Just click on the page to read the whole thing.
Their bones will, Marx says, end up bleached on the plains of Bihar. Here Ranajit Guha in 1956 examines how colonial policy and corporation demands destroy livelihoods and skills fore generations to come. Some of the language may seem dated or unfamiliar I guess… but:
‘The Regulation on weavers,
framed by the Board of Trade in 1786, went further than this. But here also the proposed measure of improvement was administered strictly according to the commercial requirements of the Company. The Regulation provided for a number of legal safeguards favourable to the Companys weavers, but these represented no more than what was barely needed to ensure the regular and timely execution of contracts for investment. While the parochial labour of the textile producers of Bengal, thanks to the Company’s transactions, was being converted into an element of world economy, nothing was done to introduce a corresponding measure of improvement either in the technique or in the relations of production. The demands of a higher economic order were thus superimposed on a backward industrial organization without preparing the latter in any sense for such a function. There was nothing either in the nature of the East India Company or in Bengali society at the time which could satisfy the historical requirements of the situation. The result was that the Company, failing as it did to effect the release of the productive forces of native industry from feudal fetters, adopted the more facile solution of quarantine by isolating a part of the productive system from its original habitat and straitjiacketing it by the artificial organization of the English
factories. Thus, even before the indigenous industry of Bcngal had begun to wilt under the blasts that blew from Manchester in the first half of the nineteenth century, it was undermined at its very base due to the utter incompatibility between its mode of production and the nature of the market it was intended to serve’ (Guha 2009: 81-2).
From: The Small Voice of History: Collected Essays. Ranikhet can’t.: Permanent Black.
The Commission of Customs Scotland to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, reporting on the subject of trade with India, in 1812, examined Earl, Osborne and Ferrier (traders) on the question of smuggling ‘tea’. The answer is instructive – smuggling will increase if EIC ships are permitted to trade in Scottish waters. That is, lets be clear, English ships smuggling ‘tea’ to Scotland. Recall that these ships mostly carry other goods than tea, but in smuggling, the trick is not to declare. Records reported elsewhere – I think in Judt, have to check back – indicated some half a million pounds worth or goods a year was ‘pilfered’ from vessels in the Thames at London – that’s half a million of the declared consignments. The need to read between the lines – what does other ‘East India Goods’ really mean, and what does it not mean? The remittances off the books was a healthy trade for, in Feldbaek’s examples, for Danish shipping out of Serampore.
Reading various Blue Books and the like, parliamentary reports. This one on the East India Company struck me as typical, though the clipped coins distraction is of course curious enough to make the distraction distracting. I recall that Jacques Derrida writes on clipped coins in his essay Given Time, and George Caffentzis has a fascinating book on Locke: Clipped Coins, Abused Words, Civil Government: John Locke’s Philosophy of Money, both of which repay reading in the light of this old evidence from 1832. A certain smuggler-trader called Davidson is giving evidence to the parliamentary committee.
The casual racism, that the committee was more interested in dollars and silver than the opium trade – which as Marx of course recalls, was a vicious and vengeful trade – and as carried on by what is called the Country Ships, or Country Trade, which means those private traders not in the employ of the East IndiaCompany but often doing the work of its servants or agents, its officers, who made their cut on such up-country ventures, from Clive on.
90% of the cargo cotton and opium.
The dollar is clipped
It does not thereby lose in value (since weight in silver still applies)
Holes in the coins – sometimes for stringing, but often they are punched and clipped (the idea is that you clip a bit of each of a dozen coins and melt the bits up into a new coin, or you punch out the middle, as circle or square, and use it as a smaller denomination coin). Eventually this clipping, and punching, practice defeats the denominations, and weight reasserts its interest.
Which all for me is interesting and if you think its ancient stuff, just look in your pocket and see – the British two pound is a punched coin, with gold rim, silver (alloy) middle, the Australian 50 cent piece is clipped on all sides, as is the Brit 20p and the Indian 5 paise, Danish 1, 2 and 5 krone have holes, the Thai Bhat reminiscent of the counter punched ones (and for a time was very useful in cigarette machines in England, a healthy killing made by arriving with pockets full of Bhat when travelling to pommie). Also various denominations of the yen, oh and I see the new British pound is a tribute to the clipped coin too – OK, look again at the pound pictured above, I call it, the contemporary British pound coin is in effect a silent tribute to the age-old bastard opium trade, in the memory of Walter Stevenson Davidson Esquire, giving evidence below:
Do you happen to know whether Advantage has been taken of the Removal of that Restriction from the Import of British Manufactures into China from India?
I have heard it stated to be so; I have understood that it has been done profitably.
What particular Species of Manufactures?
I really cannot enumerate them.
They have not been to any great Extent?
No, I think not; principally by the Officers of Ships. I should think not to an Extent sufficient much to attract the Attention of the great Houses in India.
What were the chief Articles consigned to you for Sale in China by your Constituents?
The chief Articles were Cotton and Opium; they formed, I think, upwards of Nine Tenths of my Consignments.
What were your Returns?
Besides the Supercargoes Bills on the Indian Government, when they drew, I remitted very largely in Sycee Silver, the Production of China, in Tutenag, and many other Articles.
Any in Dollars?
Sometimes in Dollars. We were occasionally compelled to remit in Dollars, owing to the Difficulty of smuggling the Sycee Silver; but never resorted to that Mode, I think, when we could obtain the Sycee Silver.
The Dollar in China is very much beaten and broken, is it not?
Constantly cut and clipped in all Directions; it almost ceases to be a Dollar when it has circulated in China; there it is weighed as Silver; all Payments are made by Weight.
Is the Dollar, in consequence of this beating and breaking, diminished in intrinsic Value in China?
The Moment the Dollar is clipped it cannot be said to diminish in Value, because it will be taken afterwards just for its Weight in Silver, although it be punched and clipped through and through.
(citation: ‘Affairs of the East India Company: Minutes of evidence, 25 June 1830’, in Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 62, 1830 (London, [n.d.]), pp. 1156-1164. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/lords-jrnl/vol62/pp1156-1164 [accessed 28 March 2018].)
[JH comment: now if you were plying the illicit opium trade on behalf of dodgy East India Company officials, you’d also need to stop by the Tavern and deal. I guess]
From; The Milennium Post
by Nandini Guha | 28 Feb 2018 12:20 AM
Kolkata: An 18th Century Danish tavern that was in ruins, has been finally restored into a 120-seater café and lodge overlooking the Ganges at Serampore, by the Ministry of Tourism and the Government of Denmank. The heritage property will be inaugurated on Wednesday by Indranil Sen, the minister of state for Tourism and several ambassadors representing the Nordic countries. The tavern dates back to 1786. Restoration work was taken up by heritage architect Manish Chakraborti and his team in 2015. “A lot of European vessels used to ply on the river during that time. They used to spend a night in transit at the tavern. When we took over restoration though, it was in ruins. The roof had collapsed and there was debris everywhere. Now the old building has been restored to its old classical beauty,” Chakraborti told Millennium Post. The cost of restoration has been borne by the National Museum of Denmark (Rs 3.5 crore) and the state Tourism Department (Rs 1.5 crore). The Tourism Department is presently looking for an operator to run the café and it is expected that it will be fully operational in a month. “The important thing is that the government is investing in a heritage building that has now been converted into a reusable commercial space. As far as the menu is concerned, the operator has to keep in mind that this is Serampore and not Park Street. The pricing could be similar to cafes like Flury’s or Mrs Magpie. And of course, it will be a boost for the state’s tourism prospects,” added Chakraborti. Chakraborti had earlier won a UNESCO award for restoring the 200 year old St Olaf’s Church in Serampore, again an initiative of the Government of Denmark and the West Bengal government.
« RADIATING GLOBALITY / OLD HISTORIES AND NEW GEOGRAPHIES »
20-21 February 2016
Salle Viseoconférence UCAD 2, Cheikh Anta Diop
************** O **************
Samedi 20 Février 2016
09:00 – 09:15
Ibrahima Thioub, Rector – UCAD
09:15 – 09:30 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, History and Overview
09:35 – 09:50 John Hutnyk, Global Gifts and Capture
09:55 – 10:10 Discussions
10:10 – 10:30 Ben Baer, Regionalizing Socialism — (Pan-)African Exemplarities
10:30 – 10:55 Kanu Agrawal ‘The Role of Designers, Making Connections’
10:55 – 11:15 Joël Ruet, From Development Model to Emergence Toolbox? Agriculture & Industry in West Bengal, Yunnan and Senegal
11:15 – 11:30 Discussions
11:50 – 12:10 Lakshmi Subramaniam, Riverine regions and littoral spaces: mobile geographies and connected histories
12:10 – 12:25 Discussions
12:25 – 13:45 Lunch
13:45 – 14:05 Emmanuelle Kadya Tall, Cultu(r)al productions of the South Atlantic radiating globality: Mami Wata & the Twins
14:05 – 14:20 Discussions
14:20 – 14:40 Sylvain SANKALE, Thinking economic development in Senegal around 1820 Crossing experiences
14:40 – 14:55 Discussions
14:55 – 15:15 Break
15:15 – 15:30 Souleymane Bachir diagne, Comments
15:30 – 17:00
ICSSR-Sponsored International Conference organised by the Department of English, Chandernagore College, Hooghly in collaboration with Institut de Chandernagor
De/siring India: Representations through British and French Eyes (1584 – 1857)
18 January – 19 January 2016
18 January 2016
10 – 10.30: Registration (Charu Chandra Roy Memorial Hall, 1st Floor)
10.30 – 11.20: Inaugural Session
11.20 – 12.05: Keynote Address – Dr. Ian Magedera, Department of Modern Languages and Culture, University of Liverpool
‘Shall I compare thee to…’, Encountering and Countering Power in European Representations of India 1728 to 1857
12.05 – 12.15: Discussion and tea
Business Session 1 (Charu Chandra Roy Memorial Hall, 1st Floor)
Chair: Dr. Niranjan Goswami, Department of English, Chandernagore College
12.15 – 12.45: Prof. Rila Mukherjee, Department of History, University of Hyderabad
Knowing India in Sixteenth Century Europe
12.45 – 1.15: Prof. Nilanjan Chakrabarti, Dept. of English & Other Modern European Languages
Visva-Bharati – European Expansion and French Travel Narratives of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries on India
1.15 – 1.30: Discussion
Parallel Business Session (Geography Conference Room, 3rd Floor)
Chair: Prof. Supriya Chaudhuri (Emerita), Department of English, Jadavpur University
12.25 – 12.55: Prof. John Hutnyk, Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
Marx reading despatches from India
12.55 – 1.15: Ms. Janani Kalyani Venkataraman, Department of French, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
Sati resolved –representation of Indian widows in French plays in the 18th and early 19th century
1.15 – 1.30: Discussion
1.30 – 2.30: LUNCH
Business Session 2 (Charu Chandra Roy Memorial Hall, 1st Floor)
Chair: Prof. Jayati Gupta, Tagore National Fellow for Cultural Research
2.30 – 3.00: Prof. Supriya Chaudhuri (Emerita), Department of English, Jadavpur University
Desiring Bengal: Trade, culture, and the first English traveller to eastern India
3.00 – 3.30: Dr. Anna Becker, Department of History, University of Basel, Switzerland
The Mughal Regime and Female Bodies in 17th Century English Political Thought
3.30 – 3.45: Discussion
Parallel Business Session (Geography Conference Room, 3rd Floor)
Chair: Dr. Arpita Chattoraj Mukhopadhyay, Department of English, Burdwan University
2.30 – 2.50:Mr. Ariktam Chatterjee, Department of English, Govt. General Degree College, Singur, Ph.D. Scholar, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
Hindu Pantheon in London and a deported Sacred Thread: Instances problematising representation of India in the memoirs of British Baptist Missionaries
2.50 – 3.10: Dr. Swati Dasgupta, French Section, Dept. of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of Delhi
Women in the Indian Revolt of 1857
3.10 – 3.30: Dr. Sudipta Chakraborty, Department of English, Sreegopal Banerjee College, Hooghly
Crime and Empire: Colonial Imaginings and the Thuggee in Early Nineteenth Century British India
3.30 – 3.40: Discussion
3.40 – 4.10: Visit to the Exhibition at Institut de Chandernagor and Coffee
19 January 2016
10.30 – 11.00: Registration and Tea
Business Session 3 (Charu Chandra Roy Memorial Hall, 1st Floor)
Chair: Prof. John Hutnyk, Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
11.00 – 11.30: Prof. Jayati Gupta, Tagore National Fellow for Cultural Research
The Travels and Travails of Indigo in Bengal: Anglo-French Rivalry in the early Nineteenth
11.30 – 12.00: Dr. Romita Ray, Department of Art and Music Histories, Syracuse University, USA
Canton to Calcutta? Tea and Eighteenth-Century Encounters in the Colonial Metropolis
12.00 – 12.20: Dr. Niranjan Goswami, Department of English, Chandernagore College
Diamonds, Spices and Brahmins: Locating Culture in Tavernier’s Narrative of Desire
12.20 – 12.50: Dr. Jyoti Mohan, Department of History and Geography, Morgan State University, USA – L’Inde historique
12.50 – 1.05: Discussion
Parallel Business Session (Geography Conference Room, 3rd Floor)
Chair: Prof. Rila Mukherjee, Department of History, University of Hyderabad
11.00 – 11.30: Dr. Abhijit Gupta, Department of English, Jadavpur University
A Case of Identity: Madame Grand of Chandernagore
11.30 – 11.50: Ms. Rita Chatterjee, Department of English, Maharani Kasiswari College, Kolkata, PhD Scholar, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences
Blurred boundaries and travelling identities: a reading of Eliza Fay’s original letters from India: containing a narrative of a journey through Egypt and the author’s imprisonment at Calicut by Hyder Ali (1779-1815).
11.50 – 12.10: Ms. Michelle Karunakaran, MPhil/PhD Scholar, English, JNU, Delhi
Voltaire on Indian philosophy: early chapter in the history of French Orientalism
12.10 – 12.40: Prof. Richard Wrigley, Department of History of Art, University of Nottingham, UK
Promenade and perception: on the status of flânerie in 18th- and 19th-century writing on India
12.40 – 1.05: Discussion
1.05 – 2.00: LUNCH
Business Session 4 (Charu Chandra Roy Memorial Hall, 1st Floor)
Chair: Prof. Richard Wrigley, Department of History of Art, University of Nottingham, UK
2.00 – 2.20: Dr. Abin Chakraborty, Department of English, Chandernagore College
“Crack mee this nut, all ye Papall charitie vaunters”: Reading the Narratives and Letters of Thomas Coryat
2.20 – 2.40: Mr. Pinaki De, Department of English, Raja Peary Mohan College, Uttarpara
Tints and Tones: (Dis)orienting Oriental Scenery
2.40 – 3.00: Ms. Soumya Goswamy, Department of History, Chandernagore College
Colonial writings and the agenda of understanding Indian classical music
3.00 – 3.15: Coffee
3.15 – 4.00: Valedictory and Vote of Thanks (Charu Chandra Roy Memorial Hall, 1st Floor)