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Mode of Labour Control in Colonial India

From the late 19th century onwards, managing agency firms acquired a firm control of most cotton, jute and other mills as well as tea gardens and local mines, while looking at processes of labour control in the Bengal jute mills, the coalfields of Bengal and Bihar and the cotton mills of Bombay and Ahmedabad, this paper probes deeper into the dichotomy that prevailed as industrial capitalism first set up roots in India, for while policy decisions relating to wages, technology, etc, was vested in the managing agency system, disciplining of labour took place at the shop floor and in workers' neighbourhoods. Further, these middlemen, jobbers and agents came to exert overweening influence in the 'culture of coercion' that was thus established.

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