Peasant Movement 1


Peasant Movements 1

Indigo Revolt

Area: Bengal (Main center Nadia)

Year: 1859-60

Leaders: Digambar Biswas and Bishnu Biswas


  • Planters forced the peasants to grow indigo on their land.
  • Fraudulent contracts and atrocities done by planters on the ryots.


  • Bengali Intelligentsia supported peasants movements through meetings and prepared grievances for peasants.
  • Indigo commission was set up Government to look into the matter.
  • It recommended that ryots can’t be compelled to grow Indigo.

Pabna Agrarian League

Area: East Bengal specially Patna

Years: 1870-1880

Leaders: Indians like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, R.C. Dutt and Surendranath Banerjee supported this revolt.


  • Enhanced rent by the zamindars beyond legal limits.
  • Tenants were ceased from acquiring occupancy rights under Act X of 1859.
  • Atrocities done by the zamindars on the peasants.


  • Pabna Revolt was completely non violent in nature. There was legal struggle by the ryots against the zamindars.
  • Ryots refused to pay the enhanced rents and funds were raised to fight court cases.
  • In 1885, the Bengal Tenancy Act was passed by the Government to protect the tenants from the zamindars.

Deccan Riots

Area: Bombay Deccan Region

Years: 1870s

Leaders: Poona Sarvajanik Sabha co-founder M G Ranade supported this movement


  • High land revenue policy under the Ryotwari settlement.
  • During American Civil War there was increase in demand of cotton from India. Moneylenders who were generous during this time became oppressive once the American Civil War got over.


  • There was social boycott movement organised by the ryots against the moneylenders.
  • Account books, shops and houses of the moneylenders were attacked.
  • Deccan Riots Commission was set up which gave its report in the British Parliament in 1878.
  • In 1879, the Agriculturists Relief Act was passed by the Government which provided relief to the ryots from arrest and imprisonment.

Kisan Sabha Movement

Area: In the areas of Uttar Pradesh specially Rai Bareilly, Faizabad, Sultanpur and Awadh

Years: Started after 1857 revolt but got momentum in the 1920s


UP Kisan Sabha in February 1918 by Gauri Shankar Mishra and Indra Narayan Dwivedi


  • In 1857 revolt moneylenders supported the Britishers against Indian rebellions. So, after the revolt taluqdars got back their land holdings. From here the atrocities like high rents, summary evictions & illegal levies were done on ryots.
  • Hiked prices of the food products and other necessities after World War I.


  • UP Kisan Sabha and Awadh Kisan Sabha were set up in Uttar Pradesh. Prominent leaders like Madan Mohan Malaviya, Baba Ramchandra and JL Nehru supported the cause of these ryots. 
  • Awadh Kisan sabha asked the peasants to not to do unpaid labor and asked for social boycotts of those peasants who refused to do so.
  • In the early 1920s there was looting of bazaars &  granaries. 
  • Movement got declined with passing of Awadh rent(Amendment) Act.

Eka Movement

Area: Northern districts of united Provinces- Hardoi, Bahraich, Sitapur

Years: 1921-1922

Leaders: Leadership provided by Madari Pasi


  • High rents: 50% higher than recorded rates
  • Oppression of revenue collection officers


  • Pay only recorded rent
  • Not to leave the place when force eviction was there.
  • Refused to do forced labor.
  • Abide by the decisions of leaders.





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