Famous Planter - Famous qoutes
Late Mr Topham --
No Planter ever died of hard work.
Mr Arun Prakash Datta --
Tea is made in the field, not in the factory.
Mr Prakash Saroj Mehra --
So many things to do, so little time.
Late Mr R N Pandey --
My life is an open book, I do not hide anything about myself.
Contrary to the popular impression, some Indians, were consuming Assam tea much before British tasted it in China. The Singpho and Khamti tribes of Assam and Northern Burma were consuming Assam tea since 12th century. In 1598, Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, a famous Dutch traveller, travelling through Assam, recorded in his travelling note book about his meeting with Indians who ate the leaves of a tree as a vegetable with garlic and oil and also boiled that leaves to make a brew. Since he never saw Cha, so he could not recognize it. But his description of brew indicate that it was tea.
In 1823 Robert Bruce, a Major General of East India Company found that local people of Assam namely the Singhpos, brewing Cha from the leaves of some trees of forest like garden. He negotiated with the Singpo chiefs Bishagaum to provide him with samples of the leaves and seeds against an advance, which he decided to have it examined scientifically. Robert did not clear full dues of Bishagaum. But he and his subordinates were collecting Cha leaf and having Cha from improvised garden of Singhpo Tribe. The tribal chief, Bishagaum and his tribe were simple people, they requested for their agreed balance money repeatedly, which was persistently refused by Robert and his group. After many denials, Bishagaum lost his patient and hacked all Cha bushes of their unorganised garden.
Later, that garden was named Beesakopie. Also concept of Heavy and Medium pruning in Cha garden was germinated from this act of frustrated tribal chief Bisha, cutting Cha bushes of their ancient, natural garden.
Robert Bruce died shortly thereafter, without knowing the result of his effort for Assam Cha.
British in Indian Tea
In early 1830s that Charles Bruce brother of Late Robert Bruce, took up to follow his brother's path and collected Cha leaves from the Assam Cha trees of those unorganised gardens with the help of local people, and sent those to Kolkata botanical gardens for examination. There, the plant was finally identified as a variety of Cha, or Camellia sinensis, but different from the Chinese version of Cha and named as Assam Cha or Camellia sinensis assamica.
In 1837, the first English Cha garden was established at Chabua or 'Cha Planted' in Upper Assam; in 1840, the Assam Tea Company began the commercial production of Cha in the region and started tea garden and then gardens, run by indentured servitude of the local inhabitants.
The condition was utterly bad. All garden area was remote and without road or almost without any road, jungle animals were a constant threat to the lives of the workers, residing in the garden, food for workers, machineries, Cha seeds, housing materials for building factory was harder to arrange. On the other hand primitive settlements of the Cha garden workers provided by Britishers were unsafe and under constant fear of raids by local hill tribes due to encroachment by outsiders on their land and improvised garden. But Britisher with their superior fire power persevered and gradually the jungle was opened up, existing Cha trees of the unorganised garden were maintained and gaps were filled up with new Cha seedlings.
Indian businessmen were not behind. In fact, the first attempt to compete with the British was made by Maniram Dewan and the world's first tea company was formed in 1839 with Dwarakanath Tagore, grandfather of Rabindranath Tagore and Matilal Seal as two of its directors. In the same year several companies, which were formed by then were brought under a common umbrella called Assam Company. The Jorhaut Tea Company was incorporated in June 29, 1859, with gardens in Assam. In the early 1860, Rameswar Barua started six gardens in the Sibsagar. Later he sold it off to the British during the economic recession of 1866. By 1841, plantations activities started in Darjeeling. Out of curiosity, Dr Campbell, a Civil Surgeon, started an experimental garden with the seeds smuggled from China by Robert fortune. Surprisingly, these Chinese seeds did well in Darjeeling but it did not survive in Assam. In West Bengal, outside Darjeeling, Cha production started at Terai in 1862 and in 1874 at the Dooars. In 1855 an unknown Indian found Cha bushes in Cachar and reported this to Mr G Verner, Superintendent. This was followed by Mr Williamson and started first Tea Garden in Cachar in 1856. Before 1857, tea cultivation also started at the foot of Western Himalayas in Dehra Dun and Kangra. Cha was also found to be growing in South India's Nilgiri Hills and the plant was similar to Assam variety. Commercial production in this region started in 1854. Tea plantations were also there at Wayanad and Travancore. In 1893 the area under Cha cultivation was nearly 3000 Acres in Nilgiris, 250 Acres in Wayanad, 350 Acres in the hills and tilhas of Kerala and 5,000 Acres in Travancore.
Beginning in the 1850s, the Cha industry rapidly expanding, vast area of land were brought under Cha plantations. By the beginning of 1900, Assam became the leader in Cha producing region in entire world.
Neighbouring state of Assam, Tripura established its first garden in 1916. Tripura Cha gardens were established by local Indian Platers without any support or interference by the then British Administration.
Singpo tribes, who were consuming Cha for generations never thought that the drink they introduced to Europeans and the plant that was wildly growing in Assam under their domain would play such a important role for the economic growth of the country in general and Assam in particular.
Neither Singpo tribe nor other local people ever thought that with their small step, largest organised agriculture in India was started.
Do You Know ?
India is the worlds second largest tea producer and consumer and it ranks next to China.
After being the highest tea producer of the world for nearly hundred years it has been surpassed by China in recent past.
Indian tea has extremely been popularized around the world in the brand of Assam Tea and Darjeeling Tea.
There 3 basic types of Tea- Black, Oolong and Green. All come from Camellia sinensis but of different Jats and follow different processes of fermantations.
A cup of tea contains 50% more caffeine than a cup of coffee.
Like Milk, Tea is EQUALLY good for human bones.
Grading of Tea is different in different region and it does not necessarily mean higher grade is better quality.
Camellia sinensis Assamica is prolific compared any other Camellia sinensis that you required to pluck it within 7 to 12 days for 9 months in a year
Indian Tea Garden in 1911.
British writer Dan Jones in 1986 wrote.
In 1911 the Head of Government in Assam spoke out against a labour system that, "treated its workers like medieval serfs." Every few years new laws were drawn up in an attempt to impose minimum standards to protect the labourers on the plantations but these laws were largely ignored and unenforced, particularly as the local magistrates were planters. Companies used beatings, fines and imprisonment to keep their workers in line. Under British imperial laws trade unions were forbidden on the estates. Organizers who attempted to contact tea pickers were seen as trouble makers and accused of trespass.