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Plantation labour in colonial India

Plantation labour in colonial India RANAJIT DAS GUPTA I. INTRODUCTION This article makes an attempt to analyse different types of capitalist plantations in colonial India. While there is considerable controversy over the definition and essential characteristics of plantations,1 in the present paper plantations in colonial conditions are viewed as a particular type of 'capitalist' enterprise with the following basic features: an agro- industrial enterprise raising one or several crops on a large scale under tropical or semi-tropical climatic conditions; an international market orientation; the launching and subsequent maintenance of plantations under the ownership and control of foreign capital with the backing of the colonial state; the employment of a large number of producers and labourers (not necessarily wage workers) doing hard manual work under conditions of a primitive labour process; the use of a migrant and/or immigrant labour system; and the mobilisation and control of direct producers through economic and extra-economic coercive methods with the direct and indirect support of the colonial state. The class structure thus created through the use of coercion, open or concealed, was sharply divided between white or sahib owners, managers and supervisors on one hand and non-white labour on the other [Bagchi, 1982: 42-4, 77]. Another major consequence was http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Peasant Studies Taylor & Francis

Plantation labour in colonial India

The Journal of Peasant Studies , Volume 19 (3-4): 26 – Apr 1, 1992

Plantation labour in colonial India

The Journal of Peasant Studies , Volume 19 (3-4): 26 – Apr 1, 1992

Abstract

RANAJIT DAS GUPTA I. INTRODUCTION This article makes an attempt to analyse different types of capitalist plantations in colonial India. While there is considerable controversy over the definition and essential characteristics of plantations,1 in the present paper plantations in colonial conditions are viewed as a particular type of 'capitalist' enterprise with the following basic features: an agro- industrial enterprise raising one or several crops on a large scale under tropical or semi-tropical climatic conditions; an international market orientation; the launching and subsequent maintenance of plantations under the ownership and control of foreign capital with the backing of the colonial state; the employment of a large number of producers and labourers (not necessarily wage workers) doing hard manual work under conditions of a primitive labour process; the use of a migrant and/or immigrant labour system; and the mobilisation and control of direct producers through economic and extra-economic coercive methods with the direct and indirect support of the colonial state. The class structure thus created through the use of coercion, open or concealed, was sharply divided between white or sahib owners, managers and supervisors on one hand and non-white labour on the other [Bagchi, 1982: 42-4, 77]. Another major consequence was

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References (29)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1743-9361
eISSN
0306-6150
DOI
10.1080/03066159208438492
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

RANAJIT DAS GUPTA I. INTRODUCTION This article makes an attempt to analyse different types of capitalist plantations in colonial India. While there is considerable controversy over the definition and essential characteristics of plantations,1 in the present paper plantations in colonial conditions are viewed as a particular type of 'capitalist' enterprise with the following basic features: an agro- industrial enterprise raising one or several crops on a large scale under tropical or semi-tropical climatic conditions; an international market orientation; the launching and subsequent maintenance of plantations under the ownership and control of foreign capital with the backing of the colonial state; the employment of a large number of producers and labourers (not necessarily wage workers) doing hard manual work under conditions of a primitive labour process; the use of a migrant and/or immigrant labour system; and the mobilisation and control of direct producers through economic and extra-economic coercive methods with the direct and indirect support of the colonial state. The class structure thus created through the use of coercion, open or concealed, was sharply divided between white or sahib owners, managers and supervisors on one hand and non-white labour on the other [Bagchi, 1982: 42-4, 77]. Another major consequence was

Journal

The Journal of Peasant StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Apr 1, 1992

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