or bread.

Some common ingredients in Western-style curries include onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili peppers, although the exact spices used can vary depending on the recipe and the region.

In many western countries, “curry” is also associated with a particular type of restaurant or takeaway, where customers can order a variety of different curries to go.

British Rule and it’s cuisine

When the East India Company first arrived in India in the 17th century, they were introduced to a new world of spices and flavors that they had never experienced before.

Indian cuisine was already well-developed, and the British were amazed at the variety of ingredients and the complexity of the cooking techniques.

The British diet was primarily composed of meat, potatoes, and vegetables, and they did not use many spices or herbs, if at all.

The British were not particularly known for their cuisine at the time, and their food was often considered bland and uninteresting. Some say, it did not progress much since then, other than a wider availability of different cuisines.

At least now, they have some flavor in their food – as over time, the British did begin to incorporate some Indian flavors into their cuisine.

Want to curry favor?

The phrase “curry favor” likely evolved from the idea of someone adding spice to their food to make it more palatable, much like how one might try to sweeten their words or actions to win favor with someone.

Dark Stories

The dark side of sweet sugar

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This post tries to provide a glimpse of the sugar industry’s dark history and the exploitation of enslaved and indentured laborers by European governments – specifically the British, French, Portuguese and the Dutch. It raises important questions about the responsibilities of european corporations and governments’ legacies of historical injustices.

The post describes how the sugar industry relied on slave labor, particularly in the Caribbean and the Americas, and how the lives of enslaved people were brutalized and dehumanized by the demands of sugar production.

The post also discusses how indentured laborers were brought in from India and other parts of Asia by the British to work on sugar plantations, and how they too were subjected to harsh conditions and exploitation and how they benefited from the profits of this exploitative system – along with the other European powers.

A brief look at the origins of sugar

Sugar has been a part of human diets for thousands of years. The first recorded use of sugar dates back to 500 BC in the Indian subcontinent, where sugarcane was used to produce a sweetener called “gur” or “jaggery.”

Gur, Gud or Jaggery
Gur, Gud or Jaggery

Gud or Gur or Jaggery – a course sugar made from sugarcane juice

From India, the use of sugarcane spread to the Middle East and then to the Mediterranean region. In the 8th century, the Moors introduced sugar to Spain, and from there it spread to other parts of Europe.

During the Age of Exploration in the 15th century, European colonizers established sugarcane plantations in the New World, particularly in Brazil and the Caribbean. The expansion of sugar production was driven by the high demand for sugar in Europe and the availability of cheap labor in the colonies.

The widespread use of sugar as a sweetener and preservative in food and drink continued to grow throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. With the rise of industrialization and technological advancements, sugar production became more efficient and cheaper. This led to increased consumption of sugar in processed foods and beverages, and a rise in health concerns related to excessive sugar intake.

Sugarcane field
Sugarcane Field in Asia

Today, sugar is a major commodity crop and is produced in large quantities in countries such as Brazil, India, China, and Thailand. Its use and production continue to have significant economic and social impacts worldwide.

When the demand for sugar was growing faster than it’s availability – it presented a huge opportunity for anyone who could produce it in bulk.

Labor and land was needed to meet the growing demand around the world.

The production of sugar for worldwide usage was a huge undertaking and very profitable for a lot of colonial powers which captured the majority of the supply of sugar which still has a never ending demand.

But there is more to the supply of sugar…

How did sugar production increase?

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish sugarcane plantations in the Atlantic islands and later in Brazil. In the 16th century, sugar became a major industry in Brazil, with the Portuguese importing African slaves to work the plantations.

What is the historical impact of the popularity of sugar?

The cultivation of sugarcane and the production of sugar had a profound impact on the economies of many countries, including Brazil, Cuba, and other parts of the Caribbean. The plantation system that developed to cultivate sugarcane was based on the exploitation of slaves and led to the widespread use of slave labor in the New World.

Before Indian indentured servants were brought to the Caribbean, there were already established sugar plantations in the region, primarily operated by African slaves who were forcibly brought over during the transatlantic slave trade. These plantations were owned by European colonial powers such as Britain, France, Spain, and the Netherlands.

The production of rum from molasses began in the Caribbean in the 17th century and quickly became a profitable industry for the colonial powers

The sugar produced in these plantations was in the form of raw, unrefined sugar. Molasses, a byproduct of sugar production, was often discarded or used as animal feed. The production of rum from molasses began in the Caribbean in the 17th century and quickly became a profitable industry.

The life expectancy of a slave working in the sugar fields was often less than 10 years due to the grueling nature of the work and poor living conditions.

The labor conditions for African slaves in these plantations were brutal, with long hours, harsh punishments, and widespread abuse. The life expectancy of a slave working in the sugar fields was often less than 10 years due to the grueling nature of the work and poor living conditions.

After the abolition of slavery in the 19th century, colonial powers turned to indentured laborers from India, China, and other parts of the world to continue sugar production. These laborers faced similarly harsh conditions, with long hours and low pay. Many were also subjected to discriminatory laws and social hierarchies that favored Europeans over other ethnic groups.

The slave trade and the exploitation of workers on sugarcane plantations had far-reaching social and economic consequences, including the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, and the impoverishment of many.

In modern times, sugar is produced in many countries around the world, including Brazil, India, China, Thailand, and the United States. The modern form of crystalline white sugar was developed in the 18th century in Europe, and the refinement process has been improved over time to produce highly refined and processed sugar.

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How does sugar impact our health?
Source – Also learn more about classifications and types of sugar

The consumption of sugar has been linked to various health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In recent years, there has been growing concern over the health effects of consuming too much sugar, leading to increased interest in alternative sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit extract.

Learn more here

How did the spread of sugar impact India?

During the colonial period, India was one of the world’s largest producers of sugar, but the production was almost entirely controlled by British planters.

They established large sugarcane plantations and mills in areas like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, and relied heavily on indentured labor to work on these plantations.

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What are indentured laborers?

Indentured laborers were typically recruited from impoverished villages in India and promised better wages and living conditions on the plantations.
Learn more about the Indian Indenture System – Wikipedia

However, once they arrived, they were often subjected to harsh working conditions and had little freedom or mobility. The indentured labor system was abolished in India in the early 20th century, but many plantations continued to rely on coerced labor and other exploitative practices.

After India gained independence, the government sought to nationalize the sugar industry and reduce the control of foreign planters. However, this process was slow and met with resistance from powerful plantation owners.

The exploitation of Indian labor and resources in the sugar industry is not unique to India, as similar patterns of exploitation have occurred in other sugar-producing regions of the world, such as the Caribbean and Brazil.

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Where were these indentured Indians taken to?

Learn more about the Indo-Caribbeans – Wikipedia

Indians were taken to the Caribbean in the 19th century to work on sugar plantations as indentured laborers. They were brought over by the British to replace African slaves who had been emancipated.

They were promised free passage to different countries, a place to live, and a return passage to India after five years.

However, these promises were rarely fulfilled, and laborers were subjected to long hours of work, low wages, and poor living conditions.

They faced discrimination and racism from the white plantation owners, were subject to physical abuse and were not allowed to practice their religion or speak their native languages. Many laborers died from diseases, and life expectancy was low.

The majority of Indian laborers went to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and Jamaica. The descendants of these laborers, known as Indo-Caribbeans, make up a significant portion of the population in these countries.

Indian indentured laborers were brought to work on sugar plantations by the British in:

Mauritius: starting in 1834.

Guyana: starting in 1838.

Trinidad and Tobago: starting in 1845.

Suriname: starting in 1873.

Fiji: starting in 1879.

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How did this indentured laborer system come by?

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the British East India Company was involved in the trade of Indian slaves to various parts of the world, including to British colonies in the Americas and the Caribbean.

These slaves were often labeled as “coolies” and were subject to brutal working conditions on plantations, mines, and other labor-intensive industries.

While the Indian slave trade was not as extensive as the transatlantic slave trade, it nonetheless affected hundreds of thousands of Indians and had a significant impact on Indian society.
Learn more about Indian diaspora in Southeast Africa – Wikipedia

Moreover, after slavery was officially abolished in the British Empire in the mid-19th century, Indian laborers were still brought to various British colonies under different guises, such as indentured labor or contract labor.
Learn more about the Indo-Seychellois – Wikipedia

In addition to these forms of indentured labor, there were also cases of Indian people being labeled as “African” slaves and sold in the transatlantic slave trade. For example, in the late 18th century, a British slave trader named John Newton purchased Indian slaves in West Africa and brought them to the Americas, where they were sold into slavery.

These laborers were often subject to exploitative working conditions and were sometimes treated as virtual slaves. In fact, many historians argue that the indentured labor system that replaced slavery in the British Empire was not substantially different from slavery itself.

The British Empire’s involvement in the Indian slave trade and the subsequent indentured labor system had long-lasting effects till the modern day, both in India and in the countries where Indian indentured laborers were brought.

It is important to note that the experiences of Indian people as “African” slaves were not identical to those of African slaves, and the historical and social contexts of these forms of exploitation were different.

However, the fact that Indian people were subjected to forced labor and exploitation by the British Empire is a part of the complex and often troubling history of colonialism and imperialism.

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What were the conditions in other countries where sugar was produced?

The sugar industry relied heavily on the use of enslaved Africans, who were brought over to work on the sugarcane plantations.

Conditions for enslaved workers were brutal, and mortality rates were high.

Brazil became a major producer of sugar in the early 16th century, after the Portuguese colonized the country.

Many enslaved Africans rebelled against their conditions, leading to uprisings and revolts throughout Brazil’s history.

Brazil’s sugar industry later transitioned to the production of ethanol, a biofuel made from sugarcane, which is still an important industry in the country today.

Haiti was a major producer of sugar during the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was a French colony known as Saint-Domingue.

The Haitian Revolution, a slave rebellion that began in 1791, ultimately led to Haiti’s independence in 1804.

Haiti was also forced to pay reparations to France in order to secure diplomatic recognition, which placed a significant burden on the country’s finances and contributed to its economic difficulties.

The sugar industry in Haiti declined after independence, due to a combination of factors including political instability, soil depletion, and competition from other sugar-producing countries.

Jamaica was a major producer of sugar during the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was a British colony.

The British abolition of the slave trade in 1807 and slavery in 1833 had a significant impact on the sugar industry, as labor became more expensive and difficult to secure.

The British did not skip a beat and started getting indentured laborers to work the fields.

Jamaica’s sugar industry declined in the 20th century due to a combination of factors, including competition from other sugar-producing countries and the transition to other agricultural crops.

Other nearby sugarcane plantations:
Other countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago, also had significant sugar industries that relied on enslaved labor in the past.

These industries declined after the abolition of slavery and indentured labor, but sugarcane production remains an important industry in many of these countries today.