Impact of the Dutch presence in the pearl fishery coast
Author(s): Durga Devi T
The sea routes and the water routes of the Indian Peninsular served and still serve not only as the way for trade and commercial activities but also function as a centre of communication. The arrival of the Muslims and the Europeans to the coastal region of India had a strong impact on the political, social, economic and cultural lives of the people. Of all, the south Indian coastal region played a significant role in the maritime history of India. The Pearl Fishery Coast, situated in the southern part of Tamil Nadu, occupied an important place in the colonial imperialism of the Europeans. The coast has a long history as a maritime centre from the Sangam Age mainly because of the availability of pearls and chank. The Portuguese were the first Europeans who set their foot on the coast. They were pushed out by the Dutch in the year 1658. Though the Dutch did not receive nourishing support from the local rulers and the people, the political and commercial activities of the Dutch had an everlasting impact on the fisherfolk community of the coast, the Paravas.