Anglo-Tibetan relations during the early twentieth century rested on the complex dynamics of British economic designs on Tibet. The commerce across the frontier reconfigured the existing landscape and relations between the sub-Himalayan regions. The trade with Tibet had never proven to be a vital element in the commerce of the empire (as often said by the British officials) but it did allow the British to enjoy undue privileges in the region. Tibetan wool, which constituted the dominant imported commodity, was categorized as a ‘political purchase’ or a ‘rush demand good’. However, the variation in trade policy over the years particularly with regard to wool, amplified its significance as an economic commodity. The presentation will attempt to discuss the wool trade from 1904 to 1947 with Kalimpong as an entrepôt in order to leverage the passage of wool from the Tibetan Plateau to the Bay of Bengal.
About the Speaker
Diki Sherpa is a Research Assistant at the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi. She has recently completed her MPhil from the Department of History, University of Delhi. Her MPhil topic was titled ‘India-Tibet trade in the first-half of twentieth century’. She completed her post-graduation from the Department of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Her research interests include Indian Himalayas, trade networks and, British India and Tibetan economic relations. Her profile can be visited here: http://www.icsin.org/faculty/show/267