ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On the East India Company

This is in response to Subhajyoti Ray’s review (“A Different Reading of the Company”, EPW, 21 July 2012) of Tirthankar Roy’s The East India Company: The World’s Most Powerful Corporation. From what one gathers from the review, the writer has chosen the easy and convenient path in these starkly “unipolar” times. How else can one explain his atrocious statement “that the idea of ­India becoming poor due to colonisation is poor economics and bad history”?

The fact is the East India Company hardly deserves such a great narrative. It was the product of those times and neither Thomas Rowe nor Robert Clive envisaged big agendas for the company which thrived on European wile and guile so unfamiliar to contemporary Indian trade and business.

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