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.

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?

uk's irregular indian migrants: a colonial redux Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
2 June 2021

UK’s irregular Indians: Colonial carry-over

The early roots of the Indian diaspora in the UK are not about the storied success of the Hinduja brothers or celebrated economist Lord Meghnad Desai. Rather it lies in Indian sailors – the lascars – and the soldiers – faujis – of the World Wars, and the many hardworking labourers attracted to jobs in post-war Britain. These are very much the profile of most irregular Indian migrants in the UK today, many of them Sikh youth.

irregular indians in the UK: a conflicted issue Courtesy: Twitter | @DrSJaishankar
27 May 2021

Indian immigration to the UK: still conflicted

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in India, seeking a trade deal, and promising immigrant visas. The UK wants more Rishi Sunaks but the simmering issue is about irregular migrants from India, low-skilled labour whose numbers are still disputed by both countries. While a free trade agreement may still be signed, it will likely not address this problem, leaving thousands of Indians undocumented in the UK.

a history of india's currencies and banknotes Courtesy: Marg Publications (Mumbai)
20 May 2021

The Conjuror’s Trick: An Interpretive History of Paper Money in India

From the window of the earliest paper currencies issued by private banks in Calcutta, to the evolution of contemporary banknotes, The Conjuror’s Trick: An Interpretive History of Paper Money in India, deftly tackles political imperatives, monetary policy, global disruptions, schools of currency thought and even the science and art of printed paper money in India.

INS_Viraat_front_view Courtesy: Wikipedia
1 October 2020

INS Viraat sails away

Five days before World Maritime Day last week, the former Flag Ship of India’s Western Fleet headquartered in Mumbai – the Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat or R 22 – was towed away to the ship-breaking yard in Alang, Gujarat. This brought down the curtains on Viraat’s glorious career of 58 years at sea. The Indian Navy is awaiting the commissioning of a new aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’, named after the Indian Navy’s first carrier. Just as it will one day induct another new carrier and name it after the Viraat.