Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 486
Economic Development in the Princely State of
Jammu & Kashmir (1846-1947)
Sardar Babur Hussain
This paper aims to provide a status of the economy of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in 1947 and an overview of development during Dogra rule (1846-1947). During Dogra rule, the means of production remained under the control of a class of a few landlords and industrial capitalists, who used to exploit the surplus of the majority working in the fields and factories. The landlords and the industrial capitalists used to take the economic surplus away from the peasantry and the artisans, and failed to reinvest it to develop the productive capacities of agriculture and industrial growth. The primary preoccupation of Dogra rule was to maintain law and order, streamline tax collection and ensure defence. The ultimate result of this type of economic structure was the backwardness of the productive forces. It is argued that the economic and political conditions within the princely state of J&K, and the degree to which British interfered in internal affairs, explain the wide disparities between J&K and rest of the princely states.