English Version: Mosamat Budhiya – A Fearless Farmer

I - Day 2018 Home page Hindi Version

Budhiya lived in Araria, Bihar. The British ruled India at that time from the court of a nearby prince. The East India Company forced the people of this area to grow Indigo which destroyed the land and affected the production of rice. This led to famines in the area.

People in the area used to hold Budhiya in high regard and shared their problems with her. Budhiya was enraged by the plight of her people. She asked the farmers to leave the indigo seeds, that the British had given them, overnight with her before sowing them the following morning.

At night Budhiya would roast half of the seeds and mix them with the rest. This way, half of the indigo plants were destroyed in the first year. The following year, Budhiya again roasted half the seeds and the whole harvest of indigo was badly affected. Spies for the Company told the officers that farmers leave the seeds overnight with Budhiya and chances are that she does something to them.

Mosmat Budhiya was arrested by the soldiers of the Company and taken to court. It is said that when the officer asked her whether she is destroying the indigo plantation, Budhiya replied fearlessly that, “If your people were dying of hunger, wouldn’t you do the same?” Budhiya was released and the British stopped growing indigo in this are.

Salutes to the fearless spirit of Budhiya.

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