Indigo cultivation in India declined by the beginning of the 20th century because of
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2020 Prelims]
(a) peasant resistance to the oppressive conduct of planters
(b) national leaders’ opposition to the cultivation if indigo
(c) its unprofitability in the world market because of new inventions
(d) Government control over the planters
- Indigo, a valuable commodity that gives a blue hue to fabrics, was in high demand during the British industrialization period.
- Indian farmers were forced to grow indigo due to the British exploitation of their land and the Charter Act of 1833. This led to the majority of the fertile land being used for indigo cultivation, which left farmers feeling exploited.
- In 1890, a better indigo color was discovered from aniline in Zurich, and by 1897, BASF started the production of synthetic indigo.
- This invention caused the decline of indigo cultivation in India by the beginning of the 20th century, as it became unprofitable in the world market.
- Many Indian farmers were left with tons of indigo and debt, and no one was willing to buy it.
Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.