Vank Cathedral Courtesy: Rasool Abassi/Wikimedia Commons
27 October 2022

India in the global Armenian network

The 18th century wave of Armenian immigrants to India were at the forefront of reinforcing a national identity for the Armenian people who lived dispersed across the world and without an independent country. The English colonial city of Madras was an important Armenian trading hub soon became home to an Armenian liberation movement

subnational action Courtesy: Hardik Joshi
16 June 2022

Activating sub-national climate plan in India

City-level climate action is gaining pace in India. This is crucial, given the country’s climate vulnerabilities and growing carbon footprint. Its success depends on mobilisation of climate finance, targeted devolution of central resources, inter-agency data-sharing and of course, public participation.

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.

the bohra transcultural network Courtesy: Alvazarat
22 April 2021

The Bohra transcultural network

The Dawoodi Bohra diaspora is present in over 40 countries that are home to 500 sizeable communities. From a predominantly Indian Ocean merchant diaspora in the past, today, its young prefer to seek educational and professional opportunities in developed countries, like the United States. What remains unchanged is the Bohras' traditional way of life, as lived through its rich and composite cuisine and its unique, ever-evolving language – Lisan-ul-Dawat – both of which connect the community across continents.

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.

Image Credit: Dr. Jehangir Sorabjee
Raw cotton being weighed. Japanese firms began going to the cotton growing hinterland of Bombay by the early 20th century. These direct purchases fueled a massive export trade between Bombay and Japan. Courtesy: Dr. Jehangir Sorabjee
20 March 2019

Imperial Japan’s trade with Bombay

Prior to the Second World War, Bombay had established merchant networks with several Japanese port cities and they drove an enormous global trade in cotton and textiles between the Indian subcontinent and Imperial Japan. Business has become a renewed priority for both countries today, offering fresh opportunities for collaboration

A photo of Kakira Sugar Works (Uganda) in 1957 (Courtesy: Tide of Fortune: A family tale, by Manubhai Madhvani) Courtesy: Tide of Fortune: A family tale, by Manubhai Madhvani
26 July 2018

Modi on the India-Africa Dhow Route

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Rwanda and Uganda, en route to the BRICS Conference in South Africa (July 25-27), is significant as it is a rebolstering of ties with these East African landlocked nations through their Indian diasporas, ties that will be cemented further by cooperation in defence, finance, education and other sectors. The Bombay Presidency once played a key role in the development of this region

old photos bombay Courtesy: Live Mint
15 August 2017

Bombay, Karachi, linked by sea and refuge

The 70th Independence Day for India and Pakistan – August 15 and 14 respectively – is a reminder of how Partition displaced 15 million people, causing untold hardship. What is less known is that the cities of Karachi and Bombay have had a shared colonial history and economy: the parting of ways left one bereft of a host of spirited citizens, who went on to rebuild their lives in the other