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Ancient India Maritime History: Trade Links With Europe and Southeast Asian Nations

Excavations Provide Evidence About Ports that Played a Major Role in Overseas Trade in Past

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Ancient India maritime route
Ancient Indo-Oman maritime trade route. Wikimedia
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  • The maritime history begins from the 3CE when the Indus Valley people initiated trading contact with Mesopotamia
  • Tamil Nadu being a coastal state had more than 16 ports across Chennai which had trade links with China, Egypt, parts of Europe
  • Presently in Tamil Nadu, a deep-sea port has been proposed in Enayam which would emerge as a major port for Indian cargo to be exported

June 27, 2017:

Before the incipience of air transport, mankind was dependent on sea links for transportation and trading of goods between continents. Sea was the major form of transportation in the past and even though people still use the sea for transport, most of the trading is now usually done through the air transport.

As we look back in time, the ports were the busiest place to be, because sailors were the only people who could get you and your goods across countries. In India too, we had ports down on the southern region so that we could access trade with all over Europe and Middle East countries.

The Ancient India maritime history begins from the 3CE when the Indus Valley people initiated trading contact with Mesopotamia. Indian Silk was one of the most traded product but later on, Indian spices took hold of most of the trading to the West surpassing Silk.

Tamil Nadu being the coastal state had more than 16 ports across Chennai and Tirunelveli which had trade links with China, Egypt, parts of Europe and South-east Asian countries. Archaeologists say ancient Tamil literature and excavations provide evidence about the existence of such ports that played a major role in overseas trade in the past.

C Santhalingam, the secretary of Pandya Nadu Centre for Historical Research told that these sea routes in Tamil Nadu can be traced to the Sangam Period which was from (3CE BC to 3CE AC) and said, “The historical coastal town of Kaveripoompattinam (Poompuhar in Nagapattinam district) recorded import of horses from Arab countries and finished goods from Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The port was also a major centre for the export of spices from South India.

Ancient port was built differently from the modern ports which are at the coastline as they were situated over the river mouths because the transporting ships in the past were not as big as the ones now, so the river mouths were the right places for safe docking of the ships.

Presently in Tamil Nadu, a deep-sea port has been proposed in Enayam in Kanyakumari district which would emerge as a major port for Indian cargo to be exported. The proposed budget for this port is 27,570 crore and the port would act as a hub for the global east-west trade route and also reduce the logistics cost for Indian traders dependent on transhipment in Colombo and Singapore giving rise to maritime link jobs.

prepared by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

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    BEFORE THAT TAMILS SAILED ALL AROUND THE WORLD. TAMILS ARE THE FIRST SAILORS O THE WORLD

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Jayalalithaa’s death: Apollo submits documents

The mystery still continues after Apollo submitted treatment related documents

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The death of Amma continues to be a mystery. Wikimedia commons
The death of Amma continues to be a mystery. Wikimedia commons
  • OPS was the first top AIADMK leader to allege that no one was allowed access to Amma.
  • Ministers and party leaders had various version of the scenario.
  • Following all this, an inquiry commission was set up to probe the matter.
Sasikala has been alleged of not allowing access to anyone while Amma was in hospital. IANS
Sasikala has been alleged of not allowing access to anyone while Amma was in the hospital. IANS

On Friday, Apollo Hospitals submitted two suitcases packed with documents related to the treatment given to J. Jayalalithaa to an inquiry commission set up to probe her death. The commission was also set up to investigate the circumstances that led to Jayalalithaa’s hospitalization and her treatment.

The commission, headed by retired high court judge Justice Arumugasamy, followed by several ministers and party members alleged that they were not allowed to meet the AIADMK chief while she was in the hospital.

V.K. Sasikala’s advocate Raja Senthurapandian has been ordered by the panel to appear before it on 22nd January.

You may also like: All you need to know about T.T.V Dinakaran

Background

After O Panneerselvam alleged that ‘there’s more’ to Jayalalithaa’s death, what followed was a mirage of statements from several party leaders and ministers. The various version came up regarding the scenario of Amma’s treatment.

Opposition DMK had demanded a CBI inquiry.

OPS’s role

OPS was the first leader who came out with allegations against Sasikala, Wikimedia commons
OPS was the first leader who came out with allegations against Sasikala, Wikimedia commons

O Panneerselvam was the first top AIADMK leader to allege that there’s more to the death of Amma. All of it wasn’t made public, he said. OPS also said he wasn’t allowed to meet Jayalalithaa.

The inquiry commission was set up after the AIADMK merger of EPS and OPS factions.

The inquiry was a pre-condition for the merger set by OPS. This was seen as to move to target Sasikala as she was the only one who was allowed access to Amma, at the hospital.

Panneerselvam had also accused Sasikala of ‘forcing him’ to resign when he was the acting Chief Minister. The picture which came up was, Sasikala is trying to assume power.

Also read: Iron Lady of India: Jayalalithaa was an inspiration for Women

Ministers and party leaders

Observing the differences between the ruling AIADMK leaders, Opposition took advantage to demand a CBI enquiry. Wikimedia commons
Observing the differences between the ruling AIADMK leaders, Opposition took advantage to demand a CBI enquiry. Wikimedia Commons

The inquiry commission was lost in a maze of contradictions as various ministers had various versions of Jayalalithaa’s treatment at Apollo Hospital.

Forest Minister Dindigul Sreenivasan: Sasikala’s family manipulated Jayalalithaa’s treatment and also prevented access to VIP visitors like Arun Jaitley and Rahul Gandhi. This was done to ensure so that the truth about her hospitalization doesn’t come out. Only Sasikala and her family had access to Amma. Even the ministers weren’t allowed.

Tourism Minister Vellamandi N. Natarajan: He repeated the charge. “The truth is that none of us saw Jayalalithaa during that period of hospitalization. We only saw her body when it was brought out of the hospital lift on December 4 night.” said the minister.

Whereas Cooperation Minister Sellur K. Raju differed on the matter. “All of us, ministers, saw Jayalalithaa when she was undergoing treatment at Apollo. This is the truth,” he said.

P Vetrivel, a disqualified MLA from Dinakaran’s camp had released a video in December last year which show Amma resting on her hospital bed and sipping fruit juice while watching TV. He said it’s untrue that no one met Jayalalithaa during her treatment days. Dinakaran claims the video was shot by Sasikala herself.