DOI: 10.1177/03769836231211003 ISSN: 0376-9836

Beyond the Colonial Lens: An Investigation into the Chequered History of Assam Tea

Dibyajyoti Dutta, Dibyanjoly Hazarika
  • History

This article presents a fresh perspective on tea cultivation in Assam, negating the widely held belief that the British Empire’s introduction to Assam tea symbolised societal advancement and economic growth. This article argues that the primary intention of the British was pure economic that catapulted the destruction of the thick forested areas, marginalised the native population and abolished their kingdoms. Despite this, colonial Assamese elites and mainstream industrialists have glorified the British tea venture. In this attempt of reviewing the history of Assam tea from an alternative point of view, efforts have also been made to analyse how the East India Company’s desire to maintain its monopoly in the Chinese tea trade, the Calcutta Botanical Garden’s desire to uphold the supremacy of the Chinese tea plant, and the military personnel’s quest for new sources of tea played their roles in it.

More from our Archive