#SecretMumbai: How An Attack Was Ditched
When Bombay (now Mumbai) was a fledgling trading post of the East India Company in 1715 CE, Governor Charles Boone took a call to protect this town against potential threats by local and European powers with a fortification. This project was partly funded by the wealthy traders in the town who realized peace and stability was key to their prosperity. During the ‘Kille Vasai Mohim’ or Conquest of Vasai (1737-39), the Marathas were able to expel the Portuguese from Northern Konkan. This attack had created panic amongst the residents of the fort who wanted better protection. Not only were the fort walls enhanced in strength, but a 2km moat was also dug out around the town which was called the ‘Mahratta Ditch’. But the Marathas never crossed the Mahim creek and left the seven islands untouched. In 1752, Calcutta also built a ‘Mahratta Ditch’ when the Maratha army attacked Bengal. Interestingly, the 2017 Maratha Morcha ended at CST station just short of the original location of the ditch.
Published in The Mint on 29th August, 2018.