India and Malaysia: Intertwined Strands

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About the Publication

This book offers a panoramic yet in-depth historical analysis of the inter-linkages between India and Malaysia, which are a microcosm of the much larger relationship between South Asia and Southeast Asia, as these have evolved for more than two millenia. Both regions shared rich traditions, first of their Hindu and Buddhist, and later of their Islamic heritage. Till the arrival of European colonialists about five hundred years ago, the people of South and Southeast Asia interacted freely and peaceably. Trade, religion and culture were the leitmotifs of this interaction, and technological prowess in shipbuilding its mainstay.

By the end of the eighteenth century, colonial machinations, including the forced demise of India’s shipbuilding industry, had impoverished large swathes of people aross South and Southeast Asia, and severely restricted their interaction. Indentured labour and convicts, overseers and foremen, railway workers and members of the police force: these were the categories that served the interests of the colonial power. The book documents in chilling detail the tribulations faced by the enormous movement of manpower between India and Malaysia.

The book brings out the role played by Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, among others, in shaping the relationship between India and Malaysia in the twentieth century. The book details the intricacies of the negotiations in the run-up to Malaya’s independence, together with the key issues of cooperation between Indian and Malaysian leaders, including Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak.

Co-publication: ISEAS / Manohar

Available for distribution by ISEAS worldwide except for South Asia.

Contents

Preliminary pages
PART I: TRADE, RELIGION AND CULTURE: THE PRE-COLONIAL CENTURIES
1. The Ancient Beginnings
2. Trading with the East
3. Indianized Kingdoms in the Malay Peninsula
4. The Malacca Sultanate and the Coming of Islam to Malaya
5. Indian Ocean Trading Networks
PART II: ASIA IS DIVIDED: THE COLONIAL PERIOD
6. The Colonialists Arrive
7. India's Trade with the Malay Archipelago in the Age of Colonialism (Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries)
8. The Eclipse of Direct Trade between India and the Malay Peninsula in the Eighteenth Century
9. The Nineteenth Century: Division of the Malay World and Consolidation of British Colonial Rule
10. Interaction between British India and British Malaya: The Indentured Labour Issue
11. Jawaharlal Nehru Visits Malaya
12. Rabindranath Tagore Visits Malaya
13. India and Malaya during the Japanese Occupation: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
PART III: THE POST-WAR AND POST-COLONIAL YEARS
14. India and Malaya in the Post-War Period
15. The Asian Relations Conference
16. Malaya Attains Independence: Key Issues of Cooperation
17. India and Malaysia in the Post-Colonial Era
18. Conclusion: Malaysia and India in the Twenty-first Century
Epilogue: Back to the Future
Bibliography
Index

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