Gujarati people (ગુજરાત)

gujarat_peopleGujarati People (ગુજરાત)

Gujarati people or Gujaratis (ગુજરાત) are an ethnic group of India that is traditionally Gujarati-speaking, an Indo-Aryan language. Famous Gujaratis include Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Morarji Desai, Sam Bahadur, Vikram Sarabhai, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Shyamji Krishna Varma, Muhammed Ali Jinnah, Freddie Mercury, Azim Premji, Dhirubhai Ambani, Narendra Modi, and Jamsetji Tata. Gujaratis are very prominent in industry and key figures played an historic role in the introduction of the doctrine of Swaraj and the decisive victory of the 1947 Indian independence movement in British-ruled India.

Geographical Locations

Most Gujaratis in India live in the state of Gujarat in Western India. Gujaratis also form a significant part of the populations in the small union territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra Nagar Haveli, both being former Portuguese colonies. There are significant Gujarati communities in other parts of India, most notably in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Madras, Bangalore and other metropolitan areas like Kollam and Kochi in Kerala. All throughout history Gujaratis have earned a reputation as being India's greatest merchants, industrialists and business entrepreneurs, and have therefore been at forefront of migrations all over the world, particularly to regions that were part of the British empire such as Fiji, Hong Kong, East Africa and countries in Southern Africa. Diasporas and transnational networks in many of these countries date back to more than a century. In recent decades, larger numbers of Gujaratis have migrated to English speaking countries such as United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States.

Mention in history

Early European travelers like Ludovico di Varthema (15th century) traveled to Gujarat and wrote on the people of Gujarat. He noted that Jainism had a strong presence in Gujarat and opined that Gujaratis were deprived of their kingdom by Mughals because of their kind heartedness. His description of Gujaratis was...

" ...a certain race which eats nothing that has blood, never kills any living things... and these people are neither moors nor heathens... if they were baptized, they would all be saved by the virtue of their works, for they never do to others what they would not do unto them."

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