‘The Omnipresent Bania:’ Rural Moneylenders in Nineteenth-Century Sind

  title={‘The Omnipresent Bania:’ Rural Moneylenders in Nineteenth-Century Sind},
  author={David Cheesman},
  journal={Modern Asian Studies},
  pages={445 - 462}
  • D. Cheesman
  • Published 1 July 1982
  • History, Economics
  • Modern Asian Studies
After revisiting Sind in 1876, Sir Richard Burton wrote, ‘The Hindu's reed-pen is a rod of iron and abjectly the unhappy Sindi trembles before it.’ By ‘Hindu,’ Burton meant the Hindu bania, the trader and moneylender, and by ‘Sindi’ he meant the Sindhi Muslim zamindar (landholder), the perennial debtor. The creditor tyrannized over the debtor, imposing ever harsher and more inequitable terms on him. What is interesting is that Burton scarcely appeared to recognize the Hindu banias as Sindhis at… 
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