Libmonster ID: IN-1371
Author(s) of the publication: V. S. KIREEV

Article one

(c) 2004

The formation of the national capitalist system in the colonially dependent countries of Asia and Africa was influenced by two forces: the colonial administration and traditional structures. Among the colonial dependent countries, India was characterized by one of the highest rates of formation of national capitalism. Caste, being a colorful manifestation of traditional structures, had a certain influence on the formation and functioning of the capitalist system in this country.

The study of the role of the caste factor in the formation of capitalist entrepreneurship in colonial India reveals the specifics of Indian capitalism. This issue will be discussed in two articles. This article (the first one) is devoted to the role of caste in the formation of a layer of Indian capitalist entrepreneurs who developed a system of organizing and conducting entrepreneurial activities based on traditional ties.

The second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries in India were characterized by a significant rate of development of capitalist relations, which gave rise to imperatives of behavior different from feudal ones and formed new factors of social development. In the context of the inevitable transformation of traditional business structures, their carriers faced the problem, on the one hand, of adapting these structures to new realities, on the other - of revising old positions and introducing other methods and methods of doing business that are characteristic of the new, capitalist mode of production.

When choosing the range of issues covered, we are guided by the almost ubiquitous feature of Indian society, which goes back to antiquity and gives it a unique civilizational flavor - caste, and correlate the traditional factor with the caste one.

From the socio-political point of view, two important factors deserve attention - the divergence of the administration and the economy in the course of the development of bourgeois relations, as well as the interdependence of these two aspects. In this sense, caste in India faced the need to interact with the administration and the economy of the capitalist model, acting in a dual role: as a form of organization of society-in interaction with the administration and as one of the factors of social production - in interaction with the economy. Identifying the means and methods of such interaction allows us to apply new parameters to characterize the genesis of capitalist relations in India and thereby more accurately determine the specifics of Indian capitalism.

page 37


Forms of entrepreneurship were factory production and banking. The stages of development of these forms correspond to the phases of entrepreneurship development. In relation to India, it is possible to determine the chronological framework of one of these phases - from 1854 (the appearance of the first Indian factory) to 1906 (the foundation of the Bank of India commercial Bank - the first bank that provided long-term loans). During this period, the foundations of modern capitalist infrastructure were being laid in India, largely through the efforts of the British metropolis. By 1871, the Bombay-Madras-Calcutta railway line was in operation, and by the 1890s, railways connected almost all economically important areas of the country at that time. There is a telegraph and a unified postal network. The circulation of pan-Indian newspapers in English and the press in local languages is increasing dramatically.

The study of this period was quite intensive both in Russian and foreign historiography. In our country, the works of such prominent researchers as I. M. Reisner, A. M. Dyakov, V. I. Pavlov, A. I. Levkovsky, and V. V. Chernovskaya are devoted to the development of Indian capitalism. It should be noted that the provisions of interest to us, set out in the works of I. M. Reisner and A. M. Dyakov, are largely outdated today. Within the framework of the stated topic, the works of V. I. Pavlov, which reveal the genesis of the national Indian bourgeoisie, are of the greatest interest to us. His works were based on Lenin's thesis about the dualistic nature of the emerging bourgeoisie in Asian countries: on the one hand, the progressivity of bourgeois elements was affirmed, since their interests coincided with the interests of the national liberation movement, on the other hand, the reactionary nature of the young bourgeoisie as a carrier of nationalist sentiments was noted. It should be noted that V. I. Pavlov for the first time in our country noted the caste character of the Indian bourgeoisie and identified several of its constituent caste groups. He also paid attention to the ways of entrepreneurial activity. The merit of V. I. Pavlova's goal here is primarily to uncover the phenomenon of intra-caste lending. At the same time, it should be noted that other forms of caste interaction in the business sphere were not identified by him. Moreover, the intra-caste lending described by the scientist can be interpreted as corporate mutual responsibility, in other words, intra-caste lending was revealed as a non-caste-specific phenomenon. The facts given by V. I. Pavlov in support of the thesis about crediting do not always fully reflect this phenomenon from the caste side.

T. A. Timberg, D. Tripathi, and K. Markovitz are the most prominent researchers of Indian entrepreneurship problems abroad. Works of D. Tripathi and K. Markowitz, in addition to extensive factual material on the problem of interest to us, contain original fundamental developments. Economist T. A. Timberg, setting the task of studying the role of national entrepreneurs in the development of capitalist relations in India, also identified, based on the theoretical developments of M. Weber, a number of social features of Indian entrepreneurship.

As a typical example of national Indian entrepreneurship, it is appropriate to consider the Marwari caste group as one of the most significant in terms of scale of activity and the most dynamic in socio-economic terms. From the Marwari castes came many major Indian industrialists and bankers who founded well-known corporations, concerns and banking houses (Birla, Singhania, Ruya, etc.).

Among the essential features of the sources on the Marwari castes, it is necessary to note their diversity and different interpretation by researchers of our country, Western Europe and India. The first group of sources consists of researchers-

page 38


A number of European ethnographers of the second half of the 19th century, who recorded caste communities and groups and tried to determine their socio-economic role: attributes, occupation, traditions, etc. [see, in particular, Enthoven, 1990]. The second group is formed by a wide range of reference and reporting publications of the colonial administration. Through the efforts of the British metropolis in the late XIX - early XX centuries, a large-scale survey of various spheres of life of the colonies (primarily India and Burma) was carried out. Caste groups came to the attention of the commissions working in this direction. It should be noted that the reference publications of the British (gazetteers) receive an ambiguous interpretation in world Indology. So, Indian researchers do not consider them sources. At the same time, the gazetteers contain such significant material that it is hardly possible to find an analogy in other sources. Further, on a certain scale, accounting activities were also carried out by Portuguese colonialists. Published under the editorship of S. R. Dalgado in 1910, the two-volume reference book Glossario Luso-Asiatico is almost unique (Dalgado, 1988).

The term marwari means "a native of Marwar" - a region of Rajputana. This is an exotermin, the name of several dozen commercial and usurious castes and groups of castes whose original territory of residence and activity was Marwar and the surrounding areas. Another name for these castes was vania or bania, which meant "merchant-a person engaged in trade" (Dalgado, 1988, vol. I, pp. 93-94; Enthoven, 1990, vol. III, p. 412-442].

The Marwari group included the large castes of Agarwala, Khandelwal, Maheshwar, Oswal, and Parwar (Enthoven, 1990, vol. I, p. 1; vol. P, p. 194, 418; vol. III, p. 150, 235]. In the second half of the nineteenth century, this caste group became the major industrialists and entrepreneurs, bankers and merchants of the Bombay Presidency [Timberg, 1978, pp. 179-185]. The group consisted mainly of endogamous castes, between which both economic and ritual relations were maintained (Enthoven, 1990, vol. Sh, p. 413-414, 425]. This was due to the proximity of their hierarchical status - the differences between them were practically purely local [Enthoven, 1990, vol. III, p. 412 - 413, 423, 426, 430, 436]. The Marwari adhered to the Hindu and Jain faiths. It should also be noted that since trade and usury were traditionally considered more honorable occupations in India than agriculture or handicrafts, the caste status of marwari was quite high.

The geographical location of Rajputana has given rise to certain features of commercial and usurious activities in the area. At one time, a trade route passed through Rajputana from the Gujarati ports to the center of the Mughal Empire, thanks to which Marwari merchants and moneylenders were able to make large savings. In terms of their economic interests, the Marwari were never part of the national merchants and moneylenders of the Rajputana (Pavlov, 1958, p.215). As early as the sixteenth century, after the formation of a huge Mughal power, new opportunities began to open up for expanding the activities of Marwari merchants and moneylenders. From the second half of the 17th century to the beginning of the 18th century, this was facilitated by the disintegration of both state feudal land ownership and central fiscal authorities; Marwari moneylenders traveling all over the country increasingly used the coffers of feudal states peripheral to the Mughal Empire (nawabs, etc.) for their enrichment (buying off, loans, transfer of taxes, etc.). By the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries, representatives of the Marwari castes could be found in almost all regions of India (Timberg, 1978, pp. 42-43).

In the future, the trends of India's economic development practically put an end to the prospects of entrepreneurial activity within Rajputana.

page 39


Since the middle of the 19th century, the possibilities of direct use of the feudal treasury by usurers have been significantly limited, and many sources of income have disappeared [Imperial Gazetteer..., vol. XI, p. 421; vol. XXI, p. 57]. In the 1870s, the only function of local moneylenders was to mediate-to transfer tribute paid by Rajput princedoms to the colonial administration (Pavlov, 1958, p. 216). In such circumstances, Rajputana could not act as a favorable field of activity.

The migration of the Marwari to other parts of India began, as indicated, much earlier. It is important to note that during the study period, no major Marwari entrepreneur was already operating within the territory of their ancestors ' residence. Rajputana remained the Marwari credit center, but major projects were implemented outside its borders. The residence of the heads of several large Seth moneylending firms was Ajmir, while the strongholds of these firms, through which grain, cotton and opium were traded, were located throughout Rajputana and other regions of India (Pavlov, 1958, p.218).

The Marwari were extremely active in Maharashtra. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century. they were the strongest group of merchants and loan sharks in the area. Gazetteers ' statistics on usurious financial turnover in many areas of Maharashtra illustrate the absolute predominance of marwari [Imperial Gazetteer..., vol. III, p. 317; vol. XI, p. 59]. Data from the beginning of the 20th century also indicate the predominance of Marwari trade and usury capital among local merchants and usurers in eastern Maharashtra [Imperial Gazetteer..., vol. I, p. 401; vol. V, p. 421; vol. VI, p. 104; vol. XI, p. 66]. Moreover, sources report a high number of Marwari merchants and moneylenders: at the end of the 19th century, Marwari began to predominate among the merchants and moneylenders of western Maharashtra, which was part of the Bombay Presidency [Bombay Gazetteer, vol. XVIII, pt. 2, p. 167; vol. XX, p. 244; Census of India, p. 181]. Well-to-do Marwari settled in Khandesh, Ahmadnagar, Pune, Thana, Dharwar, Kolaba, Janjir, Ratnagiri and Sawantwadi districts before 1818 [Bombay Gazetteer, vol. I, p. 121; vol. IV, p. 74 - 78, 295, 3, 262, 278; vol. XVII, p. 124; vol. XIX, p. 59 - 61, 113 - 116]. In the 1870s, the Thana Marwari district was absolutely dominated by large merchants, bankers, and entrepreneurs [Bombay Gazetteer, vol. XIX, p. 113-116]. By 1911, Maharashtra's 60,000 Marwari were leading grain merchants and bankers [Census of India, p. 41].

It was mentioned above that the Marwari group consisted of many castes that were similar to each other, and there were certain connections between them. They found their economic expression in trade unions, " guilds "(Enthoven, 1990, vol. III, p. 412), which were colleges of authoritative persons - mahajans: "there are trade associations in vania [the source speaks about marwari. - V. K.], whose members are called mahajans" [Enthoven, 1990, vol. III, p. 413]. Such unions existed both at the level of the entire community and at the level of individual castes or podcasts (Enthoven, 1990, vol. III, p. 413-442).

Each guild was headed by a head named seth [Gazetteer of Bombay City..., p. 107-108]. It could have been called Patel in other ways. These terms are not equivalent, since the former usually referred to the city board, while the latter referred to the village board. Patel often, in addition to coordinating local trade, acted as a kind of arbiter in trade disputes between merchants and moneylenders who came from the same caste or similar castes [Dalgado, vol. II, p. 192 - 193]. Such a function is not mentioned in Seth's sources. The position of seth was passed down by inheritance, and this principle was observed so strictly that even if the inheritor of the position was not worthy to hold it (bad

page 40


character, illness, disability, etc.), he retained the title and privileges, and functions were assumed by another member of the same caste [Gazetteer of Central Provinces, p. 107-108].

Administrative functions in the guild were carried out by a kind of manager - gomashta (this term could mean both the manager himself and his agent). He called guild meetings, collected money, kept the necessary documentation, and supervised the implementation of all regulations [Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency, p. 108]. Although seth and gomashta were of the same caste, the latter was a paid person, and his position was not hereditary.

The main functions of guilds were to provide economic privileges to their members, protect them from the market elements, maintain the competitiveness of member firms, etc. Obviously, the emergence of such unions was due to the narrowness of the market, which was divided into spheres of influence ("traditional connections and organizations gave Marwari an advantage, much to the bewilderment of the British, who used all the modern apparatus and communications" [Timberg, 1978, p. 37-38]). Doing business without the knowledge of the mahajans could lead to bankruptcy. Thus, at the end of the 19th century in Bombay, several Marwari industrial groups were ruined by speculation, which they were engaged in secretly from the Mahajans of the guild, which they belonged to [Timberg, 1978, p. 39-40]. One of the functions of guilds was the practical implementation of intra-caste lending, noted by V. I. Pavlov. The emergence of this practice was largely due to the specifics of the credit system in British India.

With the further development of Comprador and domestic trade, it became necessary to create a reliable and extensive credit apparatus. Colonial banks and management agencies became the highest centralizing element of this apparatus, while various categories of Indian merchants and moneylenders, including Marwari (Pavlov, 1958, p.145), formed intermediate and lower links. British banks provided only short-term loans with high interest rates and collateral, and financed almost exclusively foreign trade (Pavlov, 1958, p. 243). Credit on other terms (in particular, long-term) at the end of the XIX century could only be obtained through "native" lending.

Within the Marwari community, there was a practice of intra-caste lending, carried out through guilds. The essence of this practice was that the loan needed to start their own business was provided to those who wanted to succeed in usury by their peers. A source reports that "when starting a business, the moneylender meets many members of his caste who are willing to help him" [Imperial Gazetteer..., vol. I, p. 165]. Such a loan was often granted without any security and required by European standards of registration. Due to caste connections, the creditor was well informed about the debtor's affairs (including his ability to pay), and the latter's honesty was guaranteed by caste customs. The gazetteer reports that "marwari is unscrupulous in dealing with others, but it is extremely rare for him to deceive a member of his own caste" [Bombay Gazetteer, vol. XIX, p. 181]. In case of fraud, various sanctions could be imposed on the offender, including exclusion from the caste. V. I. Pavlov noted the fact of such an exception in the Tamil merchant-usurer caste of Chetti [Pavlov, 1958, p. 145]. Although the sources do not mention such specific cases for the Marwari, it is appropriate to assume that there was an exception for them, since this practice was widespread throughout India.

Intra-caste lending gave rise to a system of "native" bills of exchange, which were used only among related moneylenders and local bankers. They were called hundi [Imperial Gazetteer..., vol. I, p. 165]. Liquidity of similar services

page 41


The price of promissory notes was determined by usurers-mahajans who were part of guilds: "there is a regular quotation of promissory notes, well known to the brotherhood of bankers-Marwari and practiced by them in their mutual transactions, but the Marwari are not at all shy about ripping off random customers as much as they can" [Gazetteer of Central Provinces, p. 333-334]. The practice of intra-caste lending helped Marwari loan sharks to make significant profits in the second half of the 19th century. During the" cotton boom " of the 1860s, the rich Marwari lent money to the cotton trade that members of their castes engaged in, and profited greatly from it (Bombay Gazetteer, vol. IV, p. 64].

Another function of the guild (college of mahajans) was to ensure the functioning of a network of sales agents. In Nagpur, for example, the Marwari bankers "made almost no small loans and operated through agents based in every town in the district who provided loans to the poor at high interest rates. The bankers themselves had strong promissory note relationships with businessmen in Bombay, Benares, Indur, Amraoti, Hyderabad and Jaipur, where they had their own representatives or permanent counterparties " [Gazetteer of Central Provinces, p. 333-334]. T. A. Timberg mentions the collection of information about profitable transactions carried out by sales agents [Timberg, 1978, p. 133-137]. The network of sales agents successfully used the rich capabilities of the technical infrastructure created by the British. Thanks to railways and telegraphs, high efficiency was achieved: information was delivered in a matter of hours [Timberg, 1978, p. 48].

In addition to guilds, sources mention two other forms of Marwari organization: gaddi and basa.

Spreading out across India, the Marwari formed a kind of local communities - fellowships, associations - basa, which were managed and financed by large Marwari firms [Plans, 1959, p.122; Timberg, 1978, p. 5-6]. This was done, according to T. A. Timberg, in order to protect against the arbitrariness of outsiders and ensure the cohesion of their members, as well as maintain communication with the areas of their original residence [Timberg, 1978, p.5]. Such protection was indeed necessary because, for example, in Maharashtra, " local Marathas treated them [Marwari immigrants. - V. K.] as strangers who have transferred their capital to their homeland" [Timberg, 1978, p. 221]. Subsequent settlers sought contacts with the Marwari Basa, where they could find shelter, shelter and food (Timberg, 1978, p.179). Unfortunately, the sources do not say anything about the internal structure of the bass.

As the scope of Marwari's activities expanded, large Marwari multi-industry firms began to emerge. Such firms had one or several branches called gaddi (Timberg, 1978, p. 133-137). Gaddi appeared, as a rule, in large cities, at the intersection of trade routes [Dalgado, 1988, vol. I, p. 412 - 413].

Gaddies performed mainly commercial functions. Sources give us the following picture: "Their [Gaddi's] business records were made up of ledgers and cash registers. The staff was recruited by the manager (munim), who had several deputies (gomashta). Each of them was responsible for some kind of accounting book, and was also required to monitor the transactions that were recorded in this book. An important job was performed by the cashier, who controlled the cash register of rokarvaha and the cash register itself. There was the Khatawahi statement, which included the balance sheets of all subsidiaries controlled by the agency, the hundi-nucl statement, which recorded all native bills of exchange-hundi, and the jamawahi statement, which recorded the inventory of goods " [Bombay Gazetteer, vol. I, p. 42; vol. IV, p. 63 - 80; vol. XIX, p. 110]. In most cases, gaddies were required to regularly send financial reports to the firm's "head office.",

page 42


its headquarters (Timberg, 1978, p. 137). Gaddi was led either by members of a particular Marwari caste or by people who were trustworthy for certain reasons (Dalgado, 1988, vol. I, p. 412; Timberg, 1978, p. 128].

T. A. Timberg mentions the firm of Marwari businessman Tarachand Ghanshyamdas, which by 1872 had gaddi branches in Calcutta, Bombay, Ratlam, Indur, and Ujjain. They issued bills of exchange-hundi, which were of limited circulation (only among the T. Ghanshyamdasa caste) [Timberg, 1978, p. 137]. Members of Gaddi Ghanshyamdas 'management were from the same caste, and at the same time they were also responsible as a member of the caste to the" main office " of the firm [Timberg, 1978, p. 133-134]. In parallel with this, there were also basas of this company, where gaddi employees and their families lived. Basas placed their members not free of charge, but for a fee, although it was minuscule compared to the cost of renting ordinary housing [Timberg, 1978, p.133-135].

As mentioned above, in the second half of the 19th century, in the context of the intensification of raw material exploitation of India by the British metropolis, large-scale investments were made in the colony's infrastructure: first of all, in the construction and operation of railways and telegraphs, the network of which by the 1890s reached the smallest cities of Rajputana, the birthplace of Marwari [New History of India, 1961, p. 339-347; Timberg, 1978, p. 48]. Under these conditions, the Marwari businessmen not only retained their previous financial positions, but also created new savings, much larger in scale.

The entrepreneurial activity of Marwari businessmen can be divided into two phases: the accumulation of capital in traditional ways and its investment in profitable capitalist projects in the future.

The source describes the capital accumulation process of aspiring Marwari moneylenders in Maharashtra in the 1900s as follows: "Banya of Marwar (vol. e. The Rajputans. - V. K. ), who wants to engage in usury, usually comes with the capital available to him from bills of exchange (meaning bills of exchange-hundi. - V. K.), gold and silver jewelry. Upon arrival, he meets many members of his caste and acquaintances who are willing to help him. Then, for a month or two, Marwari travels around the area, studying the local trade conditions. Finally, he stops at the village where he finds opportunities for a profitable business. He rents a small house, opens a shop, and starts selling textiles, grain, and groceries. He never miscalculates, never sells without a profit. Marwari is very reserved in his personal spending. Soon, he begins to lend small amounts to secure household items or jewelry. As soon as his connections are expanded, Marwari starts lending against the security of land or crops. Its grain reserves are growing from year to year. Part of the grain Marwari sends to Poona or Bombay, the rest is kept in reserve in case of crop failure or higher prices " [Imperial Gazetteer ..., vol. I, p. 165].

The grain trade was conducted in combination with usury: grain was purchased from previously credited peasants, and then lent to them at high interest rates. In the same way, grain appeared in the field of wholesale trade. From the villages, it went to cities (for example, Nagpur), where the grain trade was almost entirely controlled by Marwari merchants [ Bombay Gazetteer, vol. XVI, p. 44-45]. From these shopping centers, through the same Marwari, it was directed to cotton-producing areas, as well as to major cities, including Bombay [ Imperial Gazetteer ..., vol. I, p. 165].

In the future, the rich moneylender, after living 8-10 years in a foreign territory (for example, in the Deccan regions), returned to Marwar for his family and transported it to a new place. A source says: "At the new location, Marwari is building a big house for himself.

page 43


marries his children to the children of other local Marwari, and never leaves the Deccan again "[Imperial Gazetteer ..., vol. I, p. 165].

So the initial capital was extracted. Then it was time for the Marvari entrepreneur to invest in a promising business. In the second half of the 19th century, Marwari's main areas of investment were Comprador (export and import) trade and banking [ Bombay Gazetteervol. I, p. 206 - 302; Enthoven, 1990, vol. III, p. 425; Timberg, 1978, p. 49]. T. A. Timberg identified three types of marwari's profitable activity, the differences between which lie in the method of making profit and the structure of firms: broker firms; speculative, also known as dealer firms; large multi-industry firms (Timberg, 1978, p. 129). It should also be noted that the Marwari created" native " short-term lending banks on the basis of usurious savings [Mehta, 1966, p. 66].

In practice, it was very difficult to assign one or another successful Marwari businessman unambiguously to one or another type. Often these types were combined: "He [marwari] is not only a pawnbroker and general broker, but also a retailer and wholesaler of groceries, grain, and textiles" [Bombay Gazetteer, vol. XVIII, pt. 2, p. 99]. A firm with sufficient savings and connections served as a broker for a large company, making a profit under a commission agreement. A typical example is the brokerage activity of the firm Ruya, described by T. A. Timberg. In 1853, a Marwari businessman named Harnandraj Ruya of Ramgarh set up a firm in Bombay after retiring from the business of his four brothers. Initially, the firm was engaged in the opium trade. In 1883, his son Ramnarain became an opium broker for the company of a major Jewish businessman in Bombay, David J. Smith. Sassuna. In 1891, he expanded the business to become a guarantee broker for the cotton branch of the same company. His functions are described by T. A. Timberg as follows: "As a guarantee broker, he supported Sassoon's company by providing it with a loan of vol. In response, the company gave him the opportunity to offer customers whom he selected independently and who received the goods without prepayment. Obviously, for this he received a commission from all sales" [Timberg, 1978, p. 182].

The institution of a guaranteeing broker in India was quite widespread. In the event of failure of the transaction, such a broker was obliged to compensate the affected party for losses at the expense of his own funds, which, obviously, could be found due to the traditional connections of the Indian broker (primarily caste).

Another typical example is the brokerage activity of the Marwari firm of Anandilal Poddar. Having started his activity in 1895-1896 as a broker of the Gujarati firm Kilachanda Devchanda, which traded grain, oilseeds and cotton, by 1919 he managed to become the leading broker of a large company "Toyo Menka Kaisha" - the main Japanese cotton exporter from India, also making a profit under a commission agreement [Timberg, 1978, p. 183 - 184]. As we can see, Marwari firms became brokers of both national and foreign companies. Acting as a broker, the marwari trader received a fixed profit under a commission agreement for the sale of a certain amount of goods (Timberg, 1978, p.182).

Often, Marwari firms that made large amounts of money became independent dealers and could represent not one, but several companies. Such firms bought goods at a certain price, and then, taking advantage of the narrowness of the domestic market, sold them at a much higher price. Their profit was the entire margin as the price difference. In fact, it was speculation that brought huge profits. The activities of Singhania businessmen are significant in this regard. The son of Marwari businessman Chheniram Singhania, Gulraj, became an opium broker for David J. Smith. Sassou-

page 44


Then, having accumulated sufficient capital, he began to act as a dealer. Until 1873, he was a leading opium dealer in Bombay. His business prospered so much that in 1872 he made a profit of 2.75 million rupees (Timberg, 1978, p. 185).

In the second half of the 19th century, Bombay was widely used as a transit port for trade with the interior of India. It was not uncommon for large Marwari firms to take on the role of intermediaries, thus linking domestic and foreign trade. Marwari speculative firms were often owners of cotton gin plants, and at the same time they were buyers of cotton, representative agencies of export cotton companies [Timberg, 1978, p. 184]. The main inland areas with which Marwari trade from Bombay was conducted were Hyderabad, Gujarat, Sindh, the regions of Central India, including the Central Provinces and Vidarbha region, as well as eastern and southern Maharashtra (Timberg, 1978, p. 185).

The main marwari wholesale items in Maharashtra were grain, cotton, and local textiles [Bombay Gazetteer, vol. I, p. 206 - 302]. The Marwari wholesalers had a large cotton trade with Bombay. In 1865, the government's cotton commissioner for Bombay noted that cotton was brought from the villages to Nagpur, the largest cotton market, mainly by Marwari merchants. In Nagpur, this cotton is bought by large Marwari traders-exporters [Dantwalla, 1948, p. 71]. Marwari cotton buyers advanced farmers ' money and often bought their crops before they were ripe. The buyers sent cotton to their counterparts in Ahmadnagar, who were also representatives of the Marwari qasvol. Buyers received advances from these counterparties. Firms in Ahmadnagar and other major cities in Maharashtra sold cotton to British and Indian companies in Bombay [Bombay Gazetteer, vol. XVII, p. 343].

In addition to intermediary operations for the export of agricultural products (mainly cotton), Marwari was engaged in the sale of imported industrial goods (primarily fabrics) in the markets of Maharashtra [Bombay Gazetteer, vol. XVIII, pt. 2, p. 99]. Almost all of these goods were imported from England. According to T. A. Timberg, " in the port cities of Marwari, they became agents of British firms, because they had connections and representatives all over India. Marwari agents bought raw materials for sale to British firms and simultaneously sold British imported goods offered by these firms" [Timberg, 1978, p. 51].

Marwari large multi-industry firms could combine both brokerage, speculation, and usury, which were engaged in by different branches-gaddi [Timberg, 1978, p.127]. Such a firm had a headquarters that managed all subordinate branches and coordinated financial operations. The head of the firm could be located, for example, in Jaipur, and control the activities of branches in Madras, Bombay, Calcutta [Timberg, 1978, p. 51].

Such firms were associated with industrial entrepreneurship, which emerged as a separate industry in the 1850s. An example is the activity of the Marwari Loya family. In 1846, Loya, a village pawnbroker and grain merchant, moved from Pipar (near Jodhpur) to Pathari (district of Ahmadnagar), where he managed to expand his business thanks to intra-caste connections. His son Balmukund Loya (later named after him) moved to Pune in 1862, becoming a textile dealer during the American Civil War (1862-1865) and the resulting cotton boom. In 1891 and 1906, Balmukund's son, Chatherbhuj, built two more spinning mills. In 1901, the Loya founded a bank with an initial capital of 20 million rupees (Timberg, 1978, p. 222).

page 45


A. I. Levkovsky noted that in Bombay, since the 1860s, the Marwari compradors, without stopping their intermediary and usurious activities, began to use part of their capital for the construction of textile enterprises, which they considered as an addition to their main occupations, especially since they previously owned small enterprises for the primary processing of raw materials (cotton gin and pressing) [New History of India, 1961, p. 169].

Consider the banking activities of Marwari in the case of Bombay. At the end of the nineteenth century, the leading bank in Bombay was the Bank of Bombay and the adjacent British banks that served Europeans. Local Indian credit was carried out overwhelmingly on the basis of intra-caste lending. There were no national joint-stock banks (Pavlov, 1958, p. 173). In fact, the national loan was a rather complicated system, hidden for the European observer. The leading figure in it was the" native " banker - shrof. This system was in a complex relationship of competition and subordination with the system of English banks, and in Bombay, local bankers were directly subordinate to English banks.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Marwari usurious capital held a fairly strong position in Bombay [ Gazetteer of Bombay City ..., p. 205, 296]. The clients of the Marwari moneylenders were representatives of almost all strata of the city. Lending to English firms was not uncommon [Gazetteer of Bombay City ..., p. 304]. It should be noted that English colonial legislation provided legal support for Marwari usury operations: "the effective weapon of Marwari is a judicial executive document" [Gazetteer of Bombay City ..., p. 303]. It can be said that the usurious system, based on traditional, caste ties, not only did not contradict English law, but also fell under its protection.

As with trading, usury was often implemented through multi-industry firms. Thus, Marwari banking houses in Hyderabad, such as the Shivlal Motilal Pitti house, had several branches, including in Bombay, for lending to exporters [Timberg, 1978, p. 184]. Often, Marwari bankers of the Central Provinces, along with Marwari firms, also lent to other firms, including English ones, but on more difficult terms [Central Provinces..., 1930, vol. II, p. 495-496], which indirectly indicates the continuing practice of intra-caste lending.

It is necessary to touch upon the problem of mental motivation of Marwari entrepreneurship. The activity of Marwari was influenced by such an important feature as their caste professional predestination, the heredity of occupation. Trading and usury were dharma-prescribed activities for them, and therefore "beneficial" (Enthoven, 1990, vol. III, p. 413-414, 425). It has already been noted above that from the traditional point of view, due to their occupation, the Marwari castes occupied a rather honorable place in the caste hierarchy. This undoubtedly contributed to the fact that representatives of other castes treated Marwari's business activities with respect. At the same time, the Marwari castes themselves faced the need to revise their traditional values. Let's mention the most typical examples.

First, it is the planning of transactions. New conditions, such as industrial entrepreneurship, required long-term planning, while speculation and many other activities used short-term planning. The Marwari were not prepared for this - accustomed to making a quick profit, they could not afford to wait too long for it. This, although certainly only partly, explains the fact that in the 1900s, Marwari's share among Bombay's industrialists was high.

page 46


It was not very large - they owned mainly factories for primary processing of raw materials, which brought relatively quick profits [Gazetteer of Bombay City..., p. 233], and also the fact that the sources do not mention any Marwari firms engaged exclusively in industrial entrepreneurship [New History of India, 1961, p. 169-171].

Secondly, the moral aspect of entrepreneurship. The moral code of Marwari entrepreneurs was based largely on the customary law of their kacvol. Marwari's activities were relatively protected by law [Gazetteer of Bombay City..., p. 303], as well as by caste customs [Bombay Gazetteer, vol. XX, p. 181]. At the same time, such protection did not apply to outsiders, and the Marwari entrepreneur did not hesitate to enter into unjustifiably risky and unfair transactions with them [Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency, p. 66-77].

Third, it is education. The capitalist entrepreneur needs to receive a certain level of education. This need was recognized by Marwari entrepreneurs. If earlier Marwari limited his education to what he needed at a particular moment (vol. e. in short-term planning), then from the second half of the XIX century in the Marwari environment there is a certain desire for constant, albeit utilitarian, improvement of their knowledge. In particular, primary schools in the towns of Shekhawati (Raj Putana), where Marwari children studied, began to teach English and the basics of commercial business from the end of the XIX century [Timberg, 1978, p. 52].

Traditional ties in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries had a serious constructive and destructive impact on business activity in India, which took place in the context of intensive development of capitalist relations.

The system of organization and conduct of entrepreneurial activity developed on the basis of caste relations should be recognized as a contributing factor. The key elements of this organization were the institute of intra-caste lending, the use of branches - gaddi and local communities-basa, the issue of inter-caste circulation and quotation of hundi bills, and intra-caste reporting. The above-mentioned system of organizing entrepreneurship allowed not only to make significant profits, but also to effectively interact with foreign capital (the institution of a guaranteeing broker), which was one of the factors for the successful development of consolidated national capitalist entrepreneurship. A hindering factor was the lack of stability of this system, combined with certain traditional beliefs of Marwari businessmen, which did not always correspond to the requirements of the time due to their rigidity, utilitarianism and conservatism. The excessive utilitarianism of Marwari's approach to the new realities of capitalist relations led them to underestimate the profitability of a number of projects, in particular industrial entrepreneurship, which required long-term planning.

Thus, in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, traditional ties played a significant role in the formation and development of a layer of national entrepreneurs in India.

list of literature

Levkovsky A. I. Osobennosti razvitiya kapitalizma v Indii do 1947 g. [Features of the development of capitalism in India before 1947].

New History of India, Moscow, 1961.

New History of colonial and Dependent countries, Moscow, 1940.

Pavlov V. I. Formirovanie indiskoi bourzhuazii [Formation of the Indian Bourgeoisie]. Moscow, 1958.

page 47


Reisner I. M. Essays on class struggle in India. Part I. From the collapse of the Mughal Empire to the Imperialist War. Moscow, 1932.

Chernovskaya V. V. Promyshlennoe predprinimatelstvo v Indii [Industrial entrepreneurship in India]. Diss. for the application of uch. cvol. Dr. icvol. sciences'. Yaroslavl, 1995.

Bombay Gazetteer. Bombay, 1879 - 1885.

Census of India. Calcutta, 1912.

Central Provinces Provincial Banking Enquiry Committee. Nagpur, 1930.

Dalgado S.R. Grossario Luso-Asiatico. Vols. I-II. Madras, 1988.

Dantwalla M.Z. Hundred Years of Indian Cotton. Bombay, 1948.

Enthoven E.R. Tribes and Castes of Bombay. Vols. I-III. Madras, 1990.

Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island. Bombay, 1909.

Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency. Bombay, 1884.

Gazetteer of Central Provinces. Calcutta, 1901.

Imperial Gazetteer of India. Oxford, 1908 - 1910.

Mehta R. Entrepreneurship and Trade in India: 1800 - 1947. New Delhi, 1966.

Platts J.T. Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English. Vol. I. M., 1959.

Timberg T.A. The Marwaris: from Traders to Industrialists. New Delhi, 1978.


© elib.org.in

Permanent link to this publication:

https://elib.org.in/m/articles/view/Traditions-and-modernization-CASTE-AND-ACTIVITIES-OF-MONEYLENDERS-AND-BANKERS-IN-COLONIAL-INDIA

Similar publications: LIndia LWorld Y G


Publisher:

Kahri JammaContacts and other materials (articles, photo, files etc)

Author's official page at Libmonster: https://elib.org.in/Kahri

Find other author's materials at: Libmonster (all the World)GoogleYandex

Permanent link for scientific papers (for citations):

V. S. KIREEV, Traditions and modernization. CASTE AND ACTIVITIES OF MONEYLENDERS AND BANKERS IN COLONIAL INDIA // Delhi: India (ELIB.ORG.IN). Updated: 25.06.2024. URL: https://elib.org.in/m/articles/view/Traditions-and-modernization-CASTE-AND-ACTIVITIES-OF-MONEYLENDERS-AND-BANKERS-IN-COLONIAL-INDIA (date of access: 21.07.2024).

Publication author(s) - V. S. KIREEV:

V. S. KIREEV → other publications, search: Libmonster IndiaLibmonster WorldGoogleYandex

Comments:



Reviews of professional authors
Order by: 
Per page: 
 
  • There are no comments yet
Related topics
Rating
0 votes
Related Articles
ETHNOREGIONALISM VERSUS MUSLIM COMMUNITY IN BRITISH INDIA
15 hours ago · From Kahri Jamma
FIGHTING TACTICS IN THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (FIRST HALF OF THE 1920s)
16 hours ago · From Kahri Jamma
THE MANY-FACED HINDUTVA
16 hours ago · From Kahri Jamma
AGVAN DORZHIEV'S ACTIVITIES IN THE IRKUTSK PROVINCE (1907-1908)
2 days ago · From Kahri Jamma
TANTRISM IN TIBETAN BUDDHISM
2 days ago · From Kahri Jamma
DANGEROUS SIMILARITY, OR THE PROBLEM OF KINSHIP OF" TWO ANCESTORS " - LAO TZU AND BUDDHA
2 days ago · From Kahri Jamma
THE MANY-FACED HINDUTVA
2 days ago · From Kahri Jamma
"THE SOVEREIGN'S EYE" (SPIES) IN ANCIENT INDIA (ACCORDING TO THE ARTHASHASTRA OF KAUTILYA)
3 days ago · From Kahri Jamma
"SRI KALACHAKRA LAGHU TANTRA RAJA HRIDAYA" - AN EXTRACT OF THE KALACHAKRA TEACHING. OPENING OF TWO EARLY EDITIONS OF THE TIBETAN TRANSLATION OF THE MONUMENT
3 days ago · From Kahri Jamma
PYOTR MIKHAILOVICH SHASTITKO (1923-2009)
4 days ago · From Kahri Jamma

New publications:

Popular with readers:

News from other countries:

ELIB.ORG.IN - Indian Digital Library

Create your author's collection of articles, books, author's works, biographies, photographic documents, files. Save forever your author's legacy in digital form. Click here to register as an author.
Library Partners

Traditions and modernization. CASTE AND ACTIVITIES OF MONEYLENDERS AND BANKERS IN COLONIAL INDIA
 

Editorial Contacts
Chat for Authors: IN LIVE: We are in social networks:

About · News · For Advertisers

Indian Digital Library ® All rights reserved.
2023-2024, ELIB.ORG.IN is a part of Libmonster, international library network (open map)
Preserving the Indian heritage


LIBMONSTER NETWORK ONE WORLD - ONE LIBRARY

US-Great Britain Sweden Serbia
Russia Belarus Ukraine Kazakhstan Moldova Tajikistan Estonia Russia-2 Belarus-2

Create and store your author's collection at Libmonster: articles, books, studies. Libmonster will spread your heritage all over the world (through a network of affiliates, partner libraries, search engines, social networks). You will be able to share a link to your profile with colleagues, students, readers and other interested parties, in order to acquaint them with your copyright heritage. Once you register, you have more than 100 tools at your disposal to build your own author collection. It's free: it was, it is, and it always will be.

Download app for Android