Loading... Faith And Industrial Reformation : Basel Mission In Malabar And South Canara Jaiprakash Raghaviah 9788121214186
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Book Code: 9788121214186

Jaiprakash Raghaviah

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The Basel Mission, a Swizz/German Protestant Christian missionary organization established in Basel, in Switzerland, started its work in India, in the districts of Malabar and South Canara of the erstwhile Madras Presidency from 1834. During the period ending up with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Mission initiated a number of economic activities which eventually culminated in the establishment of large modern industries in the lines of modern handloom weaving and tile manufacture. These industries, established to give employment to the converts who had lost their jobs as a consequence of their conversion to Christianity, were the first post- Industrial Revolution type factories in the Malabar and South Canara districts and were comparable to the similar industrial undertakings in Europe during the period.

This book examines the Basel Mission industries in context of the theological orientation of the Mission, the social, economic and colonial environment under which these industries functioned. The book also examines the trajectory of growth of tile and weaving industries in Malabar and South Canara districts in the lines demonstrated by the Basel Mission industries.


Jaiprakash Raghaviah is a banker turned social scientist. His stint with the State Bank of India included a posting at the Economic and Statistical Research Department at its Corporate Office at Mumbai. He later did his M Phil in Applied Economics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University. Since then he has been engaged in research in applied economics, economic history and also in tribal studies. He has served as faculty of the Indian Institute of Bank Management, Guwahati, and at the Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation (CREST), Kozhikode (Calicut). He was awarded the Senior Research Fellowship by the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research, New Delhi. Prof. Raghaviah also worked for a term as Manager of the Malabar Christian College Kozhikode, an institution of higher learning established by the Basel Mission in the year 1909. Prof. Raghaviah lives in Kozhikode.
E-mail: jp.calicut@gmail .com


Foreword . 11

Preface. 19

Acknowledgement . 21

1. Introduction . 25
• Chapter scheme of the book • Notes.

2. The Basel Mission: Its Origin and Sense of Self . 43
• Calvinism, Basel and enterprise • Towards a view of the world • Praxis of the Basel Mission in India • Dimensions of conversion • Islam and conversion
• Caste and Christianity • Notes.

3. Malabar and South Canara – Economy and Society. 73
• Malabar district - land and people • Economy of Malabar • Non-agricultural activities • Trade in Malabar • Population of Malabar • Land revenue policy
• The land tenure system in Malabar • Towards agrarian unrest • Logan’s findings • The Tharawadu as land owner • Other institutional barriers - the caste system • Concluding observations • South Canara - land and people • Land tenures in South anara • Concentration of land • Conclusion • Commerce and industry in South Canara • Crafts and industries • Growth of the tile industry • Notes.

4. The Trajectory from Craft to Industry .115
• Early Phase • Middle Phase (182-1881) • Organisation of production • Products of weaving factories • Extension of market • Printing and publishing
• Trading activities • Mechanical Establishment • Final Phase (1882-1914) • Financial indicators  • Employment and wages • Types of employment
• Disciplining of the labour force • Changing attitudes of the British Government towards Basel Mission • First World War and after • Basel Mission Industries –the final questions • Notes.

5. Social Impact of the Basel Mission Industries . 161
• Caste and conversion • Social mobility • Female participationin the activities of Basel Mission • The spread of literacy • Dr Hermann Gundert and his work
• Contribution of the Basel Mission to Kannada literature • Ferdinand Kittel’s contributions to the Kannada language • Basel Mission’s contribution to Tulu literature • Medical work of the Basel Mission  • Notes.

6. Re-engineering of the Self. 193
• Handling of contradictory viewpoints • Love, courtship and marriage • The process of conversion • Binaries of work and Ieisure • Rites of passage in the re-engineered society • Celebrating the Harvest Festival • Mission Compound and the idea of Christian Village Community • Role of orphanages in re-engineering of the self • Introducing polyphonic music • Summing up • Notes.

7. Economic Impact of the Basel Mission Industries. 221
• State of traditional handloom industry in Malabar and South Canara • Chaliya weavers - organisation of production and marketing of products • The impact of Basel Mission textiles on the local handloom production - an assessment • The case of the tile industry • Creation of a new labour force • Market, marketing channels and demand pattern • Transfer of technical knowledge • Accounting and managerial practices • Summing up • Notes.

8. Postscript . 251
• Industrial promotion in the Madras Presidency • National Movement and its impact • Spread and localisation of weaving and tile Industries • Tile industry in Malabar • Localisation of the tile industry at Mangalore • Notes.

Bibliography . 279

References .287

Index . 293


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