India: New Social Elites and the Early Colonial State

Anon Anon inprekorr at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 15 23:40:31 MDT 2003


Economic and Political Weekly (India)
July 5, 2003

New Social Elites and the Early Colonial State:
Construction of Identity and Patronage in Madras
by Kanakalatha Mukund

When the Europeans began to trade in India, their
commerce was completely dependent on the services of
the Indian mercantile class who served as the conduits
to the primary producers and local markets. This
relationship did not change materially after the
European enclaves of Madras and Pondicherry were
established. It was, however, redefined, since the
indigenous merchants in these early colonial port
cities were, at least formally, subservient to the
authority of the Europeans. At the same time, the
growing importance of the local merchants in these
commercial centres created an opening and a space for
them in indigenous society through which they could
create a new identity for themselves as the new social
elite and patrons of local institutions, arts and
culture.

http://www.epw.org.in/showArticles.php?root=2003&leaf=07&filename=6002&filetype=html


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