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Glorious past of commerce and prosperous India-Diwali- the festival of prosperity

Glorious past of commerce and prosperous India-Diwali- the festival of prosperity
Highlights

The development of science of chemicals was due to growth of ayurveda and industry. In Gupta- period the industry of India was in a far advanced state and Romans were of the view that in dying the clothes, in the binding-work of leather, and in the manufacturing of glass and cement the artisans of India were ahead of all the countries world over.

The development of science of chemicals was due to growth of ayurveda and industry. In Gupta- period the industry of India was in a far advanced state and Romans were of the view that in dying the clothes, in the binding-work of leather, and in the manufacturing of glass and cement the artisans of India were ahead of all the countries world over. In the melting of iron India was ahead of Europe even recently. [Sanskriti ke chaar adhayaya- Ramdharisingh Dinkar].

Obviously, since very ancient time India had been prosperous, and was the country resided by such people who were, apart from being scientific, active and industrious and were of commercial tendency. Therefore even Greek traveler, Magesthenese, had to say. I found nowhere in India a man whom we call poor. But ironically, just contrary to what we had been, the efforts in a very planned manner had been made for the last 2-3 hundred years to build our image of being indolent and of such people who were averse to worldly affairs” sometimes by alien rulers; and sometimes by our own people doing the so-called politics of labor-class and poor.

However, to lift the veil of this falsehood the conclusions drawn by their own historians of such countries which we have known for so many years as developed ones will itself be enough to see.” From the dawn of commerce Europe had been dependent upon Asia for most of her luxuries and many of her necessities. Pepper from the Malabar coast of India was a staple import during the Middle Ages and was used by all who could afford it. [American Economic History- Faulkner].

This might look surprising but the truth of the matter is that 33% of trade of the West with the East was composed of spices and pepper for over hundred of years. For refrigerator being then not there, spices alone used to be the source to keep edible item fresh and tasteful either. Notably from the trading of one commodity alone i.e. pepper, the king of Spain, Philip à à , earned so much profit that he became popular as Pepper king of Europe.

Yet this is not all. India, more notably, had trade relationship with Europe since ancient time ; initially Italy being the source of this, which was linked with India through land-route passing through Central Asia. But later when Italy began to behave fancifully and the countries of Western and Central Europe were made to pay unreasonable price for Indian commodities, they began to feel the necessity of finding out sea-route leading to India.

In this mission first to get success were Portuguese owing to Vasco-de- Gama, the sailor, in 1498; and later were British owing to Francis Drake, the sea pirate, in late 16th century. And with the time when the contacts with India grew deeper the European traders could not resist themselves from getting impressed with the other commodities produced here, other than spices. Then what, calicoes, silk, pearls, drugs, porcelain and gold began to reach from India to Europe in great amount. Only cotton industry known to Europe in the early 18th century was that of India, whose products [calicoes] the Eastern trading companies sold abroad and at home, where they were bitterly opposed by the domestic manufacturers of wool, linen and silk [Industry and Empire- E.J. Hobsbawm].

To give this opposition an organized form they even built Patriotic society in Edinburgh in 1775, the mission of which was to boycott Indian goods by arousing swadeshi spirit among the local people. Obviously ours had never been the country of clerks and munims [accountants] alone, but that of producers, manufactures and traders as well, business of whom was spread world over. Commerce of the India is the commerce of the world†- Peter the great of Russia, 1675-1725,[ Glimpses of world history- JN Nehru].

But today what needs to be understood is that as not all laborers can be indolent, so not one and all the businessmen or capitalists can be exploiters. But ones holding sway on political power and ideological institutions for the last so many years , and imbued with socialist and, more so, Marxist thinking such so called intellectuals only sought to nourish the notion that if anything capitalist is then he is exploiter, and exploiter alone. Above this the tendency of taking minimum or no challenge or risk drew the people to somehow grab government job.

This all greatly lower the image of self-entrepreneurship. Then govt-controlled system played no less role in worsening the situation by laying so many impediments in the path of self-owned business and industries. Therefore educated-class which once used to run after govt job, today him package offered by multinational companies appears attractive. Today present govt. of course looks to take initiative in bringing reformation in the present estate of affair.

For instance, labor laws which are unnecessarily as high as 44 in numbers are going to be reduced as low as 5; as also, a shram suvidha portal is already launched to inquire about these laws at home itself. Likewise, making amendments in laws, the companies having laborers below 40 numbers are made free to follow strict provisions of rules. Restriction on women to not work in night shift has also been lifted. In other words entrepreneurs no longer have to cope with so-called Inspector Raj henceforth.

This we may take it for a hint at what Govt. is intended to do in other sectors as well, and which of course kindle a hope of seeing a transformation in the outlook regarding self-run business in general and industry in particular.

By Er Rajesh Pathak
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