Indians in Madagascar

Karana / Indo Pakistani in Madagascar form a community of roughly 25,000 individual, the majority of them being locally born descendants of early immigrants 5 generations ago.[1][2] They form a minority ethnic group in Madagascar.

Indo Pakistani in Madagascar
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Gujarati, English, French, Malagasy,
Islam, Sunnism, Shi'ism, Bohra


By the 1780s, a community of roughly 200 Indian traders had formed at Mahajanga, a port on the north-west coast of Madagascar, near Bombetoka Bay at the mouth of the Betsiboka River. Confusion arose over their legal status; they often declared themselves to be Malagasy subjects in order to evade the laws against slave-holding or the building of stone houses, both forbidden to British subjects, while their dhows, which they used to transport goods to and from the African mainland, flew French flags.[3] Initial arrivals were mainly Muslim Khojas, Ismailis and Daoudi Bohras, with some Hindus settling later.[4] The 1911 census found 4,480 Indians in the country, making them 21% of the total foreign population and the second-largest foreign population after the French.[5] Following the nationalisation of private businesses in the 1970s, many were compelled to leave; those who remained were largely uneducated, but stayed on and gradually built their businesses. By 2000, they were generally believed to control 50-60% of the country's economy, making them the target of demonstrators during periods of unrest.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Singhvi 2000, p. 94
  2. ^ A. 2001
  3. ^ Oliver 1885, pp. 115, 206
  4. ^ Singhvi 2000, p. 105
  5. ^ Martin 1916, p. 906
  6. ^ Singhvi 2000, p. 106


  • A., Kathirasen (2001-07-31), "A vibrant minority: The Chinese and Indians, who make up a tiny minority in Madagascar, are doing very well for themselves", New Straits Times, Singapore, archived from the original on 2012-10-22, retrieved 2008-10-28
  • Martin, Frederick (1916), "Madagascar", The Statesman's Year-book: The Statesman's Year-book: Statistical and Historical Annual of the States of the World for the Year 1916, St. Martin's Press, pp. 905–908
  • Oliver, Samuel Pasfield (1885), The True Story of the French Dispute in Madagascar, Unwin
  • Singhvi, L. M. (2000), "Other Countries of Africa", Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora (PDF), New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs, pp. 89–109, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-06

Further readingEdit

  • Stratton, Arthur (1964), "The Chinese and the Indians", The Great Red Island: A Biography of Madagascar, Scribner, pp. 26–44, OCLC 1670237
  • Blanchy, Sophie (2004-01-22), Karana Et Banians: Les Communautes Commercantes D'Origine Indienne A Madagascar, Harmattan, ISBN 978-2-7384-2656-7