ARRIVAL OF THE EUROPEANS IN
INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT AND
A good connection existed between the Indian sub-continent and Europe since the ancient time. The Arab traders exported the commodities of Indian subcontinent to Venice and Genoa Ports of Italy in the middle age. These Ports commodities were also
sent to various countries of Europe.
This business was monopolized by
the Arab and Italian traders. In this
way, they earn a large amount of
profit. Gradually, the merchants of
other European countries became
eager to find out the sea-route to
come to this sub-continent. They
had been trying to do this for a long
time. At last the Portugal sailor
Vasco-de-Gama reached at Calicut
Port in 1498 A.D. Calicut Port is
situated in west coast of this subcontinent.
He came here via the
west and south coast of the African
continent. In this way, a new sea route from Europe to India was discovered. This had been the only sea route for European traders before the opening of Suez Canal. Gradually, the traders of different European countries were involved in business with India and the East Indies. Arrival of the Portuguese to India: The people of Portugal are called the Portuguese.The Portuguese traders established business centres in different places of this sub-continent within a very short time after the discovery of a new sea Vasco-de-Gama (1459-1525 A.D)
22 Social Science
route by Vasco-De-Gama. Among all those business centres Calicut, Chaul, Bombay, Salsette, Bassien, Cochin, Goa, Daman, Diu were the important ones. They also established this kind of centre in Hugli of West Bengal. Besides set business centres in some places of Srilanka too.
Albuquerque: Albuquerque was the first governor of Portuguese colonies in India. He was very intelligent. Due to his endless efforts the Portuguese became the greatest naval power in Europe. He built a fort in Cochin. This was the first European fort in India.
Activities of the Portuguese traders: Besides coming to India, they also went to China, Malakka, Maldives, Brunei, Srilanka etc. From these countries they imported nut, spice, colour, Kari, champhor etc. to India. They exported cotton and silk cloths, tobacco, leather, rice, dal, oil, butter, ghee, honey, wax etc. from the then Bengal to other countries.
They served in the Baro Bhuiya’s (Twelve mighty Zaminders of Bengal) army beside their business. Many Portuguese soldiers served under Isha Khan, Kedar Roy and Pratapaditya’s army. They tortured the people of this country in various ways. They converted many Hindu-Muslim boys and girls to Christianity by force. They were known as “Firinghi” in Bangladesh. Portuguese pirates were called “Harmad”. They turned the natives into slaves by force and sold many men and women to various countries.
Supression of the Portuguese: When the torture of the Portuguese rose to the extreme level, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan ordered to drive them away from this country. In response to the emperor, Kashem Khan, the Subeder of Bengal, ousted them from Hughli. During the reign of Aurangazeb, Subedar Sayesta Khan conquered Chittagong and Sandwip. He drove the Portuguese away from this region.
Contribution of the Portuguese in Bengal: The Portuguese left a long lasting influence in Bangladesh. They introduced the plantation of tasty fruits in our country, such as, orange, papaw, guava, olive, starapple etc. They made rare contribution in making sauce from fruits and sweets from milk. They made contribution to the development of Bengali language. The words like Balti, Chabi, Saban, Toaley, Alpin, Varanda, Janala, Kedara etc. came from the Portuguese language. The first book in Bangla prose was written by them. They composed the first Bengali grammar Book and Dictionary. With a view to preach Christianity in Bengal.
Arrival of the Europeans in Indian sub-continent and Bangladesh 23 Arrival of the Dutch: The people of Holand are known as the Dutch. Followed the...