As an undergrad, I wrote my thesis on the immigration and business patterns of Gujaratis (especially in the US as a way to re-imagine ethnic entrepreneurial niches). Gujarat shares the West Coast of India with a few other provinces including Maharastra (home to Mumbai) and Kerala (home to Cochin and most of India’s native Jews and Christians). As a result of that research, I got the chance to read a fair amount about the long history of Indian Christians and Jews. All this to say, the history is fascinating and there is a great (brief but deep) synopsis of the two thousand year old story in a recent New Republic article. Here is a particularly intense passage:
“The Indian Jewish identity is the only one that hasn’t been created by persecution,” he said. “We’ve never felt scared. This is the first time we’ve been made to feel like Jews.” That, to me, has been among the most tragic casualties of this terrorist attack. In a barrage of grenades and bullets, a part of the Indian dream that’s 2,500 years old has now been buried in a pile of bloody concrete shards.
Check out the story and I hope you’ll share my interest and wonder whiter Indian Jewry.