Sidis of Gujarat — A Building Community: Their Role in Indian History into Contemporary Times
Sidis are Indians of African descent — a community that has been mostly invisible in the study of Indian communities in general and Muslim communities in particular.1 It may be, however, appropriate to add right in the beginning, that not all Sidis are Muslims. They are Christians in Goa and Hindus in Uttara Karnataka, Muslims in Hyderabad and Gujarat. In this essay, I explore the ‘embeddedness’ of Sidis, who are Muslims, within the larger Indian context, with particular reference to their intracommunity organisations as well as intercommunity linkages with several other Indian religious communities including the Zoroastrian Parsi community to which I belong. My research is focused on the Sidis of Gujarat and Sidis who have migrated to Bombay.