The Great Bombay Textile Strike

Mumbai was considered the economical capital of India because of the textile mills that laid the foundations of the city we know today. Mumbai's first textile mill, the Bombay Spinning Mill, was set up in 1856. During those days, Britain imported cotton from the United States. When the civil War broke out in America, the supplies stopped, which resulted in a boom for the Indian textile industry.

Until 1980, Mumbai's textile mills employed 300,000 people, most of whom lost their jobs after the decline, which came because of stiff competition from other countries and because many mills refused to upgrade their technology. Mill owners used this opportunity to grab the precious real estate. The workers had no choice but to call for a strike, which lasted for 18-months, and turned out to be the death knell for the struggling industry. A majority of the mills were shut down after the prolonged strike. Many workers left the city. Some committed suicide, while others waited for justice. Some even joined the local criminals and thugs and led to the rise of mafia in Mumbai.

Thus, once called Manchester of the East for its textile industry, the face of Mumbai was changed forever.