Siddis are one of the Scheduled Tribes of post-Independence India, though they are of African origin. Their presence in India is traced back to 1100 AD in historical records, but it is believed that they came to India much earlier. Arab merchants and later the Portuguese, the British and the French brought them to India who worked as slaves, load carriers, soldiers and subsequently occupied important position in army and royal courts. For example, the Title of Amir-al-Umara (Leader of Leaders) was given to Siddi Jamal-ud-Din Yakut of the thirteenth century. In Bengal Shahzada Barbak founded the Habshi dynasty in 1487 and during colonial period there are instances of Siddi rulers in Sachin and Janjira. The famous Ahmadabad Siddi Sayyidnijali of Siddi Sayyid Masjid during the sixteenth century was designed by a Siddi soldier, Shaykh sa’id al-Habshi Sultani. In India, Siddis are found belonging to different religious denominations—Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. They were found fighting against the British, participating in freedom movement and fighting for the British in World War II. Undauntedly, they have contributed immensely in the making of history in different capacities. In view this, the present paper attempts to list their role in India with focus on colonial period.
- African slave
- Colonial period
- East India company
- Slave trade
- Siddi Abdul Karim Yakut Khan
- Malik Amber
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Ahmad, M.N. (2022). ‘From Africa’ to ‘Of India’: Siddis Through Colonial Period. In: Behera, M.C. (eds) Tribe, Space and Mobilisation. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-0059-4_4
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