The Banias of eighteenth-century Surat, whom Michelguglielmo Torri earlier treated with indifference if not innocence, have invited his wrath since they were brought into focus by the publication of my essay on the Banias and the Surat riot of 1795. In his ‘rejoinder’ to my article, he seeks to wish away their existence altogether (to him there was no specific Bania community, the term merely signifying traders of all communities engaged in the profession of brokerage), and seeks to provide what he regards as an ‘alternative’ explanation of the Muslim–Bania riot of 1795. the Muslim-Bania riot of 1795. It shall be my purpose in this reply to show that his alternative explanation is neither an alternative nor even an explanation, and is based on a basic confusion in his mind about the Banias as well as the principal sources of tension in the social structure of Surat. I shall treat two main subjects in this reply to his misdirected criticisms. First, I shall present some original indigenous material as well as European documentation to further clarify the identity, position and role of the Banias, whom Irfan Habib in a recent article has identified as the most important trading group in the trading world of seventeenth and eighteenth-century India. It is also my purpose to show how the social order of Surat operated under stress by presenting some archival material, the existence of which Torri seems to be completely unaware of, on the Parsi-Muslim riot of 1788.