From 1773 to 1786 Jacob Haafner was in India, where he had an adventure full and colourful life. First as klerk in Negapatnam, later as bookkeeper in the Sadras factory. From 1781 he worked some years in Calcutta as bookkeeper with the former British Governer and scholar in Bengal, Joseph Fowke.
Haafner was utterly indignant about the behaviour of the Europeans in India characterized in his view by greed, cruelty and indifference. Time and again he argued that the local Indians were victims from the European domination.