Mumbai and its micro-minorities

The Jews who were killed in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai were not Indian citizens. They were in India to provide Jewish services to backpackers and visiting businessmen (Jews, like Hindus, do not proselytize).  But Mumbai is home to a small (4000 Jews in a city of 12 million), but influential Jewish community that claims:
to be descended from seven Jewish families who were shipwrecked on India's shore while fleeing persecution in the Galilee during the second century B.C. Over the centuries, they adopted Indian language, dress and cuisine.

The Jews in Mumbai are not the only small but influential religious minority in that city.  Parsis, followers of Zoroaster who had to flee Iran due to Muslim persecution, are probably better known.  Ratan Tata, the owner of the Taj Mahal hotel and chairman of the Tata group that recently bought Jaguar, is Parsi.

It's interesting that the world's great financial cities are often havens where groups marginalized elsewhere can thrive (think of London, Singapore or New York).  Or maybe it is, as Richard Florida argues, towns where marginalized groups can thrive are the ones that become megacities. Bombay will soon get past this short-term toll of lives, but more important for the long-term health of the city is that terrorist acts do not destroy its spirit of tolerance:
"This is the first time when a Jew has been targeted in India because he is a Jew," said Jonathon Solomon, a Mumbai lawyer and president of the Indian Jewish Federation. "The tradition of the last thousand years has been breached."

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