FAMINES IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT, 1500 to 1767
|1642 (a): east coast|
|Documented causes: drought|
|Documented effects: disruption of industry|
|VOC, "Dagh-register Behouden Int Casteel Batavia ... Anno 1641-1642" (1900)|
|pp205-6 (news received 3 Nov 1642): "Den oppercoopman Sr. Weijlant had ontrent Agra 31165 ropia in verscheijde sorteringe van lijwaten voor Nederlant als persia dienstich besteet, sullen dierder als 't voorleden jaer (door de schaersheijt des cattoens) vallen. ...|
In Amadabath sonde den eijsch der lijwaten als cannekins, swarte berams, smalle chits, andias ende beutas (door de schaersheijt en dierte des cattoens) niet voldaen connen werden."
|VOC, "Dagh-register Behouden Int Casteel Batavia ... Anno 1643-1644" (1902)|
|p250 (news received 15 Feb 1643): "Den 4 Januarij 1643 was 't jacht Lis van Pipelij over Masulipatnam voor Palliacatta met een cargasoen bedragende / 12334.2.8 bestaande in salpeter, rijs, comijn, jengelijolie, booter, aracq ende carruwa geariveert; den rijs was ontrent Pipelij door d' extraordinarie groote droogte qualijck geslaeght, seer dier ende nauwlijxs te becomen, dogh wierd verhoopt van de cust Orixa ofte Bengale partije sonden becomen om d' 200 lasten voor St Crus d' Gale te connen suppleeren."|
|Mrs C. Bhavani, "Economic History of Tamilnadu from AD 1600 to 1857" (PhD thesis, 2008) [ http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/jspui/bitstream/10603/139552/13/13_chapter%207.pdf ]|
|p364: "It has been recorded that there was a severe famine during 1642" [Footnote: Meersman, OFM, Notes on Charitable Institutions of the Portuguese established in India, in Journal of Church History review, Vol1, No.2, 1971, p.101.; should probably be corrected to: Achilles Meersman, OFM, "Notes on the Charitable Institutions the Portuguese Established in India", Indian Church History Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, Dec 1971, (pp. 95 – 106) p.101.]|
|1642: reform in Gujarat (and its later perversion)|
|Arshia Shafqat, "Administration of Gujarat Under the Mughals (A.D. 1572-1737)" (PhD thesis, 2008)|
|pp134-6: "Gujarat suffered grievously from the famine of 1630-32. During this period, peasantry of the suba suffered extreme degree of oppression and distress. In the next decade, imperial authorities became cognizant of the situation and sent Mirza 'Isa Tarkhan (1642-44) as governor of the province to remedy matters. The new appointee as a measure of relief 'established crop-sharing' or 'batai' in which the risk of the seasons was equally shared by the state and the peasants and consequently 'in a short time brought the country back to prosperity'. [Source: "Mir'at, 1" (i.e. 'Ali Muhammad Khan, "Mir'at-i Ahmadi" (vol. 1, 1927) ), pp217-18] ...|
Crop sharing itself did not prove a lasting boon to the peasants. An imperial order issued in the 8th regnal year of Aurangzeb discloses an extraordinary perversion of this system. It recites that 'owing to the high price of corn' in the earlier years of the reign 'the jama' 1 had reached the maximum (kamal). Thereafter the prices fell, but jagirdars still demanded the same amounts: though formally following crop-sharing, they would assume the produce to be two and a half times the actual, and setting the demand at half of the imaginary figure, they would take away the whole crop and for balance make the peasants work a whole year to provide it out of their wages. [Source: "Mir'at, 1" (i.e. 'Ali Muhammad Khan, "Mir'at-i Ahmadi" (vol. 1, 1927) ), p268] Further, in 1674-75, Fryer found that in the Surat region the peasants were not allowed to remove their crops from the fields unless they had surrendered three-fourths of the produce to the authorities. [Source: "Fryer, 1" (i.e. John Fryer, "A New Account of East India and Persia ..." (vol. 1, 1912) ), pp300-301] So it is doubtful how far the system of crop-sharing in which the demand was based on the actual harvest reduced the oppression and miserable conditions of peasants in Gujarat."