• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Colonial History of India
Our High school in Hyderabad run by Kerala missionaries always made us sing the Vande Mataram first stanza every day along with a prayer to Almighty God. Jana Gana Mana was for special occassions.
  Reply
An unsung hero who won a critical victory in Tipu’s campaign

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->History untold    
Exclusive
An unsung hero who won a critical victory in Tipu’s campaign
By N. Bhanutej

No history book will mention Venkatanarayana Iyer. A soldier who was ranked the equivalent of a Major in Tipu Sultan’s army, this Brahmin warrior’s gallantry in stopping the progress of the British army in the late 18th century is unknown to the world. The yellowed pages of a family manuscript, written by a certain R. Subbarayar on February 22, 1914, is the only record of Iyer’s heroics. The manuscript, found recently by a history enthusiast in Coimbatore, scripts one of the most crucial phases of Indian history, the Third Anglo-Mysore War of 1790, when British troops clashed with Tipu Sultan’s army in the war of Satyamangalam.

A tale of its own
The yellowed pages of the family manuscript titled 'Govinda Bhattar's family history', written in 1914 by R. Subbarayar. History enthusiast S.R. Krishnaswamy, a Coimbatore-based LIC clerk, procured it from one Shekhar of Satyamangalam. Also seen are two coins, with the elephant seal, from Tipu's time.

Iyer played a crucial role in Tipu’s victory over the British in the first part of the Third Mysore War. The victory, however, was short-lived. Written in Manipravaalam (old Tamil) and punctuated with a few English words, the text is titled ‘Govinda Bhattar’s family history’. The war hero, Iyer, is Govinda Bhattar’s fourth descendant. In the preface, Subbarayar says: "I am the seventh-generation descendant of Govinda Bhattar, through Govinda Bhattar’s first son. I am also known in the family as Samanna. I am now 70 years old. I was interested in history right from childhood. No one in the family recorded our history. I heard of our background, several times, from many elders in the family."

Subbarayar mentions that he is attaching the vamsa vruksha (family tree) of Govinda Bhattar. However, the document is not to be found. "This piece of history was revealed to me in 1863," he writes. "Apart from this, other elders who narrated the history should be mentioned here: grandma Sivagami, my father’s mother, who was born in 1775 and died in 1865, and Amanni Atthai Paatiyaar (my grand aunt)." Govinda Bhattar, from whose generation this story begins, belonged to a family of pundits in Thiruvannamalai. His forefathers held positions in the administration of the Vijayanagar empire. With increasing attacks on Thiruvannamalai by the Bahamanis of Bijapur, Govinda Bhattar moved from Thiruvannamalai to Satyamangalam. In Satyamangalam, as well, this Brahmin family found itself in the echelons of power, first serving the Nayakas (beginning with Veerappa Nayakar) of Madurai and later, the Mysore Wodeyars.

The only remains
Krishnaswamy holds a picture of the Negamam temple, taken two years ago, before it was pulled down by villagers. The temple is being rebuilt now (in background).

Govinda Bhattar’s descendants found favour with Hyder Ali (who had declared himself independent ruler of Mysore) as well. Describing Iyer, Subbarayar writes: "He had the build of a warrior. He had likeable qualities, knew many languages including Daccani. Hyder Ali liked him, and on knowing his family background, made Venkatanarayana Iyer the head of a contingent." As part of Hyder’s army, Iyer participated in several campaigns led by Tipu Sultan, and was made deputy commander of the Satyamangalam fort (Sathy fort).

Then comes the crucial phase in history. The year is 1790. Governor-General Lord Cornwallis is determined to "curb his [Tipu’s] insolence and exact signal reparation for the many injuries that we and our allies have sustained". (Historical Sketches of the South Indian History by Mark Wilks and Murray Hammick; Cosmo Publications, New Delhi, 1980). Having entered into treaties with the Marathas and the Nizam, binding them to unite against Tipu on the basis of equal division of the spoils, Cornwallis declared war against the Tiger of Mysore.

The Madras District Gazetteers (Coimbatore) by the late Dr B.S. Baliga, who was curator of the Madras Record Office (Govt of Madras, 1966), records the events thus: "Thus began the Third Mysore War. The first stage of this was mostly confined to operations in Coimbatore and Salem under General Medows, the new Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Madras. The plan of the English campaign was that the main division under Medows, after taking all the forts of Coimbatore and Palghat, was to ascend to the tableland by the Gazzalhatti Pass, while another division under Colonel Kelly was to invade Baramahal (Salem). Medows took Karur, Dharapuram, Coimbatore, Dindigul and Erode, besides several minor places. But when a division under Colonel Floyd established itself at Satyamangalam, Tipu, leaving his heavy baggage at the top of the Ghat descended the Gazzalhatti Pass... and attacked it and forced it to retreat."

Interestingly, the Gazzalhatty Pass was the only gateway from the Mysore frontier to Satyamangalam and Coimbatore. The British army would have been unstoppable had they secured the pass. Sathy Fort, down below in the plains, was the last resistance to the British before the Gazzalhatty Pass. Whoever held Sathy Fort, held the pass. When bastion after bastion held by Tipu’s men fell to the British, Iyer alerted his chief. Subbarayar’s manuscript notes that Iyer passed on the intelligence to the "Mohammedan chief" of Sathy fort.

Though the Mohammedan chief’s name is not mentioned in the manuscript, Mark Wilks’s book notes that a certain Seyed Saheb, the Sultan’s kinsman, was in command. "The Mohammedan chief did not believe Venkatanarayana Iyer," goes the manuscript. "The polygars wanted Tipu’s rule to end, and opened their forts and granaries to the British. That’s why the Mohammedan chief did not get the right picture. He simply smoked his hookah."

Iyer would not rest after passing on the news. He sent word to Srirangapatnam (Tipu’s capital), and taking five guns (cannons) from the Sathy Fort, marched his troops to Gazzalhatty Pass. On the foothills leading to Gazzalhatty Pass, he placed the guns at vantage points and waited for the enemy. The next day, Colonel Floyd captured Sathy Fort. The laidback commander ran for his life. Floyd then sent the troops to Gazzalhatty Pass. That was not to be. Iyer "sent the British troops back in the direction in which they came", notes the manuscript.

When news of the British attack reached Srirangapatnam, Tipu came to the summit of the pass with 30,000 men. Lt Col W.J. Wilson, in History of the Madras Army—Vol. II, says Tipu "suddenly descended into Coimbatore by the Guzzlehutty Pass with about 40,000 men and a large train of artillery". Mark Wilks describes this terrain and this grand historical event thus: "The Sultaun [then]... commenced the descent of this most difficult pass of the whole eastern range".

Wilks notes that Floyd had early intelligence of the Sultaun’s movements ("it was indisputably confirmed by the desertion of a native officer, formerly in the English service, who gave an account of the number of guns"). Floyd’s side of the army comprised six troops of His Majesty’s 19th dragoons, sixteen troops of native cavalry, His Majesty’s 36th foot, and four battalions of sepoys, including the garrison at Satyamangalam and eleven guns. In all, the British troops were 3,000 in number. On September 12, Tipu crossed the Bhavani and camped south of the river near Poongar. The war began a day later. Despite several losses, Tipu’s cavalry executed lightning manoeuvres to beat Floyd’s army, which ran to take refuge in the Satyamangalam fort.

Bridge from the past
This dilapidated bridge, which could have been used by Hyder Ali, Tipu and the British during their campaigns, remains unknown to historians and archaeologists. The only mention is found in Baliga's Madras District Gazetteers: "Gazzalhatty... was formerly the principal pass from Coimbatore to Mysore, one track leading from Satyamangalam and another from Coimbatore town via Danayakkankottai to the foot of the ghat where an old-fashioned bridge is still standing." The bridge, in the Satyamangalam jungle, is frequented only by wild animals. There is no record about who built this bridge across the Moyar.

The family manuscript reads: "Unable to stand up to Tipu’s force, the English dalagarthan (chief of the troops) turned and ran into Sathy Fort". Tipu pursued the British troops. The manuscript adds a crucial detail: "Two miles west of Sathy, the troops (Tipu’s) mounted canons on the pillars of the (dilapidated) Negamam temple and rained fire on the Sathy Fort. The English colonel left the provisions, military equipment and cannons behind in the Fort and in the dark of the night, crossed the Bhavani in coracles (basket-boats) and ran towards the south".

The manuscript adds that the dilapidated pillars, unable to bear the weight and recoil of the cannons, crumbled. Unfortunately, the Negamam temple (also known as Kenchanoor temple) is no longer there. With nothing to indicate its historic importance, the dilapidated temple was pulled down two years ago, and a new temple is being built in its place by the villagers.

Wilks says eight English guns were disabled and that there were serious casualties among the troops, the horses and the draught oxen. The retreating English troops marched towards Ukkaram-kavilipalyam (which the British refer to as Oocara), near the village of Cheyur (Shawoor or Cheyoor). Here, the Sultan’s army won a decisive victory and proceeded to reclaim all the forts.

The family manuscript notes that Tipu, pleased by Iyer’s gallantry, decorated and sent him to Chevakad in Kerala. However, a year later, in the second part of the Third Mysore War, Tipu is cornered by the British and forced to sign a humiliating treaty which compels him to part with half the kingdom and three million rupees. To raise money, Tipu orders that the treasures of Guruvayur temple be handed over. When this order is not carried out, Iyer is blamed by the governor of Chevakad. However, when Tipu realises that it is the governor who is in the wrong, he orders his execution. Iyer is stripped of his honours and asked to leave. Iyer settles in Palakkad after being relieved of his post.

<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  Reply
America would never acknowledge that Indians(Hindustanis, not Native Americans) helped them. America thinks it is better than other countries and it always denies that other countries saved its @$$ dozens of times. For example, the allies would not have won WWII if Russia was not on their side, but historians make it look like America was the hero of WWII. If Indians did infact help America, i am pretty sure the US government erased all records of the help they recieved shortly after.
  Reply
From the Book - Business, Race, and Politics in British India c.1850-1960
MARIA MISRA


<b>Race and Indianization </b>

It was certainly common for British businessmen throughout this period to defend their resistance to indianization using the language of character and well-established notions about the differing characteristics of various communities in India. According to these views, very few, if any Indians, had the character required for business, with the possible exception of the Parsis. So, for instance, Frank Russell, a Calcutta businessman, wrote:

Quote:. . . ultimately in every activity, commercial, political or any other lack of character--no matter how supple the brain may be-will bring any man down. Although the Hindu has infinitely greater brain than the Muslim, he does not compare with him in either character or physical courage . . . The one essential factor must be that we should send out to India homecountrymen, whether to serve in government or in commerce, possessing the highest traditions of British character.

Indians were generally regarded as untrustworthy and lacking in leadership qualities. The head of one firm, for example, claimed in 1942 that he had attempted to promote Indians, but the experiment had been unsuccessful because Indians were unsuited, in his opinion, to supervisory posts. Indians who had been well educated were generally considered particularly poor leaders because they were too clever, effete, and refined; as one managing agency partner explained:

Quote:People held back [from recruiting Indians to senior posts] in the 1930s in preference for the young Britisher who was prepared to take his coat off and get on with it . . . the feeling persisted that the young Indian was inclined to look around for some menial to do the dirty work.

Owain Jenkins also expressed the businessman's mistrust of the educated Indian, and the educated Bengali in particular:

Quote:I found soldiers easier than clerks, because of their better sense of humour and ease of communication with Europeans; whereas there were always problems with Bengalis, because of shades of meaning . . . the Bengalis have no aptitude for business . . . while the Englishman was cheap and trouble free and if you fired him you didn't get a lawsuit on your hands.

Albert Gladstone similarly emphasized the untrustworthiness of Bengalis:

Quote:There seems to be something lacking in the Bengalee character which makes the race unfitted to have any control of other people's money, whether invested in banks, insurance companies, industrial concerns, or anything of a similar nature.

Given these attitudes, it is not surprising that the managing agents for the most part resisted indianization of their firms until the 1940s. Indians occupied either menial clerical posts or the lowest of the junior executive positions, for example in the claims departments of inland shipping. 14 Where the partners had more liberal attitudes there were early experiments in indianization, and in the early 1930s Yule

established a scheme for recruiting and training Indian senior assistants. However, even when indianization was pursued Indians were not promoted to senior positions. The Imperial Bank, for instance, claimed to have begun its indianization policy in 1922, but by 1941 the highest position an Indian had reached was agent in Lyallpur; it was argued that Indians were best suited to positions in small branches owing to their willingness and ability to go personally to the bazaars and canvas Indian business.

Real efforts were only made to indianize staff in the 1940s when circumstances forced the partners to do so. The shortage of European assistants caused by the enlistment of many young British assistants during the war, the realization after 1942 that independence was imminent, and the recognition that business would not be protected by the British government in an independence settlement, led many managing agents to accelerate indianization. However, even at this late stage the partners were reluctant to appoint Indian staff to senior positions. In 1945 Yule and Co. envisaged that Indians would fill only half of its senior grade positions and, as late as 1948, Bird reported that indianization was being rapidly accomplished, but only at the lower levels of the firm.

As pressures for indianization increased, a divergence between the attitude of the partners in London and those in Calcutta became evident in some firms. Albert Gladstone, the senior London partner of Gillanders, had been impressed by the quality of Indians recruited into the ICS and was aware of the difficulty and expense of recruiting British staff, particularly managers of jute mills. He also seems to have believed that it was now possible to recruit Indians who were of better character than the kind of European technicians who could now be attracted to India. He wrote:

Quote:As regards the Jute Mill industry little or no attempt has been made by European managed concerns to Indianise them. This, I think, is a pity. The
type of man who comes out from Scotland to the Mills, as you know, is very often not a desirable type and he is expensive and difficult to deal with. I feel that a large part of the supervisory staff could be Indianised with success and that this should receive our attention after the War.

Thomas Gladstone, however, writing from Calcutta, protested that the ICS was not a good model as 'the ICS Indians are a very mixed lot, there are some good ones certainly, but whether they would be suitable for high positions in a firm like ours is doubtful'. In general, Indians of the right character for senior positions could not be found:

Quote:. . . we have in effect Indianised our senior staff to an appreciable extent, but we have discovered no one of outstanding merit, nor any who can safely be placed in a position of command. They can all do junior European Assistants' jobs and no more.

He went on to argue that Indians were particularly unsuitable for positions which involved supervision of other staff, such as the jute mills; it was much safer to employ Indians in jobs such as accounting, which did not require managerial skills:

Quote:The Jute Mills Department is unsuitable for an Indian Assistant and up until recently, anyway, the Insurance Department has had a full complement of European experts and good Indian insurance men are difficult to obtain . . . The Tea Department is not prima facie a suitable Department for an Indian Assistant owing to the nature of the personnel with whom it has to deal. Banking and Accounts offer a more promising field, but up to date we have not been very successful. Here again, however, there are possibilities.

When the managing agencies did recruit Indians, they emphasized the importance of character, interest in sport, and social background, rather than the more academic criteria stressed by the ICS. An education at a public school was particularly prized. Prakash Tandon was an accountant with a degree from Manchester University who had applied for positions at Bird, Gillanders, and Yule in 1939. He failed to secure a position partly, he believed, because 'in none had indianisation yet become accepted policy', and partly because he was a
specialist accountant rather than a 'generalist', but also because he did not have the right social and educational background:

Quote:I could always tell from the questions they asked whether the emphasis was on the skill I possessed, or who I was and where I came from . . . Some had taken on the occasional Oxford and Cambridge blue, the son of a high court judge or senior ICS officer, but it was more as an adornment or concession to influence.

On the whole, therefore, the managing agency houses tried to recruit Indians of a comparable social and educational background to their British recruits or 'young men of good family and university degrees', as one former Indian employee described them. Similarly, Tandon quoted one of his friends, Roshan, who had a position in an agency house in the early 1940s

Look at me, a pass degree, always barely scraped through; but of course, Oxford and a Blue make you almost pukka.

It was clear to Roshan that the managing agencies applied a very different set of criteria to the ICS. Mimicking his employer, he said:

Quote:I don't think Indians are yet fit to hold responsibility in commerce and industry. I concede that they can help in government, and the start the army has made with them is not unpromising, but industry, you know, is different.

Tandon remarked sardonically that 'Indians might be ready to govern, but not to keep the books'.

Prakash Tandon was eventually given a position in a multinational company, Lever Brothers. As will be seen, multinationals generally had a more liberal approach to recruitment of Indians in this period, but even they seem to

use of these non-professional criteria of recruitment led to poor appointments:

Quote:The new recruits who were apprentices for the covenanted staff were smart young men in their early twenties. Most of them had to pay a drinks bill of nearly Rs. 300 a month and always carried a cigarette in their hand. Many lost their jobs over time. The recruitment policy did irreparable damage to the management of these companies.

The very small group of Indians with public school educations and 'character' who were deemed suitable for a career in a British business house helps to explain why the indianization of these firms was so slow. The treatment of Indians once they had been appointed also helps to account for their poor representation in the managing agencies. Until the middle of the war, racial and social barriers were enforced rigidly, in both clubs and businesses. Even businesses which were outside the agency house system, such as Price Waterhouse, provided segregated dining and washing facilities for executives, and one British assistant who had married an AngloIndian woman was forced to take all his meals separately. Indians also received lower salaries than British employees at a similar level, and it was common to pay a 'local rate' which was lower than the standard rate. When Sen joined Price Waterhouse in 1940 the company was quite open about its discriminatory policies and when he threatened to resign his senior replied, 'where will you go? There will be discrimination in every European office'.

In 1942 the unofficial colour bar in many firms was informally ended, partly as a result of the Cripps mission and in response to press criticism. Sen describes the manner in which this was done:

Quote:The British officers spread themselves out one day to the desks of the Indian officers just before lunch. They then offered to go to lunch together after a wash and almost pulled the Indians into the European toilets.

Nevertheless, even after this time many Indians found the atmosphere in the firms oppressive. One young Indian recruit to an agency house in the 1940s reported that Indian executives were subjected to a great deal of pressure to conform to what seemed to be a regimented and alien lifestyle:

There were many peculiar British habits, such as drawing the curtains and keeping the windows shut all the time . . . but most Indians who had adopted a western style of living more or less lived like that also . . . still keeping up the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, steak and kidney pie and that sort of thing. The only exception was the Sunday curry lunch, which was always preceded by gallons of beer.

The pressures of this lifestyle were the cause of unhappiness among many young Indian recruits. Tandon recalled an Indian friend who worked for an agency house,

Quote:there was a kind of rootlessness about him . . . he found it a strain to play the role of a sahib. The British in his firm were themselves trying to conform to a pattern set by their predecessors in order to gain acceptance among British officials . . . to lift themselves out of the category labelled boxwallah. These commercial British perhaps outdid the official British in their conformity, just as, Roshan told me, some of his Indian colleagues tried to outdo the British.
  Reply
ANY URL LINK ?
  Reply
<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Mar 4 2005, 03:53 AM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Mar 4 2005, 03:53 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> ANY URL LINK ? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Sorry!

I got this from Desh via email..
  Reply
A bit muddled but has good recount of the Hyderabad episode. From Telegraph, 5 March 2005. Link: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050305/asp/...ory_4451363.asp

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->HOSTING THE “ENEMY”
- There are times when history is better forgotten 
Politics and Play Ramachandra Guha
Historians are supposed to remember the past, but sometimes it is best if citizens forget all about it. The recently concluded Premier Hockey League was won by the Hyderabad Sultans, a side that had as many as three Pakistanis in its ranks. That was a nice, accidentally ironic touch; for time was when <b>the Pakistani state had done its best to make sure that Hyderabad did not become part of India. This was back in 1948, when the Nizam was refusing to follow his fellow princes and join the Indian Union. Egging him on was his dewan, a known Pakistan sympathizer named Mir Laik Ali. Behind him lay a group of fundamentalist razakars, led by one Kazim Razvi. Razvi had a portrait of the Pakistani leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, prominently displayed in his room. As he told a visiting journalist, he greatly admired Jinnah, adding that “whenever I am in doubt I go to him for counsel which he never grudges giving me”.

Hyderabad was separated from Pakistan by a thousand miles of Indian territory. Jinnah knew that the Nizam could scarcely accede to his nation, but he would still try and see that he did not join the other one. it was said that his support for an independent Hyderabad was in revenge for India having wrested Kashmir from his grasp. Indeed, Jinnah went so far as to tell Lord Mountbatten that if the Congress government in Delhi “attempted to exert any pressure on Hyderabad, every Muslim throughout the whole of India, yes, all the hundred million Muslims, would rise as one man to defend the oldest Muslim dynasty in India”.

The Congress (and Mountbatten) exerted pressure nevertheless. But the Nizam would not yield, egged on by the razakars, by Tory politicians in Britain (still resentful that they had “lost” India), and by elements in Pakistan. Finally, in September 1948, the government of India sent troops into Hyderabad. Whether by accident or design, the Indian action took place but two days after the death of Jinnah. In Karachi, a crowd of five thousand marched in protest to the Indian high commission. The high commissioner, an old Gandhian named Sri Prakasa, came out on the street to try and pacify them. “You cowards,” they shouted back, “you have attacked us just when our Father has died.”</b>........

This is wonderful and also, to a historian, somewhat ironic. For Intikhab was born in the town of Hoshiarpur, then in East, now in the Indian, Punjab. Once, both parts of Punjab were multi-religious. Lahore was as much a Hindu and Sikh city as a Muslim one, while the most numerous community in the holy city of Amritsar were not Sikhs but Muslims. However, in the bloodbath of 1947, East Punjab was ethnically cleansed of Muslims, at the same time as West Punjab was cleansed of Hindus and Sikhs. Yuvraj is too young and (happily) too ignorant to know of this history. His coach knows of this history, and must have his own, not very pleasant, childhood memories of it, but he also chooses (wisely) to ignore it. And thus, the history forgotten, Pakistani coach and Indian cricketer can come together in the glory of the game.



<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  Reply
The following si from the book I have - The writing under Raj

GENDER, RACE, AND RAPE IN THE BRITISH COLONIAL IMAGINATION, 1830-1947
NANCY L. PAXTON

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->ORIENTALIZING RAPE

In "A Letter to a Member of the National Assembly," written in 1772, Edmund Burke describes the colonial relationship between England and India as poised between courtship and rape: 1767, he declared, marked the year when the "administration discovered that the East India Company were guardians to a very handsome and rich lady in Hindostan. Accordingly, they set parliament in motion; and parliament . . . directly became a suitor, and took the lady into its tender, fond, grasping arms, pretending all the while that it meant nothing but what was fair and honourable; that no rape or violence was intended; that its sole aim was to rescue her and her fortune out of the pilfering hands of a set of rapacious stewards, who had let her estate run to waste, and had committed various depredations." By 1787, Burke amplified his criticism of Warren Hastings, the Governor General of Bengal between 1774 and 1785, charging him not only with promoting the economic rape of India but also with the literal rape of Indian women. Moved by his inflammatory rhetoric, Burke's colleagues in the House of Commons initiated proceedings to remove Hastings from the seat he then occupied in the House of Lords.

During the trial, Burke enumerated his charges against Warren Hastings, proclaiming not only that he had countenanced the use of sexual violence as a strategy of control by his colonial subordinates but that he had also personally "undone women of the first rank" in India, noting especially his humiliation of the Princesses of Oude in 1772-1773. In one speech, Burke vividly catalogued the barbaric treatment that Indian women received at the hands of Hastings and his men:

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Virgins, who had never seen the sun, were dragged from the inmost sanctuaries of their houses, and in the open court of justice, . . . (but where no judge or lawful magistrate had long sat, but in their place the ruffians and hangmen of Warren Hastings occupied the bench), these virgins, vainly invoking heaven and earth, in the presence of their parents, . . . publicly were violated by the lowest and wickedest of the human race. Wives were torn from the arms of their husbands, and suffered the same flagitious wrongs, which were indeed hid in the bottoms of the dungeons in which their honour and their liberty were buried together. . . . But it did not end there. Growing from crime to crime, ripened by cruelty for cruelty, these fiends . . . these infernal furies planted death in the source of life, where that modesty, which, more than reason, distinguishes men from beasts, retires from the view, and even shrinks from the expression, there they exercised and glutted their unnatural, monstrous, and nefarious cruelty. </b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

In short, Burke charged Hastings with implementing policies that destroyed "the honour of the whole female race" in India.

Burke's criticism of the rapaciousness of British colonial policy in India was a minority voice at the time. Though his powerful descriptions of Hastings's unspeakable colonial acts inspired agitation in the large audiences attracted to the trial, Burke failed, nonetheless, in his efforts to convict Warren Hastings, and, after a trial that lasted seven years, the latter was acquitted in 1795. Burke died two years later, so, by 1797, his inimitable and inflammatory rhetoric about the rape of India by the lawless agents of the East India Company was silenced forever.

One of the features that made Burke's speeches about colonial policy in India so memorable was that they skillfully exploited the rhetoric of surprise, since most English readers, regardless of whether they endorsed or opposed state sponsorship of the East India Company or the colonial wars in India conducted in its name, were more likely to have read Oriental tales that focused on seduction rather than reports of the violently transgressive acts of rape that he so vividly described. A second feature that made Burke's speeches so important was, as Sara Sulieri has argued, that they also initiated a new period in British discourse about India because they were informed by his extensive reading of new English translations of major Sanskrit texts.

For contemporary postcolonial readers and critics, however, Burke's use of rape as a tactic and metaphor to describe England's guilty traffic with the women--and men--of India may seem unexceptional.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  Reply
i have a question...how is it possible that so many country's managed to invade India...Why was our army so weak? Despite the fact we had a big population. We should had learnt from the first invasion and should had built a strong army. Someone has answers for me?
  Reply
<!--QuoteBegin-Ya$h+Mar 11 2005, 04:08 AM-->QUOTE(Ya$h @ Mar 11 2005, 04:08 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> i have a question...how is it possible that so many country's managed to invade India...Why was our army so weak? Despite the fact we had a big population. We should had learnt from the first invasion and should had built a strong army. Someone has answers for me? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Here is your answer.
  Reply
Source: The People of India; By Kumar Goshal
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>HOW THE COMPANY RULED INDIA </b>
DURING THE East India Company's rule over India, protests against the treatment accorded the Indians were made periodically by many Englishmen. Some protested on humanitarian grounds, while others were afraid of the withering of the "pagoda-tree" by indiscriminate plunder. But most of the protests were based upon the principle that without some systematic arrangement, exploitation would soon dwindle into zero. It could not have been otherwise, since the Company's interest in India was exclusively economic.

Nevertheless, while Burke thundered and Sheridan spoke eloquently against the Company, the plunder of India went on uninterruptedly. Employees of the Company, both British and Indian, were paid comparatively small salaries; there was a tacit understanding that they could enrich themselves out of the inexhaustible magic bowl of India's wealth. But the cost of constant warfare--borne exclusively by India--and the insatiable greed of individuals sometimes resulted in decreasing the Company's own revenues. At such times, there would be attempts at "reform."

But the reforms were always inaugurated with the purpose of increasing the revenue. Clive was sent back to India in 1765 to reorganize the Company's affairs. On the 30th of September in that year he wrote to the Directors: "Upon my arrival, I am sorry to say, I found your affairs in a condition so nearly desperate as would have alarmed any set of men whose sense of honour and duty to their employers had not been estranged by the too eager pursuit of their own advantage." But he reported that he had, at last, "the happiness to see the completion of an event, which, in this respect as well as many others, must be productive of advantages hitherto unknown, and at the same time prevent abuses that have hitherto had no remedy." He was alluding to the right of civil administration of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, gained from the Moghul emperor, which, in fact, increased these abuses.

In the Parliamentary inquiry into the Company's affairs in 1813, many witnesses testified to the appalling condition of the people of India. But the object of the inquiry was pithily put in the following question addressed to Warren Hastings: "From your knowledge of the Indian character and habits, are you able to speak as to the probability of a demand for European commodities by the population of India, for their own use

In 1815, Charles Metcalfe, representing the Company at Delhi, wrote to the Governor-General that the Company must have the most efficient army it was possible to maintain, that if the resources were inadequate, "we should draw forth new resources; and if these be impracticable within our dominions, we must look to increase of territory by conquest over our enemies in the interior of India. There is no doubt that opportunities will arise for effecting such conquests." Metcalfe was quite explicit about the reason for having an efficient army; it was "To enlarge our territories in the interior of India on every occasion of war as much as possible consistent with justice and policy, moderation to our enemies, and due attention to our allies." And what was to be done with the new conquests? Metcalfe was quite lucid about that, too; it was "To apply the net revenues of conquered countries to the maintenance of additional force, and the acquisition of additional force to the achievement of new conquests, on just occasions-thus growing in size and increasing in strength as we proceed, until we can with safety determine to confine ourselves within fixed limits, and abjure all further conquests. . . ."

When the Company was deprived of its trading monopoly and became entirely dependent on its revenue from India, it suddenly became heartbroken over the suffering of the Indian people. On May 30, 1829, Lord William Bentinck, GovernorGeneral of India, wrote in a minute that "The sympathy of the Court (of Directors of the Company) is deeply excited by the report of the Board of Trade, exhibiting the gloomy picture of the effects of a commercial revolution productive of so much present suffering to numerous classes in India, and hardly to be paralleled in the history of commerce." But this type of appeal failed to soften the hearts of the manufacturing interests of England, who had begun to exploit India for the benefit of British industries. "I certainly pity the East Indian laborers," declared Mr. Cope, a Macclesfield manufacturer, "but at the same time I have a greater feeling for my own family than for the East Indian laborer's family; I think it is wrong to sacrifice the comforts of my family for the sake of the East Indian laborer because his condition happens to be worse than mine." There, in a nutshell, is British policy in India even at its best; for pity there was and is, but when it clashed with economic interests, pity had to be stifled and killed.

The East India Company ruled India up to 1858, though from 1773 onwards it was increasingly under the supervision of the Government of England. What did this Government accomplish?

In the sphere of administration, it periodically added to its staff of revenue collectors, and attempted ever newer methods of extracting greater revenue. Land was reassessed from time to time, the tax increasing with every new assessment. A rudimentary police force was organized, ill-paid, and, consequently, corrupt and inefficient.

Early in the eighteenth century, even the friendliest of Englishmen could not conceive of effective participation by Indians in the administration of their own country. In his Minutes of 1824, Mountstuart Elphinstone, a Company official who later also wrote a History of India, stated: "If care were taken to qualify the natives for the public service, and afterwards to encourage their employment, the picture would be soon reversed. At no very distant day we might see natives engaged in superintending a portion of a District as the European Assistants are doing now." Cautiously he continued: "In a more advanced stage, they might sometimes be Registrars and SubCollectors, or even Collectors and Judges." And the rosiest picture he could envisage in the dim future was that "It may not be too visionary to suppose a period at which they might bear to the English nearly the relation which the Chinese do to the Tartars, the Europeans retaining the government and the military power, while the natives filled a large portion of the civil stations, and many of the subordinate employments in the Army."

The Act of 1833 provided that "no native of the said territories . . . shall by reason only of his religion, place of birth, descent, color, or any of them, be disabled from holding any place, office, or employment in the said Company." Yet in 1857 there were, in the Company's employ, only some 256 Indians drawing a salary of 1360 a year or over, and 2,590 in various subordinate grades. And almost half a century later the Governor-General, Lord Lytton, wrote in his Confidential Minute of 1878: "No sooner was the Act passed than the Government began to devise means for practically evading the fulfillment of it. Under the terms of the Act . . . every such native, if once admitted to Government employment . . . is entitled to expect and claim appointment in the fair course of promotion to the highest posts in that service. We all know that these claims and expectations never can or will be fulfilled. We have had to choose between prohibiting them and cheating them, and we have chosen the least straightforward course . . . Since I am writing confidentially, I do not hesitate to say that both the Government of England and of India appear to me . . . unable to answer satisfactorily the charge of having taken every means in their power of breaking to the heart the words of promise they have uttered to the ear."

During the eighteenth century the water supply systems vitally necessary for Indian agriculture had fallen into disrepair. Until after 1852, however, the government of India paid little attention to them; out of a revenue of £19,300,000 in the year 1850-51, only £166,390, or 0.8%, was returned as spent on public works of any kind.

By the middle of the nineteenth century, the industrialists in England felt the need for better transportation and communications systems in India to circulate British goods and to transport raw material to the nearest port. By 1857 telegraphic communication had been introduced and the postal department put on a systematic basis. The first railroad track was laid in 1853. To help raise the capital, the English manufacturers had prevailed upon the government to guarantee a minimum interest of 5 per cent; as a result, there was a stampede of investors. Since the government backed the investment, nobody bothered about the expenditure. There was unbelievable graft and inefficiency. At the 1872 Parliamentary inquiry, William N. Massey, Finance Minister of India, testified that the railways at the beginning cost about £30,000 a mile. "The contractors had no motive for economy," declared the same authority. "All the money came from the English capitalist, and so long as he was guaranteed five per cent on the revenues of India, it was immaterial to him whether the funds that he lent were thrown into the Hooghly or converted into bricks and mortar . . . It seems to me that they are the most extravagant works that were ever undertaken." By the end of the nineteenth century, as was to be expected, the railroads piled up a deficit of £40 million, which the Indian taxpayer had to shoulder.

The administration of India required a large personnel, and some Indians had to be employed. As early as 1792 there was discussion over making English education available to a limited number of Indians to qualify them for minor government posts. But the proposal to send a few school teachers to India was howled down by the majority of the Directors of the Company. Before the Parliamentary Committee of 1853 J. C. Marshman testified that "On that occasion one of the Directors stated that we had just lost America from our folly in having allowed the establishment of schools and colleges, and that it would not do for us to repeat the same act of folly in regard to India."

The spread of education was a function of the government in pre-British India, as has been pointed out before. Educational institutions necessarily suffered during the disturbed conditions of the eighteenth century. When order was restored under British rule, the economic structure was completely changed: the village panchayats had disappeared, the peasants had lost their previous rights, and community support of schools became impossible. By the early part of the nineteenth century, educational facilities for the Indian children had practically disappeared.

After a good deal of debate, the British Parliament ordered the appropriation of £10,000 for the establishment of educational institutions in India. It was not until 1823 that the first hesitant steps were taken to open a couple of colleges in India, and to print translations of European scientific treatises in two Indian languages. But no definite steps were taken until the appointment of Thomas Babington Macaulay as Educational Adviser to the Indian government in 1835. The educational system since prevailing in India was his handiwork.

Macaulay was also Law Member of the Governor-General's Council, receiving a salary of £10,000. (This was in 1834. An American Cabinet member today receives a salary of $15,000, or less than £4,000.) Using his extraordinary command of the English language, he extolled the virtues of the East India Company. His famous speech in the House of Commons on July 10, 1833, and his equally celebrated Minute on Education of 1834, have found their way into school textbooks and are cited not only as literary masterpieces, but also as evidence of the benefits of British rule in India. Despite the high moral and humanitarian tone of his defense of the Company, his personal approach to India was an economic one: "I must live," he wrote to his sister on August 17, 1833. "I can live only by my pen, and it is absolutely impossible for any man to write enough to procure him a decent subsistence, and at the same time take an active part in politics. I have never made more than two hundred a year by my pen. I could not support myself in comfort on less than five hundred, and I shall in all probability have many others to support." He was happy to add, however, that his job in India would solve his problem: "The salary is ten thousand pounds a year. I am assured by persons who know Calcutta intimately . . . that I may live in splendour there for five thousands a year, and may save the rest of the salary with accruing interest. I may therefore hope to return to England, at only thirty-nine, in the full vigour of life, with a fortune of thirty thousand pounds."

As educational adviser to the Indian government, Macaulay frankly admitted: "I have no knowledge of either Sanskrit or Arabic.""I am quite ready," he continued with sublime impudence, "to take the Oriental learning at the valuation of the Orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia." Hence it was decided that the English language would be the medium for education in India. But this applied only to higher education; elementary education was still left unaided. By 1857, approximately three per cent of the children of schoolgoing age was receiving any kind of education.

There has been a good deal of controversy over the adoption of English as the medium of higher education in India. It is true that Indian literature in the nineteenth century did not possess any treatises on the advanced sciences of the West. Surely it is at least conceivable that such works could have been translated into the Indian languages, and English could have been taught as a secondary language. The argument against education in the native language was as irrelevant in 1835 as it is today, and was merely a ruse to hide the government's real wish not to impart modern scientific knowledge to the Indians. Education was planned with the purpose of training a body of clerks and other minor employees. It was at that time, and has remained, chiefly a literary education. "We must do our best," Macaulay wrote, "to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect." Macaulay's arrogant contempt for India and all things Indian was summed up in his statement: "We know that India cannot have a free government. But she may have the next best thing--a firm and impartial despotism."

A few higher institutions of learning, teaching in the Indian languages, had already been established, some by Indians and others by sympathetic English businessmen and missionaries. They were granted some financial aid by the government, and the Medical College was opened to Indian students in 1837. In spite of Macaulay's desire to develop a class of imitation Englishmen, officials in India remained suspicious of the effect of English education on the Indians. Lord Ellenborough, who went to India as Governor-General in 1842, had a heart-to-heart talk with Dwarkanatli Tagore, of the famous Tagore family. "You know," he told Tagore, "that if these gentlemen who wish to educate the Natives of India were to succeed to the utmost extent of their desire, we should not remain in this country for three months.""Not three weeks," Tagore amended.

But pressure from important Indians, supported by liberal Englishmen, gradually brought about a modification of this attitude. The Educational Despatch of July 19, 1854, finally established the basic pattern of education in India which is followed to this day. A few years later three universities were established in British India, to which independently managed colleges were affiliated. The universities were granted powers to confer degrees on graduates. Control of education remained in the hands of the government through the Council of Education, and the Governor-General automatically became Chancellor of the universities. But the spread of education was extremely slow, due to the fact that tuition fees in schools and colleges remained beyond the reach of the majority of the people.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  Reply
Source: The people of India

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->SEEDS OF CONFLICT

IN THE fifteenth century, trade between Asia and Europe was carried on by way of Italy. Venice was the connecting link, and the Venetians imposed heavy tolls and tariffs. It was obvious to European traders that greater profit could be made if a direct route to the Indies were found.

Many expeditions were sent out to discover a new route. Finally, Vasco de Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and in 1498 dropped anchor at the port of Calicut in India. The stranglehold on merchant shipping by the Venetians was broken.

Vasco de Gama's first voyage to India reaped a profit of 6,000 per cent! There was a mad scramble for trade with India and the Indies. The Portuguese were soon followed by the Dutch, the English and the French. They established small settlements on the west and east coasts of India, and built warehouses for their merchandise.

Aside from the fact that these countries in Europe were at that time in constant warfare among themselves, the very competition for trade was itself a fertile ground for conflict. Money could be made selling Indian commodities in Europe, but even more money could be made if any of the trading companies had a monopoly of certain commodities. In consequence, there was a bitter struggle among the various European trading companies for the exclusive control of merchandise and its

source. It became necessary to fortify the Indian trading posts, and carry well-trained mercenary soldiers to protect ships from piracy. There was very little distinction made, in fact, between piracy and trade. Piratical expeditions were carried on along business lines; Queen Elizabeth, for example, herself held shares in one of Drake's expeditions which brought a profit of 4,700 per cent, and the Good Queen made $1,250,000!

By the end of the seventeenth century, Portugal's star had waned, and the British, Dutch and French dominated the Far Eastern scene. The Dutch gradually confined themselves to the Malaya Archipelago, while the British and French fought it out on the plains of India. The British had trading posts in Calcutta and Madras on the east coast and Bombay and Surat in the west; the French were settled in Chundernagore and Pondicherry in the cast.

1
The East India Company's first trading post in India was established in 1612, at the west coast port of Surat, by permission of Akbar's son, Jehangir. In less than fifty years the number of these posts had increased to nineteen. The Company was originally formed to traffic in luxuries of the rich: spices, precious gems, bezoar stones (antidote to poison), silks, camphor, indigo and sulphur. But from their depots in Bengal they soon began to trade in commodities of general consumption--saltpetre, muslins and textiles.

This latter trade brought about a profound change in the method of production and exchange in Bengal. Especially was this true with regard to textile manufacture. In addition to this, when many weavers in southern and western India perished in the famine of 1630, Bengal, which escaped the famine, gained almost a monopoly in the textile market. Bengal merchants found it impossible to collect the output of individual cottage weavers quickly enough to meet the rapid increase in the demand for cloth--both for internal and external trade.




  To expedite manufacturing processes, they established places where large numbers of these weavers worked under one roof, supplied them with raw material and appropriated the finished product for purposes of trade. In many instances as many as a hundred weavers worked under one roof for individual industrialists.

It was not long before the British were encroaching on the lucrative internal trade, as well. The East India Company commenced trading in towns along the coast, bringing the merchandise in their ships from Bengal to the famine-stricken provinces. The famine had enormously boosted the price of foodstuffs such as rice, clarified butter and sugar; individual members of the company succumbed to the temptation of cornering these commodities to sell at huge profit, thereby setting a precedent which was to have tragic consequences for the Indians later on.

By the eighteenth century the economic structure of some parts of India--especially Bengal--corresponded to that stage which preceded the industrial era in Europe. Although the vast majority of the population still lived in villages, expanding internal and external trade had caused large numbers of craftsmen to migrate in the wake of the new prosperity to towns and cities. This made the peasantry dependent upon traders for the goods with which these craftsmen formerly supplied them.

Demand for Indian goods in Europe had increased considerably. The English were in the forefront of this trade. England at that time produced nothing but woolen goods for sale or exchange abroad. Since the Indians had little use for woolen goods--and produced what little they needed--English traders had to pay Indian manufacturers in precious metal. This brought to India an influx of capital in the form of silver. Money, which to some extent had been used for exchange in the cities since the time of Mohenjo-Daro at least, began to circulate in wider areas. The circulation of money also helped develop internal trade. Whereas in former times the artisans

produced goods to be exchanged for other useful goods, now they sold their products for money, with which they could buy other goods.

Emperors; too, became money conscious, and began to levy taxes on villages in terms of money rather than a portion of the produce. With the constant flow of commodities from one part of the country to another, the state treasuries were also swelled by considerably increased tolls on merchants.

The change in the economy brought great prosperity to many cities of India. In 1757 Clive found the city of Mursbidabad, in Bengal, "as extensive, populous, and rich as the city of London, with this difference, that there were individuals in the first possessing infinitely greater property than in the last city." The city of Dacca had a population of 200,000 and was a large manufacturing center. The value of its muslin alone amounted to $1,500,000 a year.

None of this prosperity, however, percolated to the villagers of India. On the contrary, they were squeezed even harder than before. By the eighteenth century, in parts of Bengal, the revised form of taxation (money instead of produce) was slowly giving rise to private ownership of property and the state was beginning to assume the power to evict farmers from their land for non-payment of taxes and to sell the land to whoever was willing or able to pay the tax.

2
At the apex of the political structure was the Moghul emperor, living in his capital at Agra in the heart of India. But the Moghul empire was not a centralized state. Under the emperor were various grades of subordinates, whose ties with him were purely fiscal.

In the north and parts of the south, there were princes who had acknowledged the suzerainty of the emperor and paid him an annual tribute. But within their own domains their power was absolute. In other parts of India, such as Bengal, gover-

nors appointed by the emperor looked after the interests of the State, which consisted primarily of the collection of revenue.

There were signs of the collapse of feudalism in India long before it actually happened. Outwardly, in the reign of Akbar's grandson, Shah Jehan ( 1628-1658), the Moghul empire shone at its glittering best. The famous, jewel-studded Peacock Throne was built for Shah Jehan, and the Taj Mahal was erected over the tomb of the emperor's favorite wife, Mumtaj Mahal.

But Shah Jehan did nothing to relieve the suffering of the people during the famine of 1630. This left a legacy of bitterness which was to pay dividends later. The emperor was also intolerant of non-Moslems, and vindictive in his punishment of those who were guilty of displeasing him. Intrigue was rife beneath the brilliant surface of the imperial court. Even before Shah Jehan's death there was a mad scramble for the throne. His third son, Aurangzeb, emerged victorious.

Aurangzeb put his father in prison and proclaimed himself emperor in 1659. He was an austere puritan and a bigoted Moslem. During his reign the policy of amalgamation successfully inaugurated by his great-grandfather, Akbar, was completely reversed. Aurangzeb destroyed Hindu temples, antagonized the Hindu princes, and created general resentment against his government by the imposition of the poll tax-jizya--on non-Moslems.

Enemies sprang up on all sides. The Hindus complained to him that the poll tax "is repugnant to justice; it is equally foreign from good policy, as it must impoverish the country; moreover, it is an innovation and an infringement of the laws of India."

"During your Majesty's reign," the complaint continued, "many have been alienated from the empire and further loss of territory must follow, since devastation and rapine now universally prevail without restraint. Your subjects are

trampled underfoot, and every province of your empire is impoverished, depopulation spreads, and difficulties accumulate." But the complaint fell on deaf ears.

Moslems did not escape oppression, either. They suffered from economic exploitation as much as the Hindus, and many of them were persecuted for what the puritanical Aurangzeb considered their laxity of faith.

Thus, during Aurangzeb's reign there were forces pulling at the fabric of Indian society from many directions. Canals, wells and reservoirs were falling into disrepair, adding to the suffering of the peasants. Princes who acknowledged the suzerainty of the emperor, and high officials of the empire, sensed the ferment and looked for opportunities to become independent rulers. In Bengal the Indian merchants and bankers were straining at the leash of feudalistic obstacles hampering their trading activities. And the English and French merchants, with their mercenary armies, were cautiously inching into the scene.

The dream of territorial as well as commercial conquest was not absent from the plans of the various European trading companies. As Sir Alfred Lyall said: "The great companies of the seventeenth century were the champions and delegated agents of their respective nations in the competition for commerce and territory throughout the whole non-Christian world." 8 Already in the seventeenth century the English East India Company had feinted a couple of times to open up the road to conquest. They supported the opponents of a rising Indian chief named Sivaji in one encounter, and he sacked their settlement of Surat. In 1686 they recklessly declared war against Aurangzeb and sent ten armed vessels to conquer Bengal. It ended in disastrous defeat and ruined their stations in Bengal. Eventually, in 1690, when Aurangzeb's cup of trouble was filling to the brim, he consented to peace with the Company on condition that the English "behave themselves for the future" and pay an indemnity of $85,000.

But the Company did not abandon the dream of conquest; the dream only receded to the background, where it lingered to motivate the Company's future actions. In his despatch of September 25, 1687, Sir Josiah Child of the Company sized up the course of events as "forming us into the condition of a sovereign state in India," and advised the Company to lay "the foundations of a large and well-grounded sure English Dominion in India for all time to come."

<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  Reply
Source: "The people of India"

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->THE BRITISH CONQUER INDIA

EVEN BEFORE Aurangzeb's death, signs of the upheaval to come were not lacking. In 1669 the peasantry in Mathura, not far from the Moghul capital, rose in rebellion and continued fighting for over thirty years. They were followed by the Satnamis, a Hindu sect composed of poor artisans and peasants, which included many Untouchables. The people participating in these rebellions were called by a Moghul noble of this period "a gang of bloody miserable rebels, goldsmiths, carpenters, sweepers, tanners, and other ignoble beings." But the Moghul power was still too strong for these rebellions to succeed.

In the southwest, the rebellious people found a leader in a nineteen year old boy named Sivaji, who belonged to the Maratha tribe of Hindus. Sivaji grew up to be one of the greatest guerilla leaders of all time. From 1646 onward, he carried on guerilla warfare against Aurangzeb, constantly enlarging his territory in the west and in the south.

Traditionally, invaders had entered India by the land route in the northwest. Hence, although ship building had been a major industry in India for a long time, and Indian merchants had sailed to other parts of Asia, no attempt had been made to build up a strong naval power either for offensive or defensive purposes. The Moghul navy was weak in comparison to that of the Europeans. Sivaji was astute enough to recognize the power of the British navy. He made friends with the British traders, in order to utilize them as allies, until he had built up his own navy.

In 1674, Sivaji crowned himself king of a large territory in the southwest, establishing the Marathas as a power to be reckoned with. He died in 1680, and the legend of his invinci

bility had grown so great that the British trading company wrote: "Sevagie hath died so often that some begin to thincke him immortell. 'Tis certaine little beliefe can be given to any report of his death till experience shews it per the waning of his hitherto prosperous affaires."

At the time of Sivaji's death, the Marathas were looked upon as the rising power in India. Though grounded mainly upon the discontent of the Hindus, it had some aspects of catholicity in it. The Maratha armies under Sivaji gave employment to Hindus, Moslems and even Untouchables, and the Maratha navy was often officered by Moslems.

Sivaji's son, Sambhaji, followed in his father's footsteps for a time, but later sank into the habit of drunkenness and was betrayed to Aurangzeb, who put him to death in 1689. Internal dissension broke out among the Maratha chieftains, which was not healed until after the death of Aurangzeb.

1
Aurangzeb died in 1707, and the Moghul empire literally fell to pieces like a house of cards.

The Marathas, who had recovered by this time, began to extend their power over wider areas. In other parts of India, however, all parties kept up a pretense of allegiance to Aurangzeb's successor, Farakhsiyar. When some ambitious officer made himself governor of a province, he notified the Emperor, declaring his allegiance to him. When one governor or rajah fought another, it was on the pretext of the opponent having violated some rule established by the emperor. The British also tried to gain certain rights from the emperor, which would give them a legal pretext for joining the scramble for power.

In 1717, the British East India Company procured from Farakhsiyar a farman, or permit, which confirmed their privilege of trading duty-free and gave them the right to rent more land in Bengal and to buy land at Surat.

Bengal, however, had become practically independent, and the nawab saw no reason why he should acknowledge the emperor's farman to the British. But the farman eventually gave the Company the excuse to become the nawab-makers of Bengal. "It legalised the whole of the English position in India," wrote C. R. Wilson. "In Bengal it placed the local government technically in the wrong . . . and it consequently furnished the English with a standing quarrel which they might take up at any time."

The pretense of legality, of right and wrong, was kept up in other spheres as well. Whenever a rajah or a nawab died, there arose different claimants to the succession. The British and the French supported different claimants, each contending that they were merely assisting justice by helping the rightful heir. Their support was given in return for pecuniary and territorial gains. Thus, "two enlightened European nations," writes Colonel Mark Wilks, "wasted their ingenuity in volumes of political controversy; rendering homage to virtue and justice, in respectively claiming the reputation of supporting the rightful cause; but adding to the numerous examples of failure in attempting to reconcile the discordant elements of politics and morals; without daring to avow the plain and barbarous truth, that the whole was a trial of strength among bands of foreign usurpers, in which the English and French had as much right to be principals as any one of the pageants whom they supported."

2
In Bengal, which was most advanced in trade and industry, big Indian bankers like the Seths began to conspire with the English for the overthrow of the nawab, Siraj-ud-Daula. They wanted to put the nawab's minister, Mir Jafar, in power, in order to secure special privileges for themselves. The English, in preparation, fortified their stations in Bengal.

In June, 1757, after protracted warfare, Siraj-ud-Daula was defeated at the battle of Plassey, and Mir Jafar was proclaimed nawab. It was not much of a battle. The British lost

65 men, and the nawab's casualties amounted to less than 500. The decisive factor was that Mir Jafar, as minister, kept the bulk of the nawab's forces neutral.

There was great jubilation at the house of the bankers, the Seths. The English company was made landlord of 880 square miles of territory south of Calcutta, with rents estimated at £150,000. Robert Clive, who led the English forces, received £234,000, and his colleagues, Watts, Walsh and Scrafton, received £80,000, £50,000 and £20,000 respectively. According to Clive's own estimate, the Company and private persons netted three millions sterling. "To engineer a revolution," write Thompson and Garratt, "had been revealed as the most paying game in the world. A gold-lust unequalled since the hysteria that took hold of the Spaniards of Cortes' and Pizzaro's age filled the English mind. Bengal in particular was not to know peace again until it had been bled white." British rule in India is generally dated from the Battle of Plassey. For, although they did not technically control Bengal, they were in effect its real rulers.

All pretense was thrown overboard from then on. If no contesting claimants were asking for English help, the Company put up one of its own, at a price that increased with each new candidate. When the new nawab or rajah could not keep up his obligations to the full, a newer claimant was found. And if the newer claimant did meet his obligations in full, added demands were made on him, and if he failed to meet them, a still newer claimant was found, or his territory was completely annexed. For a while, however, the British East India Company went on paying lip service to the shadow of the emperor.

The Company's demands on Mir Jafar's treasury multiplied until it was completely empty. They then unceremoniously pushed him aside. In his place they put his son-in-law, Mir Qasim. The new nawab turned out to be unexpectedly hard to handle.

Mir Qasim found Bengal in utter disorder. Ile retrenched expenditure, reorganized the government, and suppressed

abuses. He discovered that, although the emperor's farman to the Company gave it the right to trade duty-free at seaports, they were also engaging in internal trade without paying the customary tariff. The farman granted the Company only the privilege of bringing in European goods or taking out Indian commodities free of duty. But not only the Company, but its employees too, carried on an inland trade free of customs duties which the Indian traders had to pay. Thus the English had secured a monopoly of internal as well as external trade, ruining the Indian trader completely, and wrecking the economy of the country.

Mir Qasim protested to the English, alternating politeness with sarcasm. But the protests produced no results. In desperation be declared what was within his rights--that all trade could be carried on duty-free by everyone. Since this affected the Company's monopoly, he foresaw the outcome. He prepared for war.

And war did follow. Mir Qasim was eventually defeated and his father-in-law reinstated. This cost Mir Jafar £1,080,000. Before he could meet this staggering demand in full, he died.

Clive thereupon persuaded the emperor, who was but a figurehead by now, to grant the Company the Dewani, i.e., the right to collect revenue and discharge civil administration, in the three provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The Company promised to pay him £260,000 annually in return.

The Company did not yet feel secure enough to take direct possession of these three provinces, for the French were also gaining power in similar manner. In an attempt to avoid an open conflict with the French, which was bound to have repercussions in European wars, Clive developed his famous Dual System. His directions to the Company on January 16, 1767 stated:

"The flrst point in Politics which I offer to your Consideration is the Form of Government. We are sensible that since the Acquisition of the Dewanni, the Power formerly belonging to the Soubah

of these Provinces is Totally, in Fact, vested in the East India Company. Nothing remains to him but the Name and Shadow of Authority. This Name, however, this Shadow, it is indispensably necessary we should seem to venerate; every Mark of Distinction and Respect must be shown him, and he himself encouraged to shew his Resentment upon the least want of Respect from other Nations. Under the Sanction of a Soubah every encroachment that may be attempted by Foreign Powers can effectually be crushed without any apparent Interposition of our own Authority; and all real Grievances complained of by them, can, through the same channel, be examined into and redressed. Be it therefore always remembered that there is a Soubah, that we have allotted him a Stipend, which must be regularly paid, in support of his Dignity, and that though the Revenues belong to the Company, the territorial Jurisdiction must still rest in the Chiefs of the Country acting under him and this Presidency in Conjunction."

If the camouflage of the Soubah--the Emperor's representative--were discarded, "Foreign nations would immediately take Umbrage," said Clive. "An element of sham runs through all administrations everywhere," write Thompson and Garratt, "but the Indian Government has often almost seemed to have preferred that fiction should occupy the public attention, while fact (a very different fact) got the actual ruling done." This policy was not to change even in 1943, when the Japanese were entrenched in Burma.

Clive picked a boy of eighteen, who made a malleable nawab. The French, of course, saw through the scheme, and pursued the same policy as the British.

3
The whole checkered history of other sections of India up to 1858 followed the pattern set by Bengal. Being strong naval powers, with possibilities of bringing reinforcements by sea, the British and French crept into power through the coastal regions. They remained confined to the east and south

coasts, however, for the Marathas, under their Admiral Kanhoji, had built up a powerful navy of their own, and repeatedly defeated the Europeans on the west coast.

In 1761, the French were finally defeated and eliminated as competitors by the Peace of Paris. Their defeat was largely due to the fact that the French commercial class had less political power at home than the British. The British commercial class had gained a political foothold at home long before this period; and the flow of wealth from India gave them even greater control over their home government. It was possible for the British East India Company to get more help from home than the French could muster. French trading voyages were organized on the basis of each voyage paying for itself; there was no merchant class as such behind them at home as there was in England behind the British company. Under Louis XV, the French traders in India were strictly subordinated to state politics; the British merchants could--and did --influence Parliament, which gave them a decided edge over their rivals in India.

4
While the British were painting the east and south coast red, the Marathas were expanding their supremacy through northern, central and western India. As the British penetrated further into the interior, they were bound to clash with the Marathas. They did, in 1775.

The Maratha power was not based upon a centralized state. It was a federation of several independent kingdoms, loosely bound by nominal allegiance to Sivaji's descendants. Whenever the Marathas conquered a principality, they remained satisfied with merely forcing the local prince's or governor's allegiance, and exacting the chauth, or fourth part of the revenue. Potential grounds for internal conflicts never ceased to exist among the various kingdoms of the Maratha federation. As the war dragged on for sixty-eight years, the British took full advantage of these potentialities and never had to

face the combined force of the Maratha federation at any one time. The Marathas won many battles, but lost campaigns, simply because there never was a totally unified Maratha military campaign.

Maratha resistance ended in 1843. By 1856, the East India Company had given up All pretense of nominal allegiance to the emperor, and had discarded the flimsy front of puppet nawabs. It was the supreme power in the whole of India, from Kashmir in the north to Cape Comorin in the south, although there were a few isolated spots left nominally in the hands of Indian princes. It had fully realized its potentialities of 1757 --that of becoming "the most formidable commercial republic . . . known in the world since the demolition of Carthage."

But the British still had one more shock in store for them-the great revolt of 1857, mistakenly called the Sepoy Mutiny. This was to bring in its wake many basic changes in the relationship between India and Britain.

5
The revolt of 1857 started with many handicaps, and was foredoomed to failure.

It was not a coherent, concerted effort on the part of all Indians to overthrow a usurping foreign power. It was not a revolution against an existing government. It did not have a national character, for national consciousness, in the political sense, had not yet developed in India; arising from different causes in different parts of the country, from the beginning it had a mixed composition. Even in Europe, the concept of nationhood, a national state, was of recent origin; only in the seventeenth century was it felt strongly enough to give European countries a national will and popular support behind their political, economic and military enterprises.

There was no uniform economy in India. The people of the north, under puppet princes, were still living in a feudal state. Mercantilism had developed in Bengal, but the south was still partly feudal. The rising commercial class had either been

thwarted or diverted into landlordism. Under the circumstances, it was historically impossible to gain united Indian support for the revolt of 1857.

The revolt arose primarily out of the discontent of several Indian princes whose territories had been swallowed up by the British in their relentless pursuit of conquest. These dispossessed nobles were for the first time convinced that their interests could be restored only by ousting the foreigners completely from the soil of India; only to this degree did the revolt have a national character.

But what they wished to restore was the previous feudal form, which had already become archaic. The growing middle class, which desired to develop Indian commerce and industry, would not support them, since the nobles had no such program to offer. Nor could they gain the wholehearted support of the peasantry, since they had no plan to mitigate the acute suffering of the peasants.

The peasants had by no means been taking their oppression in the "traditionally fatalistic manner of the East." Beginning with the Jat peasant uprising in Aurangzeb's reign, there have been periodic peasant revolts down to the present day, although in the twentieth century the character of their protest has changed considerably. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the peasantry of Bengal, Benares, Central India and other parts of the country rebelled. But still bound by the tradition of the village system, these rebellions remained confined to isolated localities, where they were brutally suppressed.

Even in 1857, many peasants joined the revolt, but again locally. They had either suffered directly at the hands of the British, or felt some loyalty to a prince who had been, in his own way, decent to them. An example of the latter case was the support given by the people of Jhansi to their widowed princess, the twenty-year-old Lakshmi Bai, who, dressed in man's attire, fought and died at the head of her troops.

The same weakness which made the Maratha bid for power so vulnerable was inherent in this revolt. Because it was led by

feudal princes, it alienated many other similarly disaffected nobles who were jealous of these leaders. Some of these nobles remained passively watchful spectators; others actively supported the British, sensing in them a bulwark of their existence --a trust to be amply justified later.

Also like the Marathas, the rebels could not agree upon one leader. They carried on their campaigns sometimes together, but often separately, and separately they were hanged.

6
The revolt started in May, 1857, and by July 1858 it was crushed. It was a bitter struggle, but only during the first four months was the outcome in doubt. It was shot through with incredible brutality and savagery on both sides. The Indian soldiers were guilty of murdering some English men and women, and the English burned down villages on their way, lynching and shooting every Indian in their path, regardless of sex or age.

On July 8, 1858, the revolt came to an end. It was the last flaming outburst of the dying order of feudalism in India. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  Reply
very relevant book review:
The Anglo-Maratha Campaigns and the Contest for India: The Struggle for Control of the South Asian Military Economy By Randolf G.S. Cooper, Cambridge,
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->First Blood
- How the west was won 

Lord Wellesley: confident in victory 
<b>The Anglo-Maratha Campaigns and the Contest for India: The Struggle for Control of the South Asian Military Economy By Randolf G.S. Cooper,
Cambridge, Rs 695</b>

Students of Indian history at all levels are only too familiar with the Anglo-Maratha wars of the 18th and early 19th century. <b>Pitted as the ultimate test that the English East India Company had to pass for hegemony over the Indian subcontinent, these wars have been frequently recounted in depressing and mind-numbing detail to emphasize the undisputed superiority of the English fighting forces over the fractious and undisciplined Maratha army, which was perennially short of funds to pay its soldiery and chronically deficient in leadership and strategy.</b> Randolf G.S. Cooper’s work, therefore, comes as a surprise and as a corrective to conventional wisdom. <b>Giving an overview of Maratha military culture, he proceeds to contest assumptions about British military superiority and to argue that the campaigns represented the high-water mark for the Marathas. He also argues that the victory of Assaye in 1803 was determined as much by finance, politics and intelligence as by actual manoeuvres on the battlefield. </b>He is not, however, the first historian to come up with such a proposition — a number of writings have suggested the nexus between indigenous capital and imperial expansion.

For Cooper, the Maratha campaigns go far beyond the tactical game. <b>These constitute a complex contest between two cultures with contrasting perceptions of conflict and resolution. This, in turn, made assumptions about the adversary’s motives and moves, fragile and faulty. It is his contention that the Anglo-Maratha campaign of 1803 demonstrates the degree to which a Western power could misread an Asian opponent. </b>It is this gap that engages Cooper’s attention. Without discounting the fact of British victory, he proceeds to question the explanations offered for it. <b>He also turns our attention to the vitality and dynamism of Maratha military culture, which was deliberately silenced in the emerging historiography of British military superiority.</b>

<b>To understand the intricacies of Maratha military culture, Cooper focuses on the political and military economy of the 18th century.</b> This, in itself, is not a new approach. The debate on the nature of the 18th century crisis threw up, in the late Seventies and Eighties, substantial work on the functionings of regional political systems which were closely aligned to their military profile and whose consumption of and investment in military expenditure led to important economic developments. <b>More interesting and innovative is Cooper’s understanding of Maratha military entrepreneurship and its ability to negotiate multiple modes of fighting and bargaining. This involved improvizing techniques and tactics, employing mercenaries as a regular feature in the army and remaining open to the competitive advantage offered by technology as well as doctrine. The Maratha clan leaders never ignored the possibilities of financial advantage; if they could save or make money at British expense, they would. They were veteran entrepreneurs in the south Asian military economy and one way to increase potential campaign profits was to outsource ammunition needs, at the expense of an ally. This approach was, in part, the fallout of the Maratha debacle at Panipat in 1761.</b>
<b>The consequences of Panipat were momentous.</b> Not only did most of the clans lose more than one family member, but the Marathas also failed to institutionalize the training of officers.<b> Most of the leaders after 1761 hesitated to spend on a standing army and relied on mercenaries — Indians and Europeans alike. Mahadji Sindhia showed a particular flair in this department and the result was a heterogeneous army, in keeping with Maratha traditions of equal-opportunities employment. De Boigne played a singular role in modernizing the army and its financial base, whereby the regular corps were meticulous about collecting taxes in an orderly fashion and then providing security so that no transient “tax collector” could ride in and demand funds. </b>In fact, Cooper argues that the Maratha military presence in the Doab became a major adjunct to economic growth.

Cooper prefaces his detailed analysis of the 1803 campaigns with a critical reading of the English military discourse on the Marathas. <b>He argues that the Marathas not only received a bad press, but that there was also a complete misunderstanding of Maratha priorities or military culture. He reminds his readers that the Maratha military culture had a historic tendency to foster different types of forces relative to clan assets and the prevailing conditions in the military labour market.</b> Without an opportunity to see Maratha troops scattered all over the country from Tanjore to Rajasthan, British observers could not be expected to give an accurate assessment of the Maratha forces. Consequently, Arthur Wellesley was overly confident that the nation of freebooters could be brought to heel.

And he remained true to his intentions. But Cooper prefers to remind us that the victories were not inevitable, and neither were they achieved with ease. Assaye demonstrated that not all Maratha armies were composed of light horsemen and that Sindhia’s infantry knew the theory and practice of modern infantry warfare. <b>The Hindustan campaigns brought home a similar number of home truths, but only after the contest for India had been won.</b>

How was this achieved? For Cooper, traditional explanations like superior British tactics and the momentum of British victory after the Napoleonic wars are unsatisfactory and tell only half the story. <b>For him the reasons lay squarely in superior British credit which was guaranteed by trade and tariffs, bullion shipments diverted from China, and loans and donations from the Nawab of Awadh and the Nizam of Hyderabad. It also lay in their superior control over the south Asian military economy. One wishes Cooper had elaborated on how this credit actually worked and on how the British replaced the Marathas in the military market of Hindustan. Again, it is surprising that he makes no mention of the financial arrangements the Company authorities entered into with bankers in Benaras and Bombay and how the Company authorities consistently placated local bankers and persuaded them not to cross over to their adversaries.</b> These arrangements are mirrored in the series of documents that Cooper has consulted, which also speak of the haphazard nature of Maratha military organization and fiscal management. Thus, while it is important to heed Cooper’s advice to read against the grain and question the assumptions behind British accounts of the Maratha military machine, it may be worthwhile to remind him that such an exercise could apply to his selective reconstruction as well.

LAKSHMI SUBRAMANIAN
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  Reply
Amazing. I had never heard or thought of "military economy" and "military labor mkt" as such. Wonder how robust our current mil-labor-mkt is and how people actually think in terms of improving this mkt. Or maybe in our case we are rich in labor resources ? Just wondering out loud.
  Reply
rajeshg, please read Fernad Braudel Civilization and Capitalism, A study from 14 th to the 18 the century". Its a massive three volume work but read the third volume about India in that period. it will be the best 55 pages you have read. After that read Airavat Singh's e-book "The Last Mughal". however concentrate on the big picture Singh paints rather than the vignettes of the characters in his book. And then we shall discuss.
  Reply
Source: "The people of India"

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>SHAKING THE PAGODA-TREE </b>

IN THE early days of their trade the British merchants were obliged to pay the Indian manufacturers in gold or silver, since Britain produced nothing of use to the Indians. But accumulation of precious metals was the hallmark of wealth, and it was painful for the British traders to take money out of the country. Hence, from the beginning they hunted for some other means of obtaining the money needed to pay for Indian goods. An important source was the auxiliary trade in slaves from Africa.

No money was needed to capture the Africans; it was done by the judicious use of alcoholic beverages and by rounding them up by force. The slaves were then sold to the Spaniards in South America to be made to work for nothing in the silver mines. A portion of the silver thus obtained by the sale of Negro slaves went to pay the Indian manufacturers for their goods. Economically, the three continents of Asia, Africa and America were thus linked long before the airplane.

The rivalry for power following the death of Aurangzeb gave the Company an opportunity to collect money in India itself by lending its support to various rival groups. The gradual acquisition of limited territorial rights increased its income. Piracy on the high seas also helped swell its coffers. By 1750, before the conquest of Bengal, the East India Company had grown wealthy enough to have loaned or given no less than £4,200,000 to the British Treasury.

But real, systematic exploitation of the Indian people started with the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Already the potentialities of India to increase the wealth of England had been recognized by the coining of the celebrated compound word "pagoda-tree," derived from a South-Indian currency known as "pagoda." From the time of the conquest of Bengal, shaking the pagoda-tree became almost literally the national sport of England.

1

The Directors of the Company in England had a fantastic conception of the wealth of Bengal, and unbelievable demands were made upon it. In Madras and Bombay the English were constantly involved in intrigue and wars of conquest; Bengal paid the cost of them. If there was a deficit from these parts of India due to mismanagement, misappropriation of funds and the greed of individual employees of the Company, Bengal was expected to make up for it. The revenue from Bengal had also to pay for the purchase of commodities to be sold by the Company in Europe! Bengal became an Aladdin's lamp in the hands of the Company. Wild rapine and misery inevitably followed.

2

When Mir Jafar was made the puppet nawab of Bengal in 1757, not only did "presents" flow into the pockets of Clive and other members of the Company, but the floodgates were opened to the internal trade of the three provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Employees of the Company were not content with arbitrarily assuming the right to trade duty free; in the mad quest for profit they perpetrated incredible horrors on the workers and artisans.

The following letter gives a vivid picture of the first fruits of the Company's rise to power. In May, 1762, Mir Qasim wrote to the Company:

"In every Perganah (fiscal district), every village, and every factory, they (the Company's agents) buy and sell salt, betel-nut, ghee (clarified butter), rice, straw, bamboos, fish, gunnies, ginger, sugar, tobacco, opium, and many other things. . . . They forcibly take away the goods and commodities of the Reiats (peasants), merchants, &c., for a fourth part of their value; and by ways of violence and oppressions they oblige the Reiats, &c., to give five rupees for goods which are worth but one rupee."

Sergeant Brego wrote a letter on May 26, 1762 from Backergunz, a prosperous Bengal district:

"A gentleman sends a Gomastah here to buy or sell; he immediately looks upon himself as sufficient to force every inhabitant either to buy his goods or sell him theirs; and on refusal (in case of non-capacity) a flogging or confinement immediately ensues. This is not sufficient even when willing, but a second force is made use of, which is to engross the different branches of trade to themselves, and not to suffer any person to buy or sell the articles they trade in . . . and again, what things they purchase, they think the least they can do is to take them for a considerable deal less than another merchant, and oftentimes refuse paying that . . . this place is growing destitute of inhabitants; every day numbers leave the town to seek a residence more safe, and the markets, which before afforded plenty, do hardly now produce anything of use."

In October 1762, Mahomed Ali, the Moslem collector of revenues in the city of Dacca, wrote:

". . . the Gomastahs of Luckypoor and Dacca factories oblige the merchants, &c., to take tobacco, cotton, iron, and sundry other things, at a price exceeding that of the bazaar (market), and then extort the money from them by force."

William Bolts, an English merchant, wrote in his "Considerations on Indian Affairs," published in 1772:

"It may with truth be now said that the whole inland trade of the country, as at present conducted. . . . has been one continued scene of oppression . . . every article being produced being made a monopoly; in which the English, with their Banyans and black Gomastahs, arbitrarily decide what quantities of goods each manufacturer shall deliver, and the prices he shall receive for them. . . . The assent of the poor weaver is in general not necessary. . . . The roguery practised in this department is beyond imagination; but all terminates in the defrauding of the poor weaver; for the prices which the Company's Gomastahs, and in confederacy with them the Jachendars (examiners of fabrics) fix upon the goods, are in all places at least 15 per cent, and in some even 40 per cent less than the goods so manufactured would sell in the public bazaar or market upon free sale. . . . Weavers, also, upon their inability to perform such agreements as have been forced upon them . . . have had their goods seized and sold on the spot to make good the deficiency. . . ."

The British were thus practically looting the countryside as well as underselling the Indian traders, forcing them to the wall.

3

The thin line of demarcation between trade and plunder reached almost to the vanishing point by 1765, when Clive secured from the nominal emperor of India the right of collecting revenue and of civil administration as well, in the three provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

Clive was asked by the Directors of the Company to stabilize their possessions in India. And stabilization to Clive meant finding ways and means by which India could be made even more systematically profitable to England. In his letter of September 30, 1765, to the Directors, Clive wrote:

"Your revenues, by means of this acquisition, will, as near as I can judge, not fall far short for the ensuing year of 250 lakhs of Sieca Rupees [a lakh is a hundred thousand, and eight rupees were equivalent to a pound then. K.G.], including your former possession of Burdwan, &c. Hereafter they will at least amount to 20 or 30 lakhs more. Your civil and military expenses in time of peace can never exceed 60 lakhs of Rupees; the Nabob's allowances are already reduced to 42 lakhs, and the tribute to the King (the Moghul emperor) at 26; so that there will be remaining a clear gain to the Company of 122 lakhs of, Sicca Rupees, or £1,650,000 sterling."

This was the benefit Bengal derived from being brought under the direct administration of the Company. One-quarter of the total annual revenue was considered sufficient for the purposes of government; one-quarter was still found necessary to be used as an opiate for dispossessed rulers; and the rest, nearly half the revenue, more than one and a half million pounds sterling, was sent out of India for the shareholders of the Company.

In the Fourth Report of the House of Commons, 1773, the following figures are given about the revenues and expenses of Bengal for the six years ending 1770-71: The total net revenue was £13,066,761; the total expenditure was £9,027,609; and "clear gain," sent to England, amounted to £4,037,152, or nearly one-third of the total.

Could a businessman ask for more? He could--and did. And got it. Clive did nothing to combat the illegal trade carried on by individual employees of the Company. On the contrary, he took precautions to protect this trade in case the Directors themselves took steps to stop it. On the 18th of September, 1765, he executed a mutual contract with other employees of the Company to carry on private trade regardless of what the Company might or might not do. This indenture stated in part:

"Provided any order should issue or be made by the said Court of Directors in England, thereby ordering and directing the said joint trade and merchandise to be dissolved or put to an end, or that may hinder and stop the carrying on of the same, or any part thereof, . . . then, in that case, they, the said Robert Lord Clive, as President, William Brightwell Sumner, &c., as Council of Fort William [in Calcutta, Bengal. K.G.] aforesaid, shall and will, well and truly save harmless and keep indemnified, then, the said William Brightwell Sumner, Harry Verelst, Ralph Leycester, and George Grey, and all the proprietors entitled, or to be entitled, to the said exclusive joint trade, and their successors, their executors, and administrators.

Private trading, already monopolized by the Company's employees, flourished as never before. Clive stated that fortunes of £100,000 were made in two years. He himself went home with more than a quarter of a million pounds, in addittion to an estate bringing in £27,000 a year.

No longer did the Company have to worry about taking money out of England; even by 1763, there was exultation over this fact. "These glorious successes," wrote L. Scrafton, a member of the Company's Council in 1763, "have brought near three millions of money to the nation; for, properly speaking, almost the whole of the immense sums received from the Soubah ( Bengal) finally centers in England. So great a proportion of it fell into the Company's hands . . . that they have been enabled to carry on the whole trade of India ( China excepted) for three years together, without sending one ounce of bullion."

These examples naturally had a profound effect in England. From every strata of English society hands were stretched out to be dipped into the seemingly inexhaustible bowl of riches from Bengal. In 1767, Parliament ordered the Company to pay 1400,000 annually to the British Treasury; the payments were kept up until 1773. The Proprietors of the Company clamored for higher dividends.

Jobbery and nepotism became unrestrained. "Directors and Directors' relatives," write Thompson and Garratt, "peers, even the Royal Family, saw no reason why they should not push a young friend or dependent into service which within an incredibly brief period would bring him back enormously enriched." 15 Boys in their teens went out to India to become employees of the Company, collectors of revenue, or any other position they could get, with one thought only, that of returning home as a Nabob in the shortest possible time.

In the Company's possessions in other parts of India conditions were even worse. From their headquarters in Madras the Company's representatives carried on constant intrigue and plunder. On the pretext of having loaned money to various Indian princes--these loans being sometimes authentic, sometimes fraudulent--individual employees of the Company secured the rights to the revenues of villages and towns of various sizes, where they mercilessly squeezed the inhabitants. In case of refusal or militant resistance by the people, the employees resorted to the Company's armed forces for collection. The Indian money-lender had found a more ruthless competitor in the British money-lender.

Before the Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1782, this revealing testimony was given:

" George Smith, Esquire, attending according to order, was asked how long he resided in India, where, and in what capacity? He said he arrived in India in the year 1764; he resided in Madras from 1767 to October 1779. Being asked what was the state of trade at Madras at the time when he first knew it, he said it was in a flourishing condition, and Madras one of the first marts in India. Being asked in what condition did he leave it with respect to trade, he replied at the time of leaving it, there was little or no trade, and but one ship belonging to the place. Being asked in what state the interior country of the Karnatic was with regard to commerce and cultivation when he first knew it, he said at that period he understood the Karnatic to be in a well-cultivated and populous condition, and as such consuming a great many articles of merchandise and trade. Being asked in what condition it was when he left Madras with respect to cultivation, population, and internal commerce, he said in respect to cultivation, greatly on the decline, and also in respect of population; and as to commerce, exceedingly circumscribed."

The covetous eyes of the Directors in England had developed telescopic powers of locating lucrative territories in India which the Company did not yet possess. If by some chance local representatives had failed to notice them, the Directors pointed them out.

There was, for example, the principality of Tanjore. Its rajah had been precariously holding his own by nimbly sidestepping controversial issues being settled by the sword and gun all around him. "It appears most unreasonable to us," pointed out the eagle-eyed Directors in their letter of March 17, 1769, "that the Rajah of Tanjore should hold possession of the most fruitful part of the country, which can alone supply an army with subsistence, and not contribute to the defense of the Karnatic." The Company, therefore, was advised to find excuses for remedying this unprofitable situation. They did, with what result can be seen from the following evidence given before the Committee of Secrecy, 1782:

"Not many years ago," said Mr. Petrie, "that province (Tanjore) was considered as one of the most flourishing, best cultivated, populous districts in Hindustan. Tanjore was formerly a place of great foreign and inland trade; it imported cotton from Bombay and Surat, raw and worked silks from Bengal, sugar, spices, &c. . . . gold, horses, elephants and timbers from Pegu, and various articles of trade from China. . . . The exports of Tanjore were muslins, chintz, handkerchiefs, ginghams, various sorts of long-cloths . . . it possesses a rich and fertile soil, singularly well supplied with water from the two great rivers Cavery and Coleroon, which, by means of reservoirs, sluices, and canals, are made to disperse their waters through almost every field in the country. . . . Such was Tanjore not many years ago, but its decline has been so rapid, that in many districts it would be difficult to trace the remains of its former opulence."

By 1773, trade, manufacture and agriculture were ruined, and the inhabitants left Tanjore by the thousands in quest of a more secure abode.

As has been said before, much of the cost of wars in other parts of India was borne by Bengal. This, together with the ceaseless demands for more and yet more profits resulted in the most reckless raising of the land revenue demands of Bengal. For inability to meet the land tax peasant properties, including even bullocks and seed corn, were confiscated. If that did not suffice, land was ruthlessly taken away from the people and sold to the highest bidder.

Bengal, too, began to appear as desolated as Madras and Tanjore. From the once prosperous city of Murshidabad, in Bengal, the Company's representative, Becher, wrote in 1769: "It must give pain to an Englishman to have reason to think that since the accession of the Company to the Dewani (civil administration) the condition of the people of this country has been worse than it was before, and yet I am afraid the fact is undoubted. . . . I well remember this country when Trade was free and the flourishing State it was then in; with Concern I now see its present ruinous Condition, which I am convinced is greatly owing to the Monopoly that has been made of late years in the Company's Name of almost all the Manufactures in the Country."

To climax all this, there was a famine in Bengal in 1770. Added to the shortage of foodstuff, whatever was available was bought up by the Company's servants, who refused to sell it except at exorbitant prices. One-third of the population-nearly ten million--perished as a result. Yet the land revenue was rigorously collected; it even showed an increase, for ten per cent was added to the revenue, by which the living had to make up the loss thoughtlessly inflicted by the dead.

On November 3, 1772, Warren Hastings, in charge of the Company's affairs in Calcutta, reported:

"Notwithstanding the loss of at least one-third of the inhabitants of the province, and the consequent decrease of the cultivation, the net collections of the year 1771 exceeded even those of 1768 . . . owing to its being violently kept up to its former standard."

The following figures speak for themselves: Under the last nawab of Bengal, the land revenue realized in 1764-65 was £817,000; in the first year of the Company's administration of Bengal, 1765-66, it rose to £1,470,000; in 1771-72 it was £2,341,000; in 1775-76, it was £2,818,000; and in 1793, it was fixed at £3,400,000.

While Clive was eloquently telling the Directors in England that they "had acquired an empire more extensive than any kingdom in Europe, France and Russia excepted" and "a revenue of four millions sterling, and a trade in proportion," the people of this empire were being bled white to keep up the flow of tribute to England. And, looking at all this, the popular poet of the time wondered as he sang to the MotherGoddess:

"Mother, to some you have given wealth, horses, elephants, charioteers, conquest. And the lot of others is field labor, with rice and vegetables. Some live in palaces, as I myself would like to do. O Mother, are these fortunate folk your grandfathers--and I no relation at all? . . . Some ride in palkis (palanquins), while I have the privilege of carrying the shoulder-pole."

4

By 1773, though much wealth had flowed into England, the Company's affairs in India were in an unbelievable mess. In the quest for territory and profit, they had made promises and indiscriminately signed bewildering and often contradictory treaties with the various contending princes. Civil administration was totally ineffective. In their misery, vast numbers of people had turned to robbery, which added to the chaos. Parliament set up an inquiry, which resulted in the Regulating Act of 1773.

This Act brought the Company's domain under the partial supervision of the British Government. It set up a GovernorGeneral at Calcutta, and a Council of four advisers. A Supreme Court was also established in Calcutta.

Warren Hastings, who bad already been in the employ of the Company for many years, was appointed first GovernorGeneral. He appointed English collectors of revenues to the provinces. A civil and a criminal court were established in. each district, presided over by the Collectors.

The Collectors proved just as greedy as their predecessors, and were replaced with Provincial Councils. Various experiments were made with the land-tax, always with an eye to increasing the revenue.

There was no cessation of warfare, only a change in tactics. Hastings made an effort to streamline everything. He cut down some of the allowances paid to the dispossessed nawabs and princes, and totally eliminated others.

But nothing was done to relieve the burden on the people. Hastings has been praised by many historians for bringing "the unique gift of peace" to the province of Bengal. Yet it is certainly open to question if peace at any price is the most desirable of all goals.

In fact, all was not as serene in Bengal as has been made out by many writers. It was during this period that peasant revolts, spontaneous and unorganized, broke out in many parts of India under the Company, including Bengal. According to Mr. Goodland, the Company's representative in the rebellious area, the Bengal peasant revolt was the most serious one which ever happened in that province; it was suppressed with a cruelty equally unexampled.

In Bengal, also, a guerilla band, with a mixture of religious and patriotic zeal, carried on lightning attacks on the Company's transports and distributed their loot to the poor people. The tradition of guerilla warfare is an old one in India; the Sanyasis (wandering monks), as the Bengal guerillas were known, developed such an effective technique that it took many years to finally crush them. It may be of interest to note that in the latter part of the nineteenth century, a play dealing with the exploits of the Sanyasis was forbidden production by the British Government.

5

Hastings' administration, though it had expanded the territorial possessions of the Company, had simultaneously increased the number of sufferers from the exploitation of the Company and its employees. Graft, plunder and nepotism flourished as before, and over a more extended area. There was a famine in Madras, in which the people went through unspeakable suffering, although the revenue showed a surplus.

The British Parliament set up another inquiry, as a result of which it passed Pitt's India Bill on the 13th of August, 1784. It placed the administration of the Company's possessions under the Crown. Six Commissioners were appointed to supervise the civil, military, and revenue affairs of the Company. Lord Cornwallis was appointed Governor-General with enlarged powers.

Between 1784 and 1813, various administrative schemes were improvised, but none were for the people's benefit. Being both trader and administrator, the East India Company was in an anomalous position. In everything it did, it instinctively looked to the enhancement of its financial returns. It was primarily interested in raising an increasing amount of revenue from the Indian possessions. Even when its intentions were of the best--which was not often--there was inevitably a conflict between its own interests and those of the people it governed.

As administrators, the Company's main source of revenue was from land. Many experiments were made to secure the maximum amount of revenue the land would yield. The oppressed peasantry either left their land or rebelled. In industrially advanced Bengal the Indian merchants and bankers were wiped out by trade monopoly of the country systematically passing into the hands of the Company's employees.

Bengal was the milch cow of the Company, and here the discontent of all classes was most acute. Lord Cornwallis' first job was to put Bengal in order. He eventually hit upon a scheme, which was put into effect in 1793. This was the famous Permanent Settlement of land.

By the Permanent Settlement, Indians who had been collectors of revenue from a number of villages were made landlords of these villages, subject to a payment to the Government. The amount of the rent was fixed in perpetuity, and it was raised as high as was possible at the time, amounting to ten-elevenths of the total payments the cultivators were currently making.

The consequences of the Permanent Settlement were manifold. Since the rent was fixed very high, many of the previous collectors failed to meet them; they were dispossessed and their land was put up for auction, and some of the Indian merchants and bankers bought them as investments. To keep up the payments, these new Zemindars, or landlords, rack-rented the peasantry. At one stroke the discontent of a few Indian capitalists were for the time being pacified by giving them an outlet for their investment, and the resentment of the peasantry was diverted away from the Company and toward the Zemindars.

In order to continue exploiting the peasantry, however, the Zemindars had eventually to depend upon the armed might of the Company to back them up. Thus these newly created Zemindars formed a group of powerful supporters of the status quo. On November 8, 1829, Lord William Bentinck, then Governor-General, said:

"If security was wanting against extensive popular tumult or revolution, I should say that the Permanent Settlement, though a failure in many other respects and in its most important essentials, has this great advantage at least, of having created a vast body of rich landed proprietors deeply interested in the continuance of the British Dominion and having complete Command over the mass of the people." 16

The failure "in its most important essentials," of which Bentinck spoke, was in relation to financial returns. By methods of extreme harshness the Zemindars gradually increased their share of the spoils, while the Company's share, fixed permanently, became proportionately less. In 1940, for example, the total rents in Bengal under the Permanent Settlement amounted to about £12,000,000, and the Government's share was about £3,000,000, at which it had been fixed long ago.

Permanent Settlement was utilized only where it was needed to solidify the Company's position; in the rest of the Company's possessions in India, arrangements were later made either with Zemindars on a temporary basis, or with individual farmers to pay rent direct to the Government, subject to periodic reassessment of their land.

And land was always assessed upward. The increase in the revenue of Bengal has already been noted. After sufficient territory had been conquered to turn Bombay into a province, the land revenue collected in the first year, 1817-18, was £868,047; in 1820-21 it had risen to £1,818,314, and it was to continue rising for many decades. The land revenue of Punjab in 1847-48 was £820,000. In 1849 Punjab came under the direct control of the British, and in three years the revenue increased to £1,060,989. The identical pattern was followed with each new acquisition of territory.

6

India's economic relations with England had undergone a fundamental change by the turn of the nineteenth century. For the Industrial Revolution had come in England.

What did the Industrial Revolution mean? It meant that England had developed methods by which commodities could be manufactured in mass quantities in large factories. To build large factories required extensive capital, mass production machinery, and people who would be willing to work in these factories at wages that would allow a profit to be made by the investors of capital. Thus three things were needed for the Industrial Revolution: capital, machinery and unemployed labor. How did these three happen to be present simultaneously in England in the 18th century?

Up to the year 1760, machines used in cotton manufacture were as simple as those of India. Manufacture of woolen goods was the only industry, and woolen goods and grain were the chief exports.

Trade had increased greatly. Export of wheat, for example, rose from 1,160,000 qrs. in 1697-1705 to 9,515,000 in 1746-65. This helped increase the accumulation of capital in England.

Trade in commodities from India and other colonial possessions, in which the British had a monopoly, helped swell this accumulation. And to this was added the sudden flood of wealth which flowed from India, especially after the Battle of Plassey in 1757.

The growth of the woolen industry had resulted in many farms being turned into sheep pasture, thereby throwing thousands of peasants out of work. Increasing demand for farm products had necessitated improved methods of agriculture. Farms had grown larger in size and more compact, which could be run with less hands. Peasants who lost their livelihood through this improvement, also swelled the ranks of the unemployed.

There were other indications that the time was ripe for the Industrial Revolution. The eighteenth century wars were large-scale and lasted many years. They were waged by professional armies who were in constant need of certain particular kinds of goods. "Armies now wore regular uniforms," writes A. L. Morton, "and needed thousands of yards of cloth of a specified colour and quality, needed boots and buttons, needed muskets all capable of firing bullets of a definite calibre and bayonets all made to fix exactly on to these muskets. Not only the British armies had to be fed, clothed and equipped, but many of the armies of Britain's allies, who depended equally upon her subsidies and her industry to keep them in the field.

"It was this demand for ever-increasing quantities of standard goods, and not the genius of this or that inventor, which was the basic cause of the Industrial Revolution."

This growing demand for standardized goods forced men to search and experiment for mass production methods, which was the only way they could be produced. But even this search would have been fruitless if the necessary capital and labor power were not available. In the latter half of the eighteenth century, however, all of these requirements--incentive, tremendous capital accumulation and unemployed labor-power-were simultaneously present.


It is generally thought that the Industrial Revolution was the result of a series of inventions; that James Watt almost singlehandedly brought it into being. As a matter of fact, there were similar inventions in existence before, but they were neglected because the conditions necessary for their profitable use were absent at the time. "In 1733 Kay patented his flyshuttle," writes G. H. Perris, "and in 1738 Wyatt patented his roller-spinning machine worked by water-power; but neither of these inventions seems to have come into use."  After the conquest of Bengal by the East India Company, a great series of inventions coincided with the tremendous flow of wealth from India.

"The influx of the Indian treasure," writes Brooks Adams, "by adding considerably to the nation's cash capital, not only increased its stock of energy, but added much to its flexibility and the rapidity of its movement. Very soon after Plassey, the Bengal plunder began to arrive in London, and the effect appears to have been instantaneous; for all the authorities agree that the 'industrial revolution,' the event which has divided the nineteenth century from all antecedent time, began with the year 1760. Prior to 1760, according to Baines, the machinery used for spinning cotton in Lancashire was almost as simple as in India; while about 1750 the English iron industry was in full decline because of the destruction of the forests for fuel. At that time four-fifths of the iron used in the kingdom came from Sweden.

"Plassey was fought in 1757, and probably nothing has ever equalled the rapidity of the change which followed. In 1760 the flying shuttle appeared, and coal began to replace wood in smelting. In 1764 Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny, in 1776 Crompton contrived the mule, in 1785 Cartwright patented the power loom, and, chief of all, in 1768 Watt matured the steam engine, the most perfect of all vents of centralising energy. But, though these machines served as outlets for the accelerating movement of the time, they did not cause that acceleration. In themselves inventions are passive, many of the most important having lain dormant for centuries, waiting for a sufficient store of force to have accumulated to set them working. That store must always

take the shape of money, and money not hoarded, but in motion. Before the influx of the Indian treasure, and the expansion of credit which followed, no force sufficient for this purpose existed; and had Watt lived fifty years earlier, he and his invention must have perished together. Possibly since the world began, no investment has ever yielded the profit reaped from the Indian plunder, because for nearly fifty years Great Britain stood without a competitor. From 1694 to Plassey ( 1757) the growth had been relatively slow. Between 1760 and 1815 the growth was very rapid and prodigious."

Thus the wealth drained from India was a major contributing factor in the industrialization of England. Some of the ingredients that went into the building of modern England were the "blood, sweat and tears" of the Indian peasantry and artisans.

7

The Industrial Revolution brought mass production methods to the manufacture of goods; it was soon necessary to find a market outside England to absorb the surplus. Rapidly increasing volume of production also required a greater supply of certain raw materials which England either produced in limited quantities, or did not produce at all.

Manufacturers of English goods began to cast longing eyes upon India. Here was a vast territory whose people, if they could be turned into customers, would provide an immense outlet for a constant flow of goods made in England. India also was rich in raw materials the English manufacturers needed. Where India had been looked upon as an inexhaustible source of wealth in terms of goods salable in Europe and just plain plunder, now she was to be transformed into an equally inexhaustible source of wealth as a consumer of English goods and supplier of raw material. The process was reversed, but the Aladdin's lamp attitude toward India remained the same.

This gave rise to serious internal conflicts in England. If India were to be used as a producer of raw materials and a consumer of English goods, obviously it would put the East India Company traders out of business. The Company was still economically powerful enough, however, to fight hard for survival. So the attack made upon it by the rising industrialists and their spokesmen took on a moral tone, washing in public all the dirty linen in the closet of the Company.

This was the period when, before a Parliamentary Committee, witness after witness testified to the appalling condition of the people of India under the rule of the Company. Incredible stories of graft, greed, fraud, extortion and peculation, of territorial conquest by means of intrigue, forgery and bribery, were bared to the Committee. "Were we to be driven out of India this day, nothing would remain to tell that it had been possessed, during this inglorious period of our dominion, by anything better than the ourangoutang or the tiger," thundered Edmund Burke in England. And from India Governor-General Lord Cornwallis soon reported: "I may safely assert that one third of the Company's territory in Hindustan is now a jungle inhabited only by wild beasts."

However, it was not so much through invective nor through exposure of corruption that the East India Company's monopoly trade in Indian goods was ended; it was the result of the forces of the new economy. The rising English industrialists were economically stronger and, since they stood for an advanced mode of production, represented a more progressive social force. They were also helped by other merchants who resented the monopoly of the Company. And the new economic Messiah, Adam Smith, was championing "free trade."

The onslaught on the East India Company began in the latter part of the eighteenth century, but was interrupted by the world-shaking French Revolution. Afterwards it was renewed; in 1813, the monopoly of the East India Company in trade with India was ended by Parliament, and in 1833, they were forbidden trade altogether.

8

The growing British industries had demanded and received protection from the competition of Indian goods even before 1813. To protect the British cotton industry, a duty of 78 per cent had been imposed on Indian calicoes. "The cotton and silk goods of India up to the period ( 1813)," wrote H. H. Wilson, "could be sold for a profit in the British market at a price from 50% to 60% lower than those fabricated in England. It consequently became necessary to protect the latter by duties of 70% and 80% on their value, or by positive prohibition. Had this not been the case, had not such prohibitory duties and decrees existed, the mills of Paisley and Manchester would have stopped in their outset, and could scarcely have been again set in motion, even by the power of steam. They were created by the sacrifice of the Indian manufacture." 

British industries not only had the advantage of a superior technology, but the State itself assisted their growth by building protective fences around them. Even in the early nineteenth century British cotton and silk goods entering India paid a duty of 3½ per cent and woolen goods 2 per cent, while Indian cotton goods imported into Britain paid 10 per cent, silk goods 20 per cent, and woolen goods 30 per cent. It took the combined strength of modern machinery and State power to destroy the Indian manufacturing industries and open up the Indian market for British goods.

Between 1814 and 1835 the number of Indian cotton piecegoods imported into Britain fell from 1,250,000 pieces to 306,000 pieces; by 1844 the number had dwindled to 63,000 pieces. During the same period British cotton manufactures exported to India rose from less than 1,000,000 yards to over 51,000,000 yards. The value of Indian cotton goods exported between 1815 and 1832 fell from 11.3 million to below £100,000, whereas the value of English cotton goods imported into India rose from £26,000 to £400,000. India had for centuries exported cotton goods to the whole world; her fine fabrics were
used four thousand years ago by Egyptians to wrap their mummies and were prized by the Greeks under the name of "gangetica"; but by 1850 she was importing one-fourth of all British cotton exports.

Other British products poured into India alongside of cotton goods. Between 1818 and 1836 the export of cotton twist from England expanded 5,200 times. Silks, woolens, ironwork, pottery, glass and paper were sent to India in ever increasing quantities. Indian steel had been well-known throughout the world. The famous Damascus blades were forged from steel imported from Hyderabad in India. In a previous chapter mention has been made of the superb iron column in Delhi. "In India steel was used for weapons, for decorative purposes and for tools," writes D. H. Buchanan, "and remarkably high grade articles were produced. . . . Remains of old smelting furnaces found throughout India are essentially like those in Europe prior to modern times. . . .

"The Agarias, or iron smelting caste, were widely dispersed, and the name lohara (from "loha," iron) is applied to a great many districts producing iron ore. But the introduction of cheaply made European iron has taken away nearly all their trade, and most Agarias have turned to unskilled labor."

The policy of discouraging the development of industries in the colonies was applied to the American colonies as well. For example, when the smelting of iron had reached some importance in New England in the eighteenth century, the manufacture of iron and steel goods there was prohibited, and the raw iron had to be shipped across the Atlantic to England, from where the Americans had to import manufactured iron goods for their own use.

The Indian spinners, weavers, and other artisans and handicraftsmen, lacking modern machinery and without State protection, were completely ruined. In England, too, hand-looms had been displaced by modern machinery; but the unemployed handicraft workers had been sponged up by the factories springing up everywhere. But in India there was no compensating development of industries, nor was such development permitted.

Within a short time the prosperous, old, populous manufacturing towns of India were in ruins. Dacca, Murshidabad, Surat, Tanjore, and other places were as desolate as though a pestilence had swept over them. "The population of the town of Dacca has fallen from 150,000 to 30,000 or 40,000," testified Sir Charles Trevelyan at the Parliamentary enquiry in 1840, "and the jungle and malaria are fast encroaching upon the town . . . Dacca, which was the Manchester of India, has fallen off from a very flourishing town to a very poor and small one; the distress there has been great indeed." "The decay and destruction," declared the historian Montgomery Martin at the same enquiry, "of Surat, of Dacca, of Murshidabad and other places where native manufactures have been carried on, is too painful a fact to dwell upon. I do not consider that it has been in the fair course of trade; I think it has been the power of the stronger exercized over the weaker." And in 1890 Sir Henry Cotton wrote: "Less than a hundred years ago the whole commerce of Dacca was estimated at one crore (ten million) of rupees, and its population 200,000 souls. In 1787 the exports of Dacca muslin to England amounted to 30 lakhs (3 million) of rupees; in 1817 they had ceased altogether. The arts of spinning and weaving, which for ages afforded employment to a numerous and industrial population, have now become extinct. Families which were formerly in a state of affluence have been driven to desert the towns and betake themselves to the villages for a livelihood . . . This decadence has occurred not in Dacca only, but in all districts. Not a year passes in which the Commissioners and District officers do not bring to the notice of Government that the manufacturing classes in all parts of the country are becoming impoverished."

Millions of dispossessed and disinherited artisans and craftsmen, spinners, weavers, potters, tanners, smelters, smiths, and others were leaving the towns. But where could they go? Ironically enough, connection with the first industrialized country in the world brought a retrogression in the economy of India; where the unemployed British handicraft workers had flocked to the rising industrial metropolises, the Indians were forced to return to the villages and fall back on agriculture. This was the beginning of the terrible overpressure on land which to this day remains one of the most pressing problems of Indian economy.

India was not only to be exploited as a market for British goods, but as a producer of raw material as well. Thomas Bazley, President of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, declared before the 1840 Parliamentary Committee: "In India there is an immense extent of territory, and the population of it would consume British manufactures to a most enormous extent. The whole question with respect to our Indian trade is whether they can pay us, by the products of their soil, for what we are prepared to send out as manufactures."

This was simple and clearcut enough. Even before Bazley spoke, in 1833, Englishmen were given permission to acquire land and set up as planters in India. Slavery had been abolished the same year in the West Indies; but the plantation system which developed in India merely skirted the laws against slavery. In fact, there was a rush from America and the West Indies of planters experienced in handling slaves, who brought their own ideas and practices with them. An example of how they operated is furnished by the Indigo Commission of 1860, which was set up as a result of violent outbreaks in the indigo plantations. It was found that the planters treated the workers as slaves, cheated them in the measure of the land and of the weed, put them in stocks, flogged and otherwise oppressed them. Dinabandhu Mitra, the great dramatist of Bengal, exposed the condition of indigo workers in a brilliant play, Nil Darpan (The Mirror of Indigo). The play was proscribed, and Rev. James Long, a missionary, was fined and imprisoned by the High Court of Calcutta for translating this play into English. European indigo planters were curbed after 1859.

Conditions were no better in tea plantations. Simple peasant men and women were bound down by penal clauses, upon their signing a contract, to work in "tea gardens" (sic) under appalling conditions. The contract signed by the plantation workers was aptly termed by Indians "the Slave Law," and workers received no relief until the twentieth century.

The export of raw material from India increased rapidly, especially after 1833. In 1813, India exported 9 million pounds of raw cotton; in 1833 it was 32 million; in 1844 it was 88 million, and in 1914 it had risen to 963 million pounds.

Export of sheep's wool rose from 3.7 thousand pounds in 1833 to 2.7 million in 1844; linseed from 2,100 bushels in 1833 to 237,000 bushels in 1844.

There were similar rises in jute and other raw materials. The rise in the export of food grain was equally steep. In 1849 it was valued at £858,000; in 1858 it rose to £3.8 million; in 1877 it was £7.9 million; in 1901 it had grown to £9.3 million; and by 1914 it bad reached the sum of £19.3 million.

India thus became an agricultural colony of British capitalism.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  Reply
<b>Our Bones Are Scattered: The Cawnpore Massacres and the Indian Mutiny of 1857
by Andrew Ward</b>

Making the most of his meticulous research, Ward, a novelist and essayist, has written an unhurried?the more impatient might say relentless?and lavishly detailed account of an unorganized and bloody revolt that swept through northern India in the summer of 1857 and of the even bloodier reprisals the British took against the rebels. And against Indians in general. The result is a vivid history of a chain of massacres and counter-massacres that might, at first glance, seem of little interest to an American audience. Writing chiefly?although not always sympathetically?from the European point of view, Ward succeeds by building on the well-documented lives of specific people: British officers, their wives (some of whom were Indian), local princes, Eurasian clerks, American missionaries, British reformers, Hindu and Muslim servants (the mutiny made allies of these customary enemies). Ward, who writes in the lively, near-journalistic tradition of such nonacademic American historians as Barbara Tuchman, William L. Shirer and his own brother, Geoffrey Ward, doesn't moralize or editorialize. In less skillful or less selective hands, this deluge of minutiae might have created a forest-for-the-trees problem, but here the facts speak tellingly and forcefully for themselves. Illustrated.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist
The sheer massiveness of this book apparently about a virtual jot in time may daunt many prospective readers. It should not. For although Ward focuses on the 1857 slaughter of the British community at Cawnpore--the critical turning point in ending the hegemony of the East India Company in British India--his work is in fact a comprehensive history of the events of a most crucial year. Ward has thoroughly used just about every conceivable resource, and he is forthright about the self-serving quality of many of the primary ones. Better, he has written his synthesis of them so well that long as the result may be, it is seldom heavy going. Cawnpore was a grisly affair that reflects little credit on most of those involved in it, especially its instigator, the Nana Sahib. This account of it, however, reflects great credit on Ward; he has created the ideal companion to Hibberts' Great Mutiny (1978) and a new touchstone for studies of British India. Roland Green

If you like military history, this book is an indispenable read about the siege and subsequent massacres at Cawnpore during the Indian Mutiny. The author makes the story very dramatic and readable, even though it is meticulously researched and abounds in footnotes. It is not an easy read but it is a very worthwhile read. Don't forget to reference the footnotes, as they will add to the experience. The Indian Mutiny was more of a mutiny by native soldiers and cavalry than it was a popular uprising, but contemporary Indian accounts tend to characterize it as the latter in an attempt to paint it as the first spark of independence for the country. While the book's emphasis is on the events at Cawnpore, which would prove to be a catalyst for British revenge and an iron-handed continuation of British rule over India, the book also is an excellent overview of the entire Mutiny. If this interests you, follow-up by reading about the siege of Lucknow or the storming of Delhi. A fascinating era of history which helps explain how things are now in the Indian sub-continent.

Reviewer: Erick J Burkhart (Lakeside, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Andrew Ward's, "Our Bones are Scattered", was a gripping read. Hard to put down. Not history from 30,000 feet but ground level. You feel for individuals struggling to survive as their world crumbles into chaos. I didn't see a bias; Ward has clearly expressed the motivations and movements driving events from both sides. These movements resonate with events today: Here are ancient and admirable cultures violently rejecting the impositions of a more technologically advanced intruder... an epic that cries-out for film. Experience the best and the unimaginable worst as worlds collide.
  Reply
ndia Office Records Library
Ecclesiastical Registers, BURIALS
To return to the Basic Data Page select this bullet button.
Note 1;-

Entries in Italic case are data taken from the IORL records, but which do not appear to have an immediate connection with the Atkinson / Blewitt / Nicholl family tree.

Note 2;-

Although there is a wealth of data in the Ecclesiastical Records, they are NOT complete. Some estimates say that only 80% of actual Burials were recorded here.

------------

British records of burial in India during the 1800
  Reply
http://members.tripod.com/~Glosters/IM8.htm

The Mutiny

Major George Larkins - murdered by mutineers at Cawnpore - 27th June 1857
Aged 49. Son of John and Mary. Husband of Emma Carnaghan (she was also massacred at Cawnpore).

Major Alexander Robertson - wounded at Futteghur - 12th June 1857. died of wounds 21st July
Aged 37. Agent for Gun Carriages. Son of George Robertson, Deputy Keeper of Records for Scotland. Hi wife, Elizabeth and their infant daughter were also killed.

Captain Robert Charles Henry Baines Fagan - killed in action at Delhi - 12th September 1857
Aged 34. Son of Major-General Christopher Fagan, CB. Born at Fatehgarh. Served in the Punjab (1848). Husband of Sarah Humphrey.

Captain Alexander William Hawkins - murdered by mutineers at Moorar - 15th June 1857
Aged 44. Son of John and Ellen, of Dublin. Husband of Georgina Greene.

Captain Alfred P. Simons - wounded at Chinhut - 30th June 1857. Died at Lucknow 8th September 1857
Aged 33. Served in the Punjab Campaign (medal & 2 clasps).
Memorial at The Residency, Lucknow - "To the memory of Capt. A.P. Simons. Lt D.G. Alexander. Lt E.P. Lewin
Lt J.H. Bryce, Lt F.J. Cunliffe officers of the Bengal Artillery who died of wounds disease & exposure whilst defending the Residency Lucknow during the months of July Aug. and Sept. 1857 erected by their brother officers who survived the siege."

Lieutenant Burnett Ashburner - murdered by mutineers at Cawnpore - 27th June 1857
Sixth son of William Page Ashburner, formerly of Bombay.

Lieutenant St. G. Ashe - murdered by mutineers at Cawnpore - 27th June 1857

Lieutenant Charles Dempster - murdered by mutineers at Cawnpore - 27th June 1857

  Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 9 Guest(s)