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Mad Dogs and Parsis: The Bombay Dog Riots of 1832

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 January 2001


The article details the events and themes surrounding a strike and riot that transpired in colonial Bombay in 1832, led by a segment of the Parsi community and joined by other Indians, in reaction to the British cull of stray pariah dogs in the streets. The strike and riot demonstrated the commercial power of the Parsis to disrupt the daily routine of Bombay and exert their influence in hostility to colonial interference and incursions against Parsi (Indian) religious sensibilities. The Bombay dog riots of 1832 exposed the vulnerability of early British-Indian socio-political relations in Bombay and Western India in the face of popular disturbances against British authority and was in marked contrast to the state of Parsi-British relations that developed in the nineteenth century, as the Parsis led the process of Indian accommodation to British rule, tempered only by overt threats to their religious identity.

Research Article
Copyright © The Royal Asiatic Society 2001

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