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In an early chapter Palme Dutt cites admiring travelers such as Tavernier, traveling around India in the seventeenth century, remarking that 揺ven in the smallest villages rice, flour, butter, milk, beans and other vegetables, sugar and other sweetmeats, dry and liquid, can be procured in abundance?
Many travelers at the time extolled Bengal as marvelous in the abundance of its resources, the advanced nature of its crafts.
By the 1920s, after nearly two centuries of British rule, India was a byword for the vast abyss of its all-pervading poverty.
揟he average Indian income? wrote two economists in 1924, 搃s just enough either to feed two men in every three of the population, or give them all two in place of every three meals they need, on condition they all consent to go naked, liver out of doors all the year round, have no amusement or recreation, and want nothing else but food, and that the lowest, the coarsest, the least nutritious?