Exploitation of Labour in the Darjeeling Tea Plantations
Volume IV, Issue I, 2021
Plantations are not just economic institutions but also social spheres as it is home to a large number of permanent residential workers. It is an agricultural unit but also comes under industry. Plantations are essentially agro-industries where cultivation and manufacturing process takes place for commercial purposes. But just like an agricultural undertaking it functions with a number of hired workers. So even though it is similar to agriculture, plantation has peculiarities of its own. . The tea plantations are owned and controlled by large Corporations, Government or Cooperative Societies that invest huge capital and employ permanent and temporary workers on a large scale. In tea plantations of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal are leased by the State Government to private corporations who absolutely control the life in these tea plantations. The plantations are enclaves suited for the profit of the management and the workers are subjugated and disciplined for generating profit. The institution of plantation has been structured in such a way that it produces maximum profit for the owners at the expense of the workers. The structure of the tea plantation system in Darjeeling is such that it is skewed in the favour of the owners leaving the tea garden workers vulnerable and at the mercy of the owners.