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Chakravarti, Nalini Ranjan (1969) The political and economic conditions of Indians in Burma, 1900-1941. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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In this thesis an attempt has been made to survey, on the basis of an intensive examination of the available records, the economic and political conditions of the Indian community, once the most important minority in Burma, which provided much of the capital and labour needed for Burma's economic development during 1900-1941. It begins with a study of the growth of Indian population and their various occupations in Burma; and questions the common belief that Burma was being swamped by Indians, displacing Burmans from their occupations. The facts and figures indicate that after one hundred years of unrestricted migration, the Indian settlers hardly exceeded 2% of the total population and were still doing work for which no Burmans were available. The pathetic condition of the Indian labourers in Burma, the terms and conditions of their service, transport and habitation and the responsibility of their employers are critically examined, bringing to light the unfortunate political and economic effects of the Government's policy of free immigration of Indians into Burma. The role of the Indian Chettyar bankers, who revolutionised Burma's agriculture and export trade, the extremely complementary trade between Burma and India, the Indian investments in trade, industry, real estates and other sectors of the economy are presented together with a rough estimate of the wealth of Indians in Burma. On the political side, the unhappy union between Burma and India, the reasons for the growth of anti-Indian feelings,, the unpleasant circumstances surrounding Separation and the various measures adopted for the elimination of Indian interests are examined, separately for each of the three stages of political development in Burma, (pre-Dyarchical, Dyarchical and post-Separation) and the study indicates that much of t-he unpleasantness could have been avoided by timely action. However, the author concludes that whatever course the British, the Burmese and the Indians had adopted for the protection of Indian interests in Burma, such interests would not have survived the destruction and political disorders brought about by the War and Japanese invasion in 1941-42.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:30

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