India Africans

India Country Studies index

India - Africans

Most modern-day Siddhis are Muslims and are engaged in agricultural pursuits. They are found in Gujarat, Daman and Diu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and other states and union territories, where they are designated as Scheduled Tribe members.


Still another foreign-origin group, usually known collectively as Siddhis, are the descendants of Africans brought to India as slaves. Although most African-origin Indians are descendants of the large influx of slaves brought to western India in the seventeenth century, the first Africans reportedly arrived on the Konkani Coast in the first century A.D. as a result of the Arab slave trade, and there was an important African presence, including several short-term rulers, in Bengal in the fifteenth century. Siddhis (the name means lord or prince in African usage) sometimes rose to prominent--even ruling--governmental and military positions during the Mughal and British periods.

You can read more regarding this subject on the following websites:

Being African in India: 'We are seen as demons' | Racism
Siddi - Wikipedia
Indian South Africans - Wikipedia
AFRICA-INDIA - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
A portrait of racism against Africans in India - CNN

India Country Studies index
Country Studies main page