THE PRIVILEGED CLASS
By the beginning of the twentieth century, the Marwaris became so powerful that the rajas had to consider their views before taking any decision. If the raja ignored the traders’ interests, this provoked mass resentment and protests, and the raja usually had to modify his decree. Maharaja Fateh Singh of Udaipur had to withdraw his decision to hike the customs duty on the export of opium under pressure from the traders. In 1921, the Maharaja of Jodhpur had to ban the import of sugar into the state because the local sugar traders were opposed to it. Bikaner state had to withdraw its decision to levy income tax in 1941 when the traders of Sardarshahar, Churu and Sujangarh protested and the Marwari Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta, passed a resolution against it. Thus, the business community that had been persecuted under feudalism in the eighteenth century, succeeded in wielding great clout with the rajas and jagirdars in the twentieth century on the basis of its newly acquired economic power. The Marwaris had truly earned their place in the sun.