Pre-history migration of Hindus to Australia

A study of Indigenous Australian DNA has found that Indigenous Australians may have mixed with people of Indian origin about 4,200 years ago. The same study showed that flint tools and Indian dogs may have been introduced from India at about this time.[10] 

A 2012 paper reports that there is also evidence of a substantial genetic flow from India to northern Australia estimated at slightly over four thousand years ago, a time when changes in tool technology and food processing appear in the Australian archaeological record, suggesting that these may be related.[11] One genetic study in 2012 by Irina Pugach and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has suggested that about 4,000 years before the First Fleet landed in Australia (in 1788), some Indian explorers had settled in Australia and assimilated into the local population in roughly 2217 BC.[12] 

The study by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology found that there was a migration of genes from India to Australia around 2000 BCE. The researchers had two theories for this: either some Indians had contact with people in Indonesia who eventually transferred those genes from India to Aboriginal Australians, or that a group of Indians migrated all the way from India to Australia and intermingled with the locals directly.

In the late 1830s, more Indians started to arrive in Australia as indentured labourers when the penal transport of convicts to New South Wales (which at the time also consisted of Queensland and Victoria) was slowing, before being abolished altogether in 1840.[citation needed] The lack of manual labourers from the convict assignment system led to an increase demand for foreign labour, which was partly filled by the arrival of Indians who came from an agrarian background in India, and thus fulfilled their tasks as farm labourers on cane fields and shepherds on sheep stations well.[citation needed] In 1844, P. Friell who had previously lived in India, brought 25 domestic workers from India to Sydney and these included a few women and children.[33] 

Among the earliest Indians was a Hindu Sindhi merchant, Shri Pammull, who after arrived in 1850s built a family opal trade in Melbourne which still prosperously continues with his fourth-generation descendants.[34] “Initially, the migrants from India were indentured labourers, who worked on sheep stations and farms around Australia. Some adventurers followed during the gold rush of the 1850s. A census from 1861 indicates that there were around 200 Indians in Victoria of whom 20 were in Ballarat, the town which was at the epicenter of the gold rush. Thereafter, many more came and worked as hawkers – going from house to house, town to town, traversing thousands of kilometers, making a living by selling a variety of products.”[35][better source needed]

From the 1860s, Indians, most of them Sikh, worked as merchants, industrialists, and businessmen to operate throughout outback Australia, as ‘pioneers of the inland’.[36] The 1881 census records 998 people who were born in India but this had grown to over 1700 by 1891.[23]

Between 1860s to 1900 period when small groups of cameleers were also shipped in and out of Australia at three-year intervals, to service South Australia‘s inland pastoral industry by carting goods and transporting wool bales by camel trains, who were commonly referred to as “Afghans” or “Ghans“, despite their origin often being mainly from British India, and some even from Afghanistan and Egypt and Turkey.[37] Majority of cameleers, including Indian cameleers, were Muslims with a sizeable minority were Sikhs from Punjab region, they set up camel-breeding stations and rest house outposts, known as caravanserai, throughout inland Australia, creating a permanent link between the coastal cities and the remote cattle and sheep grazing stations until about the 1930s, when they were largely replaced by the automobile.[37]

During World War I (1914–1918 CE) Indian and Australian troops were deployed together in several sectors, including in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Egypt and Turkey.[44][45][46] During Gallipoli Campaign the Australians and New Zealanders troops were deployed to take part in the operation, although they were outnumbered by the British, Indian and French contingents, a fact which is often overlooked today by many Australians and New Zealanders.[47] Australian nurses also staffed 10 British colonial hospitals in India.[44]

During World War II (1939-1945 CE) the hundreds of Australians were posted to British units in Burma and India.[48] Hundreds of Australians also served with RAF units in India and Burma, and in May 1943 330 Australians were serving in forty-one squadrons in India, of which only nine had more than ten Australians.[49] In addition, many of the RAN’s corvettes and destroyers served with the British Eastern Fleet where they were normally used to protect convoys in the Indian Ocean from attacks by Japanese and German submarines.[50] Indian, Australian and British troops made a disorganised last stand at Singapore, before surrendering to Japan and Indian National Army of Subhas Chandra Bose‘s Azad Hind on 15 February 1942, which led to weakening of British empire and eventual independence of India in 1947.

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