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The Maritime History of the Coromandel Muslims: A socio-Historical Study on the Tamil Muslims 1750-1900 is an interesting read in spite of its rather intimidating academic title. It is a book which correctly frames the discourse on origins of the Tamil Muslims and eliminates guess work and hearsay especially for people in the South East Asian region who are grappling with the history and origins of the Tamil Muslims. In Penang, they are referred to as Indian Muslims apart from other quaint local terminologies which do not augur well with the correct understanding of history. The proud history of the Tamil Muslims is a must read for students of history and religion for history teaches us much about the world and mistakes to avoid. The book imparts the important lesson that the powers of the day and not the market alone play a pivotal role in propagating or destroying businesses and business communities. Such was the fate of the Tamil Muslims whose businesses were targetted by the colonial masters who were at war with the religion they professed. Without technology and connections, business communities ended up as indentured labor in foreign land such as Malaya. It is worthwhile to ponder on the fate of the Tamil Muslims of years gone by.
The Coromandel Coast
The Political background
Europeans on the Coromandel and their
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