L#rd Brabourne, Governor of Bombay was petitioned to provide separate representation for Indian Jews on the Bombay Legislative Council and the Ahmedabad Municipal Council during a visit to the new synagogue of the Bene Israelite community at Ahmedabad.
The Governor thanked the members of the community for their welcome but said he was unable to grant their request.
“There are several minority communities in Ahmedabad with an individual existence,” he pointed out, “which are not represented separately, either in the Municipality or the Legislative Council.”
The Bene Israelites first landed in India about 2,000 years ago, it is calculated. The first arrivals are said to have been refugees from the Northern Kingdom of ancient Israel.
Not very adept at commercial pursuits, the Bene Israelites have devoted themselves to military service, many of their number rising to high rank in the British army. They rendered notable service to the British during the Indian Mutiny.
There are 20,000 Bene Israelites in India and Burma.
In the request for representation addressed to Lord Brabourne, reference was made to the fact that new legislation reserves one seat for the Jews in the Karachi Municipality. Non-Jews as well as Jews were in the throng which welcomed the Governor at the synagogue.