THE PRIV­I­LEGED CLASS

Marwar - - Book Excerpt -

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.

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