Sugar in Milk: The Parsi Tryst with India

By Mr Dennard D’Souza, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

We have often heard stories of the jovial, dhansak eating and the overtly philanthropic Parsis. We have sometimes even swayed our heads to the medley “my name is Jeejeebhoy Jamshedjee” and never realised the person was an actual Parsi gentleman who made it big during the Raj. Parsis are everywhere from enterprise to entertainment. Though a miniscule minority, they have influenced us in a good way. We drive (Trucks and Cars) and drink Tata products(Starbucks) , we safeguard our jewels and food products in Godrej cupboards and fridges. Guess what…. these all are Parsi made products. Continue reading “Sugar in Milk: The Parsi Tryst with India”

Traversing the Oceans: Indian Seafaring through the Eons

By Mr Dennard H D’Souza, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

Figure 1 A Harappan seal depicting a reed boat coupled with oars. The presence of avian figures alludes to the historic disa-kaka used by seafarers in long distance travel. Source: Harappa.com

India has a long tradition of indigenous seafaring which is well attested from the late chalcolithic period to the late medieval period. Seafaring in India was a continuing practice contrary to the edicts of the Manusmriti That prohibited the crossing of seas especially those by Brahmins. Seafarers became the conduit through which Indian culture and religious traditions seeped into territories beyond the frontiers. In this article, we shall broadly speak of seafaring traditions from the earliest period up until the late medieval Continue reading “Traversing the Oceans: Indian Seafaring through the Eons”

Importance of INS Dweeprakshak: India’s Naval Sentinel

By Swapna Nair, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

Many islands in the Indian Ocean and Pacific were the appendages of the imperialist metropolises in the days of colonial expansion. And Lakshadweep, located on a centuries-old trade route that connected South India to West Asia and Europe, had to curl up with the vestiges of the ‘global dynamics’ of the European colonial powers. Continue reading “Importance of INS Dweeprakshak: India’s Naval Sentinel”

Exercise Milan: A Brief Overview of the Multilateral Naval Exercise in the Indian Ocean Region

By Janhavi Lokegaonkar, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

The Indian subcontinent has a vast history of flourishing maritime associations that predominantly involved commerce, culture and religion. However, the legacy of the erstwhile Indian mariners and seafarers who plied the oceans afar was gradually eclipsed by the lure of terrestrial possession until the last century. The liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation reforms in India in the ’90s can be regarded as a tipping point of enunciation of a change in the policy and national outlook towards our maritime frontiers. It rendered increased attention towards infrastructural development of Indian ports and its underlying coastal areas thereby placing the blueprint of maritime strategies on a national pedestal. This paradigm shift in our strategic outlook gained gradual prominence. Continue reading “Exercise Milan: A Brief Overview of the Multilateral Naval Exercise in the Indian Ocean Region”

Anti-Piracy Operation Of Lakshadweep Islands

By Swapna Nair, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

INTRODUCTION

Piracy has been widely romanticized by writers and filmmakers, and many people often harbor visions of bearded rebels sailing seas of endless blue, something close to a maritime “Robin Hood’ of sorts. In truth, modern-day piracy (in whatever form) is a violent, bloody, and ruthless practice.[1] Pirates steal, mangle and even kill. In addition, the fearsome captivity of victims for ransom is yet another sombre act. Although maritime piracy is a historical phenomenon, it has reemerged in recent years off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Guinea, and in the international straits of Indonesia.[2] Global acts of piracy rose quickly on the coast of Somalia from 2008 to 2011 and steadily grew off the east coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, among other places.[3] Somali piracy appears to be on the decline, in large mainly because of the effectiveness of international efforts to combat piracy, however, global piracy continues to challenge the international shipping and trade industry, coastal states, and seafarers worldwide.

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The Small Indian Wonder: Lakshadweep

By Janhavi Lokegaonkar, Research Associate, Maritime History Society

The tiny Union territory is making big news! Lakshadweep is the only territory under the Indian jurisdiction to be completely Covid-free even after five months since the first case was reported1 in India, in Kerala.

But the news should not come as surprise either because the islands stand out as unique entities. They have an inimitable ecosystem in terms of biodiversity, physical environment. India has about 1100 islands-inhabited and uninhabited. Lakshadweep, India’s smallest Union Territory, is an archipelago consisting of 36 islands well known for its exotic and sun-kissed beaches and lush green landscape. The name Lakshadweep means ‘a hundred thousand islands’ in Malayalam and Sanskrit.

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Dead Zones in the Indian Ocean Region

By Janhavi Lokegaonkar, Research Associate, Maritime History Society

It happens quite often that when an aerated drink is poured, we do not consume it all at once. Sip by sip as we devour on a drink and reach half the glass, one finds that the fizz is all gone leaving just sweetened, flavoured water. Don’t we all hate such flat soda? This is because when the drink (liquid) becomes warmer it holds lesser gas as compared to the cold ones. Now, let us consider the ocean water to be that drink and the Indian Ocean, being tropical weather having warmer water paving way to creating of Dead Zones.

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