Asserting the Importance of Maritime History and the Need for Maritime Perspectives in Indian Historical Narratives

By Janhavi Lokegaonkar, Research Associate, Maritime History Society

Maritime history is a broad, interdisciplinary theme while studying global history encompassing the multidimensional study of human interactions.  Arthur C. Clarke has captured the enormity of the maritime expanse as he has rightly put “How inappropriate to call this planet ‘Earth’, when it is clearly Ocean.”

Indians have been seafarers with a history of their maritime ventures that can be traced back to two to three millennia. There is substantial evidence to prove this. Indian Maritime History outlines the traditional themes developed around separate and isolated subjects like the history of maritime trade, ventures, of conquests, colonisation and culture, historical analysis, and discourse on naval warfare and on the economic affairs that encapsulates nautical traditions and practices that include (but are not limited to) shipbuilding, overseas trade, and commercial fishing.

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The Maritime History of Mumbai’s names

By Amruta Talawadekar, Research Associate,Maritime History Society

‘Names of places form an important part of our history. They stand as memorials of men and events in the past. They throw light on the scenes and movements of former ages, and therefore cannot be neglected in our study of the development of our country.’

 

As rightly indicated by late Dr. Patterson in ‘Place – Names’, names of a place are crucial and are derived from various cultural roots that the place was once known for. Mumbai, for example, has had a variety of names attached to it, prior to its official name change in 1995. This article talks about the various names that Mumbai had and its relevance to the maritime history of the city.

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