ISBN: 978-93-84082-20-8 • 2014 • PB • 242 pp. • ₹ 450
The Mughals, The Portuguese and the Indian Ocean: Changing Imageries of Maritime India
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Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University
This book explores the changing meanings that ‘maritime India’ acquired during the early modern period as a result of the frequent efforts of the Mughals and the Portuguese, from two different fronts, to control its vast, resourceful enclaves and profit-yielding neighbourhoods. Some of the issues explored here focus on the political implications of the religious dialogues between Akbar and Jesuits; the attempts of the Portuguese to create a supportive social group out of the Paravas in the Pearl Fishery Coast; the creation of parallel circuits to Ottoman markets in the eastern Mediterranean as an alternative to the Cape Route trade of the Portuguese; the multiple strands of trade between coastal western India and the markets of East Africa; the economic and political processes that prompted the shifting of the Mughal capital from the hinterland to the vicinity of the major maritime trading centres of northern Konkan; voices of dissent in Christianity and discourses on early nationalism; the changing perceptions of Portuguese enclaves in Bengal and aspects of the ethnic mutation of the Luso-Indians as well as the social manoeuvrings of the English.
‘In effect this book is a welcome relief from the often told stories of maritime history as it looks at the scenario afresh and the integrated approach of sea, land and religion and the logical arrangement of the chapters make the reader sit up and read with attention.’
K.R.A. Narsiah, The Hindu