Journal article / Politics, Economy, and Islam in 18th-century Ponnani

Kooria, Mahmood. ‘Politics, Economy and Islam in “Dutch Ponnani”, Malabar Coast’. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 62, no. 1. Published ahead of print, 10 December 2018.

Abstract (edited): Ponnani was a port in southwestern India that resisted Portuguese incursions in the 16th century through the active involvement of religious, mercantile, and military elites.

In the late 17th and 18th centuries, Ponnani was the only place where the Dutch East India Company had commercial access into the kingdom of the Zamorins of Calicut. When the Dutch gained prominence in the coastal belt, this port town became the main centre for their commercial, diplomatic, and political transactions.

But as a religious centre, it began to recede into oblivion in the larger Indian Ocean and Islamic scholarly networks. The present article examines this dual process and suggests important reasons for the transformations.

It argues that the port town became crucial for diplomatic and economic interests of the Dutch East India Company and the Zamorins, whereas its Muslim population became more parochial as they engaged with themselves than with the larger sociopolitical and scholarly networks.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1163/15685209-12341473

Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

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