Explain the miserable conditions of Indian weavers during the East India Company's regime in the eighteenth century


(i) After establishing political control, the East India Company asserted monopoly of trade. They developed a system of management to eliminate competition and ensure continuous and regular supply of textile goods.
(ii) The company established indirect control over the weavers through their paid agents called ‘gomasthas’ who supervised the weavers, collected supplies and examined the quality of cloth.
(iii) This system prevented the weavers from dealing with other traders. In 19th century cotton weavers in India faced two problems. British machine-made goods flooded Indian market. So for Indian weavers export market collapsed and local market shrank.
The imported textile goods were so cheap that Indian goods could not compete with them. Indian weavers presented a picture of decline and desolation.
(iv) Indian weavers could not get sufficient supply of raw cotton of good quality. Raw cotton was exported, so price of raw cotton went up. Indian weavers were forced to buy raw cotton at exorbitant price. In this situation they could hardly make any profit.
(v) By the end of 19th century the Indian weavers faced another problem. Indian factories began production. Weavers could not survive because they could not compete with machine made goods.