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By Sugata Bose

On December 26, 2004, significant tsunami waves destroyed groups round the Indian Ocean, from Indonesia to Kenya. past the bad demise toll, this wall of water introduced a telling reminder of the interconnectedness of the numerous international locations at the ocean rim, and the insignificance of nationwide obstacles. 100 Horizons takes us to those shorelines, in an excellent reinterpretation of the way tradition built and heritage was once made on the peak of the British raj. among 1850 and 1950, the Indian Ocean teemed with humans, commodities, and ideas: pilgrims and armies, trade and hard work, the politics of Mahatma Gandhi and the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore have been all associated in excellent methods. Sugata Bose unearths in those complex social and monetary webs facts of the interdependence of the peoples of the lands past the horizon, from the center East to East Africa to Southeast Asia. In following this narrative, we find that our traditional methods of history--through the lens of nationalism or globalization--are now not sufficient. The nationwide excellent didn't easily collapse to inevitable globalization within the overdue 20th century, as is frequently meant; Bose finds in its place the very important value of an intermediate historic house, the place interregional geographic entities just like the Indian Ocean rim foster nationalist identities and ambitions but at the same time facilitate interplay between groups. 100 Horizons merges records and fable, heritage and poetry, in a impressive reconstruction of the way a region's tradition, economic climate, politics, and mind's eye are woven jointly in time and position. (20060721)

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Extra info for A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire

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The great Empire of India, which it is our duty to defend, lies almost at your gates . . We are not now going to throw away this century of costly and triumphant enterprise; we shall not wipe out the most unselfish page in history. 2 In Curzon’s imperious public rhetoric the sovereign independence of the Gulf sheikhdoms and the supreme influence of the British sovereign had been neatly placed on two sides of the same coin. ”3 On November 28, 1903, the viceroy of India landed in Kuwait. 1. Lord and Lady Curzon with staff on the Persian Gulf tour.

The Portuguese had pioneered this transformation, which merely was taken to its logical conclusion when the English East India Company became involved. Prior to the European challenge, Indian rulers had not typically claimed sovereignty over the seas. 21 The struggle for supremacy between these foreign and indigenous “pirates” remained unresolved until the English East India Company scored a decisive victory, both military and discursive, in the early decades of the nineteenth century. At the turn of the nineteenth century the tussle between “pirates” of different stripes took on a new intensity across the Indian Ocean from East Africa to Southeast Asia—and for good reason.

28 Colonial India’s interregional links stretched eastward as well, across the Bay of Bengal toward Burma and Malaya. The Straits Settlements on the Malay peninsula remained under the administrative jurisdiction of Calcutta until 1867. These included Penang, acquired by the East India Company in 1786; Singapore, founded by Stamford Raffles in 1819; and Malacca, obtained as a result of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, which demarcated the Strait of Malacca as the dividing line between the British and Dutch empires in Southeast Asia.

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