Jagat Seth: India’s Rothschilds

IN a previous contribution to this website, entitled ‘Death Factory: The Brutal Rise of the East India Company,’ I mentioned the early rise of the EIC itself and related the story of how a small group of English businessmen had managed to seize India long before the coming of the imperialist Raj under the auspices of the British Crown. During the course of the discussion that followed, references were made to the role of Judeo-Masonry and I explained that this only became a factor later on and that English ‘pirates’ – for they were nothing less – had started to formulate their plans for Eastern conquest as early as 1599. To reinforce this point, it is worth discussing the role of a cabal of Indian moneylenders who operated on the kind of scale reached by the infamous Rothschild dynasty from the nineteenth century onwards.

Originating in the country’s Jodhpur state region, a family known as the Mawari Oswal Jain were awarded the title ‘Jagat Seth’ (Bankers of the World) and became active during the reign of Siraj ud-Daulah (1733-1757), Nawab of Bengal. From the luxurious confines of their Murshidabad palace, complete with underground tunnels that were perfect for hatching secret conspiracies, these powerful financiers controlled both the minting of currency and the transfer of imperial riches. According to the eighteenth-century historian, Ghulam Hussein Khan (1727-1793),

their wealth was such that there is no mentioning it without seeming to exaggerate and to deal in extravagant fables.

One member of the clan, having succeeded his grandfather, became the richest man in the world and went under the name of Madhab Rai. An Englishman, Captain Fenwick, said of this latest Jagat Seth bloodsucker that he was

a greater banker than all in Lombard Street [City of London] joined together.

The ambitious traders of the East India Company soon realised that they could use the wealth of this usurious dynasty to their own advantage and, between 1718 and 1730, went on to borrow a total of £5 million every year. As William Dalrymple observes, this alliance between two mercantile heavyweights

and the access these Marwari bankers gave the EIC to streams of Indian finance, would radically change the course of Indian history.

In retrospect, it does seem as though the Rothschilds may have taken a few leaves from the Jagat Seth copybook.

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