THE COMMERCIAL KINGDOM
OF RAJA GOKULDAS
[History of the Family and the Firm] [Jabalpur and the British and Indian Domains]
The Raja Seth Gokuldas family of Jabalpur became one of the most
renowned wealthy families of the Central Provinces. In late l908,
on the day after the death of Raja Gokuldas, the head of the
family, twenty-five thousand persons in Jabalpur accompanied the
funeral procession; the city's courts, schools, shops and markets
were closed. In respectful recognition of the family's substantial
business in Bombay, the cotton market at Kolaba and the wheat
market in Dana Bandar also closed.
This Marwari family exhibited many characteristics of other Marwari"great firms" in different parts of India. 342.2 In the Central Provinces it was one of the wealthiest elite families. During the nineteenth century other Marwari families spread out into many parts of India;northern India, Calcutta, Bombay, the Deccan, and Madras. Early in the century, Raja Gokuldas' grandfather, Sevaram, settled in the small trading town of Jabalpur and soon began to establish the family's position in
society and their rapid rise in wealth. Eventually their business and trading activities spread to several parts of northern Central Provinces, then to other parts of the province, and in time to Bombay, Calcutta, Rangoon, Central India, Etawah (United Provinces), and Multan (Sind). Few other families of the Central Provinces had such far-reaching connections.
Like other large Marwari firms the family participated in a wide variety of economic activities. They were money-lenders, brokers,traders, government treasurers, industrialists and landlords. As in other Marwari firms, the management and ownership was retained in the hands of the immediate family. The firm rarely allowed others to become partners in the firm or its branches. 343.1
The relations between the firm and the British rulers and administration was not consistently good. At times the British welcomed the financial help the family offered in loans to indebted families under the Court of Wards, for municipal development and other purposes.The British frequently used the firm's financial facilities to handle and transfer funds. At other times the British strongly objected to the role of the family as large landlords. Local British officials favored village landlords of agricultural castes and often cited the family as an example of an unwanted development--the transfer-of village ownership to large absentee money-lending families. Though the family
members acquired honorary titles, participated in district and municipal government institutions, and continued to reside at Jabalpur for almost a century, they were not included among the nominees for selection to the Governor-General's Legislative Council in 1893. 344.1 The Chief Commissioner considered the family still foreigners (Marwaris) whose reputation was based solely on wealth rather than landlord status. This tension and difference with the British may have encouraged the grandson of Raja Gokuldas, Govind Das, to join the National Congress in the early 1920s. He continued to carry on the tradition of a respected family in the Central Provinces, and eventually represented the state of Madhya Pradesh in the Lok Sabha (National Assembly).
The forefathers of Gokuldas originally came to Jabalpur from Jaisalmir, Rajasthan, at the beginning of the nineteenth century. They belonged to the Malpani section of the Maheshwari caste cluster. 344.2 The reasons for their departure from Jaisalmir and forgoing to Jabalpur are uncertain. The Jaisalmir state, located at the extreme western part of Rajasthan, reached its height in power and wealth in the middle of the seventeenth century, but steadily declined thereafter. The departure of the Gokuldas family and other merchants may have been due also to local political changes of the [area.]
Back to the top.
[Though Gokuldas may not have been] directly involved in these two associations, he was noted for his leadership in the Maheshwari caste association. When the Maheshwari Sabha held its first meeting in 1907 at Amraoti, he was elected its president. Over ten thousand visitors and delegates attended the conference. 397.1 Even after Gokuldas' death in 1909, the Maheshwari newspaper, the "Maheshwari Patrika" of Aligarh, carried articles and items recalling his activities and incidents from his life as moral examples. 397.2 These activities by the members of the family indicate the family's participation in a variety of official and voluntary associations.
In the first years of the nineteenth century Jabalpur served as a small market and administrative center. As a trade depot on the road to Mirzapur, wheat and forest produce poured into Jabalpur from the surrounding countryside for transport by bullock pack and cart across the Vindhya hills to the Ganges plain. Local administrative officials received directives from the Maratha Pundits in Saugor who in turn came under the jurisdiction of the Nagpur Bhonsla rulers,members of the Maratha Confederacy. By the end of the first quarter of the century, local administrative control had shifted from Saugor to Jabalpur and from Maratha to British hands. The Governor-General's
Agent for the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories and his staff received directives from Calcutta transmitted through Allahabad. A small garrison of troops was stationed on the outskirts of the town. By then also a recently immigrant Marwari family had become active participants in Jabalpur's banking and trading life. Sevaram bought some property next to the burning "hats of Jabalpur's Hanuman Tal and established the family's residence there.
In the early 1860s Jabalpur was combined with other British territories in central India to form the Central Provinces. The town as selected as one of the four Divisional headquarters. Even before the railway reached Jabalpur from Allahabad to the northeast and from Bombay to the southwest in the late 1860s, Jabalpur's trade had begun to move in a reverse direction. 398.1 Instead of flowing mainly toward the Ganges plain in the northeast, it now fed the territories of Nagpur and Berar to the southwest, where farmers had increasingly turned to specializing in cotton production to meet the upsurge of a foreign demand.
By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, Jabalpur was well established as the largest commercial and administrative town in northern Central Provinces. The road to the provincial capital,Nagpur, had been improved, and a recently constructed narrow-gauge
++ Page 399
railway from the forest hills of the Satpura range to the south also converged on Jabalpur and conveyed trade to and from the town. The local administration and the municipal committee had fostered and constructed public buildings to house officials and departments, and public works to provide a moderate amount of public services. Gokuldas had financed a small beginning in industry by establishing a gun-carriage factory, cotton and flour mills, and a tile manufacturing plant. Throughout the century, Sevaram's descendants prayed a prominent role in the expansion of Jabalpur's economic and administrative life through their divers! financial activities and their support of public institutions.
The history of Jabalpur during the nineteenth century was closely tied to the expansion both of British administration and the Gokuldas commercial dynasty. Both became established as new factors in the area early in the century? and grew in power and prestige during the following decades. For the British, Jabalpur district was merely one more small tract of territory which was conquered and incorporated into the Indian Empire. But for the Raja Gokuldas dynasty, Jabalpur became its base, its center for economic conquest into other parts of the Central Provinces and soon into other parts of India and beyond. Neither the British nor Gokuldas ever obtained complete, exclusive and totalitarian control in their respective spheres of domination over economic and social resources. Other persons, institutions and forces set limits on the opportunities for administrative and economic expansion. Even in the relationship between the government and Gokuldas, though they usually found it
mutually beneficial to collaborate in overlapping spheres of activity, there were times when they differed and came into conflict over goals and policies; and at other times it was best to keep out of each other's way and pursue independent activities. Nonetheless, by the late nineteenth century, each had developed such powerful positions in the area that it was not possible to ignore each other for long or in any important sphere of activity.
The founding father of the Gokuldas dynasty, Sevaram, migrated to Jabalpur from Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) during the first years of the nineteenth century. 400.1 As a Maheshwari of the Malpani clan, he evidently brought with him the business skills and techniques for which his broader caste, the Marwaris, had a traditional reputation. By the time of his death in 1834 he had established a sound base for the expansion of the family's fortunes and influence. The first rooms for the family's residence had been built on the banks of Hanuman Tal, near Jabalpur's market center. Several shops providing trade and banking services had been organized, some in alliance with other local traders such as the ancestors of Kanhaiyalal and Punamchand. With the purchase of a dozen villages, Sevaram began the family custom of investment in land. The first steps to erect the family's worship center, the Shri Gopal Lal Temple, had been completed and Sevaram's two sons had become initiated into membership of the Vallabha Hindu
sect under the guidance of a guru at Benares. Sevaram had made some of the first contributions to Jabalpur's public life by having a tank and a garden built in the town. A local British officer had recognized Sevaram as one of the leading bankers and traders of the town. Almost all of these activities established traditions which Sevaram's successors continued in later years.
Because of coincidental circumstances, the dynasty had few succession problems. Each generation subsequently found only one successor in command. Khushalchand succeeded Sevaram even though he was the younger of two surviving sons. The older son, Ramkrishnadas,devoted himself almost exclusively to religious activities; later his widow died before a judgment on a suit, that threatened to breakup the succession pattern, came to trial in 1847. So, too,Khusalchand's son, Gokuldas, became the sole inheritor of the reins of the family's wealth and power in 1869 when his younger brother (Gopaldas) died, four years after Khusalchand's death. Although both a son and a nephew of Gokuldas, Jiwandas and Ballabhdas, equally divided the inheritance when Gokuldas died in 1909, within 4 or 5 years the dynasty lay in almost complete financial ruin. It took several years of energetic efforts by Govindas, Gokuldas' grandson,to revive the prestige, wealth and power of the dynasty before it could regain and then exceed its previous stature.
The history of the Das dynasty over the five generations from Sevaram to Govindas presents a varied picture of expansion and consolidation of wealth and power. Sevaram provided the base for later expansion--not only did he found the headquarters of the "kingdom,"
++ Page 402
but he established lasting traditions of spheres of activity and patterns of alliances. Khushalchand maintained these and expanded them. The number of shops and the control of capital for investment,lending, and trade increased during his reign. Marital ant religious alliances brought the dynasty into contact with areas outside the province. Most important, his assistance to the British during 1857-58 placed the dynasty in a favored position. For some years the fund of British indebtedness to the dynasty paid off handsomely, not just in monetary terms of the award of government contacts and loans, but also in prestige and trust. After weathering a family crisis of the late 186Os and the early 1870s, Gokuldas turned in earnest to make the most of the wider contacts and increased prestige inherited from his father. In the 1880s he consolidated the dynasty's commercial and prestige position in the province. In the 1890s he turned his concentration to areas beyond the confines of the province#Especially in Rajasthan, his caste and family homeland, he received an honorary recognition of his high position, and went on to make advantageous financial commitments. In the same decade, he expanded into a new activity--industry--thus combining his control over markets and raw materials such as wheat and cotton with the processing of them. In the fourth generation, power was shared by two cousins. Both rejected Gokuldas' advice for moderation. Jiwandas gained the reputation as an extravagant spender. Ballabhdas exhausted considerable of his wealth in market speculation. The decline of the dynasty during their time, however, was more than checked during the reign of the fifth generation. The details of the revival in wealth and
especially in power is recounted in Govindas' autobiographies, and analyzed in its local Jabalpur setting in a dissertation. 403.1 Our main interest centers on the middle reign of the Das dynasty, the Gokuldas period.
Gokuldas's firm and its activities and position as a Raja or "king" may be viewed as "kingdom" or domain. Although his-kingdom might not exactly correspond to some definitions of kingdoms, it nevertheless functioned as a power, ruling over its own "territory," with its own regulations and structure of supervision, its own particular ideology, and surrounded by symbols of royalty. It is more than coincidence that Gokuldas eventually received recognition as a Raja within the British Raj, or that his residence in Jabalpur became known as the Raja Gokuldas Palace. Unlike administrative and military rulers, who have dominion over contiguous land areas, the kingdom of the Das dynasty included administrative control over widely scattered landed estates, as well as control over money, markets, products, and people. The exact extent of his "territory"is difficult to define, not only because it changed in time, but also because it goes beyond our usual concepts of "territoriality " and "sovereignty." 403.2 Nevertheless same definition of the minimal extent of the territory can be presented. The "territory" of his kingdom consisted of more than 200 village lands; the capital involved in
++ Page 404
numerous loans, each exceeding Rs. 25,000, and totaling almost Rs. 4.5 million; and hundreds of smaller loans of an unknown sum; many hundred shops financing and conducting trade in various products; and several processing plants and factories. Though these were concentrated in the Central Provinces, especially in or near Jabalpur district, others were dispersed in Bombay, Rajasthan, Central India, the Punjab, the United Provinces, Calcutta, and Rangoon.
The extent of Gokuldas' economic control and his monopoly varied with location, the product, and the period of time. For some products such as wheat and cotton, he sought to control a corner of the production of the raw materials, to profit from their sale and trade, L to transport a portion to his factories for processing or manufacture, and to return the finished products for sale in his shops or in
E return for more raw materials. By at least 1880 he was well aware that ownership of village lands not only symbolized traditional status and power, but also provided direct and immediate access to its food, forest and dairy production. Through various economic control methods (mainly loans) in many of his villages he was able to acquire much of his tenants' produce from their fields. 404.1 It is not surprising, therefore, that he raised strong objections in 1894 when the government initiated a policy for the recovery of rent payments in cash and prohibited their recovery in kind. He eventually abandoned a suit against government over this issue, however, when the government
++ Page 405
explained that he could recover rents in kind, but only if the produce was calculated at rates equal to current market prices or even more favorable to the tenant. 405.1
Gokuldas' position in some trade markets was as complete as in his access to land produce. One such market was Gadarwara, one of the largest speculative wheat markets in the Nerbudda valley. Among the 200-300 brokers at the market the Gokuldas firm was considered the largest. In 1884 other brokers began making contracts for large quantities of grain with the firm. As demand far exceeded the normal supply, it appeared that a large number of brokers would benefit by selling at higher prices at the expense of Gokuldas. Instead he met the demand by purchasing and supplying grain to the market from various other localities. m e local Gadarwara brokers, who would have lost considerably had Gokuldas not intervened, were spared serious loss. A similar incident occurred at the cotton market at Amraoti. Gokuldas' biographer reported the comment, "In the same way anybody who took it into his head to compete with the Raja Sahib, had to eat humble pie." 405.2 The circle of Gokuldas' conglomerate control was completed with his establishment and ownership of numerous wheat mills and plants to press cotton and manufacture cloth.
Gokuldas could buy or obtain grain and cotton from a tenant, sell him food and flour, loan him seed when he needed it, and provide him some cloth all "to the mere profit of the middlemen" - - that is Gokuldas and his agents. 406.1 As a landlord, trader, banker, and industrialist, Gokuldas had access to a certain amount of products and control over its supply, processing, manufacture, and sale. As such he also controlled a certain number of producers, suppliers,and consumers. 406.2
Gokuldas' "territorial" expansion and consolidation in land,lending, trade and industry, and his intensification of that control were accomplished through a management structure, which resembled the structure of the government in many ways. He was at the head,surrounded by a "council of ministers," under whom agents conducted the affairs of the kingdom's subjects. At each of the three levels of his administration, the personnel had particular characteristics or qualifications that led to their selection, training, and functions.He, like other members of the family dynasty, received a privileged education and special training. Particularly under the guidance of the family's rulers, he learned the basic business skills, and
++ Page 407
accounting methods, and was proficient in the Marwari language in which he transacted his business. He also acquired certain social and religious attitudes as he grew up in the "court" at the family's Jabalpur residence, later to be known as the "Raja Gokuldas Palace."When he inherited the headship of the a~ministration, he continued the tradition of close, personal supervision of the firm's management and activities. Usually each year, he spent nine months on tour inspecting his shops, estates, and other establishments and giving advice to his personnel.
At the headquarters at Jabalpur, he conducted business in consultation with members of the second level of his administration-treasurers, head-clerks, managers, advisors, and lawyers. Most of his "council" had specialized training, and performed specific functions for the firm. Punamchand's family had served the firm for three generations mainly as treasurers. S. R. Chaudhri came to Jabalpur after legal training at Calcutta and handled technical aspects of drawing-up contracts, petitions, and law-suits for the firm. The Russell brothers managed various affairs, after retiring from many years of service in the British administration.
Unlike the diverse social and cultural background among the personnel of the second level, almost all those on the third level were selected from a single social category--Marwaris--and were selected because of their educational and linguistic qualifications as much as because they were Marwaris. (Similarly the British government justified its selection of Englishmen for administrative positions in India.) As Marwaris, the munims or agents usually had
++ Page 408
acquired a training in basic accounting methods, certain business attitudes, and a knowledge of the Marwari language and script from their families before they were selected. Gokuldas controlled his agents by means of several requirements. They had to pass through a probationary period at Jabalpur so he could assess their character and skills. They were then posted to some shop or position where he could examine and reassess their work when on tour. Like members of the British administration, most agents were transferred from one post to another at intervals of 3 to 4 years, often without any notice. No relatives or members of the same jati of the agent were appointed to the same locality. 408.1 Gokuldas communicated with his agents in Marwari--and his handwriting and style made it difficult for anyone except his own agents to decipher his messages.
His methods of accounting and conduct of business, though accepted and understood by other Indians, especially other Marwaris, appeared unusual, unsystematic, and unbusiness-like to the British who had been trained in and were accustomed to other procedures.One British official, visiting Gokuldas at his residence to ask him to transfer a large amount of money to another location, described the simplicity and off-handed manner in which Gokuldas conducted the exchange. After arriving at the "palace" he was shown into Gokuldas'"garden, a large lawn surrounded with blossoming shrubs, a fountain playing in the middle, and a peafowl lazily strutting about." A
++ Page 409
superior "henchman" entertained the official until the "great man" appeared and seated himself.
It would be untactful to start away on business as the chief motive of the visit, though the motive is tacitly understood. So we exchange the usual elaborate greetings in the hyperbole of Hindustani--for the great man knows no English. Then general topics, such as the weather, crop prospects, the probability of epidemic disease in the city; and I rake inquiry about the Raja's stables, a favorite subject . . . Meanwhile the fountain plays . . . and time slips away. Then at last the question comes--Is there any service which the Sahib wishes done? I reply that there is a trifling matter, a little money to be -emitted. The great-man beckons an attendant, who removes the sack without counting coin or notes. That doesn't matter; I know it will be all right.More compliments and talk. The attendant reappears with the sack, now empty. We ignore him and continue the leisurely talk, till the Raja asks in feigned surprise, as though he had forgotten all about it, whether we hadn't some small business to do. Ah yes; here it is. He takes a tiny scrap of paper from the attendant and hands it to me. All it contains are a few hieroglyph ~cs in the obscure Marwari script. This I pocket with ostentatious negligence, well knowing that in a few days- I shall receive an acknowledgment from the British bank in the capital of a neighboring province . 409.1Several of the British laws, regulations, and concepts of business, no doubt, appeared as strange to Gokuldas as his business procedures appeared to the British. Most of his petitions ended with an apology for his inadequate understanding of British laws and occasional incorrect use of the English language.
As the Gokuldas kingdom developed into a large and wealthy power in the nineteenth century, he turned to establishing "diplomatic"' relations with two types of other powers. One had dominion and control over religious affairs. On his pilgrimages he paid tribute to the
++ Page 410
local Brahmin priests through gifts and feasts in return for religious recognition and merit. The second grew out of his- association with various "Princely States," especially in Rajasthan. He made ceremonial visits to these rulers and in return, in Rajasthan in particular, he received honorary recognition of his position ant privileged concessions for any business established there. Such "treaty"concessions often stipulated not only that he would be awarded financial preference in economic activities, but that his shops and books would be free from investigation and his employees would be exempt from criminal prosecution. 410.1
The major political power Gokuldas had to deal with was the British Raj. During the prosperous decades of the late nineteenth century, he aided the British and collaborated in several activities such as loans to previously important families of the Central Provinces (through the Court of Wards), and the financing of railway construction and municipal waterworks. The British honored him with titles which admitted him to the category of a privileged person,exempt from personal appearances in the low court, and from the prohibitions of the Arms Act. On one occasion he took advantage of this privileged status when he prohibited local police from entering and searching the house of his trusted treasurer, Punamchand, when t was discovered a deposit was missing from his treasury. 410.2
++ Page 411
This privileged relationship with the British became modified in the last years of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth. As long as Gokuldas' domains remained mainly within financial and commercial areas-, British interference remained at minimum. Because of their original experience as a trading company in India and because of their intellectual inheritance of concepts of laissez-faire economics, the British remained reluctant to interfere drastically and decisively in trade, banking and business. On the other hand, land policy remained a paramount concern of the British. Gokuldas' increasing involvement and ownership of land and his membership in a commercial caste, brought his landlord role to the attention of the local administration and caused major disagreements between the two. The revision of the thirty-year land revenue settlement and the decline in agricultural prosperity late in the late nineteenth century compelled the British to reconsider their land policies. The British became involved in the equitable fixation of rents; in the retention of subsistence land for landlords who were indebted, and who would otherwise have to sell their land; in the remission and abatement of land revenue, and finally in debt conciliation. Each of these policy developments impinged on Cokuldas' land domain in some way. His approach to them differed from the government's new policies. (See Chapter VII on Land.) As soon as the attention of Gokuldas' relationship with the British shifted to his landlord activities rather than his commercial and banking activities, differences between the two mounted. In addition, the shift of politics from one of prosperity, where all parties benefited
++ Page 412
in some way from economic growth, to a politics of scarcity because of the famines further aggravated the relationship. His petitions are evidences of the discussions and debates he had with the government.
The establishment of British control successively over various territories in India during the late eighteenth and in the nineteenth century changed the rules and the nature of the political game of dominance and control. They were able to define the broad limits within which Indians could function and participate. But these limits were both exclusive and inclusive of various kinds of activity. The dominance was never intended to cover all activities of all Indians. In the internal commercial domain the British followed a policy generally to free the flow of trade, abolishing the taxes and tariffs of previous governments. In the domain of land control, the British also intended to limit their direct interference only to a certain local level. Below that level the taxed producer or landholder was to have his own domain, the freedom to improve agricultural production on his own profits and initiative. Under the British rules of the political game, the British at times succeeded in attracting Indians to collaborate with them in their inclusive spheres of dominance. To such participants and supporters, the government awarded symbolic titles and recognized privileged status. However,in the spheres freed from British dominance, many Indians maintained their position and practices or even expanded their control. Under the British rules they learned how to play the game and set up their own spheres of dominance, excluded from British control or at least
++ Page 413
from constant interference.
In the Central Provinces, several Indians played the new political game. The Gokuldas family was an exceptional example of the establishment, expansion and consolidation of a commercial kingdom. As we have seen, they cooperated with the British in certain enterprises and institutions. Jabalpur became the second largest town in the province after only a century, primarily through the combined efforts: of the British and the prominent contribution of the Gokuldas family to the economic and public life of the town.
During the same period, other families in the Central Provinces developed and expanded their own spheres of dominance, built their own structure of control, and legitimized their position by various symbols. At Nagpur, the Chitnavis family was one of several families who utilized their recent position under the Bhonslas and their landed estates to expand into commerce, industry, and participation in British constitutional reforms. Also at Nagpur, the Maheshwari family of Abhirchand typified a commercial and banking expansion similar to the Gokuldas family but without the extensive investment in landownership. The Kanhayalal family of Raipur Agarwals and the Bhaiyalal Chaudhri family of Jabalpur Jains also represent expansion of commercial domains with a moderate interest in land investment. The Bhuskutte family of Hoshangabad Maratha Brahmins more closely approximated the Chitnavis type of expansion. These are just a few families in the Central Provinces during this period who successfully played the game of power and prestige under the British definitions of inclusive and exclusive spheres of dominance. Like the Gokuldas
++ Page 414
family they formulated their own policy, devised their own management structure, and utilized particular categories of resource personnel within their "kingdoms." The personnel incorporated within their management structures often consisted of highly trained"foreigners" (migrants into the Central Provinces) at the top, and fellow-caste personnel in the middle and lower ranks. By their activities these families simultaneously expanded their own type of control in spheres of domain outside British interest and interference, and accepted their limited role in the spheres of domain that were included-under direct British control.
In these pages, we have surveyed a part of the history of nineteenth century Central Provinces when there were new factors and participants in the political and economic activity of the area.Because of their cultural and intellectual inclinations, the British excluded particular domains from their predominant and pervasive control such as private business? trade, and local landed estates.In these some Indian families, from diverse areas and backgrounds,were quick to establish their control. Throughout the nineteenth century both the new British and Indian participants expanded and intensified their control over their own separate domains. Yet there was a degree of interaction represented by such activities as the government's taxation of landed estates, a few cooperative economic enterprises, inclusion of Indians in subordinate positions in administration, and symbolic awards for support. As long as the Central Provinces faced no severe economic decline and government policy remained fairly consistent, these collaborative efforts worked
++ Page 415
to the mutual benefit of the new co--existing domains. But, late in the nineteenth century, the government began to reconsider the degree of its involvement in the domain of local landholders, and at the same time famines brought new economic conditions. Consequently disagreements arose between the British and Indians over the changed economic conditions and land policy.
The history of the Gokuldas dynasty provides one of the most successful examples of these types of economic, political? and social developments in the Central Provinces, Though beginning as a small trading and banking enterprise based in Jabalpur, the family expanded into a conglomerate enterprise in the domains outside of direct British government interest and control; they increased their wealth, intensified their control, diversified their activities and extended them into several areas of India, and received symbolic recognition of their position from both the British rulers and Indian princes. By the time of his death in 1909, Gokuldas had clearly shown that his title as "Raja" was more than honorific.
Back to the top.
342.2. Thomas Timberg's ideas are referred to in this chapter for all India comparisons with other Marwari firms. Thomas Timberg, "The Rise of Marwari Merchants as Industrial Entrepreneurs to 1930" (Ph. D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1972). Hereafter Timberg, "Marwari." Chapter V, "Great Firms," pp. 161-187, and App. A, "Central Provinces and Berar,"pp. 291-294. [BACK]
343.1. See three articles by Thomas Timberg; two in the Indian Economic and Social History Review--"A North Indian Firm Seen through its Business Records, 1860-1914; Tarachand Ghanshyamdas, A 'Great' Marwari Firm" (September 1971), pp. 264-283, and "Three Types of the Marwari Firm" (May 1973), pp. 1-36; and one in Bengal Past and Present-- "A Note on the Arrival of Calcutta Marwaris" (January-June 1971), pp. 75-84.Hereafter respectively "Great Firm" "Types," and "Arrival." [BACK]
398.1. J. H. Morris, in the C. P., Ad. Rept. 1866-67, p. ix, analyzes this reversal as well as commenting on other changes occurring in the Central Provinces' trade traffic. Elizabeth Whitcombe also notes this in two rare references to Jabalpur in her study of Agrarian Conditions in Northern India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), pp. 12 and 182. [BACK]
400.1. The brief look at the family which introduces this study in the first pages of this chapter supplies pertinent information useful in the intervening text. While the general outline is repeated here,each of the two sections has its particular purpose and a related selection of information. [BACK]
403.2 See especially Walter Neale's concept that "land is to rule, "Walter C. Neale, "Land is to Rule," in Robert Eric Frykenberg, ed.,Land Control and Social Structure in Indian History (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969), pp. 3-15. [BACK]
405.1. CPRAP, May 1894, Part BII, Settlement 429-32, and CPRAP, July 1894, Part BII, Settlement #10-11. The government's primary goal was to end the practice of previous years whereby the landlords took payments in kind at prices favorable to themselves. That is, the government wanted to end de facto rent enhancements By landlords at the time of collecting rent payments in kind. [BACK]
406.2. His prominent position in the establishment and ownership of industry in Jabalpur allowed him to acquire cheap workers during the famines. The large number of orphans created by the famine caused a problem for the government. They preferred to place them under Hindu care, even though Christian Missions were always willing to accept the orphans. In 1896, with government approval, if not gratitude,Gokuldas took over the care of all the orphans in the town, many of them were employed in his mills. See RGDB, pp. 83-84. [BACK]
408.1. The British evidently felt these standards of appointment and transfer were necessary for efficient bureaucracy, but not for business management, especially village estate management. See CPRAP, May 189O, Revenue #24. [BACK]
410.1. RGDB includes a copy of a concessionary treaty offered to Gokuldas by the Jaisalmir Maharaja, pp. 93-94. Timberg in "Marwari" also remarks on the concessions Marwaris received from several Rajasthan rulers. [BACK]
Back to the top.