- 東洋文化研究所紀要 (ISSN:05638089)
- vol.171, pp.302-278, 2017-03
The role of Indians in Muscat shifted and changed depending on time periods and contexts. During the Portuguese period, Indians served as providers of provisions for the stationed Por tuguese garrison, as well as merchants for entrepot trade. In the time of Ya'āriba, Indians continued to play a role in entrepot trade in Muscat. In the Busa'īd period toward the end of the 18th century, they acquired importance in entrepot trade, while Muscat became an emporium in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf trade. The prosperity of Muscat and communication with the Indian subcontinent attracted Indians to Muscat. Then, the Indians in Muscat in the 19th century became tax farmers in Muscat Customs. The British government issued an Order in Council, 'Muscat Order in Council' in 1867, which aimed to regulate the British consular jurisdiction in Muscat. The Order in Council also had an aim to cover Indians in Muscat under the British consular jurisdiction. However, the Muscat Order in Council was a British law, not a treaty with Oman. The Sultan of Oman had no obligation to follow its provisions. The Sultan objected the application of the Order in Oman. Finally, an agreement was reached in 1873 between the Sultan and the British Political Agent and Consul. By the agreement, Indian merchants in Oman were regarded as British subjects and remained under the British Agent and Consular jurisdiction until the independence of India in 1947. The Indians continued to have an important role in Omani economy in the beginning of 20th century, as Indians engaged in the trade of dates with financial ser vices. They played a key role in establishing British dominance over the Sultanate.