Examine the causes of clashes between weavers and gomasthas in many weaving villages.
How was the life of Indian weavers affected by Indian trade under company rule?
Ans. The East India Company appointed paid servants called gomasthas to supervise weavers, they used to collect supplies and examine the quality of cloth. These gomasthas gave loans to the weavers to purchase raw materials for their production.
Those who took loans had to hand over the cloth they produced to the gomasthas. They lost their opportunity to bargain for prices and sell to other buyers.
Often the price paid by the company was miserably low. Earlier, merchants who gave loans very often lived within the village where the weavers lived and they had a close relationship with the weavers, looking after their needs and helping in times of crisis.
The gomasthas were outsiders with no long-term social links with the village. They were arrogant and marched into villages with sepoys and peons and punished weavers for delays in supply. So, there were regular clashes between weavers and gomasthas.
To satisfy the company’s demand, the weaver and his entire family devoted all their time to weaving. Many of them had to lease out their own agricultural land for cultivation. Thus, company rule tptally changed the life of the Indian weavers.