Commerce and Business:                                

Raja Sahib had congregated greater part of his wealth mostly through trade. His inclination in the day to-day business affair had become strong during his father’s time and after his death, he was more and more engrossed in business. With time his instinct became perfect. Despite his mild educational background, this Banker of Central Province, owed his success as much to his penetrating business acumen, as to his patient and steady hard work.

Raja Sahib inherited these qualities from his father. He had special knowledge of the commodities found in different part of the country. He would not venture into any business hastily without going through the pros and cons involved in the proposal. It was always for him to weigh chances of gain and loss in mind and then take the initiative.

Malkapur Ginning & Pressing Factory


Jamshedji Tata, the man behind bringing about industrial revolution in the country, was only contemplating the idea by the time Raja Sahib had turned his vision into reality. The foundation of Jubbulpore Mills called 'The Raja Gokuldas Mills’ and the 'Perfect Pottery Works’, were laid at such time when the industry was not popular in the country. By the time Jamshedji Tata became the first Indian to own a car, Raja Sahib had the credit of embarking into the new field of industrialisation by opening a chain of ginning and pressing factories at Gotegaon, Gadarwara, Piparia, Kareli, Harda, Khandwa. Kalmeshwar, Wardha, Hinganghat, Malkapur, Amraoti and Katol in C.P and Berar, at Banda and Etawa in U.P and Multan in Punjab.

Shops, as the offices were called at that time, had already been opened in C.P and rest of India in his father's time, but he was not satisfied with these, accordingly new shops were opened in other parts of country. Raja Sahib extended his business to Bombay, Calcutta and Rangoon. The shops at Bombay, Calcutta and Rangoon were considered to be one of the biggest of the respective market. His shops were under the charge of agents, yet all were kept under his supervision. He used to be on tour for 9 months in a year. He supervised his work personally and never depended on others. The main objective behind strict surveillance was that every servant remembered the sword of Domocles always hanging over his head.

Raja Saheb’s Head Munims

His staff was transferred from one place to another. No one was allowed to stay for more than 4-5 years at one place. Whenever he recruited, the new gumasta or the munim had to under go a period of probation. He was attached to each and every person who served under him. Among his most trusted munims included Munim Bachoolal, Nanagram, Kanhiyalal and Punamchand. The former two served Raja Sahib’s family for about 50 years while the latter two had served for three generations. 

Mr Jiwanchandra Mukerji

Besides these four, he had great trust upon Munim Amarchand an agent in Jubbulpore, Munim Kanjimal, Munim Jethmal, Munim Hazarimal, Munim Rikhadas and Munim Banwarilal. Among the chief advisors of Raja Sahib may be mentioned the Russel brothers - retired Superintendents of the office of the Commissioner Jubbulpore, Babu Srishchandra Roy Choudhary, a leading legal practitioner of Jubbulpore, and Rai Bahadur Babu Ambikacharan De, a prominent lawyer of Narsinghpur.

He used to see Srishchandra Roy Choudhary    almost every day, and Babu Ambikacharan De frequently came to Jubbulpore. He used to listen to the advice given by his advisors and acted upon them. But E. A. Russel was treated with special consideration.

 Formation of Central Province:


Central Provinces in British India

In 1820, the territories were combined and placed under an Agent to the Governor General for the ‘Sagar and Narmada territory’ with headquarters at Jubbulpore. In 1852 the general administration of these territories was once again entrusted to the government of North Western province, under which it continued upto the formation of the Central Province in 1861.

As latel as 1853, when the Great Trignometerical Survey of India had been underway for almost a century, Sir Erkskine Perry addressing the Bombay branch of the Royal Asiatic Society wrote, ‘At present the Gondwana, the high lands and jungles comprise such a large tract of unexplored country that they form quite as oasis in our map.’

In 1861 this central tract of highland and jungles, with its unknown history, its unexplored resources and its strange world of wild tribes, became a separate division of British India, under the name of ‘Central Provinces’, by the union of Sagar and Narbada Territories with the Nagpur province. Thus the Central Province, commonly known as CP, was formed in the year 1861.

The CP territory was divided into 5 divisions which were further divided into districts:- 





Nagpor (Nagpur)

Nagpor, Bhandara, Chanda, Wardha, Balaghat


Jubbulpore (Jabalpur)

Jubbulpore & Saugor



Betul, Chhindwara, Hoshangabad, Narsingpur






Raipur, Sambalpur, Bilaspur & Upper Godavari

The administrative staff consisted of four commissioners, nineteen Deputy Commissioner. In every district there were two more sub division, the district management of each being entrusted to a native called tehsildar.

Raja Sahib and Agriculture:

Despite the fact that he was the man behind bringing about industrial revolution in the Central Province, he still remained a man close to agriculture. Over the period, he added many villages to his estate and took special interest in malguzari work. Besides holding hundreds of villages in the single district of Jubbulpore, he possessed many estates in CP and UP (Uttar Pradesh).

Malguzars were middlemen. During the later period of the Gond rule, the ruler himself retained large portions of the territory, which were generally managed on leases, at first directly granted to the actual cultivators, and later through Malguzars. Thus, during this period the malguzars did not own the land but only were lessees who were allowed to sublease the land on behalf of the rulers. With the passage of time, during the British Rule, malguzars received the recognition of proprietary rights under the settlement of 1863. The ruling government of the time recognised fixed rights, claims and interests, and eliminated interference by the officer of Government. So, the malguzars became owners of the land who could either lease it or do agriculture on it, and had to pay tax to the British government.

The following lines, quoted frequently by Raja Sahib, reveal his wisdom on agriculture: “Cultivation is best when the farmer himself ploughs the land, is second best when he merely attends to look over the work of his subordinates, but an absentee farmer who asks, ‘Where have you ploughed today?’ soon parts with his land.”

The peasants and farmers of his villages had a special place in his heart. As mentioned earlier, Raja Sahib had a sharp memory, which helped him to remember the names of majority of the people in his villages from generation to generation. In addition to this he even remembered the minute details about their families. If they came for loan to help them with the marriage of their children then the kind-hearted Raja would not only extend financial assistance but free gifts as well. After his death, his son Jiwandas exempted these peasants from the re-payment of the money.
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