chapter  2
17 Pages

Gujarat: A Distinctive Development Model?

Like the rest of the country, for many generations Gujarat was a predominantly agrarian society, with an ethnically diverse population and with a long history of extensive migration, Gujaratis being famous for their globetrotting. Due partly to its location and long coastline, Gujarat has had a long history of trade and entrepreneurship in which its harbours have been linked to a hinterland of rich agriculture and well-established artisanal production (Yagnik and Seth, 2005). The trading culture contributed to a society that was intrinsically entrepreneurial and mobile, reinforcing its tradition of migration. In the 18th century, much of the migration was to Africa; this continued for many generations, until the rupture in the 1970s when Asians were expelled from Uganda. From then onwards, much of the emigration was to the UK and USA, until now when most upper-caste and middle-class Gujarati families have relatives living in one of those countries.