FAMINES IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT, 1500 to 1767
|1702 (a) [to 1704]: Deccan|
|Documented causes: drought, then floods|
|Documented effects: depopulation; voluntary slavery; epidemic|
|Niccolao Manucci (translated by William Irvine) "Storia Do Mogor" (vol. iv, 1908)|
|p97: "Aurangzeb feels forced to continue the war against Shiva Ji [i.e. the Marathas], and he has from the first had the ambition of conquering the countries of others, be it by treachery or force of arms. In the execution of these designs there have died in his armies over a hundred thousand souls yearly, and of animals, horses, pack-oxen, camels, elephants, et cetera, over three hundred thousand. In spite of the greatness of the empire, by reason of which supplies of these necessities always used to be forthcoming in abundance, the great nobles and the famed generals and captains have nowadays to go without them. Their families are in distress, and to such a state have their wives and daughters come that throughout the empire they are forced by their sufferings to ask alms in the streets. ...|
In the Dakhin provinces there was no rain from 1702 to 1704, but instead plague prevailed. In those two years there expired over two millions of souls; fathers, compelled by hunger, offering to sell their children for a quarter to half a rupee, and yet forced to go without food, finding no one to buy them."
|Irfan Habib, "The Agrarian System of Mughal India (1556-1707)" (rev.1999)|
|p121: "A great famine began in the Dakhin in 1702. In February it was reported to the Court from Sangamner (Aurangabad province) that owing to drought 'most of the villages' had been rendered desolate. In the course of the year "in the whole of the Dakhin no rain fell that was in keeping with the interests of cultivation"; in fact the rains were so prodigious as to devastate the kharif harvest. Great scarcity prevailed everywhere south of the Narbada and people were compelled to migrate from their ancestral homes. The next year (1703) brought no relief, for owing to the excessive winter rains the rabi crop was also damaged, wheat suffering particularly from blight. Then drought came. A historian speaks of it as the year, for Maharashtra, of 'famine and scarcity owing to drought, the mortality of the poor and the wail of the weak.' Drought, with its close companion, plague, continued into 1704."|
|Saqi Must'ad Khan (trans. Sir Jadunath Sarkar), "Maasir-i-Alamgiri" (1947)|
|pp282-3: "As the rainy season was impending and the difficulty of the road extreme, in view of the fact that the Emperor's aim was restricted to the conquest of fort Rajgarh [=Rajgad], it was decided pass the rainy season at Muhiabad Puna, and afterwards pursue the object. On Saturday, the 24th April, 1703 /18th Zil. H., the return march to that place was ordered, and it was reached on Saturday, the 1st May /25th Zil. H. ...|
After a stay of six months and eighteen days, in spite of famine on account of drought, death of the poor, lamentation of the weak, the disappearance of wheat, vetch and rice, the filling of Shahganj (royal market) to the brim with the groans of the stricken beggars, the Emperor's resolution would not turn back, let the celestial firmament turn back if it will ! So, on Wednesday, the 10th November, 1703 /12th Rajab, the army marched out for the conquest of Rajgarh."
|1704: "The history of India, as told by its own historians. The Muhammadan period" (vol. VIII, 1877)|
|p36: Muhammad 'Ali "Burhanu-l Futuh": A.H. 1116-1119 [1704-7 CE]. - A great famine occurred in Burhanpur and the Dakhin, and many men died of hunger.|
|Satish Chandra, "Mughal Religious Policies, the Rajputs & the Deccan" (1993)|
|p203: "Aurangzeb finally suspended jizyah in the Deccan in 1704, 'for the duration of the war' in view of the distress caused by famine and the Maratha war" [Source: Akhbarat, 48/36 & A245, quoted by Irfan Habib, The Agrarian System of Mughal India (Bombay 1963, p246)]|