Judaism is one of the first foreign religions to arrive in India. Unlike many parts of the world, the Jews lived in India without a single instance of persecution. The Jews came to India after expulsion from Iberia, under Spain in
the 14th century.One group among the Kukis in Manipur and Mizos in Mizoram, in the
northeast contend that they descend from the Israelite lost tribe of
Manasseh, and hence the Bnei Menashe. The Cochin Jews claim to have arrived in India together with the
Hebrew King Solomon’s merchants. They first settled in Kodungallur (Cranganore) on the Malabar Coast and traded unstinted until 1524 when the Portuguese and the Moors attacked and destroyed the port.
In Cochin, the Jews had to face the Muslim wrath, in the form of Tipu Sultan, and they stood with the Hindu king. The history of Mumbai would have never been so exotic if David Sassoon had not anchored
there after a persecution in Iraq. Though the majority of Jews have left India, tales of a symbiotic
relationship linger. This book, by eminent historian and editor Rama Chandran, is an attempt to chronicle the bonhomie the Jews in India enjoyed with the Hindu multitude.