Page 37 - Aug 2021
P. 37

         By the 17th century, muslin also captured the fashion tastes in the west with the likes of Queen Mary Antoi- nette and Empress Josephine, the first wife of Napoleon, popularising it. Such goods posed a challenge to the British and polices were formed to devastate those industries.
William Bolts in his 1772 book, Considerations on India Affairs, writes about the weaver’s plight. “Weavers, for daring to sell their goods and Dallals and Pykars, ....... have by the Company’s agents been frequently seized and, im- prisoned, confined in irons, fined con- siderable sums of money, flogged and de- prived in the most ignominious manner of what they esteem most valuable, their carts. Weavers also, upon their inabil- ity to perform such agreements as have been forced from them by the Compa- ny’s agents, universally known in Bengal by the name of Mutchulcahs, have had their goods seized and sold on the spot to make good the deficiency: and the winders of raw silk, called Nagaads, have been treated also with such injustice that instances have been known of their cutting off their thumb to prevent their being forced to wind silk.” Isn’t it a bit too far fetched to suggest that one will
The knowledge capital invested by PN Bose and financial capital by JN Tata led to the founding of the Tata Iron and Steel Works in 1907 at Sakchi in Bihar, now known as Jamshedpur (in present-day Jharkhand)
chop off one’s own thumb, to escape from draconian agreements forced upon by the authorities?
In case of the iron industry, Pt. Mala- viya quoted in his report, “... The Indian steel found once considerable demand for cutlery even in England. The manu- facture of steel and wrought iron had reached a high perfection at least two thousand years ago.” (From Mahadev Govind Ranade’s Essays on Indian Eco- nomics, pages 159-160)
However, the British succeeded in depriving people of livelihoods in these industries. As a result, almost 80% of the people ended up depending on agricul- ture. Here too, astronomical land taxes drove farmers to penury.
Many Indians saw through the British game. The mood among the people started turning towards self-reliance. Industrialists like JN Tata, scientists like Pramatha Nath Bose and Prafulla Chandra Ray and spiritual giants
like Swami Vivekananda and Bhagini Nivedita were pooling in their efforts in this cause.
Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata con- cluded that steel, the mother of heavy industry, the cheap hydro power and technical education along with indus- trial research were the three pillars for self-reliance in industry. Accordingly, he embarked upon establishing a steel plant in the Central Provinces. It was around the same time that Pramatha Nath Bose discovered the vast iron ore deposits in parts of Mayurbhanj. He wrote to JN Tata in his letter dated February 24, 1904:
“As you are interested in the de- velopment of the iron industry in this country, I have to bring to your notice an exceedingly rich and extensive deposit of iron-ore, which I have just explored in this state. The ores consist of magne- tite, hematite and limonite. They occur in such abundance that for all practical
   Letter (above) written by PN Bose to JN Tata (left) on iron-ore deposits in Mayurbhanj
purposes, they may be considered to be inex- haustible...”
After further stud- ies and negotiations with the State of May- urbhanj, the Tata Iron and Steel Works was established at Sakchi in Bihar, now known as Jamshedpur (in Jharkhand) after the illustrious JN Tata. PN Bose played a vital role in its foundation. The knowledge capital invested by Bose and the financial capital by Tata made it possible. And both were fired
by an urge to see India industrialised.
PN Bose was the first person to map In-
 AUGUST, 2021
        Images Courtesy: Internet

   35   36   37   38   39