Thoughts on economics and liberty

Cotton weaving industry of Nadia 1773 to 1977 – a case study of Santipur and Phulia by Debashre Mukherjee

I’m investigating the authenticity of the thumb cutting story of Dacca weavers.

This 2011 dissertation is a relatively recent academically rigorous source on this matter, so I’ve compiled it into one document and uploaded on my server, here (PDF).

The key paragraph from this dissertation reads as follows:

“The torture were incredibly cruel. The poor weavers were cheated in all respects. They were bound to deliver predetermined quantity of clothes in time at the prices determined by the company (at 15 to 40 rupees lesser than the actual cost). If someone would secretly sell the clothes outside at justified prices then he would be severely penalized. His loom thread, clothes would be severed. For first-rate weavers the penalty would be even worse, their thumb would be cut off and made incapable of weaving or any related work for the
rest of the life.”

The dissertation cites TWO sources for this quotation:

Bolts, William – Consideration of Indian Affairs
Roy, Provash – East India Company Santipure Kaporer Kuthi (Article)

Now, this is quite inappropriate. Bad research. No one should cite TWO sources for a particular text.

The Bolts book is definitely the older one, hence worthy of further review. In the next post, I’ll extract relevant sections from the Bolts text.

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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