“Marx was, of course, not the first to speak of the drain of wealth from India. In was recognized as the basis of the Indian connection with Britain as early as the eighteenth century by parliamentarians like Burke, and administrators like Sir John Shore and Lord Cornwallis (97). The ruin of India through the levy of tribute continued to strain the consciences of English liberals such as James Mill and Montgomery Martin (98). Marx himself made use of Bright’s (*)  criticism of the financial exploitation of India, though he observed that Bright’s ‘picture of India ruined by the fiscal exertions of the company and government did not, of course, receive the supplement of India ruined by Manchester and Free Trade’ (99). Marx devoted an article in the ‘Tribune’ to an analysis of Bright’s view of India as a very heavily taxed country. He expressed some reserve about Bright’s calculations, but made the important point that: “In estimating the burden of taxation, its annual amount must not fall heavier in the balance than the method of raising it, and the manner of employing it. The former is detestable in India, and in the branch of land-tax, for instance, wastes perhaps more produce than it gets. As to the application of the taxes, it will suffice to say that no part of them is returned to the people in works of public utility (100). In order to maximize the revenue collections, the English carried out ‘agrarian revolutions’, subverting the existing property relationships. They created various ‘forms of private property in land – the great desideratum of Asiatic society’ (101). But the real purpose was, by this means, to sustain or increase the tax-paying capacity of the country: ‘The zamindari and ryotwari settlements were both of them agrarian revolutions, effected by British ukases – both made not for the people, who cultivate the soil, nor for the holder, who owns it, but for the government that taxes it’ (102). The ‘zamindari’ (or the Permanent) settlement was merely ‘a caricature of English landlordism’, the ‘ryotwari’ of ‘French peasant-proprietorship’. “A curious sort of English landlord was the zamindar, receiving only one-tenth of the rent, while he had to make over nine-tenths of it to the Government. A curious sort of French peasant was the ryot, without any permanent title in the soil, and the taxation changing every year in proportion to his harvest” (103)” [Irfan Habib, ‘Marx’s Perception of India’] [(in) Karl Marx Friedrich Engels, a cura di Iqbal Husain, Karl Marx on India. From the New York Daily Tribune (including Articles by Frederick Engels) and Extracts from Marx-Engels. Correspondence 1853-1862, 2006] [(97) Burke is quoted in R.C. Dutt, Economic History of India in Early British Rule (second edition, London, 1906), pp. 49-50. Sir John Shore’s observations are in his Minute of 18 June 1789, paragraphs 131-42, Fifth Report, p. 183. Cornwallis, in his Minutes of 10 February 1790, spoke of India’s value in ‘furnishing a large annual investment to Europe’, and of the baneful effect on Indian agriculture and commerce of ‘the heavy drains of wealth’ to England; Fifth Report, p. 493; (98) See quotations in Dadabhai Naoroji, ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India’ (originally published in London, 1901); Delhi, 1962), pp. IV, 35-36; also R.C. Dutt, The Economic History of India in the Victorian Age (eleventh edition, London, 1950), pp. 115-116; (99) Tribune, 22 June, 1853; On Colonialism, p, 33; (100) Tribune, 23 July 1858; On Colonialism, pp, 208.-09; (101) Tribune, 8 August 1853; On Colonialism, p., 82; (102) Tribune, 5 August 1853; On Colonialism, p. 78; (103) Ibid. See also Capital, III; p. 328n] [(*) John Bright (1811-1889): famous Radical and Free Trader;chairman of Select Committee to enquire into obstacles to cultivation of cotton in India in 1848; recommended that the Government of India should be made a department of the British government in 1853; later advocated decentralization in India, 1858 and 1879]