Poppy Farming and the Politics of Opium Term Paper by scribbler

Poppy Farming and the Politics of Opium
An examination of the origins of present-day poppy farming in southwest Asia.
# 152818 | 2,091 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on Apr 30, 2013 in History (Asian) , History (British)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper discusses how the origin of the Pakistani poppy dilemma goes back to the partition plan in 1947, when poppy-enriched tribal areas of the North West Frontier Province, (NWFP), as a legacy of the colonial rule, were merged with Pakistan. The paper then explains how as a result of the area's fitness for poppy growing and the strategic importance of the site as part of the traditional Silk Road, the NWFP became a flash point between the Amir of Afghanistan and the government of British India. The paper also shows how the promotion of poppy cultivation in the NWFP coincided with a sharp rise in international demand for both medicinal and non-medicinal opium.

Origins and Socio-Political Analysis

From the Paper:

"The Royal Commission concluded that drawing a distinction between medical and non-medical uses of opium was impracticable. However, public witnesses who appeared before the Ceylon Opium Commission, unanimously declared that opium was an evil. The Royal Commission contended that the use of opium for smoking or addiction purposes in India was rare, and that it was used extensively for oral consumption and as a sedative for children (Berridge & Griffith, 211). (This assertion is countered by Virginia Berridge and Griffith Edwards, who argued that the primary objective of the Royal Commission was aimed at 'whitewashing' the opium habit. 112 ) The Ceylon Commission reported that it could find no evidence of any Singhalese or Tamil desire to have opium shops in village localities. On the basis of public reports, the Ceylon Commission argued that opium had demoralized villagers, who never knew its evil results until they had become slaves to the habit (Yongming, 67). In line with the popular demand, the Ceylon Commission recommended that the use of the drug, except for medical purposes, should be entirely prohibited after a definite period. There is no record available to suggest that before the arrival of European merchants an opium monopoly had not ever existed in India, nor had there been any central taxation on such a trade during the Mughal period."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Berridge, Virginia and Griffith, Edwards. Opium and the People. New York: St. Martin's, 2001.
  • Colucci, Craig C. Committing to Afghanistan: the Case for Increasing U.s. Reconstruction and Stabilization Aid. Military Review, 2008.
  • McCoy, Alfred W. The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia. New York: Harper and Row, 1973.
  • Owen, David E. British Opium Policy in China and India. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934.
  • Trocki, Carl. Opium, Empire and the Global Political Economy. New York: Routledge, 1999.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Poppy Farming and the Politics of Opium (2013, April 30) Retrieved March 01, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/poppy-farming-and-the-politics-of-opium-152818/

MLA Format

"Poppy Farming and the Politics of Opium" 30 April 2013. Web. 01 March. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/poppy-farming-and-the-politics-of-opium-152818/>