A hundred years ago October 13, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (October 13, 1921): Calico from Calicut

The popular English weekly, “Tit-Bits” which helps many people to keep themselves in good humour, contains, in its issue of September 24, the following paragraph which is not less interesting to us at present because of the unconscious irony lurking in it: “Calicut, the storm-centre of the Indian riots in Malabar, gave a new word to the English dictionary by the cotton stuffs originally exported there, and known as “calico”. It was calico from Calicut that caused serious trouble in this country two centuries ago, when the Spitalfields weavers went about assaulting anyone whom they saw wearing the Indian cotton goods, which they feared, not without reason, would injure their own trade. Consequently an Act of Parliament was passed forbidding the use of calico under a penalty of 200. Nowadays Calicut exports more teak and sandalwood than calico.” The British Govrnment placated the weavers’ feeling in England against the import of foreign cloth by prohibiting their use under heavy penalty, but what does the Indian Government do? It actively encourages the use of foreign cloth.

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