Pramod Biligiri's Blog

Random Musings


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Very interesting essay. While I cannot comment with authority on the peacefulness of the period prior to the takeover of the region by the East India Co. I do think it was far from peaceful. While the policy of divide and rule on a national level was instituted much later (I think mid-19th century, perhaps around the time of the Sepoy mutiny), it was employed in bits and pieces prior to that as well.

And there were fair amounts of conflict with the smaller rulers much before that, primarily with the Marwars, the Rajputs, the Maratha Empire, Tipu Sultan and later the Mughals.

I think until the late 18th Century the East India company was taking it as it came, fighting each ruler depending on their business interests; there was really no idea of a nation even among all the various kingdoms.

Haven't yet read about the fights with Rajputs, Marathas, Tipu etc..Will see :)

Wow - super le.
Waiting for more updates...

What I am most interested in knowing is the economic rationale for the freedom movement (I suppose it originates from cotton and the destruction of small-scale industries ?)

Net net, were the Brits really "looting" India ?

Thanks kano! Let me see if I can keep this going :P

Even I want to finally understand why the local elites turned against the British and started opposing them. Looks like many of them were actually getting a share of the "loot" during those years, though the long term damage was severe.

Interesting Stuff! Keep these posts coming!

I really want to know if and how the British looted India.

--Prasad

(Deleted comment)
1) Yeah would be good to know how South Indian kings like Cholas, Pandavas etc dealt with SE Asia. Your residence there offers you a great chance to find out ;) For example Singapore is one of the most famous examples of entrepot trade and the after effects should still be visible.

2) Europeans didn't have much goods of their own to sell to India/Asia. I have come across that assertion many times. India was known for finished cotton textiles, spices and saltpetre. The quality of craftmanship here was world famous. In fact, there was great concern at the way their precious metals were going away to Asia during this period and the mercantile vs free trade argument was a big topic. This changed in the beginning of 19th Century after Bengal was conquered, China got defeated in the Opium Wars so on. I am yet to read till here in the book :)

The episode of In Our Time regarding EIC covers this.

The bookshop is narrow but has 3 floors. The collection of classics and new non-fiction is excellent. Didn't see much of tech or self-help. I think they are trying to stock only quality books rather than be a catch all store like LandMark.

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