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India, as country has been a country to raise inquisitiveness from ancient times. The era of colonialism in India, unfolds many dimensions of struggle by the natives and the attempts of travesty by the imperialist powers. This paper will focus on the two landmark legislations of the end of the 19th century specifically pertaining to the labour conditions in India. The changing paradigms of the urban and rural labour underwent a phenomenal change by the mid 19thcentury. The already miserable landless peasants were now forced to migrate to newly developed towns in search of employment, due to which they suffered at both the ends, by losing out on their traditional skills and also equally finding it difficult to adjust into the newly urbanized areas of industrial sector. “The characteristic which distinguishes the modern period in world history from all past periods is the fact of economic growth. Whenever this enlargement of the productive horizon of the ordinary man appeared, it involved a distinctive transformation of the economy concerned. A pre-dominantly family based system of economic organization began to give way to a predominantly industrial system, in which the representative unit of production was necessarily larger than the family”. “Industrial revolution tore up by the roots of social relationships and institution; it destroyed the old life of the village and created the problem of the new factory town”. The shift from the native self sufficient economy to the newly introduced paradigms of development pushed the country to the new economic designs of progress. “India as such was a complex society in the mid 19th century. Given the widespread impression that industrial development was impossible because of implacable British hostility to Indian competition the career of the cotton mill industry seems particularly paradoxical”. The main emphasis of this paper will be to draw comparison between the Factory Acts of 1881 and 1891 which the very attitude of the natives towards the colonial government. The paper will try to trace the background to what led to the passing of the Factory Acts and to what extent it was successful in bringing about the required changes into the conditions of the working class in Bombay. The paper is primarily based on primary sources, factory records, government proceedings and the Acts of 1881 and 1891.

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Avkash Daulatrao Jadhav 468
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