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

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Carsten Niebuhr in Bombay and Surat

The lone surviving member of an ill-fated Danish expedition to Arabia, Carsten Niebuhr, wrote one of the earliest accounts of the two entwined trade cities—Bombay and Surat—by a western traveller.

The Dark History of Cotton

Empire of Cotton: A New History of Global Capitalism by Sven Beckert, Penguin Random House UK, 2014; pp 615, £30.

New Social Elites and the Early Colonial State

When the Europeans began to trade in India, their commerce was completely dependent on the services of the Indian mercantile class who served as the conduits to the primary producers and local markets. This relationship did not change materially after the European enclaves of Madras and Pondicherry were established. It was, however, redefined, since the indigenous merchants in these early colonial port cities were, at least formally, subservient to the authority of the Europeans. At the same time, the growing importance of the local merchants in these commercial centres created an opening and a space for them in indigenous society through which they could create a new identity for themselves as the new social elite and patrons of local institutions, arts and culture.

Can Singapore Be a Hong Kong to India?

Can Singapore with its spare investible resources and expertise in building infrastructure act as a window of investment to eastern India as Hong Kong has been to southern China, making the latter a hub of great industrial activity? Much depends on the political leadership in India, at the centre and in the concerned states.

Peasant Uprisings in Bengal

The history of the province of Bengal is marked by peasant uprisings during the second half of the 19th century. The surprising aspect of this phenomenon is that the political regime had been more oppressive during the Mughal era and during the rule of the British East India Company which ended in 1857. Using both mainstream and subaltern literature, this paper argues that the sudden rise of peasant revolutions in Bengal under the British crown can be explained by the theory of preference falsification on the part of the peasants before the period under discussion, which could help to explain such instances of social discontinuity in human behaviour.
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