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Saturday, June 22, 2024

India’s first tea planter inspired film that won national award

A film made on the life of India’s first tea planter in 1963 won a national award. Maniram Dewan was a freedom fighter who conspired against the British. He was hanged.

Maniram Dutta Baruah was one of the first people in Assam to build tea gardens. In his early years, Maniram Dewan was a faithful associate of the British East India Company. But, the British hanged him for conspiring against them during the 1857 uprising.

But, our article today is not about that part of Maniram’s life which he sacrificed for India. It is more about how Maniram Dewan became India’s first tea planter and a pioneer of tea plantations in the country.

With 1,400 kilos of tea leaves grown each year, India is the uncontested chai-loving nation. The omnipresent cup of tea is an unofficial and undervalued uniting symbol.

When a guest comes around, tea is perhaps the most typical beverage provided. It is also a useful antidote to all of our troubles, from tiredness to migraines to stress.

As a tea connoisseur, I could go on and on about this simple drink and its various preparation methods in various parts of India.

India has a tapestry of teas, including masala, elaichi, ginger, green and others. But are you aware of the enormous contributions of legendary personalities who pioneered tea plantations in India?

The British East India Company deserves credit for popularising tea, but one man deserves credit for bringing tea to the British, who were previously reliant on China: Maniram Datta Barua, alias Maniram Dewan.

Maniram, who was born in Assam’s Jorhat area in 1806 and brought the Singhpo tribe’s tea to British commander Robert Bruce. In the 1820s, Robert worked as an agent for Ahom ruler Purandar Singha, who was looking for an alternative to Chinese tea.

Maniram became India’s first tea planter and eventually turned against the colonists after learning of their evil plans to exploit and abuse Assam’s tea growers. In the 1840s, he resigned as Dewan and established two estates in Senglung and Cinnamara.

On February 26, 1858, he was executed by the British for treason in Jorhat.

It’s intriguing to see how a man who introduced a cash crop to his loyal invaders didn’t think twice about using the same crop as a weapon to damage their financial profits.

Maniram’s enormous contributions to India’s liberation struggle have not gone forgotten. the tea connoisseur-turned-martyr will be remembered forever, from the establishment of the Maniram Dewan Trade Center that holds international tea festivals, through the making of the film ‘Maniram Dewan,’ which won a national award.


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