ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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An Appeal for Sanity

The following statement was issued on January 12 by concerned citizens of Assam about the enormous scale of violence in the state and its consequences for the future. The people of Assam have been appalled by the massacre of innocents by the extremist organisation, ULFA. From time to time they have...

India and Indian Ocean Trade

Amalendu Guha India and the Indian Ocean 1500-1800 edited by Ashin Das Gupta and M N Pearson; Oxford University Press, Calcutta, 1987; pp xi + 363 and one map, Rs 240.

Political Economy of Dutch Trade in Bengal, 1630-1720

The Dutch East India Company and the Economy of Bengal 1630-1720 by Om Prakash (Princeton University Press, 1985) pp xii + 291 including one map, tables, figures, bibliography and index. Price not stated.

The Trading World of Coromandel, 1650-1740

Amalendu Guha Merchants, Companies and Commerce on the Coromandel Coast 1650-1740 by Sinnapah Arasaratnam; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1986; pp 401, including four maps and a bibliography, Rs 190.

1983 Assembly Poll in Assam-An Analysis of Its Background and Implications

An Analysis of Its Background and Implications Keya Dasgupta Amalendu Guha In this joint paper a geographer and a historian combine to make a post-mortem of the controversial 1983 Assam elections, down to the constituency levels. With the help of maps and poll statistics which bring out the significance of the ethnicity factor in the 1983 sanguinary elections, the authors conclude that although the voter turn-out was just half of what it was in the preceding 1978 Assembly poll for the state as a whole, there was normal to high polling in 40 per cent of the 105 constituencies where elections were contested and could be completed. These normal-to-high poll constituencies are, by and large, coterminous with seven of Assam's sixteen districts.

More about the Parsi Seths-Their Roots, Entrepreneurship and Comprador Role, 1650-1918

Amalendu Guha Though late-comers in trade and finance as compared to the Chettiars, Bohras and Gujarati- Martvari Banias, the Parsis were the earliest to enter modern industries, and they were able to maintain their lead in this field well until the end of World War 1. How did this happen and why?

Ideological Roots of the Permanent Settlement

Ideological Roots of the Permanent Settlement Amalendu Guha THE EIGHTEENTH century was still an age of imperialism of trade. As long as other European nations, remained mercantilist, Britain's Indian possessions in Adam Smith's view were necessary for ensuring free trade with the East. Yet he wrote of colonies as "a most unwholesome liability" for Britain's political economy of capitalism as such. Even a practical man like Warren Hastings, who had enthusiastically taken part in the expansion of -British dominion there, viewed the conqueror's task to be only "to improve the advantages of a temporary possession and protract that decay which sooner or later must end it" (p 159). In such a gloomy milieu, the post-1765 land revenue policy in Bengal drifted like a rudderless boat. It was empiricist and shortsighted, resulting in insecurity of property, oppression and famines. Philip Francis was not an expansionist like Hastings; he was "content with what we possess" (p 158) in Bengal. Yet his attitude differed significantly from that of Hastings; not in respect of just such trivialities, but otherwise. He wanted to play a positive role inasmuch as he aimed at achieving a 'permanence of dominion' and set upon himself the mission "to save this glorious empire" (pp 38 and 90).

The Indian National Question-A Conceptual Frame

Many marxists maintain (after Stalin) that since Indians possess neither a commonality of language, nor of economic life and menial make-up, the concept of a developing Indian nation is difficult to accept. But the ingredients of a nation or a nationality cannot be so precisely and mechanically listed. A territorial community of culture andlor of nation could evolve in appropriate historical circumstances on the basis of any of a wide range of common identity marks, not all (as for instance, script) being mentioned by Stalin.

Little Nationalism Turned Chauvinist-A Summing Up

Little Nationalism Turned Chauvinist A Summing Up Amalendu Guha IN continuation of my reply to Gail Cmvedt (EPW, April 25), I may inform that the left's concern for Assam's acute underdevelopment and immigration problems goes back much beyond November 1980 and is, in no way, a by-product of "pressure from the movement". As demanded by her, some relevant facts of the post-independence period regarding "what the CPI and CPI(M) were saying about the issue years earlier" are presented below in Section I. Sanjib Kumar Baruah's comment (EFW, April 11) is examined in Section II. My final position, in its immediate operational aspects, is restated in Section III.

Little Nationalism Turned Chauvinist-A Reply

Little Nationalism Turned Chauvinist A Reply Amalendu Guha IN his 8-point critique (EPW, February 21,) Udayon Misra evades discussion on the basic issues I raised in my original article. He concentrates his fire, on the contrary, on some minor points, not of much significance for upholding or demolishing my stand.

Little Nationalism Turned Chauvinist-Assam s Anti-Foreigner Upsurge, 1979-80

Assam's Anti-Foreigner Upsurge, 1979-80 Amalendu Guha There is inadequate understanding of the logic as well as irrationality of Assam's current movement It is undoubtedly related to the national question, the weakest link of the Indian polity today, which intervenitionist foreign conspiracies find worth exploiting. In this article, the author of "Planter Raj to Swaraj: Freedom Struggle and Electoral Politics 1826-47" (New Delhi, 1977), looks beyond his period and attempts at analysing the movement in its several aspects and draws some conclusions.

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