Local Agrarian Societies in Colonial India

Publisher : Psychology Press

ISBN-13 : 9780700704712

Page : 403 pages

Rating : 4.5/5 from 712 voters

This volume is the first systematic attempt to introduce a full range of Japanese scholarship on the agrarian history of British India to the English-language reader. Ten leading Japanese scholars present a collection of essays, all of them appearing in accessible form in English for the first time. In addition to two in-depth analyses of late 18th century records on South India and North Bengal respectively, five chapters deal with the late colonial period. Detailed statistical examinations provide a basis for a revised understanding of social mobility and land transfer, while a quantitative study of technology and labour absorption, a demographic approach to famines and epidemics, and a socio-political perspective of tenancy acts offer new blends of history and social science. While the findings are summarised in a full-length introduction by Peter Robb, there are four additional chapters which compare explicitly the Indian experience with those of Japan and other Asian countries. Using the Japanese experience as a yardstick, Sugihara and Yanagisawa argue for the historical presence of internal forces of change in Indian agriculture which has not been fully recognised in either western or nationalist historiography. They suggest the fundamental importance of an Asian comparative perspective for the understanding of Indian history.

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