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Politics of the Indian Capitalist Class

            The politics of the Indian Capitalist class is one of the aspects of the Indian National Movement that has been put to varied and detailed analysis. The role of the Capitalist class in politics becomes significantly important since or after the First World War and it is this period of roughly 1915-47 which this essay aims to concentrate upon. However, this period is a very dynamic period with a lot of changes and developments. Therefore this essay proposes to view the politics of the Indian Capitalist class in a broad perspective throughout the duration and culmination of the Indian National Movement. The emphasis is on the direction and long term goal of the politics of the Indian capitalists instead of the temporary measures taken to achieve that goal.
             The Indian Capitalist class developed under the constraints of a structurally colonial economy. Starting as a very weak and almost a junior partner of the British Capitalists, by the beginning of the twentieth century, the Indian capitalists had acquired enough strength to start their struggle of becoming a powerful and independent class. However, they had to struggle not just against the dominating and protected British Capitalist class but also had to struggle with the internal class contradictions within the Indian society. The economic development of the Indian capitalist class in the colonial period was substantial and in many ways the nature of its growth was quite different from the usual experience in other colonial countries. Aditya Mukherjee argues that this growth, unusual for a colonial capitalist class, did not occur as a result of by product of colonialism or because of a policy of decolonization. On the contrary it was achieved in spite of and in opposition to colonialism – by waging a constant struggle against colonialism and colonial interest i.e. by wrenching space from colonialism itself. This growth had important implications regarding the class's position vis-à-vis imperialism.

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