This is a wonderful book on history of Western India of the 16th century written by a keen, contemporary scholar. It speaks he great naval might of the West coast Indians who kept the Portuguese naval power under constant defeats for a century. This shatters the myth that India did not have might on the maritime side. Since the history of India is written around those who ruled Delhi, writing and researching on the world and greatness of South Indians is completely ignored. This book reveals in detail how Keralites, Bijapuris and Gujratis fought bravely against the Portuguese shipping onslaughts. In no way the Indians were inferior to European shippers. Their subsequent subjugation by the West was not at seas but at the land battles fought at Plassy, Buxer etc. South Indian Hyder Ali defeated the mighty, treacherous British power in two wars called I and II Mysore Wars. Had the
North Indian rulers recognised the might, valour and capacities of South Indian rulers and peoples, the course of history would have been different. This book mostly refers to naval war forces. The book ought to be titled differently in English stressing upon the social, cultural, caste factors, might and struggles of the Keralites in particular instead of its original Arabic title, which may discourage intending readers on the ground that it relates to some theological aspects of Islam which are touched only to the limited scope of encouraging Kerala Muslims to perform jihad against the Portuguese but for which atrocities committed by the Spaniards on the Americans during the same period would have been committed by the Portuguese in India. Annotations by SMH Nainar speak of his high scholarship in history. He should bestow attention on the above points and come out with more material on history of the west coast people.
Dalit Voice | Feb16-18, 2007