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Who built Bombay ?
By:Muhammad Rafi Karachi
Date: Tuesday, 13 March 2012, 10:12 am

> WHO BUILT BOMBAY?
>
> According to ancient history, a grouping of seven islands comprising
> Colaba, Mazagaon, Old Woman's Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, and
> Matunga-Sion formed a part of the kingdom of Ashoka the Great of
> Magadh, ironically in North India .
>
> The Bhaiyas and Biharis whom the Thackerays accuse of being outsiders
> in Mumbai, come from the region, which was a part of Ashoka the
> Great's empire.. We judge everything according to history and the
> history of Mumbaiproves that its earliest known ownership was with a
> North Indian.
>
> The seven islands of Mumbai passed through many hands, the sultans of
> Gujarat , the Portuguese and the British. Every ruler left behind
> proof of residence in Mumbai.
>
> The Mauryans left behind the Kanheri, Mahakali and the caves of
> Gharapuri more popularly called Elephanta. The sultans of Gujarat
> built the Dargahs at Mahim and Haji Ali, the Portuguese built the two
> Portuguese churches, one at Prabhadevi and the other St Andrews at
> Bandra.
>
> They built forts at Sion, Mahim, Bandra and Bassien. The Portuguese
> named the group of seven Islands 'Bom Baia', Good Bay . The British
> built a city out of the group of seven islands and called her Bombay .
>
> The original settlers of the seven islands, the Koli fishermen,
> worshiped Mumbaidevi, her temple still stands at Babulnath near
> Chowpatty. The Kolis called the island Mumbai, 'Mumba, Mother
> Goddess'.
>
> In 1662, King Charles II of England married the Portuguese Princess
> Catherine of Braganza, and received the seven islands of Bom Baia as
> part of his dowry. Six years later, the British Crown leased the seven
> islands to the English East India Company for a sum of 10 pounds in
> gold per annum. It was under the English East India Company that the
> future megapolis began to take shape, after the first war for
> independence Bombay once again became a colony of the British Empire .
>
> History has forgotten this but the first Parsi settler came to Bombay
> in 1640, he was Dorabji Nanabhoy Patel. In 1689-90, a severe plague
> epidemic broke out in Bombay and most of the European settlers
> succumbed to it. The Siddi of Janjira attacked in full force. Rustomji
> Dorabji Patel, a trader and the son of the city's first Parsi settler,
> successfully defeated the
> Siddi with the help of the Kolis and saved Bombay .
>
> Gerald Aungier, Governor of Bombay built the Bombay Castle, an area
> that is even today referred to as Fort. He also constituted the Courts
> of law. He brought Gujarati traders, Parsi shipbuilders, Muslim and
> Hindu manufacturers from the mainland and settled them in Bombay .
>
> It was during a period of four decades that the city of Bombay took
> shape. Reclamation was done to plug the breach at Worli and
> Mahalakshmi, Hornby Vellard was built in 1784. The Sion Causeway
> connecting Bombay to Salsette was built in 1803. Colaba Causeway
> connecting Colaba island to Bombay was built in 1838. A causeway
> connecting Mahim and Bandra was built in 1845.
>
> Lady Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, the wife of the First Baronet Jamsetjee
> Jeejeebhoy donated Rs 1, 57,000 to meet construction costs of the
> causeway. She donated Rs. 1,00,000 at first.. When the project cost
> escalated and money ran out half way through she donated Rs 57,000
> again to ensure that the
>
> vital causeway was completed. Lady Jamsetjee stipulated that no toll
> would ever be charged for those using the causeway. Today Mumbaikars
> have to pay Rs 75 to use the Bandra-Worli Sealink, connecting almost
> the same two islands. Sir J J Hospital was also built by Sir Jamsetjee
> Jeejeebhoy.
>
> The shipbuilding Wadia family of Surat was brought to Bombay by the
> British. Jamshedji Wadia founded the Bombay Port Trust and built the
> Princess Dock in 1885 and the Victoria Dock and the Mereweather Dry
> Docks in 1891. Alexandra Dock was built in 1914.
>
> A Gujarati civil engineer supervised the building of the Gateway of
> India . The Tatas made Bombay their headquarters and gave it the
> iconic Taj Mahal Hotel and India 's first civilian airlines, Air India
> . The Godrejs gave India its first vegetarian soap.
>
> Cowasji Nanabhai Daver established Bombay's first cotton mill, 'The
> Bombay Spinning Mills' in 1854. By 1915, there were 83 textile mills
> in Bombay largely owned by Indians.
>
> This brought about a financial boom in Bombay . Although the mills
> were owned by Gujaratis, Kutchis, Parsis and Marwaris, the workforce
> was migrant Mahrashtrians from rural Maharashtra . Premchand Roychand,
> a prosperous Gujarati broker founded the Bombay Stock Exchange.
> Premchand Roychand donated Rs 2,00,000 to build the Rajabai Tower in
> 1878.
>
> Muslim, Sindhi and Punjabi migrants have also contributed handsomely to Mumbai.
>
> Mumbai is built on the blood and sweat of all Indians. That is why
> Bombay belongs to all Indians.
>
> Apart from its original inhabitants, the Kolis, everyone else in
> Mumbai, including Thackeray's 'Marathi Manoos', are immigrants.
>
> The "Mumbai for Marathi Manoos" war cry has once again been raised to
> shore up the sagging political fortunes of the Thackeray family..
>
> When the Shiv Sena came to power in 1993, under the guise of reverting
> to the original name they replaced Bombay with Mumbai.
>
> I wonder when they will discard the anglicized Thackeray and revert
> back to their original Marathi surname Thakre?
>
> This article was written on February 7, 2010 by Tushar Gandhi,
> founder/president, Mahatma Gandhi Foundation, and the grandson of
> Gandhiji.

Messages In This Thread

Who built Bombay ?
Muhammad Rafi Karachi -- Tuesday, 13 March 2012, 10:12 am
Re: Who built Bombay ?
Ali Noor Atlanta -- Tuesday, 13 March 2012, 11:25 pm
Re: Who built Bombay ?
Muhammad Rafi Karachi -- Wednesday, 14 March 2012, 5:28 pm