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Catanach, Ian James (1960) The State and the Co-Operative Movement in the Bombay Presidency 1880-1930. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The Deccan Riots of 1875 were believed to have been brought about by the large scale transfer of land, through foreclosure, from the cultivating to the money-lending classes. As a remedy, Sir William Wedderburn suggested the establishment of State-backed capitalistic agricultural banks. But the India Office felt that his scheme would require too much State intervention. The Indian Co-operative Societies Act reflects a more positive attitude to the role of the State, although in 1904 it was hoped that the societies which were to be set up by official 'Registrars' would eventually become entirely independent. Local management and thrift were emphasized. The alternative scheme of agricultural banks remained under consideration, however. The Government of India appear to have dismissed it only when the Egyptian Agricultural Bank did not succeed; what became the non-official Bombay Provincial Co-operative Bank was originally intended to be an agricultural bank. The fostering of democracy through village co-operatives was especially stressed in Bombay. Also, Indian 'Honorary Organizers', and a 'Co-operative Institute', wore given an important role in the movement, although much of the in-initiative remained with the Registrar and his staff. By the later twenties, however, the attempt to foster democracy at village level through co-operatives appeared to have largely failed? villages in Bombay were not 'little Republics'. The honorary workers, many of them now nationalists, were becoming dilettante in their attitudes to co-operation, too. Control therefore increasingly passed into the hands of the State. But at the purely economic level there had been some success in Bombay, The well-managed Provincial Bank was in some areas satisfactorily fulfilling the ryots' credit and marketing needs, although its system of branches, each having dependent societies, was perhaps not completely co-operative. The thesis has been largely based on documents found in the office of the Bombay Registrar, and elsewhere in India.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:18

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