Mughals : Europeans in India - Part II

Exact Match
  Indus Valley
  Mauryan Era
  Post Mauryan
  Kushana Era
  Golden Age
  Post Gupta

  Arab Invasion
  South India
  Prithviraj Era
  Delhi Sultunate
  Mughal Period
  Maratha Era
  British Period

  Subhash & INA

Arrival | Rajputs & Portuguese | Babur | Khanwah | Humayun | Sher Shah | Akbar | Din-Illahi | Haldi Ghati | Administration | Jahangir | Shah Jahan | Aurangzeb | Last Mughals | Europeans | Nadir Shah 


The Portuguese never attempted largescale conquest but they did impinge on Indian affairs and they carried their culture with them. Politically their control of the sea irked Mughal and preceding Muslim rulers because of the toll they took of the trade from the port of Surat and the pilgrim traffic. In seizing and retaining their strong points they acquired a reputation for cruelty and perfidy because their practice on both these points was below the current Indian standard. They were deeply impregnated with the idea that no faith need be kept with an infidel.

It was from this period that the word feringi (lit. farangi, frank) acquired the opprobrium. In religion they were intolerant to the extent of allowing no Hindu temples in Goa and introducing the Inquisition (1560), both measures which can be regarded as sub-standard from the Indian standpoint.

Socially the policy of Albuquerque in encouraging mixed marriages had important results. His object was to rear a population possessing Portuguese blood and imbued with Portuguese Catholic culture who would be committed by race and taste to the Portuguese settlements and so form a permanent self-perpetuating garrison. The result was the race long known as Luso-Indians and now as Goans.

From early times they spilled over from the Portuguese settlements and formed communities of their own which tended towards disorder and piracy. One such at Hughli was suppressed by Shah Jahan in 1632.

The Dutch sent their first fleet to the East in 1595. Being commercial realists they went straight to the source of the spice trade in the East Indies, established themselves at Batavia (now as previous to their arrival called Jakarta), and proceeded to oust the Portuguese. Then they established a chain of posts through Ceylon and Capetown to connect themselves with their home base and proceeded to develop a great Asian network of trade.

The Dutch had 'factories' or warehouses as far north as Agra but they took no part in politics or cultural contacts. Their eccentric tombs at Surat and their factories at Cochin and Negapatam are their principal memorials in India. Only in Ceylon did they exercise dominion in the plains from Colombo and leave a living memorial in the Burgher community.

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