Indians in Uganda

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Ugandan Indians
Regions with significant populations
Kampala, Jinja
Languages
English, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil
Religion
Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam
Related ethnic groups
Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin, Desi

There is a sizable community of people of Indian origin living in Uganda, but it is less than in previous times. In 2003, there were an estimated 15,000 people of Asian descent (majority Indians and Pakistanis), living in Uganda compared to approximately 80,000 before 1972.[1]

History[edit]

In the late 19th century, mostly Sikhs were brought on three-year contracts, with the aid of Imperial British contractor Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee, to build the Uganda Railway from Mombasa to Kisumu by 1901 and to Kampala by 1931. Some died, while others returned to India after the end of their contracts, but few chose to stay. They were joined by Gujarati traders called "passenger Indians", both Hindu and Muslim free migrants who came to serve the economic needs of the indentured laborers and to capitalize on the economic opportunities.[2]

Over time, Indians became prosperous and dominated the entire economy, which led to resentment by some. These resentments came to a crisis when Idi Amin ousted Milton Obote by military coup d'état in 1971. The following year, Amin ordered the expulsion of Asians living in Uganda.[3][4] As a result, many Indians migrated to the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and elsewhere and began rebuilding their lives. However, since Amin's death, more Indians who were born in Uganda started migrating back.[5]

Notable Ugandan people of Indian descent[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lacey, Marc (17 August 2003). "Once Outcasts, Asians Again Drive Uganda's Economy". New York Times. New York City. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Hiralal, Kalpana (1994). "Indian Family Businesses in Natal, 1870–1950" (PDF). Natal Society Foundation. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  3. ^ OBI (2000). "Indians in Uganda: economic impact and reception". Openborders.info (OBI). Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Dowden, Richard (4 August 1992). "Short-sighted demagogue who played the race card: Idi Amin expelled the Asians 20 years ago. Richard Dowden, Africa Editor, explains why the decision was supported by Ugandans". The Independent. London. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Rajani, Rupal (6 August 2012). "Ugandan Asians: Life 40 years on". London: BBC Asian Network. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 

External links[edit]