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Europeans in India Part 7 The Dutch Enter the Fray Section II Commercial Activities – Gujarat, The Coromandel & Bengal

Canberra, 29 January 2023 The Dutch arrived in India and faced great opposition from the Portuguese, who pushed back with force. The animosity was such that they moved on to the Far-East and established themselves in today’s Indonesia. From their base in the archipelago, they made gradual and initially surreptitious inroads into South Asia, initially […]

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Europeans in India – Part 7 The Dutch Enter the Fray Section I: Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC)

Canberra, 20 January 2023 Spain and Portugal, both staunchly Catholic countries, had divided the world between them at the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. England and Netherlands, or Holland as it is sometimes known, both protestant countries, refused to agree to this arbitrary decision, defending the principle that ‘the sea was as free as the […]

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Europeans in India: The Portuguese Part 6 Decline and Downfall into Oblivion

Canberra, 13 January 2023 Even with the extreme religious oppression, Goa remained populated by Indians, both Hindus and Christians. Some reports suggest that about 2000 Portuguese came to India annually and a majority stayed on in the sub-continent on a semi-permanent basis. However, the authenticity of these reports is questionable. Definitely, every year a certain […]

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Europeans in India The Portuguese Part 5 Of Cruelty and Religion – The Indelible Connection

Canberra, 9 January 2023 The Arrogance of Ignorance Vasco da Gama was the first European to reach the western coast of India by sea direct from Europe. He had expected to find a ‘backward’ country that had to be ‘civilised’, since the Europeans of the 15th and 16th centuries illogically and erroneously assumed that their […]

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Europeans in India The Portuguese Part 4 Governance, Policies and Operations

Canberra, 5 January 2023 There are two viewpoints regarding the Portuguese attempt to establish a ‘State’ in the Indian sub-continent, headquartered at Goa. One, a sort of sweeping assessment, states that the defeat of the Arab coalition at Diu in 1509 by Almeida ended all threats to Portugal’s hegemony in the Indian Ocean region. The […]

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Europeans in India – The Portuguese Part 3 A Viceroy and Three Governors Section III: Lopo Soares & Diego Lopes

Canberra, 3 December 2022 [Detailed accounts of the tenures of the first Viceroy and three Governors who succeeded him have been given for the reader to get a flavour of the activities that these individuals undertook to perpetuate Portuguese presence in the Indian sub-continent and to create a monopoly on the lucrative spice trade, which […]

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Europeans in India – The Portuguese Part 3 A Viceroy and Three Governors Section II: Afonso D’Albuquerque

Canberra, 03 December 2022 When he assumed the office of Governor of Estado da India on 5th November 1509, Afonso D’Albuquerque, was 56 years of age, an old man for that period. His first action was to assist Marshal Coutinho to attack Calicut, which he was reluctant to do, but had to agree considering the […]

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Europeans in India The Portuguese Part 3 A Viceroy and Three Governors Section I Francisco D’Almeida (1505-1509)

Canberra, 03 December 2022 ‘The Portuguese of the 16th and 17th centuries had nothing to teach the people of India except improved methods of killing people in war and the narrow feeling of bigotry in religion. Surely these were not matters of such importance as to make it necessary for Indians to feel grateful towards […]

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Europeans in India – The Portuguese Part 2 The Portuguese Vanguard

Canberra 19 November 2022 The Zamorin of Calicut welcomed the Portuguese in a friendly manner, as he was his custom with all merchants who came to trade at his port. He sent a local pilot to take the foreign ships to shelter from the fury of the on-coming South-West Monsoon rains. However, Vasco da Gama […]

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Europeans in India – The Portuguese Part 1 Background: Ancient and Medieval

Canberra, 09 November 2022 The Indian sub-continent was known to the people of Europe in antiquity, with the ancient Greeks recording their knowledge of India in some of the texts of the time. Cyrus the Great (r. 558–530 BC) of the famous Achaemenid Dynasty of Persia, built the first universal empire, stretching from Greece to […]

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