James Insch FRMS FLS
Senior Director of Messrs Duncan Brothers & Co, Calcutta
Chairman of the Indian Tea Association
During Queen Victoria's era, the British extended their control over India on every front - economic, political, military and social. The 19th century industrial revolution thrived by importing cheap, raw materials from India and selling expensive manufactured products back to the colony. Although it may be claimed that the Raj drained India's wealth, it also politically united the country, constructed railways and set up a centralised and judicial system.
Tea plantations were developed in all the most productive areas of India. There was no lack of workers to carefully hand pick the tea from the mountain slopes. The very English institution of 'high tea' became part of daily life for many well-to-do Indians during the Raj.