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

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Political Economy of Indian Nationalism 19th Century Roots

Indian Economic Thought: Nineteenth Century Perspectives by B N Ganguli; Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Co Ltd, New Delhi, THE potentialities and the limitations of the John Company had, respectively, provoked Thomas Mun (in 1664) and Adam Smith (in 1776) to make major contributions to economic thought. These in turn had their impact on the Company's prospects and policies. Later, thanks to the influence of Mal- thus and James Mill on the British- Indian administration, the newly-discovered Ricardian rent theory had an application in agrarian policy-making. Britain's efforts to transform India into a useful hinterland of the imperial industrial economy found varied expression in the physiocracy of Philip Francis, Cbrnwallis's permanent settlement aiming at an English-type rural capitalism, Munro's caricature of the French peasant proprietorship and the ruinous modernisation drive of the early and mid-nineteenth century utilitarians. Official rethinking after 1870, as inspired by Henry Maine,1 promoted once more a conservative approach that, in its concern for continuity in the processes of change from tradition to modernity in India's 'non-acquisitive' society recommended selective curbs on private property rights. British economic thinking that had an anchorage in, or a direct bearing upon, the British-Indian economy, in the above- mentioned manner in the Company's days and after have been studied by quite a few scholars.2 Attempts at probing into the roots of the 19th-century Indian economic thought that reacted to the colonial intellectual climate and realities are also not lacking.3 B N Gangult's book under review is the latest and a more exhaustive attempt in the lineage.

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