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Karkhanas of the Mughal Zamindars

R K Saxena (Author)
Synopsis The rulers of Rajputana under Mughal hegemony, have been designated as Zamindars by (late) Prof. Nurul Hasan. Karkhanas, literally mean a place where a "workshop" is located for public use, but in the medieval context it carried a different connotation. The Rajput States taking clue from the medieval chroniclers applied it to include workshops of manufactures, royal household, court, royal stables, stores of articles of food and drink besides true manufactories. The need for establishing these karkhanas arose as the splendour and pageantry of the court could not be met out of rudimentary establishments. The modern practice of government buying ready-made goods from the market would not have answered in those days when production on a large scale by private entrepreneurs was almost absent. The karkhanas were a microcosm, a complete independent unit where the economic process of production, consumption and exchange went full circle. The karkhanas were, perhaps, the largest manufacturing organization of the times, catering to the needs of the court and army alone. Production for the market under centralised control employing wagelabour was a characteristic feature of the European Companies procurement. The labour worked against wages as opposed to artisan system. This ushered in the growth of a propertyless class or a proletariat, which had no avenues to establish itself as in independent artisan. The wages paid were barely sufficient for the worker’s family and that too at the subsistence level. The labour had nothing to sell but his labour alone. He lost initiative for designing things as he worked under wage-system and laboured for the designs provided by the state officials. These artistic designs or mannequin served as models for lesser artists giving new dimensions to culture and providing a fillip to economic development. The author’s treatment of the subject is comprehensive and insightful, based as it is on primar sources alone. The book, throwing light on an untapped institution of the Rajputs, will be of interest to scholars and students personality alike engaged in the study of economic development of this part of India.
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About the author

R K Saxena

R K Saxena has been teaching this subject in Sri Venkateshwara College, University of Delhi since 1974. A Gold Medallist in MSc from B.T.T.S. Pilani, he earned his doctorate from University of Delhi in cell and molecular biology. The author has a number of research publications to his credit and is presently engaged and working on aspects of macro nuclear differentiation and molecular phylogeny of ciliates.

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Bibliographic information

Title Karkhanas of the Mughal Zamindars
Author R K Saxena
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st. Ed.
Publisher Publication Scheme
Language: English
isbn 8186782753
Subjects History