Who is an East-Indian ?

East-Indian is an aboriginal of the 7 islands of Bombay (Mobai, Golaba, AL-Omanis, Mazagaon, Worii, Parel And Mahim), the islands of Salsette (Salsette proper, Trombay, Juhu, Versova, Marva, Dharavi, Rai and Murdha), Vasai, parts of Thana and parts of Raigad.

This is the same territory that is shown on the homepage.

The East Indian being an aboriginal was of different castes i.e Koli, Kunbhi, Bhandari, Agri, Khumbar, Nhavi, Bhoi, Panch Kalshi, Char Kalshi, Sonar, Khatri, Kharpatils, Dhobi, Buru, Parit, Mhars, Chamars...However they were broadly classified as Samvedi Christians, Koli Christians, Vadvals, Salsette Christians and the Urbanised Section.

The only common factor that binds all these communities together, into one common name (i.e East Indian), is the fact that most of them were original Christians from the Teachings of Christs Apostle, St. Batholomew. With the advent of the Portuguese into this region. The "conversions" that took place was merely that of Nominal Christians being baptised into being Roman Catholics.

In 1887, The Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria was celebrated. All of India was under Foriegn Rule, most of which was the British Rule. This is when the Christians/Catholics of the above mentioned regions, decided to unitedly represent themselves as East Indians to Queen Victoria.

On 26 May 1887, The Bombay East Indian Associtation was established, to protect the rights of the East Indians.



On the question of why the name "East Indians" ?

Incorrectly people link this up to British East India Company. However, it should be remembered that Government of India Act 1858 was passed in the Parliament of the United Kingdom brought an end to the British East India Company rule in India and transfered its functions to the British Crown. Hence, after 30 years (or more), logically it would make no sense to take a name based on some entity that the (then) rulers had literally closed down.


Another website belonging to The East Indians of Bombay



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