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

Articles by Kalyan K SircarSubscribe to Kalyan K Sircar

Coolie Exodus from Assam s Chargola Valley, 1921-An Analytical Study

There can be no doubt about the severity of depression in the tea industry during the early post-war years. This depression was more acute in Surma valley than in upper Assam, lb cut expenses and avoid bankruptcy many planters retrenched their labour force and introduced short workings for those retained. The disappoint- ment of the worker was great, and specially so when he saw what was happening to the local railway employees who had obtained a wage rise after successful strike action.

Labour and Management-First Twenty Years of Assam Company Limited (1839-59)

First Twenty Years of Assam Company Limited (1839-59) Kalyan K Sircar Not much work has been done on the labour-management relations in Indian industries of an early period when there were no formal trade unions, political parties or special labour legislation as such to mediate This paper enquires into the conditions prevailing in the plantation industry during its formative years, 1839-59. In those days, the Assam Company was the sole representative of this industry in India, and recruits from the Kachari tribe of Assam accounted for, unlike in later times, most of its labour force. Because of ethnic homogeneity, proximity of the plantations to their home districts and the free mobility they enjoyed, the Kachari labour force was often able to fight back and gain important concessions from the Company management. Themselves illiterate though, they made continuous efforts to settle wage rates and disputes through collective bargaining and to obtain written undertakings from the management Keen on pushing the wages further down and on resisting labour combination, the Assam Company therefore decided after 1859 to recruit the bulk of its labour from outside Assam and keep (hem bonded. To facilitate this, the colonial government introduced restrictive labour legislation, thereby permitting the planters to restrict free mobility and right to combination of their labourers. Kacharis opted out of the new indenture system, even as famine-stricken people by thousands were recruited thereunder from new labour catchment areas outside Assam, during the decades that followed. Among, such new recruits were various groups of tribesmen, designated in the records as 'hill cooli, dhangar and boonah (jungle-dwelling), etc.

A Tale of Two Boards-Some Early Management Problems of Assam Company Limited, 1839-1864

Some Early Management Problems of Assam Company Limited, 1839-1864 Kalyan K Sircar In discussions of early nineteenth century British private investment in North-East India, much has been said about the scarcity of labour in Assam and the problem of recruitment elsewhere. The early transport difficulties and the absence of any business sense among the indigenous Assamese are other impediments usually mentioned to account for the decades of lean time for British investment. In the midst of such formidable odds the heroic role of the modern entrepreneur is then stressed and homage is paid to the men whose energy and enterprise not only brought success to the business enterprise, but also brought the isolated and undeveloped tropical land into the world of exchange and thus stimulated production and raised the standard of living of the inhabitants.

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