ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Proto-Industrial Production as a Barrier to Industrialisation-Case of North Indian Sugar Industry, 1850-1980

Proto-Industrial Production as a Barrier to Industrialisation? Case of North Indian Sugar Industry, 1850-1980 Simon Commander The history of the north Indian sugar industry closely mirrors the complexity of that region's economy in the last century and a quarter. Deriving its initial stimulus from the growth of regional markets and the development of modern transportation networks after I860, the khandsari industry drew upon the ample reservoir of cheap unorganised labour and moneylending debt-linkages to generate significantly high profit margins. The nub of the system was clearly agricultural and the divorce from the means of production characteristic of the factory system proper was never wholly engendered. Instead, the controls exercised by the zamindar-khandsari over labour, land and credit, which provided the basis of the system, were in many respects antagonistic to a model of pure capitalism.

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