Essays in Indian History (Towards a Marxist Perception)

FREE Delivery
(20% off)
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: NAF887
Author: Irfan Habib
Publisher: Tulika Books
Language: English
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 9788189487881
Pages: 392
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 510 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description

About the Book

This volume brings together, for the first time, several of Professor Irfan Habib's seminal essays, representing more than three decades of scholarship and providing an insightful interpretation of the main currents in Indian history from the standpoint of Marxist historiography. In these, he examines the role played by the peasantry and caste in Indian history, explores the forms of class struggle and the stage of economic development in Mughal India, analyses the impact of colonialism on the Indian economy, and chronicles the changes in Marx's perception of India. The painstakingly researched and immensely erudite essays make up a volume that is indispensable for scholars and students of Indian history.

About the Author

Irfan Habib, Professor Emeritus of History at Aligarh Muslim University, is the author of The Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556-1707 (1963; second revised edition, 1999), An Atlas of the Mughal Empire (1982) and Medieval India: The Study of a Civilization (2008). He is the General Editor of the People's History of India series.


This collection of papers brings together material published over a span of some thirty years. What gives this collection such unity as it possesses is my effort to interpret the main currents of our country's history from a standpoint which belongs to the Marxist tradition of historiography. This is the justification for the sub-title given to this collection. I realize that the reader is not likely to be interested in how the approach I use came to be adopted by me. What he may be expected to be interested in is whether we can understand our past as a people better by giving due weight to the interaction of material conditions, classes, ideas and class struggles, which it was the great achievement of Marx to establish both in theory and in actual work of description and analysis. One major requirement that Marx always sought to fulfil was a combination of breadth of generalization with rigour in detail. This is a requirement which is especially hard to meet, and I have indicated any disavowal of definitiveness in my effort by claiming for my work only an endeavour towards a Marxist approach rather than the attainment and application of such an approach in all its fullness.

I should make it clear, as the reader will soon judge for himself, that many recent trends in historiography, such as Namierism, French 'New History', Subalternity and Post modernism, have passed me by. I do not deny the insights one can gain from some or all of these (although I often find their terminology or theology difficult to follow), nor do I think that the Marxist approach necessarily excludes them or cannot gain in knowledge or method by their study. Essentially, I would argue, the difference between their practitioners and Marxists.1ies in the fact that they are asking different questions and do not share the same vision for humanity. When a reviewer, writing about my Agrarian System of Mughal India, wrote that I had a 'definitely socialist point of view', he meant, I am sure, that a person who did not feel that mankind needs socialism would have appraised even the Mughal empire quite differently.

Over the years I have gained immeasurably from the guidance and help of numerous friends and colleagues, and it is now impossible to thank them all. Some of them, alas, are no longer alive to receive my thanks. But throughout this period, I have had one source of correction, one hand by which my natural rigidities have been softened, a constant, critical companionship: I cannot thank Sayera enough.



Preface vii
Acknowledgements ix
Problems of Marxist Historiography 1
Marx's Perception of India 14
The Social Distribution of Landed Property in Pre-British  
India: A Historical Survey 59
The Peasant in Indian History 109
Caste in Indian History 161
Potentialities of Capitalistic Development in the Economy  
of Mughal India 180
Forms of Class Struggle in Mughal India 233
Processes of Accumulation in Pre-Colonial and Colonial India 259
Colonialization of the Indian Economy 1757-1900 296
Studying a Colonial Economy-Without Perceiving Colonialism 336
Index 367


Sample Pages

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories