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The Migration of Indians to Eastern Africa: A case study of the Ismaili community, 1866-1966

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Date Issued:
2019
Abstract/Description:
ABSTRACTMuch of the Ismaili settlement in Eastern Africa, together with several other immigrantcommunities of Indian origin, took place in the late nineteenth century and early twentiethcenturies. This thesis argues that the primary mover of the migration were the edicts, orFarmans, of the Ismaili spiritual leader. They were instrumental in motivating Ismailis to go toEast Africa. Although there were other Indian groups from the general geographical area ofWestern Indian and Gujarat who also migrated to East Africa, the crucial factor in the migrationof Ismailis were the edicts or Farmans of the Imams. My thesis argues that the Farmans or edictsplayed a very important role in persuading Ismailis to move to East Africa. Though other groupsfrom Gujarat and Western India also moved to East Africa, the Ismailis followed the edicts orFarmans of the Imam and this was the major factor for the Ismailis to move. Ismaili history isreplete with migratory movements, whether due to persecution or economic reasons. Thereligious leader of the Ismailis, the Imam or the (")Imam of the Time(") as he is known as by theIsmailis, including all the Aga Khans to date, sought to bring the Ismailis out of their poverty andfamine-stricken land and settle into more favored economic areas under British jurisdiction. Thisthesis will demonstrate that Aga Khan III actively promoted the movement of the Ismailis to EastAfrica. His edicts shaped the migration of Ismailis and they provided uneducated people thereason as well as the motivation to go together with a sense of reassurance.I will use personal oral histories which add to the historiography to make my case forboth Ismailis and the Ithnasheris, the largest Shia Muslim community. Since Ismailis aregenerally a closed community and actively practiced Taqia (secret practice), I will use whateverwritten material I have been able to find to make my case. The Ithnasheris were also Khojas whohad split from the main Khoja Ismaili community in India because of their objection to the ivcontrol being exercised by the Imam, Aga Khan I, who had arrived in Sind Province in 1843from Persia. Though they were part of the Shia sect, the Ismailis who converted to the Ithnasherisect, became Shias but maintained the Khoja name. To support my argument, I draw on oralhistories of both Ismailis and Ithnasheris as there is no written record of any pronouncements bythe leaders of the Ismailis and it is entirely oral history by word of mouth. This thesis addssubstantially to the historiography of the subject matter. Since written accounts are not available,my oral history recollections accomplish this.
Title: The Migration of Indians to Eastern Africa: A case study of the Ismaili community, 1866-1966.
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Name(s): Tejpar, Azizeddin, Author
Pineda, Yovanna, Committee Chair
Walker, Ezekiel, Committee Member
French, Scot, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: ABSTRACTMuch of the Ismaili settlement in Eastern Africa, together with several other immigrantcommunities of Indian origin, took place in the late nineteenth century and early twentiethcenturies. This thesis argues that the primary mover of the migration were the edicts, orFarmans, of the Ismaili spiritual leader. They were instrumental in motivating Ismailis to go toEast Africa. Although there were other Indian groups from the general geographical area ofWestern Indian and Gujarat who also migrated to East Africa, the crucial factor in the migrationof Ismailis were the edicts or Farmans of the Imams. My thesis argues that the Farmans or edictsplayed a very important role in persuading Ismailis to move to East Africa. Though other groupsfrom Gujarat and Western India also moved to East Africa, the Ismailis followed the edicts orFarmans of the Imam and this was the major factor for the Ismailis to move. Ismaili history isreplete with migratory movements, whether due to persecution or economic reasons. Thereligious leader of the Ismailis, the Imam or the (")Imam of the Time(") as he is known as by theIsmailis, including all the Aga Khans to date, sought to bring the Ismailis out of their poverty andfamine-stricken land and settle into more favored economic areas under British jurisdiction. Thisthesis will demonstrate that Aga Khan III actively promoted the movement of the Ismailis to EastAfrica. His edicts shaped the migration of Ismailis and they provided uneducated people thereason as well as the motivation to go together with a sense of reassurance.I will use personal oral histories which add to the historiography to make my case forboth Ismailis and the Ithnasheris, the largest Shia Muslim community. Since Ismailis aregenerally a closed community and actively practiced Taqia (secret practice), I will use whateverwritten material I have been able to find to make my case. The Ithnasheris were also Khojas whohad split from the main Khoja Ismaili community in India because of their objection to the ivcontrol being exercised by the Imam, Aga Khan I, who had arrived in Sind Province in 1843from Persia. Though they were part of the Shia sect, the Ismailis who converted to the Ithnasherisect, became Shias but maintained the Khoja name. To support my argument, I draw on oralhistories of both Ismailis and Ithnasheris as there is no written record of any pronouncements bythe leaders of the Ismailis and it is entirely oral history by word of mouth. This thesis addssubstantially to the historiography of the subject matter. Since written accounts are not available,my oral history recollections accomplish this.
Identifier: CFE0007540 (IID), ucf:52600 (fedora)
Note(s): 2019-05-01
M.A.
Arts and Humanities, History
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): MIGRATION HISTORY
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0007540
Restrictions on Access: public 2019-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

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