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Opium: Popularity and Consequences in Colonial Assam, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Dept. of History Assam University Silchar, Assam, India

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 5, Issue (2), Pages 41-45, February,14 (2016)

Abstract

Opium which was used by the Assamese people as a medicine and also confined only with the nobility and upper classes as a luxury item during the Ahom rule, colonial British Government made the drug as easily accessible with the motives of maximisation of revenue collection in the province. The paper thus attempts to highlight how the opium popularity among the Assamese people caused the large-scale labour importation into Assam as there was popular notion amongst the British officials that Assamese were mostly opium addicted and unfit as labours. The paper also tried to understand the changes that occurred in socio-economic life of Assam and even how the opium issues organised the Assamese people politically, through ‘raij mel’ to oppose British Colonial Government.

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