CNEP BOMBAY Courtesy: BNP Paribas
14 March 2022

French business icons of colonial Bombay

The Anglo-French commercial treaty of 1860 opened trade between France and Bombay, and brought two iconic French companies – a shipping line and the city’s first European bank. Bombay’s affluent residents were already familiar with French fashion, luxury goods, wines and liqueurs.

Suffren_meeting_with_Haider_Ali_26_july_1782_engraved_by_J_B_Morret_1789 Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
10 March 2022

300 years of India-France trade

Three hundred years ago, the Anglo-French rivalry in Europe spilled over to India, and threatened the dissolution of the powerful Bombay Presidency. Three centuries later, India and France are in a different place, with economic ties blossoming and the bilateral upgrading in 1998 into a strategic relationship. The speed with which this has scaled up reflects the deep familiarity between the two nations rooted in colonial history.

imperial bank bldg Courtesy: Bombay 100 Years Ago
13 January 2022

The Imperial Bank of India

The Imperial Bank of India completed a hundred years in 2021. This Bombay Presidency institution is the precursor of the State Bank of India, which was a retail bank but also performed central bank duties. In this podcast, Sifra Lentin discusses the legacy of what was once the Indian subcontinent's oldest, largest bank.

sifra cover Courtesy: Routledge India
5 January 2022

Mercantile Bombay: A Journey of Trade, Finance and Enterprise

Mumbai has a deep legacy as an international financial hub from the 19th to early 20th century. It was the central node of trading communities in a globalised colonial world, the remnants of which are seen today. The author describes the city's heyday and advances the prospect of Bombay's revival as a global city of enterprise. This excerpt traces the history of the Bombay Burmah Trading Co., which played a role in the onset of the final Anglo-Burmese War.

kwadi Courtesy: Town Mumbai
23 December 2021

Bombay’s East Indian community

There is no better way to celebrate the winter festive season in Mumbai than to visit the many Bombay East Indian enclaves dotting the metropolis, urban villages that once made up the city before the 17th century. Attending Midnight Mass in the Bombay East Indian dialect of Marathi in a parish church and feasting on a traditional Christmas lunch is the best way to experience Mumbai before Bombay.

kushinagar Courtesy: Government of Uttar Pradesh
2 December 2021

The SCO’s shared Buddhist legacy

On November 26, the first flight took off from Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh, set up to help Buddhist pilgrims reach the Mahaparinirvana Temple, where Lord Buddha attained nirvana. Promoting India's Buddhist legacy can lead New Delhi's effort to revive diplomacy between the SCO's eight member nations.

Portuguese string of ports Courtesy: Diu Vanza Darji Samaj UK
28 October 2021

The Portuguese string of ports

Five hundred years before the ‘string of pearls’ or strategic naval bases surfaced as part of China’s global dominance plan, Imperial Portugal was a naval power which tried to impose its hegemony over vast swathes of the Indian Ocean. What informed this grand vision of a 16th-century Portuguese seaborne empire?

Indians at Herod Gate cover Courtesy: Rupa Publications
24 June 2021

Indians At Herod’s Gate: A Jerusalem Tale

This book by the former Indian Ambassador to Israel, Navtej Sarna, traces the history of a centuries-old Indian hospice, located in Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter. In May 2021, the outbreak of an armed conflict between Hamas and Israel raised tension throughout the walled city, particularly within the Muslim Quarter. This is not the first time the hospice has been caught in armed conflict due to its location. In light of these recent events, the book has become an extremely relevant piece to read.