Advertisement

Cloth and Commerce: Understanding Indian Economic History

  • Lakshmi Subramanian
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)

Abstract

This chapter revisits historical scholarship on Indian textiles, analyzing the challenges of writing the social history of its producers. These enduring questions are examined in particular through the experience of eighteenth-century weavers in Surat, Gujarat, India. The chapter focuses on resistance, and at the ways in which the textile manufacturing system emerged as the site of subaltern response and how this enables scholars to think more critically of the social and sociological dimensions of the textile industry in early modern South Asia. The chapter draws inspiration from the moral economy model of E. P. Thompson and provides a micro-history of the weavers of Surat in the critical years of transition to colonial rule.

References

  1. Bagchi, Amiya. “De-Industrialization in Gangetic Bihar, 1809–1901.” In Essays in Honor of Professor S.C. Sarkar, edited by Susobhan Chandra Sarkar, pp. 499–522. New Delhi: People’s Publishing House, 1976.Google Scholar
  2. Commercial Department Diary of the Bombay Government. Maharashtra state Archives, Mumbai. No. 5 of 1790.Google Scholar
  3. Commercial Department Diary of the Bombay Government. Maharashtra state Archives, Mumbai. No. 7 of 1792.Google Scholar
  4. Commercial Department Diary of the Bombay Government. Maharashtra state Archives, Mumbai. No. 16 of 1797.Google Scholar
  5. Commercial Department Diary of the Bombay Government. Maharashtra state Archives, Mumbai. No. 25 of 1800.Google Scholar
  6. Commercial Department Diary of the Bombay Government. Maharashtra state Archives, Mumbai. No. 27 of 1800.Google Scholar
  7. Commercial Department Diary of the Bombay Government. Maharashtra state Archives, Mumbai. No. 35 of 1802.Google Scholar
  8. Commercial Department Diary of the Bombay Government. Maharashtra state Archives, Mumbai. No. 36 of 1803.Google Scholar
  9. Dutt, Rajani Palme. India Today. New Delhi: People’s Publishing House, 1949; reprint, Calcutta: Manisha, 1997.Google Scholar
  10. Harnetty, Peter. “‘Deindustrialization’ Revisited: The Handloom Weavers of the Central Provinces of India, c. 1800–1947.” Modern Asian Studies 25 (1991): pp. 455–510.Google Scholar
  11. Haynes, Douglas. Small Town Capitalism in Western India: Artisans, Merchants and the Making of the Informal Economy, 1870–1960. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.Google Scholar
  12. Hossain, Hameeda. The Company Weavers of Bengal. The East India Company and the Organization of Textile production in Bengal. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1988.Indian Economic and Social History Review 5, no. 1 (1968).Google Scholar
  13. Mitra, Debendra Bijoy. The Cotton Weavers of Bengal, 1757–1833. Calcutta: Firma KLM, 1978.Google Scholar
  14. Pandey, Gyandendra. “The Bogited Julaha.” Economic and Political Weekly 18, no. 5. January 29, 1983.Google Scholar
  15. Parthasarathi, Prasannan. The Transition to a Colonial Economy Weavers, Merchants and Kings in South India, 1720–1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.Google Scholar
  16. Public Department Diary of the Bombay Government. No. 127 of 1797.Google Scholar
  17. Public Department Diary of the Bombay Government. No. 130 of 1798.Google Scholar
  18. Public Department Diary of the Bombay Government. No. 147 of 1800.Google Scholar
  19. Riello, Giorgio, and Tirthankar Roy eds. How India Clothed the World The World of South Asian textiles, 1500–1850. Leiden: Brill, 2009.Google Scholar
  20. Roy, Tirthankar. Artisans and Industrialization: Indian Weaving in the Twentieth Century. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1993.Google Scholar
  21. Subramanian, Lakshmi. “The Eighteenth Century Social order in Surat: A Reply and an excursus on the Riots of 1788 and 1795.” Modern Asian Studies 25, no. 2 (1991): pp. 321–365.Google Scholar
  22. Subramanian, Lakshmi. Indigenous capital and Imperial Expansion Bombay, Surat and the West Coast. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  23. Subramanian, Lakshmi. “Power and the Weave: Weavers, Merchants and Rulers in Eighteenth Century Surat.” In Trade and the Indian Ocean World: Essays in Honor of Ashin Dasgupta, edited by Rudrangshu Mukherjee and Lakshmi Subramanian, pp. 52–82. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  24. Subramanian, Lakshmi. “The Political Economy of Textiles in Western India: Weavers, Merchants and the Transition to a colonial economy.” In How India clothed the World The World of South Asian Textiles, 1500–1850, edited by Giorgio Riello and Tirthankar Roy, pp. 253–280. Leiden: Brill, 2009.Google Scholar
  25. Trivedi, Lisa. Clothing Gandhi’s Nation: Homespun and Modern India. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lakshmi Subramanian
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Studies in Social SciencesKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations