Author: Anne Hardgrove
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195668030
This book explores the historical and cultural processes by which people under colonial and postcolonial rule come to regard themselves as part of a community, sharing a particular local and pan-regional ethnic community identity.
This ethno-historical case study of community formation focuses on the migrant business and industrialist community in Calcutta, the Marwaris. Anne Hardgrove maps the historical formation of the Marwari community of Calcutta and northern India from 1897, the year that marked the widespread use of the term Marwari as a category in Calcutta life. She traces the patriarchal links of lineage, gender, extended family, and kinship, along with expressions of regional loyalty to their imagined homeland of Marwar, in Rajasthan.
The author looks at how inter-community social boundaries were established between Bengalis and Marwaris, as the latter emerged as among the wealthiest and most successful business and industrialist communities in India.
The engaging and lucidly written study, based on the author's field work experiences among Marwari families in Calcutta, along with extensive archival research, will interest scholars and students of modern Indian history and sociology, anthropologists, business historians, members of eh widespread Marwari community, and lay readers.