JLF: The Anarchy
William Dalrymple introduced by Sanjoy K. Roy
Motwani Jadeja Foundation
In August 1765, the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and forced him to set up in his richest provinces a new administration run by English merchants who collected taxes through means of a ruthless private army, what we would now call an act of involuntary privatization.
The East India Company’s founding charter authorized it to “wage war,” and it had always used violence to gain its ends. But the creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional international trading corporation dealing in silks and spices, and became something much more unusual: an aggressive colonial power in the guise of a multinational business. In less than 500 years, it had trained up a security force of around 200,000 men and had subdued an entire subcontinent, conquering first Bengal and finally, in 1803, the Mughal capital of Delhi itself. The Company’s reach stretched until almost all of India and was effectively ruled from a boardroom in London.
The Anarchy charts how one of the world’s most magnificent empires disintegrated and how it came to be replaced by a dangerously unregulated private company. In his most ambitious and riveting book to date, William Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before.
- Sunday, Sep 22 2019
- 4:45pm - 5:45pm
- JLF - Skyscapes, 2nd floor
- Main Library