Showing posts from January, 2017

The Economy of the Marathas Part I: Shivaji and the Rise of Chauth

While much has been discussed about the decline of the Marathas in such a short span of time, one has rarely focused on the economic picture of the time as a major attribution of the weakening of the Marathas. In this multi-part series, I shall explore the economic scenario of India in general and the Marathas in particular to argue that the Maratha state was founded on a weak financial footing from the beginning, and never allowed Marathas to be strong enough to assert their control.  At the time of the rise of the Maratha power under Shivaji, historians have noted a not so favorable economic condition of the rural areas of Deccan. Fukazawa (1987) notes the decay of agriculture as the key to the rise of the Marathas, a direct result of a combination of factors like the incessant fighting between Mughal, Qutbshahi and Adilshahi kingdoms. One has to remember as Srinivasan (1944) notes that the Marathas had been since the times of the Rashtrakutas and all the way to the Qutbsh

Code Red

Woke up at six To find a moonlit sky It was still dark out there The silences still hung bare And the roads led nowhere Switched on the phone A message beeped out loud It was you, again You tried to call, signal failed I felt real depressed I know where you were So don't try pretend otherwise "It's not what you think," you said But the lies, they dropped dead Like them birds in the sky O I've been tryin' to recover From your toxic love, and failed The venom is potent, they said But the tears, they otherwise said Betrayal by that special, code red They played Baez on the radio But I wanted Chaan instead To hear sorry, that ne'er was there The guitar kept getting picked instead And the mood lasted long And I lay there, cryin' my heart away We'll never talk again, I said Deleted all messages that were there Wiped my face dry and said "It's a new day" The sun was out, it had an orange glow that time,

The Practice of Democracy in India - A Short Synopsis

The article by Rakesh Goyal on the ideas of democracy of ancient India , while useful in providing a theoretical construct, is inadequate in putting forward the practical constructs of these ideas in ancient India. This is problematic, since there is ample evidence in favor of the same. There are several examples of democratic traditions in practice in India. I shall be presenting two particular instances in India to highlight the thriving practices in ancient India. I shall also be putting out the actual practices adopted to safeguard interests and note the potential diversity of the democratic practices observed in ancient India. Also, while the systems have been noted by Mr. Goyal as evidence for democracy in India, his article also lacks an elaboration on the criticisms of the systems thereafter in various texts, which have been given only summary reference, which we shall also briefly touch upon. AshtaJanapada System and the Republican Democracy For those who have re