Academic journal article Asian Culture and History

Indo-Omani Relations in the Reign of Sultan Taimur Bin Faisal Al Busaidi (1913-1931 AD)

Academic journal article Asian Culture and History

Indo-Omani Relations in the Reign of Sultan Taimur Bin Faisal Al Busaidi (1913-1931 AD)

Article excerpt


This paper relies on primary resources dealing with the history of Oman along with British documents, which are the most important materials that dealt with the situation in the region, in general, and in Oman in Particular, at a time when Britain had power, presence and military control over India through the Government of British India. At that time, Britain tried to open lines of communication and forge agreements with the Arabian Gulf countries in order to secure its control over this vital region and secure communications with its colonies in India.

This study focuses on the economic and commercial relations between the two countries including trade of spices, textile, weapons, slaves, dates and other goods, the currencies used in these commercial exchanges, and the volume of trade. It also explores the volatility of these relations in different periods.

The study also examines the social and cultural relations, mutual migrations, and military and political ties. In addition, it explores various aspects of reciprocal influence between the two areas in different periods and during turbulent times for the sultanate of Oman and the region, prior to, during and after the First World War. It investigates these relations from signing of the treaty of AL-Seeb in 1920 and the stabilization phase it created up to the end of the study period.

The study has reached a number of conclusions about the development of these relations and the factors influencing this development at a time when sultan Timor tried to maintain independence in running the country despite the British influence. It also focuses on how the sultan attempted to benefit from Britain's need to secure shipping lines by enhancing the sultanate's trade with India until India became the first economic and trade partner with the sultanate during this period. The sultan tried to maintain a friendly relationship with Britain and India, where his currency was mined and where he used to stay for recuperation.

Keywords: Oman, India, Contemporary history, Trade and economic relations, Sultan Taimur Bin Faisal Al Busaidi

1. Introduction

Indo-Omani relations have possibly not been studied during the reign of SULTAN TAIMUR AL BUSAIDI (1913-1931 AD) for the lack of sources on one hand, and sensibility of wiring modern and contemporary history on the other hand, as well as the absence of Arab and foreign researchers on such task.

Of these documents available are: British-Omani (records of Oman), reports of British Navy, annual economic reports on business of Oman, telegrams and reports on Arabian Gulf, Oman and Indo-British Government and its measures taken in Oman and India.

It is also included documents relevant to Arabian Sea and Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and summaries for the control of British Navy on firearms trading and slave, movement of population, vessels, and goods from and to Oman.

This study tried to describe the Indo-Omani relations during this confused period prior, during, and after the First World War, at time while the area was under the British power through varied British documents, researches, and some Omani locally sources available.

Generally, study briefly reviewed the conjunctures in the region, overview on Sultan Taimur and his ruling period, and studied the Indo-Omani relations at various levels, including sub-headlines: Military, Trade of Firearms, Economic and trade relationships, and some tables prepared by the researcher based on sources concerning Indo-Omani Trade, Oman and its deviations as per fiscal years, and finally, cultural impact and exchange migrations of population.

2. Preface

During the study, water and shores of the Arabian Gulf were under the command of British Navy, managed by the East India Station (Note 1) which it was not to be used by local or international powers without the consent of the British Navy.

British documents indicated that the leadership of the British Navy in India, informed their leadership in Britain: "it would not allow, even to the British Royal Air Forces, to establish a temporarily stations-in any form-on the shores of Arabian Gulf, without the coordination and approval of the East India station on that"( Note 2). …

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