A Frayed History

The Journey of Cotton in India
by Uzramma & Meena Menon
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Publisher: OUP India

Publication Date: November 09, 2017

ISBN: 9780199091492

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Once the envy of the world for its quality and variety, Indian cotton today is mired in uncertainty and despair. Though India is the largest producer of cotton, its farmers are trapped in debt, and thousands choose to kill themselves than face an ignominious fate. Handloom weavers, once proud standard-bearers of the country's artisanal heritage, are barely able to scrape together a living. To make matters worse, there is the back-breaking competition with artificial fibres. Meena Menon and Uzramma take us through the fascinating history of cotton in India, examining its illustrious origins, its blood-stained colonial heritage, and the events that led to its current crisis. Amid the bleakness, the authors suggest a silver lining: reviving indigenous cotton—and the handloom industry that spun its fame. Through painstaking research, Menon and Uzramma show that with the right combination of friendly policies and championing the Indian cotton brand, it is possible to restore the fabric's past glory. This is an important book not just for lovers of cotton but anyone concerned with the struggles of Indian agriculture in a brutal, fast-changing market.