By admin April 24, 2019 10:58

Strengthening diplomatic ties between India and Indonesia


  • The day marked the 70th year of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Indonesia.
  • A special commemorative stamp was released to mark the occasion. The theme of the stamp was taken from the Ramayana.

India and Indonesia

  • Both countries have very old cultures and many have been transmitted from India to Indonesia.
  • Indonesia has been mentioned as Yavadwip in Ramayana where Rama and others had gone in search of Sita.
  • Many philosophical aspects from Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam etc have been accepted in Indonesia only because it travelled from Indonesia.
  • However there are differences between the religious cultures of India and Indonesia.
  • Both the countries have also had economic trade relations in cloth, silks, gold, precious metals etc.
  • Both countries are secular countries with India having a majority Hindu population and Indonesia having a majority Muslim population. Both the countries have a good number of people from other communities as well. In fact, Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world. Also the Hinduism followed in Indonesia is of a Vedic nature.
  • Both countries have many languages which cohere well.
  • Geographically India has a mainland while Indonesia has thousands of islands. However, Indonesia’s western most point is only a few hundred kilometres from Andaman and Nicobar islands.
  • There are many Indians who have settled in Indonesia and carry on businesses there. In fact, more people have travelled from India to Indonesia than vice versa.
  • In terms of icons of both countries, India has Taj Mahal which was built by the Mughals while Indonesia has a monument as the icon which is of Hinduism.
  • India and Indonesia had elevated their partnership to strategic comprehensive partnership in 2018 and agreed to cooperate in defence and maritime issues.
  • Indonesia also holds relevance for India in its Act East policy.

Islam in Indonesia

  • Islam spread through Arab traders who travelled to South East Asia and beyond for trade.
  • But it was not until the 16th century that Indonesians actually adopted Islam and converted to Islam. One of the reasons that contributed to the adoption was the change in nature of Islam that it underwent in India which made Islam more eclectic, broad based and inclusive.
  • It was the Gujarati traders who carried forward this changed Islam to Indonesia.
  • The approach of Indonesians to Islam has been through experience rather than through books.

China’s role

  • China has extended its role in many countries which have been closer to India.
  • The architecture in Bali shows the influence of China from the past.
  • The influence of China can also been seen in its cuisines too.
  • Sumatra was in fact the joining point of India and Indonesia where trade coming from Chinese ships used to be transferred to ships going to India.
  • Presently, China is aggressively deepening its relationship with many countries with which India has also a close relation.
  • But, Indonesians are aware of the consequences of China’s influence in Indonesia.
  • So, India should find new avenues of cooperation with Indonesia.

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By admin April 24, 2019 10:58