Monday, 20 October 2014

What happened to the Men that worked these lands!

Stupefying - What happened to the Men that worked these lands!

Here the 'lands' are the Tea Gardens

The year - 1875

The Story - The Indenture between Mr. Charles Christian of Calcutta, assistant to Messrs Gillanders Arbuthnot & Co., of one part and Mr. Thomas Kingsley, Golaghat Assam Tea Planter of the other;

The Script - Gillanders Arbuthnot & Co., sold about 273 acres or thereabouts! This was like any regular transaction, but the interesting part and the purpose of this post....

Known as the Mybella Tea Garden, this was sold together with all and every land and landed property, .... and all the Bungalows, Tea Houses, godowns, out offices...all fixtures, plant and machinery, implements, carts, bullocks, horses, elephants, boats, and other live and dead stock whatsoever in or upon the premises....all tea trees, seedlings...etc.

Funnily, when every conceivable part of the estate was sold and owned by the new owner, no provision seemed to have been made for accommodating the men that worked these lands or factories.

Tea Gardens employ a large work force that have colonies within the acreage, spread around the garden. When a garden goes up for sale, presumably the labour too goes with it, as other gardens have their complement with them!

While most Indentures and Covenants thereto were very legitimately worded, often administrative details of workers were left out. Perhaps that was attended to separately.
The company Gillanders Arbuthnot & Co., exists to this day and is part of the Kothari Group of Companies, based in Kolkata.
The sale of the Tea Garden Mybella mentioned above was for a consideration of Rupees Twenty Five Thousand!  


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