The book is about the colonization of the Sunderbans that began with the coming of the British. For two centuries, land-hungry peasants strove to transform the tidal forest vegetation into an agro- ecosystem dominated by paddy fields and fish culture. The construction of a permanent railroad led to the spreading of the co- operative movement, the formation of peasant organizations, and finally culminated in open rebellion by the peasants (tebhaga).
Table of Contents
1. The Sundarbans Folk Deities, Monsters and Mortals: Introduction 2. Fearsome Forests and Rising Tides: A Historical Geography of the Sundarbans 3. The Sundarbans in punthi Literature 4. Tilman Henckell: An Advocate of Colonial Paternalism 5. Land Reclamation from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century 6. Development of the Port at Canning and Gosaba Co-operative 7. Tebhaga in Kakdwip 8. The Sundarbans in Modern Bengali Fiction 9. The Mangrove and the Man: A Conclusion
Sutapa Chatterjee Sarkar is Reader, Department of History in the University of West Bengal State University.