Café Dissensus

By Sophie Judah

Life as a Jew in India was no different to the lives of people of other faiths.  India is the only country in the world where anti-semitism never existed.  Jews were full citizens with the same rights and duties as everybody else.

Jews from other parts of the world are usually surprised to discover the level of religious tolerance in a country they believed was ‘backward. It is difficult for them to believe that the Beni Israel have been in military service for generations. We did not live in ghettos. We could live and work wherever we wanted. We owned the land we worked on – something European nations forbade their Jews.

Thalas of sweets that arrived on Diwali and Christmas were never turned away. Mutton sent on Eid was welcomed. This was not ‘compromise’ but respect for other people’s feelings.

Judaism was an integral part of…

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