Page:Nil Durpan.djvu/7

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Directors of the East India Company, Indigo industry provided their servants in India with “a mode of remitting their fortunes to Europe which would be legal, advantageous and adequate.”

The Nil Darpan thus reflects a great social upheaval in Bengal. But it is not merely an expression of the conflict between the British Indigo planters and ryots, rich and poor. The drama also brings out, subtly and yet effectively, the rift, and the division that occurred between the different classes in the society and between the different sections in Government as a result of this conflict.

In fact, the rule of unmitigated tyranny unleashed by the Indigo planters on the soil of Bengal not only caused an active discontent amongst the people of Bengal; it moved the more sympathetic sections of the British in India, and met with serious opposition from the more thinking sections of the administrators here. As a matter of fact, the issue of Indigo caused a serious unrest among the rulers and the ruled—a section of the ruling class having already begun thinking if the Indigo issue was not going to bring about the end of British rule in India.

From the very beginning, the planters were opposed by the missionaries, and later on, by a section of the civilians. The struggle that ensued and continued over a long period becomes manifest in the allegations brought by the planters against the missionaries and the British Indian civilians:

1. “How long would the missionaries remain in India, if they were not backed and protected by British bayonets? The planters, being now deserted by those who hold bayonets at their command, are, as a matter of course, thrown into the power of a hostile race who hate civilian, missionary and planter in equal degree, or perhaps the missionary the most and the planter the least. The mutiny gives conclusive evidence of the hatred borne by natives to all Europeans or indeed Christians—surely it