South Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - The Malevolent Sea: Cyclones, Storms and the Sea Voyages in the Bay of Bengal

Saturday, July 7
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Silveroak II, Ground Floor

The historiography on the natural environment, climatic hazards such as storms and cyclones, dangers associated with sea voyages across the Bay of Bengal and their implications for the coastal society and economy is still in an early stage. In this paper, I propose to study these extreme weather conditions and their social and economic impact by sampling some of the climatic events that occurred between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. In the light of these natural hazards, what were the responses of the people to grapple with the vagaries of nature and how the social perceptions shaped around the sea that was both a source of riches and at the same time fraught with unmitigated dangers. The discussion will take into account some of the patron saints evoked for the safe voyage across the sea. The precious little data on these matters from the indigenous sources will be supplemented by the accounts of the European Companies and the contemporary accounts. 

Murari Kumar Jha

Nalanda University, India

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2 - The Malevolent Sea: Cyclones, Storms and the Sea Voyages in the Bay of Bengal



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