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FAMINES IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT, 1500 to 1767
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1694 (a) [to 1696]: Coromandel Coast1694 map
Documented causes: war + drought
Documented effects: voluntary slavery

1694: Markus Vink, "Encounters on the Opposite Coast: The Dutch East India Company and the Nayaka State of Madurai in the Seventeenth Century" (2015)
p291: "in 1694-1696, when warfare once more ravaged South India, a total of 3,859 slaves were shipped from Coromandel by private individuals to Ceylon."
1695: "The early annals of the English in Bengal, being the Bengal public consultations " (vol. 1, 1895)
p401: [notes by Samuell Baron, on business prospects in the East India Company's presidency of Fort St. George, which then included Bengal, Jun 1695] "The Coast and Bay are so well provided with China goods that I believe upon the arrival of next ships they will hardly yield so much by 10 p. cent, for which I ascribe the following reasons, viz.- That Bengall is glutted with metalls of all sorts, that the last troubles and famine on the Coast of Gingerlee discourages sending any down thither, and that the continuing devastations committed daily by the Moors and Morattaes hinder their free passage into the Inland Countrys on this side. [etc.]
The scarcity of rain hath increased the trade to Bengal, but the plentifull season of rain will (its hoped) put a stop thereto, for surely there can be no advantage more uncomfortable than that which arrises from the poverty and misery of the poor, tho it may be as well charity as interest to deal therein at some time."
Vijaya Ramaswamy, "Weaver communities in Medieval South India ..." (PhD thesis 1980)
p376: The last decade of the century again witnessed a famine in 1694-95 at Madras. [Source: "Diary and Consultation, 20th Sept. 1694, p.100, Ibid 19th Nov.1694, p.130, Ibid, 26th Nov.1694, p.134, etc."] Grain was imported into Madras from Godavari delta, from Visskhapatnam, from Ganjam and even from Bengal [Source: "Original Correspondence, 16th Jan.1695, Vol.50, No.5960; Dispatches, 31st Jan.1696, p.41 cited in K.N. Chaudhuri op.cit [i.e. "The Trading World of Asia and the English East India Company, 1660-1760" (1978)] p.207"]- many merchants indulged in the dubious practice of making a profit out of grain. [Source: Chaudhuri p.207 again] So also perhaps did the East India company which managed to store up more than 100 garce of paddy and 40 garce of rice. [Source: "Letters, 20th June 1696, p.57"] This was the time when the weavers no longer worked for a wage but for payment in paddy which was given in advance. [Source: "Diary and Consultation, 19th Nov.1694, p.130"]

1694 (b) [to 1695]: Gujarat to Rajasthan
Documented causes: drought + floods etc.
Documented effects: migration; voluntary slavery; epidemic; heavy mortality

1694: "A History of Gujarat: Vol. II. The Mughal Period from 1573 to 1758" (1957)
p188: ...in 1694-5, we find heavy mortality recorded at Surat, Broach, Ahmadabad and other centres in consequence of destitution, flood and pestilence. The price of grain rose so high that Shujaat Khan sent orders to the mutasaddis in the various parganas to prevent engossing of grain by the merchants and to forward the government share of the produce to Ahmadabad to be sold there at reasonable rates under state control.
1694: Satya Prakash Gupta, "The Agrarian System of Eastern Rajasthan: c.1650-c.1750" (1986)
pp138-9: [Reports from local officials about their problems] "They (bhomias) charged illegal and irregular cesses from the peasants and thus were responsible for desolating villages. Another letter of Girdhar Das and Manrup (amin and 'amil, pargana Niwai) informed Maharaja Bishan Singh that there was famine (kahat) in 1694 in pargana Niwai. Every attempt was being made to bring the ra'iyat back to cultivation, but the bhomias continued to oppress the peasantry in the villages. Besides the peasantry the bohras and traders were also oppressed by the bhomias. Sometimes the bhomia was reported collecting the hasil and hasil rahdari (the states' claim) from the traders and banjaras (grain merchants). The loot of the traders and harassment of bohras by the bhomias was quite frequent"
B.L. Bhadani, "Economic Conditions in Marwar in the Second Half of the 17th Century" (PhD thesis, 1981)
pp108-9 "In 1694 a severe famine again occurred and the grain prices were reported to have risen a great deal. Even some thakurs [nobility] migrated. The condition of the baniyas and the brahmans was so bad that they did not even care about their social status or tradition. Children were sold by the parents for bread" [Source: Jai Chand [aka Shri Jaichand], ed. Muni Kanti Sagar, "Saiki" (1963) pp49-51]
Jaichand (as Jati Jaichand) "Diary" (selected passages translated in B M Jawalia, S L Choudhary, and Y L Nene, "Food Security in Rajasthan with Specific Reference to the Marwar Region During the 17th and 18th Centuries" in journal "Asian Agri-History", vol. 5, 2001)
p279: "The prices of the camels became half of the normal. Nobody was asking for cows. Sheep were driven out of the houses and were left to God's mercy. They were dying everywhere. No human being had any feelings for another fellow human. Many migrated to other provinces and the people who could not, died of starvation. People were not pleased to see their kith and kin. Nobody gave loans to others. Poor people started to loot others in the guise of merchants. Jatis (Jain saints) accepted persons as their disciples using to advantage the power of the knowledge of medicinal roots and herbs, and mantras. People used to throw the bodies of those who died of starvation away from the village. The effect of the drought was seen in Nagaur, Merta, and Jodhpur and the conditions were similar in the Deccan, Malwa, and Gujarat. Parents sold their children for the sake of bread. Husbands abandoned their wives and the unscrupulous persons handed them over to Muhammadans. Those who had migrated to Malwa died of hunger wandering aimlessly. Those who had gone towards Patna (Bihar) were happy enough. They got stomach-full meals. One Hiraji Shah helped those who had gone to Patna with money and saved them. He also helped merchants by giving them money. People returned to Bikaner when the famine was over"

1695: a Canute moment
Documented causes: flood
Documented effects: thousands drowned; many buildings destroyed

"The history of India : as told by its own historians. The Muhammadan period" (vol. VII, 1877)
p361: [from Khafi Khan "Muntakhabu-l Lubab": 1107 A.H. (1695-6 CE)] "In the month of Muharram of this year the river Bhanra [= Bhima], near which the royal camp was pitched, rose to a great height, and overflowed, causing enormous destruction. The amirs had built many houses there. The waters began to overflow at midnight, when all the world was asleep. * * The floods carried off about ten or twelve thousand men, with the establishments of the King, and the princes and the amirs, horses, bullocks and cattle in countless numbers, tents and furniture beyond all count. Numberless houses were destroyed, and some were so completely carried away that not a trace of them was left. Great fear fell on all the army. * * The King wrote out prayers with his own hand, and ordered them to be thrown into the water, for the purpose of causing it to subside. * * "
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