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Economic history of India

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The economic history of India is the story of India's evolution from a largely agricultural and trading society to a mixed economy of manufacturing and services while the majority still survives on agriculture. Prior to 1947 that history encompasses the economy of the Indian subcontinent, corresponding to the modern nations of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

This history begins with the Indus Valley Civilization (3300–1300 BC), whose economy appears to have depended significantly on trade. Around 600 BC, the Mahajanapadas minted punch-marked silver coins. The period was marked by intensive trade activity and urban development. By 300 BC, the Maurya Empire had united most of the Indian subcontinent. The resulting political unity and military security allowed for a common economic system and enhanced trade and commerce, with increased agricultural productivity.

The Maurya Empire was followed by classical and early medieval kingdoms, including the Cholas, Guptas, Western Gangas, Harsha, Palas, Rashtrakutas and Hoysalas. During this period, India is estimated to have had the largest economy between 1 CE and 1000 CE, controlling between one-third and one-fourth of the world's wealth, though GDP was stagnant. India experienced GDP growth in the late medieval era after 1000, during the Delhi Sultanate, but was overtaken by Ming China as the largest economy by 1500. After most of the subcontinent was reunited under the Mughal Empire, India again became the largest economy by 1700, producing about a quarter of global GDP, before declining under British rule in the late 18th century.[1][2] According to the Balance of Economic Power, India had the largest and most advanced economy for most of the interval between the 1st century and 18th century, the most of any country for a large part of the last two millennia.[3]

During the Mughal Empire, India was the world leader in manufacturing,[4] producing 25% of the world's industrial output up until the mid-18th century, prior to British rule.[5] Due to its ancient history as a trading zone and later its colonial status, colonial India remained economically integrated with the world, with high levels of trade, investment and migration.[6] India experienced deindustrialization under British rule,[5] when its share of the world economy declined from 24.4% in 1700 to 4.2% in 1950,[7] and its share of global industrial output declined from 25% in 1750 to 2% in 1900.[5]

The Republic of India, founded in 1947, adopted central planning for most of its independent history, with extensive public ownership, regulation, red tape and trade barriers.[8][9] After the 1991 economic crisis, the central government launched economic liberalisation, allowing it to emerge as one of the world's fastest growing large economies.[8][10]

Contents

Indus Valley CivilizationEdit

Indus Valley Civilisation, the first known permanent and predominantly urban settlement, flourished between 3500 BCE and 1800 BCE. It featured an advanced and thriving economic system. Its citizens practised agriculture, domesticated animals, made sharp tools and weapons from copper, bronze and tin and traded with other cities.[11] Evidence of well-laid streets, layouts, drainage system and water supply in the valley's major cities, Harappa, Lothal, Mohenjo-daro and Rakhigarhi reveals their knowledge of urban planning.

Ancient and medieval characteristicsEdit

Though ancient India had a significant urban population, much of India's population resided in villages, whose economy was largely isolated and self-sustaining. Agriculture was the predominant occupation and satisfied a village's food requirements while providing raw materials for hand-based industries such as textile, food processing and crafts. Besides farmers, people worked as barbers, carpenters, doctors (Ayurvedic practitioners), goldsmiths and weavers.[12]

ReligionEdit

Religion played an influential role in shaping economic activities.

Pilgrimage towns like Allahabad, Benares, Nasik and Puri, mostly centred around rivers, developed into centres of trade and commerce. Religious functions, festivals and the practice of taking a pilgrimage resulted in an early version of the hospitality industry.[13]

Economics in Jainism is influenced by Mahavira and his philosophy. He was the last of the 24 Tirthankars, who spread Jainism. Relating to economics he explained the importance of the concept of 'anekanta' (non-absolutism).[14]

Family businessEdit

In the joint family system, members of a family pooled their resources to maintain the family and invest in business ventures. The system ensured younger members were trained and employed and that older and disabled persons would be supported by their families. The system prevented agricultural land from splitting with each generation, aiding yield from the benefits of scale. Such sanctions curbed the spirit of rivality in junior members and instilled a sense of obedience.[15]

Organisational entitiesEdit

Along with the family- and individually-owned businesses, ancient India possessed other forms of engaging in collective activity, including the gana, pani, puga, vrata, sangha, nigama and sreni. Nigama, pani and sreni refer most often to economic organisations of merchants, craftspeople and artisans, and perhaps even para-military entities. In particular, the sreni shared many similarities with modern corporations, which were used in India from around the 8th century BCE until around the 10th century CE. The use of such entities in ancient India was widespread, including in virtually every kind of business, political and municipal activity.[16]

The sreni was a separate legal entity that had the ability to hold property separately from its owners, construct its own rules for governing the behaviour of its members and for it to contract, sue and be sued in its own name. Ancient sources such as Laws of Manu VIII and Chanakya's Arthashastra provided rules for lawsuits between two or more sreni and some sources make reference to a government official (Bhandagarika) who worked as an arbitrator for disputes amongst sreni from at least the 6th century BCE onwards.[17] Between 18 and 150 sreni at various times in ancient India covered both trading and craft activities. This level of specialisation is indicative of a developed economy in which the sreni played a critical role. Some sreni had over 1,000 members.

The sreni had a considerable degree of centralised management. The headman of the sreni represented the interests of the sreni in the king's court and in many business matters. The headman could bind the sreni in contracts, set work conditions, often received higher compensation and was the administrative authority. The headman was often selected via an election by the members of the sreni, and could also be removed from power by the general assembly. The headman often ran the enterprise with two to five executive officers, also elected by the assembly.[citation needed]

CoinageEdit

Punch marked silver ingots were in circulation around the 5th century BCE. They were the first metallic coins minted around the 6th century BCE by the Mahajanapadas of the Gangetic plains and were India's earliest traces of coinage. While India's many kingdoms and rulers issued coins, barter was still widely prevalent.[18][not in citation given] Villages paid a portion of their crops as revenue while its craftsmen received a stipend out of the crops for their services. Each village was mostly self-sufficient.[19]

Maurya EmpireEdit

During the Maurya Empire (c. 321–185 BCE), important changes and developments affected the Indian economy. It was the first time most of India was unified under one ruler. With an empire in place, trade routes became more secure. The empire spent considerable resources building and maintaining roads. The improved infrastructure, combined with increased security, greater uniformity in measurements, and increasing usage of coins as currency, enhanced trade.[20]

Delhi SultanateEdit

Before and during the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526 CE), Islam underlay a cosmopolitan civilization. It offered wide-ranging international networks, including social and economic networks. They spanned large parts of Afro-Eurasia, leading to escalating circulation of goods, peoples, technologies and ideas. While initially disruptive, the Delhi Sultanate was responsible for integrating the Indian subcontinent into a growing world system.[21]

India's GDP per capita was lower than the Middle East from 1 CE (16% lower) to 1000 CE (about 40% lower), but by the late Delhi Sultanate era in 1500, India's GDP per capita approached that of the Middle East.[22]

GDP estimatesEdit

According to economic historian Angus Maddison in Contours of the world economy, 1–2030 CE: essays in macro-economic history, India had the world's largest economy from 1 CE to 1000 CE. However, the economy did not grow during the period. Between 1000 and 1500, in the late medieval era (during the Delhi Sultanate), India began to experience GDP growth, but more slowly than China, which overtook India to become the world's largest economy. Ming China and India remained the largest economies through 1600. India experienced its fastest economic growth under the Mughal Empire during the 16th–18th centuries, boosting India above Qing China by 1700.[23]

GDP (PPP) in 1990 international dollars
Year Indian subcontinent per capita Annual GDP growth rate Period
1 33,750,000,000 450 Classical era
1000 33,750,000,000 450 0.0% Middle kingdoms of India
1500 60,500,000,000 450 0.117% Medieval India
1600 74,250,000,000 550 0.205% Early modern period
1700 90,750,000,000 550 0.201%
1820 111,417,000,000 533 0.171%

Mughal EmpireEdit

The Indian economy was large and prosperous under the Mughal Empire (1526–1858) into the early 18th century.[24] In the 16th century, India's GDP was estimated at about 25.1% of the world total.

An estimate of India's pre-colonial economy puts the annual revenue of Emperor Akbar the Great's treasury in 1600 at £17.5 million (in contrast to the entire treasury of Great Britain two hundred years later in 1800, which totaled £16 million). The GDP of Mughal India in 1600 was estimated at about 24.3% the world economy, the second largest in the world.[25]

By the late 17th century, the Mughal Empire was at its peak and had expanded to include almost 90 per cent of South Asia. It enforced a uniform customs and tax-administration system. In 1700, the exchequer of the Emperor Aurangzeb reported an annual revenue of more than £100 million, or $450 million, more than ten times that of his contemporary Louis XIV of France.[26]

By 1700, Mughal India had become the world's largest economy, ahead of Qing China and Western Europe, producing about a quarter of world output.[27] Mughal India produced about 25% of global industrial output into the early 18th century.[5] India's GDP growth increased under the Mughal Empire, exceeding growth in the prior 1,500 years.[28]. The Mughals were responsible for building an extensive road system, creating a uniform currency, and the unification of the country.[29] The empire built an extensive road network, using a public works department that designed, constructed and maintained roads.[24] The Mughals adopted and standardized the rupee currency introduced by Sur Emperor Sher Shah Suri.[30] The Mughals minted tens of millions of coins, with purity of at least 96%, without debasement until the 1720s.[31] The empire met global demand for Indian agricultural and industrial products.[32]

Cities and towns boomed under the Mughal Empire, which had a relatively high degree of urbanization (15% of its population lived in urban centres), more urban than Europe at the time and British India in the 19th century.[33] Multiple cities had a population between a quarter-million and half-million people,[33] while some including Agra (in Agra Subah) hosted up to 800,000 people[34] and Dhaka (in Bengal Subah) with over 1 million.[35] 64% of the workforce were in the primary sector (including agriculture), while 36% were in the secondary and tertiary sectors.[36] The workforce had a higher percentage in non-primary sectors than Europe at the time; in 1700, 65–90% of Europe's workforce were in agriculture, and in 1750, 65–75% were in agriculture.[37]

AgricultureEdit


Indian agricultural production increased.[24] Food crops included wheat, rice, and barley, while non-food cash crops included cotton, indigo and opium. By the mid-17th century, Indian cultivators begun to extensively grow two crops from the Americas, maize and tobacco.[24] Bengali peasants learned techniques of mulberry cultivation and sericulture, establishing Bengal Subah as a major silk-producing region.[38] Agriculture was advanced compared to Europe, exemplified by the earlier common use of the seed drill.[39] The Mughal administration emphasized agrarian reform, which began under the non-Mughal emperor Sher Shah Suri. Akbar adopted this and added more reforms.[40] The Mughal government funded the building of irrigation systems, which produced much higher crop yields and harvests.[24]

One reform introduced by Akbar was a new land revenue system called zabt. He replaced the tribute system with a monetary tax system based on a uniform currency.[31] The revenue system was biased in favour of higher value cash crops such as cotton, indigo, sugar cane, tree-crops, and opium, providing state incentives to grow cash crops, adding to rising market demand.[41] Under the zabt system, the Mughals conducted extensive cadastral surveying to assess the cultivated area. The Mughal state encouraged greater land cultivation by offering tax-free periods to those who brought new land under cultivation.[42]

According to evidence cited by economic historians Immanuel Wallerstein, Irfan Habib, Percival Spear, and Ashok Desai, per-capita agricultural output and standards of consumption in 17th-century Mughal India was higher than in 17th-century Europe and early 20th-century British India.[43]

ManufacturingEdit

 
A woman in Dhaka clad in fine Bengali muslin, 18th century.

Until the 18th century, Mughal India was the most important manufacturing center for international trade.[44] Key industries included textiles, shipbuilding and steel. Processed products included cotton textiles, yarns, thread, silk, jute products, metalware, and foods such as sugar, oils and butter.[24] This growth of manufacturing has been referred to as a form of proto-industrialization, similar to 18th-century Western Europe prior to the Industrial Revolution.[45]

Early modern Europe imported products from Mughal India, particularly cotton textiles, spices, peppers, indigo, silks and saltpeter (for use in munitions).[24] European fashion, for example, became increasingly dependent on Indian textiles and silks. From the late 17th century to the early 18th century, Mughal India accounted for 95% of British imports from Asia, and the Bengal Subah province alone accounted for 40% of Dutch imports from Asia.[46] In contrast, demand for European goods in Mughal India was light. Exports were limited to some woolens, unprocessed metals and a few luxury items. The trade imbalance caused Europeans to export large quantities of gold and silver to Mughal India to pay for South Asian imports.[24] Indian goods, especially those from Bengal, were also exported in large quantities to other Asian markets, such as Indonesia and Japan.[47]

The largest manufacturing industry was cotton textile manufacturing, which included the production of piece goods, calicos and muslins, available unbleached in a variety of colours. The cotton textile industry was responsible for a large part of the empire's international trade.[24] The most important center of cotton production was the Bengal Subah province, particularly around Dhaka.[48] Bengal alone accounted for more than 50% of textiles and around 80% of silks imported by the Dutch.[46] Bengali silk and cotton textiles were exported in large quantities to Europe, Indonesia and Japan.[49]

Mughal India had a large shipbuilding industry, particularly in the Bengal Subah province. The annual shipbuilding output of Bengal alone totaled around 2,232,500 tons, larger than the output of the Dutch (450,000–550,000 tons), the British (340,000 tons), and North America (23,061 tons).[50]

Bengal SubahEdit

Bengal Subah was the Mughal's wealthiest province, generating 50% of the empire's GDP and 12% of the world's GDP.[51] It was globally dominant in industries such as textile manufacturing and shipbuilding.[52][53][54] Bengal's capital city Dhaka was the empire's financial capital, with a population exceeding one million. It was an exporter of silk and cotton textiles, steel, saltpeter and agricultural and industrial products.[51]

Domestically, much of India depended on Bengali products such as rice, silks and cotton textiles.[46][49]

Mughal India had a higher per-capita income in the late 16th century than British India had in the early 20th century, and the secondary sector contributed a higher percentage to the Mughal economy (18.2%) than it did to the economy of early 20th-century British India (11.2%).[55]

Post-Mughal statesEdit

In the early half of the 18th century, Mughal Empire fell into decline, with Delhi sacked in Nader Shah's invasion of the Mughal Empire, the treasury emptied, tens of thousands killed, and many thousands more carried off, with their livestock, as slaves, weakening the empire and leading to the emergence of post-Mughal states. The Mughals were replaced by the Marathas as the dominant military power in much of India, while the other smaller regional kingdoms who were mostly late Mughal tributaries, such as the Nawabs in the north and the Nizams in the south, declared autonomy. However, the efficient Mughal tax administration system was left largely intact, with Tapan Raychaudhuri estimating revenue assessment actually increased to 50 per cent or more, in contrast to China’s 5 to 6 per cent, to cover the cost of the wars[56]. Similarly in the same period Maddison estimates the Mughal economies income distribution as:

Mughal empire income Inequality c1750[57]
Social Group  %'age Population  %'age Total Income Income in terms of per capita mean
Nobility, Zamindars 1 15 15
Merchants to Sweapers 17 37 2.2
Village Economy 72 45 0.6
Tribal Economy 10 3 0.3
Total 100 100 1

Among the post-Mughal states that emerged in the 18th century, the dominant economic powers were Bengal Subah (under the Nawabs of Bengal) and the South Indian Kingdom of Mysore (under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan). The former was devastated by the Maratha invasions of Bengal[58][59], that over a decade saw six invasions, that are claimed to have killed hundreds of thousands, and weakened the territories economy to the point the Nawab of Bengal agreed a peace treaty with the Marathas. The agreement made the Bengal Subah a tributary to the Marathas, with the former agreeing to pay Rs. 1.2 million of tribute annually, as the Chauth of Bengal and Bihar. The Nawab of Bengal also paid Rs. 3.2 million to the Marathas, towards the arrears of chauth for the preceding years. The chauth was paid annually by the Nawab of Bengal, upto his defeat at the Battle of Plassey, in 1757, by the East India Company.

The economy of the Kingdom of Mysore then overtook that of Bengal. Mysore's real wages and living standards exceeded Britain's.[4] Mysore's average per-capita income was five times higher than subsistence level,[60] i.e. five times higher than $400 (1990 international dollars),[61] or $2,000 per capita. In comparison, the highest national per-capita incomes in 1820 were $1,838 for the Netherlands and $1,706 for Britain.[62]

Jeffrey G. Williamson argued that India went through a period of deindustrialization in the latter half of the 18th century as an indirect outcome of the collapse of the Mughal Empire, and that British rule later caused further deindustrialization.[5] According to Williamson, the Mughal Empire's decline reduced agricultural productivity, which drove up food prices, then nominal wages, and then textile prices, which cost India textile market share to Britain even before the latter developed factory technology,[63] though Indian textiles maintained a competitive advantage over British textiles until the 19th century.[64] Prasannan Parthasarathi countered that several post-Mughal states did not decline, notably Bengal and Mysore, which were comparable to Britain into the late 18th century.[4]

British ruleEdit

The British East India Company conquered Bengal Subah at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. After gaining the right to collect revenue in Bengal in 1765, the East India Company largely ceased importing gold and silver, which it had hitherto used to pay for goods shipped back to Britain. In addition, as under Mughal rule, land revenue collected in the Bengal Presidency helped finance the Company's wars in other parts of India. Consequently, in the period 1760–1800, Bengal's money supply was greatly diminished. The closing of some local mints and close supervision of the rest, the fixing of exchange rates and the standardization of coinage added to the economic downturn.[65]

During the period 1780–1860 India changed from an exporter of processed goods paid for in bullion to an exporter of raw materials and a buyer of manufactured goods.[65] In the 1750s fine cotton and silk was exported from India to markets in Europe, Asia and Africa, while by the second quarter of the 19th century, raw materials, which chiefly consisted of raw cotton, opium, and indigo, accounted for most of India's exports.[66] From the late 18th century the British cotton mill industry began to lobby their government to tax Indian imports and allow them access to markets in India.[66] Starting in the 1830s, British textiles began to appear in—and then inundate—Indian markets, with the value of the textile imports growing from £5.2 million in 1850 to £18.4 million in 1896.[67] The abolition of slavery encouraged Caribbean plantations to organize the import of South Asian labor.[68]

British colonial rule created an institutional environment that stabilized Indian society, while they stifled trade with the rest of the world. They created a well-developed system of railways, telegraphs and a modern legal system. This infrastructure was mainly geared towards the exploitation of resources, leaving industrial development stalled and agriculture unable to feed a rapidly accelerating population. Indians were subject to frequent famines, had one of the world's lowest life expectancies, suffered from pervasive malnutrition and were largely illiterate.

According to 18th-century earnings data from economic historian Prasannan Parthasarathi, real wages and living standards in Bengal Subah and the South Indian Kingdom of Mysore were higher than in Britain (see Post-Mughal states above), which in turn had the highest living standards in Europe.[69][4][5]


Declining share of world GDPEdit

 
The global contribution to world's GDP by major economies from 1 CE to 2003 CE according to Angus Maddison's estimates.[70] Up until the early 18th century, China and India were the two largest economies by GDP output.

There is no doubt that our grievances against the British Empire had a sound basis. As the painstaking statistical work of the Cambridge historian Angus Maddison has shown, India's share of world income collapsed from 22.6% in 1700, almost equal to Europe's share of 23.3% at that time, to as low as 3.8% in 1952. Indeed, at the beginning of the 20th century, "the brightest jewel in the British Crown" was the poorest country in the world in terms of per capita income.

British economist Angus Maddison claimed that India's share of the world income went from 27% in 1700 (compared to Europe's share of 23%) to 3% in 1950. India's GDP (PPP) per capita was stagnant during the Mughal Empire and began to decline prior to the onset of British rule.[25] India's share of global industrial output also declined from 25% in 1750 to 2% in 1900.[5] Britain replaced India as the world's largest textile manufacturer in the 19th century.[64] In terms of urbanization, Mughal India had a higher percentage of its population (15%) living in urban centers in 1600 than British India did in the 19th century.[33]

Modern economic historians have blamed the colonial rule for the dismal state of India's economy, with investment in Indian industries limited since it was a colony.[72][73] Under British rule, India's native manufacturing industries shrank.[74][64][75] During the British East India Company's rule in India, production of food crops declined, mass impoverishment and destitution of farmers and numerous famines.[76] The economic policies of the British Raj caused a severe decline in the handicrafts and handloom sectors, with reduced demand and dipping employment;[77] the yarn output of the handloom industry, for example, declined from 419 million pounds in 1850 to 240 million pounds in 1900.[5] The result was a significant transfer of capital from India to England, which led to a massive drain of revenue rather than any systematic effort at modernisation of the Indian economy.[78]

Several economic historians claimed that in the 18th century real wages were falling in India, and were "far below European levels".[79] This has been disputed by others, who argued that real wage decline occurred in the early 19th century, or possibly beginning in the late 18th century, largely as a result of British imperialism.[5]

British East India Company ruleEdit

During this period, the East India Company began tax administration reforms in a fast expanding empire spread over 250 million acres (1,000,000 km2), or 35 per cent of Indian domain. Indirect rule was established on protectorates and buffer states.

Ray (2009) raises three basic questions about the 19th-century cotton textile industry in Bengal: when did the industry begin to decay, what was the extent of its decay during the early 19th century, and what were the factors that led to this? Since no data exist on production, Ray uses the industry's market performance and its consumption of raw materials. Ray challenges the prevailing belief that the industry's permanent decline started in the late 18th century or the early 19th century. The decline actually started in the mid-1820s. The pace of its decline was, however, slow though steady at the beginning, but reached a crisis by 1860, when 563,000 workers lost their jobs. Ray estimates that the industry shrank by about 28% by 1850. However, it survived in the high-end and low-end domestic markets. Ray agrees that British discriminatory policies undoubtedly depressed the industry's exports, but suggests its decay is better explained by technological innovations in Britain.[80]

Other historians point to colonization as a major factor in both India's deindustrialization and Britain's Industrial Revolution.[52][53][54][81] The capital amassed from Bengal following its 1757 conquest supported investment in British industries such as textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution as well as increasing British wealth, while contributing to deindustrialization and famines in Bengal;[52][53][54][51] following the British conquest, a devastating famine broke out in Bengal in the early 1770s, killing a third of the Bengali population and 5 percent of the national population.[82] Colonization forced the large Indian market to open to British goods, which could be sold in India without tariffs or duties, compared to heavily-taxed local Indian producers. In Britain protectionist policies such as high tariffs restricted Indian textile sales. By contrast, raw cotton was imported without tariffs to British factories which manufactured textiles and sold them back to India. British economic policies gave them a monopoly over India's large market and cotton resources.[74][64][75] India served as both a significant supplier of raw goods to British manufacturers and a large captive market for British manufactured goods.[83]

Indian textiles had maintained a competitive advantage over British textiles up until the 19th century, when Britain eventually overtook India as the world's largest cotton textile manufacturer.[64] In 1811, Bengal was still a major exporter of cotton cloth to the Americas and the Indian Ocean. However, Bengali exports declined over the course of the early 19th century, as British imports to Bengal increased, from 25% in 1811 to 93% in 1840.[84] By 1820, India had fallen from the top rank to become the second-largest economy in the world, behind China.[25]

Absence of industrialisationEdit

Historians have questioned why India failed to industrialise in the 19th century as Britain did. As British cotton industry underwent a technological revolution in the late 18th century, Indian industry stagnated, and industrialisation began only in the 20th century. Several historians have suggested that this was because India was still a largely agricultural nation with low wage levels, arguing that wages were high in Britain so cotton producers had the incentive to invent and purchase expensive new labour-saving technologies, and that wages levels were low in India so producers preferred to increase output by hiring more workers rather than investing in technology.[85]

Economic historians such as Prasannan Parthasarathi have criticized this argument, pointing to earnings data that show real wages in 18th-century Bengal and Mysore were higher than in Britain.[69][5] Instead, Parthasarathi argues that Indian textile prices were lower because of India's lower food prices, which was the result of higher agricultural productivity. Compared to Britain, the silver coin prices of grain were about one-half in Mysore and one-third in Bengal, resulting in lower silver coin prices for Indian textiles, giving them a price advantage in global markets.[69] According to evidence cited by Immanuel Wallerstein, Irfan Habib, Percival Spear and Ashok Desai, per-capita agricultural output and standards of consumption in 17th-century Mughal India was higher than in 17th-century Europe and early 20th-century British India.[43]

Stephen Broadberry and Bishnupriya Gupta gave the following comparative estimates for Indian and UK populations and GDP per capita during 1600–1871 in terms of 1990 international dollars.[86][87][88]

Year India ($) UK ($) Ratio (%) India population (m) UK population (m)
1600 792 1,104 72 142 5
1650 746 904 83 142 5.8
1700 728 1,477 49.3 164 8.8
1751 669 1,678 39.9 190 9.2
1801 646 1,985 32.6 207 16.3
1811 617 2,083 29.6 215 18.5
1821 587 2,080 28.2 205 21.0
1831 592 2,228 26.6 216 24.1
1841 592 2,404 24.6 212 26.9
1851 594 2,718 21.9 232 27.5
1861 562 3,124 18.0 244 29.1
1871 533 3,676 14.5 256 31.6

However, Parthasarathi criticised the per-capita GDP estimates from Broadberry and Gupta.[69][5] Workers in the textile industry, for example, earned more in Bengal and Mysore than they did in Britain, while agricultural labour in Britain had to work longer hours to earn the same amount as in Mysore.[69] Others such as Andre Gunder Frank, Robert A. Denemark, Kenneth Pomeranz and Amiya Kumar Bagchi also criticised estimates that showed low per-capita income and GDP growth rates in Asia (especially China and India) prior to the 19th century, pointing to later research that found significantly higher per-capita income and growth rates in China and India during that period.[89]

Economic historian Sashi Sivramkrishna estimates Mysore's average per-capita income in the late 18th century to be five times higher than subsistence,[60] i.e. five times higher than $400 (1990 international dollars),[61] or $2,000 per capita. In comparison, the highest national per-capita incomes in 1820 were $1,838 for the Netherlands and $1,706 for Britain.[62] According to economic historian Paul Bairoch, India as well as China had a higher GDP per capita than Europe in 1750.[90][91] For 1750, Bairoch estimated the GNP per capita for the Western world to be $182 in 1960 US dollars ($804 in 1990 dollars) and for the non-Western world to be $188 in 1960 dollars ($830 in 1990 dollars), exceeded by both China and India.[92] Other estimates he gives include $150–190 for England in 1700 and $160–210 for India in 1800.[93] Bairoch estimated that it was only after 1800 that Western European per-capita income pulled ahead.[94]

British RajEdit

The formal dissolution of the Mughal Dynasty heralded a change in British treatment of Indian subjects. During the British Raj, massive railway projects were begun in earnest and government jobs and guaranteed pensions attracted a large number of upper caste Hindus into the civil service for the first time. British cotton exports absorbed 55 per cent of the Indian market by 1875.[95] In the 1850s the first cotton mills opened in Bombay, posing a challenge to the cottage-based home production system based on family labour.[96]

The Great Depression of 1929 had a small direct impact on traditional India, with relatively little impact on the modern secondary sector. The government did little to alleviate distress, and was focused mostly on shipping gold to Britain.[97] The worst consequences involved deflation, which increased the burden of the debt on villagers.[98] Total economic output did not decline between 1929 and 1934. The worst-hit sector was jute, based in Bengal, which was an important element in overseas trade; it had prospered in the 1920s but prices dropped in the 1930s.[99] Employment also decline, while agriculture and small-scale industry exhibited gains.[100] The most successful new industry was sugar, which had meteoric growth in the 1930s.[101][102]

The newly independent but weak Union government's treasury reported annual revenue of £334 million in 1950. In contrast, Nizam Asaf Jah VII of south India was widely reported to have a fortune of almost £668 million then.[103] About one-sixth of the national population were urban by 1950.[104] A US Dollar was exchanged at 4.79 Rupees.

Fall of the RupeeEdit

Price of Silver – Rate of Exchange: 1871–72 to 1892–93
Period Price of Silver (in pence per Troy ounce) Rupee exchange rate (in pence)
1871–1872 60½ 23 ⅛
1875–1876 56¾ 21⅝
1879–1880 51¼ 20
1883–1884 50½ 19½
1887–1888 44⅝ 18⅞
1890–1951 47 11/16 18⅛
1891–1892 45 16¾
1892–1893 39 15
Source: B.E. Dadachanji. History of Indian Currency and Exchange, 3rd enlarged ed.

(Bombay: D.B. Taraporevala Sons & Co, 1934), p. 15

See also: The crisis of silver currency and bank notes (1750–1870)

After its victory in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), Germany extracted a huge indemnity from France of £200,000,000, and then moved to join Britain on a gold monetary standard. France, the US and other industrialising countries followed Germany in adopting gold in the 1870s. Countries such as Japan that did not have the necessary access to gold or those, such as India, that were subject to imperial policies remained mostly on a silver standard. Silver-based and gold-based economies then diverged dramatically. The worst affected were silver economies that traded mainly with gold economies. Silver reserves increased in size, causing gold to rise in relative value. The impact on silver-based India was profound, given that most of its trade was with Britain and other gold-based countries. As the price of silver fell, so too did the exchange value of the rupee, when measured against sterling.

Agriculture and industryEdit

The Indian economy grew at about 1% per year from 1880 to 1920, matching population growth.[105] The result was no change in income levels. Agriculture was still dominant, with most peasants at the subsistence level. Extensive irrigation systems were built, providing an impetus for growing cash crops for export and for raw materials for Indian industry, especially jute, cotton, sugarcane, coffee and tea.[106]

Entrepreneur Jamsetji Tata (1839–1904) began his industrial career in 1877 with the Central India Spinning, Weaving, and Manufacturing Company in Bombay. While other Indian mills produced cheap coarse yarn (and later cloth) using local short-staple cotton and simple machinery imported from Britain, Tata did much better by importing expensive longer-stapled cotton from Egypt and buying more complex ring-spindle machinery from the United States to spin finer yarn that could compete with imports from Britain.[107]

In the 1890s, Tata launched plans to expand into heavy industry using Indian funding. The Raj did not provide capital, but aware of Britain's declining position against the U.S. and Germany in the steel industry, it wanted steel mills in India so it promised to purchase any surplus steel Tata could not otherwise sell.[108] The Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO), headed by his son Dorabji Tata (1859–1932), opened its plant at Jamshedpur in Bihar in 1908. It became the leading iron and steel producer in India, with 120,000 employees in 1945.[109] TISCO became an India's symbol of technical skill, managerial competence, entrepreneurial flair, and high pay for industrial workers.[110]

RailwaysEdit

 
Railway map of India in 1871
 
Railway map of India in 1909

British investors built a modern railway system in the late 19th century—it became the then fourth-largest in the world and was renowned for quality of construction and service.[111] The government was supportive, realising its value for military use and for economic growth. The railways at first were privately owned and operated, and run by British administrators, engineers and skilled craftsmen. At first, only the unskilled workers were Indians.[112]

A plan for a rail system was first advanced in 1832. The first train ran from Red Hills to Chintadripet bridge in Madras, inaugurated in 1837. It was called Red Hill Railway.[113] It was used for freight transport. A few more short lines were built in the 1830s and 1840s. They did not interconnect and were used for freight transport. The East India Company (and later the colonial government) encouraged new railway companies backed by private investors under a scheme that would provide land and guarantee an annual return of up to five percent during the initial years of operation. The companies were to build and operate the lines under a 99-year lease, with the government retaining the option to buy them earlier.[113] In 1854 Governor-General Lord Dalhousie formulated a plan to construct a network of trunk lines connecting the principal regions. A series of new rail companies were established, leading to rapid expansion.[114]

In 1853, the first passenger train service was inaugurated between Bori Bunder in Bombay and Thane, covering a distance of 34 km (21 mi).[115] The route mileage of this network increased from 1,349 km (838 mi) in 1860 to 25,495 km (15,842 mi) in 1880 – mostly radiating inland from the port cities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.[116] Most of the railway construction was done by Indian companies supervised by British engineers. The system was sturdily built. Several large princely states built their own rail systems and the network spread across India. [113] By 1900 India had a full range of rail services with diverse ownership and management, operating on broad, metre and narrow gauge networks.[117]

In the First World War, the railways were used to transport troops and grains to Bombay and Karachi en route to Britain, Mesopotamia and East Africa. With shipments of equipment and parts from Britain curtailed, maintenance became much more difficult; critical workers entered the army; workshops were converted to make artillery; some locomotives and cars were shipped to the Middle East. The railways could barely keep up with the increased demand.[118] By the end of the war, the railways had deteriorated badly.[119][117] In the Second World War the railways' rolling stock was diverted to the Middle East, and the railway workshops were again converted into munitions workshops. This severely crippled the railways.[120]

Headrick argues that both the Raj lines and the private companies hired only European supervisors, civil engineers and even operating personnel, such as locomotive engineers. The government's Stores Policy required that bids on railway contracts be submitted to the India Office in London, shutting out most Indian firms. The railway companies purchased most of their hardware and parts in Britain. Railway maintenance workshops existed in India, but were rarely allowed to manufacture or repair locomotives. TISCO first won orders for rails only in the 1920s.[121] Christensen (1996) looked at colonial purpose, local needs, capital, service and private-versus-public interests. He concluded that making the railways dependent on the state hindered success, because railway expenses had to go through the same bureaucratic budgeting process as did all other state expenses. Railway costs could therefore not respond to needs of the railways or their passengers.[122]

In 1951, forty-two separate railway systems, including thirty-two lines owned by the former Indian princely states, were amalgamated to form a single unit named the Indian Railways. The existing rail systems were abandoned in favor of zones in 1951 and a total of six zones came into being in 1952.[117]

Economic impact of imperialismEdit

 
This map shows the change in per capita GDP of India from 1820 CE to 2015 CE. All GDP numbers are inflation adjusted to 1990 International Geary-Khamis dollars. Data Source: Tables of Prof. Angus Maddison (2010). The per capita GDP over various years and population data can be downloaded in a spreadsheet from here. The 2015 estimate is retrieved from the International Monetary Fund.

Debate continues about the economic impact of British imperialism on India. The issue was first raised by Edmund Burke who in the 1780s vehemently attacked the East India Company, claiming that Warren Hastings and other top officials had ruined the Indian economy and society. Indian historian Rajat Kanta Ray (1998) continued this line of reasoning, saying that British rule in the 18th century took the form of plunder and was a catastrophe for the traditional economy. According to the economic drain theory, supported by Ray, the British depleted food and money stocks and imposed high taxes that helped cause the terrible famine of 1770, which killed a third of the people of Bengal.[123]

British historian P. J. Marshall reinterpreted the view that the prosperity of the Mughal era gave way to poverty and anarchy, arguing that the British takeover was not a sharp break with the past. British control was delegated largely through regional rulers and was sustained by a generally prosperous economy through the 18th century, except for the frequent, deadly famines. Marshall notes the British raised revenue through local tax administrators and kept the old Mughal tax rates. Instead of the Indian nationalist account of the British as alien aggressors, seizing power by brute force and impoverishing the region, Marshall presents a British nationalist interpretation in which the British were not in full control, but instead were controllers in what was primarily an Indian-run society and in which their ability to keep power depended upon cooperation with Indian elites. Marshall admitted that much of his interpretation is rejected by many historians.[124]

Republic of IndiaEdit

After independence India adopted a socialism-inspired economic model with elements of capitalism. India adopted a USSR-like centralized and nationalized approach called Five-Year Plans. This policy hindered economic growth for decades.

Socialist rate of growthEdit

 
Compare India (orange) with South Korea (yellow). Both started from about the same income level in 1950. The graph shows GDP per capita of South Asian economies and South Korea as a percent of the American GDP per capita.

The phrase "Nehruvian Socialist rate of growth" is used to refer to the low annual growth rate of the economy of India before 1991. It remained around 3.5% from the 1950s to 1980s, while per capita income growth averaged 1.3% a year.[125] During the same period, South Korea grew by 10% and Taiwan by 12%.[126]

Socialist reforms (1950–1975)Edit

In 1975 India's GDP (in 1990 US dollars) was $545 billion, $1,561 billion in the USSR, $1,266 billion in Japan, and $3,517 billion in the US.[127]

Before independence a large share of tax revenue was generated by the land tax. Thereafter land taxes steadily declined as a share of revenues.[128]

The economic problems inherited at independence were exacerbated by the costs associated with the partition, which had resulted in about 2 to 4 million refugees fleeing past each other across the new borders between India and Pakistan. Refugee settlement was a considerable economic strain. Partition divided India into complementary economic zones. Under the British, jute and cotton were grown in the eastern part of Bengal (East Pakistan, after 1971, Bangladesh), but processing took place mostly in the western part of Bengal, which became the Indian state of West Bengal. As a result, after independence India had to convert land previously used for food production to cultivate cotton and jute.[129]

Growth continued in the 1950s, the rate of growth wasa less positive than India's politicians expected.[130]

Toward the end of Nehru's term as prime minister, India experienced serious food shortages.

Beginning in 1950, India faced trade deficits that increased in the 1960s. The Government of India had a major budget deficit and therefore could not borrow money internationally or privately. As a result, the government issued bonds to the Reserve Bank of India, which increased the money supply, leading to inflation. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 led the US and other countries friendly towards Pakistan to withdraw foreign aid to India, which necessitated devaluation. India was told it had to liberalise trade before aid would resume. The response was the politically unpopular step of devaluation accompanied by liberalisation. Defence spending in 1965/1966 was 24.06% of expenditure, the highest in the period from 1965 to 1989. Exacerbated by the drought of 1965/1966, the devaluation was severe. GDP per capita grew 33% in the 1960s, reaching a peak growth of 142% in the 1970s, before decelerating to 41% in the 1980s and 20% in the 1990s.[131]

From FY 1951 to FY 1979, the economy grew at an average rate of about 3.1 percent a year, or at an annual rate of 1.0 percent per capita.[132] During this period, industry grew at an average rate of 4.5 percent a year, compared with 3.0 percent for agriculture.[133][134]

GDP at market prices[135]
Year Gross Domestic Product

(000,000 Rupees)

per USD[1] Per Capita Income
(as % of US)
1950 100,850 4.79 3.12
1955 110,300 4.79 2.33
1960 174,070 4.77 2.88
1965 280,160 4.78 3.26
1970 462,490 7.56 2.23
1975 842,210 8.39 2.18

Prime minister Indira Gandhi proclaimed a national emergency and suspended the Constitution in 1975. About one-fifth of the national population were urban by 1975.[136]

SteelEdit

Prime Minister Nehru was a believer in socialism and decided that India needed maximum steel production. He, therefore, formed a government-owned company, Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL) and set up three steel plants in the 1950s.[137]

1975–2000Edit

 
Service markets which would enjoy much lighter burden of regulation and other obstacles became more successful than still regulated sectors. For example, world-famous business process services are very lightly regulated.[8]

Economic liberalisation in India in the 1990s and first decade of the 21st century led to large economic changes.

GDP and foreign trade at market prices estimated[138] by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures (millions of Indian rupees)[139]
Year Gross Domestic Product Exports Imports per USD[2] Inflation Index (2000=100) Per Capita Income
(as % of US)
1975 842,210 8.39 2.18
1980 1,380,334 90,290 135,960 7.86 18 2.08
1985 2,729,350 149,510 217,540 12.36 28 1.60
1990 5,542,706 406,350 486,980 17.50 42 1.56
1995 11,571,882 1,307,330 1,449,530 32.42 69 1.32
2000 20,791,898 2,781,260 2,975,230 44.94 100 1.26

About one-fourth of the national population was urban by 2000.[140]

2000–presentEdit

The Indian steel industry began expanding into Europe in the 21st century. In January 2007 India's Tata bought European steel maker Corus Group for $11.3 billion. In 2006 Mittal Steel (based in London but with Indian management) acquired Arcelor for $34.3 billion to become the world's biggest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, with 10% of world output.[141]

The GDP of India in 2007 was estimated at about 8 per cent that of the US. The government started the Golden Quadrilateral road network connecting Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata with various Indian regions. The project, completed in January 2012, was the most ambitious infrastructure project of independent India.[142][143]

The top 3% of the population still earn 50% of GDP. Education was made a fundamental right by amending the constitution.[when?]

Economic activity remains limited by poor infrastructure such as dilapidated roads, electricity shortages and a cumbersome justice system.[144]

GDP and foreign trade at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation[145] (figures in millions of rupees)
Year GDP Exports Imports per USD Inflation Index

(2000=100)

Per Capita Income
(as % of US)
2000 21,774,130 2,781,260 2,975,230 44.94 100 1.26
2005 36,933,690 7,120,870 8,134,660 44.09 121 1.64
2010 77,953,140 17,101,930 20,501,820 45.83 185 2.01
2012 100,020,620 23,877,410 31,601,590 54.93 219 2.90

For purchasing power parity comparisons, the US dollar is converted at 9.46 rupees. Despite steady growth and continuous reforms since the 1990s, the Indian economy is mired in bureaucratic hurdles. This was confirmed by a World Bank report published in late 2006 ranking Pakistan (at 74th) well ahead of India (at 134th) based on ease of doing business.[146]

GDP post-IndependenceEdit

 
India GDP Growth (at constant 2004–05 price)
GDP history of India after Independence[147]
Year India's GDP at Current Prices
(in crores INR)
India's GDP at Constant 2004–2005 Prices
(in crores INR)
Real Growth Rate
1950–51 ₹10,036 ₹279,618
1951–52 ₹10,596 ₹286,147 2.33%
1952–53 ₹10,449 ₹294,267 2.84%
1953–54 ₹11,378 ₹312,177 6.09%
1954–55 ₹10,689 ₹325,431 4.25%
1955–56 ₹10,861 ₹333,766 2.56%
1956–57 ₹12,965 ₹352,766 5.69%
1957–58 ₹13,255 ₹348,500 −1.21%
1958–59 ₹14,827 ₹374,948 7.59%
1959–60 ₹15,574 ₹383,153 2.19%
1960–61 ₹17,049 ₹410,279 7.08%
1961–62 ₹17,992 ₹423,011 3.10%
1962–63 ₹19,238 ₹431,960 2.12%
1963–64 ₹21,986 ₹453,829 5.06%
1964–65 ₹25,686 ₹488,247 7.58%
1965–66 ₹26,895 ₹470,402 −3.65%
1966–67 ₹30,613 ₹475,190 1.02%
1967–68 ₹35,976 ₹513,860 8.14%
1968–69 ₹37,938 ₹527,270 2.61%
1969–70 ₹41,722 ₹561,630 6.52%
1970–71 ₹44,382 ₹589,787 5.01%
1971–72 ₹47,221 ₹595,741 1.01%
1972–73 ₹51,943 ₹593,843 −0.32%
1973–74 ₹63,658 ₹620,872 4.55%
1974–75 ₹74,930 ₹628,079 1.16%
1975–76 ₹79,582 ₹684,634 9.00%
1976–77 ₹85,545 ₹693,191 1.25%
1977–78 ₹97,633 ₹744,972 7.47%
1978–79 ₹104,930 ₹785,965 5.50%
1979–80 ₹114,500 ₹745,083 −5.20%
1980–81 ₹136,838 ₹798,506 7.17%
1981–82 ₹160,214 ₹843,426 5.63%
1982–83 ₹178,985 ₹868,092 2.92%
1983–84 ₹209,356 ₹936,270 7.85%
1984–85 ₹230,526 ₹973,357 3.96%
1985–86 ₹262,717 ₹1,013,866 4.16%
1986–87 ₹292,924 ₹1,057,612 4.31%
1987–88 ₹332,068 ₹1,094,993 3.53%
1988–89 ₹396,295 ₹1,206,243 10.16%
1989–90 ₹456,540 ₹1,280,228 6.13%
1990–91 ₹531,814 ₹1,347,889 5.29%
1991–92 ₹613,528 ₹1,367,171 1.43%
1992–93 ₹703,723 ₹1,440,504 5.36%
1993–94 ₹805,486 ₹1,522,344 5.68%
1994–95 ₹955,386 ₹1,619,694 6.39%
1995–96 ₹1,118,586 ₹1,737,741 7.29%
1996–97 ₹1,301,788 ₹1,876,319 7.97%
1997–98 ₹1,447,613 ₹1,957,032 4.30%
1998–99 ₹1,668,739 ₹2,087,828 6.68%
1999–00 ₹1,858,205 ₹2,254,942 8.00%
2000–01 ₹2,000,743 ₹2,348,481 4.15%
2001–02 ₹2,175,260 ₹2,474,962 5.39%
2002–03 ₹2,343,864 ₹2,570,935 3.88%
2003–04 ₹2,625,819 ₹2,775,749 7.97%
2004–05 ₹2,971,464 ₹2,971,464 7.05%
2005–06 ₹3,390,503 ₹3,253,073 9.48%
2006–07 ₹3,953,276 ₹3,564,364 9.57%
2007–08 ₹4,582,086 ₹3,896,636 9.32%
2008–09 ₹5,303,567 ₹4,158,676 6.72%
2009–10 ₹6,108,903 ₹4,516,071 8.59%
2010–11 ₹7,248,860 ₹4,918,533 8.91%
2011–12 ₹8,391,691 ₹5,247,530 6.69%
2012–13 ₹9,388,876 ₹5,482,111 4.47%
2013–14 ₹10,472,807 ₹5,741,791 4.74%

See alsoEdit

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BibliographyEdit

Pre 1947Edit

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  • Bowen, H. V. Business of Empire: The East India Company and Imperial Britain, 1756–1833 (2006), 304pp
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  • Chaudhuri, K. N.Trade and Civilization in the Indian Ocean: An Economic History from the Rise of Islam to 1750 (1985)
  • Derbyshire, I. D. (1987), "Economic Change and the Railways in North India, 1860–1914", Population Studies, 21 (3): 521–45, JSTOR 312641, doi:10.1017/s0026749x00009197 
  • Dutt, Romesh C. The Economic History of India under early British Rule, first published 1902, 2001 edition by Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-24493-0
  • Farnie, DA (1979), The English Cotton Industry and the World Market, 1815–1896, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Pp. 414, ISBN 0-19-822478-8 
  • Ludden, David, ed. New Cambridge History of India: An Agrarian History of South Asia (1999).
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  • Habib, Irfan. Agrarian System of Mughal India (1963, revised edition 1999).
  • Habib, Irfan. Atlas of the Mughal Empire: Political and Economic Maps (1982).
  • Habib, Irfan. Indian Economy, 1858–1914 (2006).
  • Kazanas, Nicholas, Economic principles in the Vedic tradition (2010)
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  • Kumar, Prakash. Indigo Plantations and Science in Colonial India (Cambridge University Press, 2012) 334 pp
  • Lal, Deepak. The Hindu Equilibrium: India c. 1500 B.C.–2000 A.D. (2nd ed. 2005).
  • Lockwood, David. ‘’The Indian Bourgeoisie: A Political History of the Indian Capitalist Class in the Early Twentieth Century’’ (I.B. Tauris, 2012) 315 pages; focus on Indian entrepreneurs who benefited from the Raj, but ultimately sided with the Indian National Congress.
  • Mahajan, Nupam P. (1999) India's First Coinage. Retrieved 24 Feb 2005.
  • Micklethwait, John & Wooldridge, Adrian (2003). The Company: a short history of a revolutionary idea. Modern library chronicles. ISBN 0-679-64249-8.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India (1946)
  • Peers, Douglas M. (2006), India under Colonial Rule 1700–1885, Harlow and London: Pearson Longmans. Pp. xvi, 163, ISBN 978-0582317383 .
  • Raychaudhuri, Tapan and Irfan Habib, eds. The Cambridge Economic History of India: Volume 1, c. 1200–c. 1750 (1982).
  • Roy, Tirthankar. The Economic History of India 1857–1947 (2002, 2006, 2011).
  • Roy, Tirthankar. India in the World Economy from Antiquity to the Present (2012).
  • Roy, Tirthankar (Summer 2002), "Economic History and Modern India: Redefining the Link", The Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, 16 (3): 109–30, JSTOR 3216953, doi:10.1257/089533002760278749 
  • Simmons, Colin (1985), "'De-Industrialization', Industrialization and the Indian Economy, c. 1850–1947", Modern Asian Studies, 19 (3): 593–622, JSTOR 312453, doi:10.1017/s0026749x00007745 
  • Tomlinson, B. R. The Economy of Modern India, 1860–1970 (The New Cambridge History of India) (1996) excerpt and text search
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  • Max Weber, The Religion of India: The Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism

Gazetteers and statisticsEdit

Since 1947Edit

  • Bardhan, Pranab. Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India by (Princeton University Press; 2010) 172 pages;
  • Datt, Ruddar & Sundharam, K.P.M. (1965). Indian Economy (51st Revised ed. (2005)). S.Chand. ISBN 81-219-0298-3.
  • Das, Gurcharan. India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age (2002).
  • Kumar, Dharma; Desai, Meghnad, eds. (1983). The Cambridge Economic History of India: c. 1751–c. 1970. 2. 

Frankel, Francine R. India's Political Economy, 1947–1977: The Gradual Revolution (1978).

External linksEdit