Two millennia of intimate cultural and commercial ties have connected India with Indonesia. From the coast of India, the Hindu, Buddhist, and ultimately Muslim religions spread to Indonesia. The Ramayana and Mahabharata, two of the world’s greatest epics, provide inspiration for Indonesian traditional art and performance. The shared culture, colonial past, and post-independence aspirations for political sovereignty, economic self-sufficiency, and independent foreign policy. It has a bridging influence on bilateral relations.
Relations with Politics
The national leaderships of India and Indonesia, led by Jawaharlal Nehru and President Sukarno. To work closely together to support the cause of Asian and African independence. During our respective independence struggles. Later, at the Bandung Conference in 1955, they laid the groundwork for the Afro-Asian and Non-Aligned Movements. There has been rapid growth in bilateral relations in the political, security, defense, commercial, and cultural spheres since India’s “Look East Policy” was adopted in 1991. The present administration’s “Act East” policy is appropriately named because it aims to further deepen relations with East Asia.
Commercial and Economic Relations
In the ASEAN area, Indonesia has overtaken Bangladesh to rank as India’s second-largest commercial partner. From US$ 6.9 billion in 2007–2008 to US$ 19.03 billion in 2014–2015, there has been a rise in bilateral trade. India imports coal, minerals, rubber, pulp and paper, and hydrocarbons, and is Indonesia’s biggest consumer of crude palm oil. India exports to Indonesia steel products, plastics, cotton, maize, commercial cars, telecommunications equipment, oil seeds, and animal feed. And also sends formulations and large quantities of medications to Indonesia.
The Mission conducted a number of interactive meetings of the India Commercial Forum (IBF), a representative group of all Indian corporate interests in Indonesia, with the visiting Indian government and business delegations, local chambers of commerce, and the investment board. The Embassy has planned or coordinated a number of business events and visits recently. The Mission prepared several market analyses over the past two years and shared them with the Department of Commerce, industry associations, and other Indian stakeholders.
Relations Among Cultures
Between the two nations, there is a dynamic interchange of cultures. The Mission runs the Jawaharlal Nehru Indian Cultural Center (JNICC), which offers regular classes in yoga, Indian classical dances (Kathak and Bharatnatyam), and Indian classical music.
To reach the younger Indonesian population, which is among the world’s most active social media users, the Indian Embassy has set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account. The Embassy published several publications on India that highlighted our capabilities and created two YouTube videos named “Old Heritage New Partnerships” and “India-Indonesia-An Enduring Relationship.” To assist Indonesian students desiring to pursue higher education in India, a special publication titled “Studying in India” in the Bahasa language was also release. In order to reach the enormous population of Indonesians, the Mission has published 16 publications in Bahasa Indonesia on a variety of current topics like business, culture, yoga, bilateral relations, etc.
Community of Indians in Indonesia
About 100,000 Indian-born Indonesians live in Indonesia, mainly in Greater Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, and Bandung. They mostly deal in textiles and sporting products for trade. Around 10,000 Indians, including engineers, consultants, chartered accountants, bankers, and other professionals, reside in Indonesia. The Indian community in Indonesia enjoys a high reputation, is generally successful, and includes members who hold executive positions with both domestic and foreign businesses. In August 2012, the Embassy created the Indian Cultural Forum (ICF), a federation of 31 Indian social organizations.
‘India And Indonesia Are Connected by Shared Heritage’ – Says PM Modi
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at an Indian community gathering in Bali. In order to attend the G20 Summit, PM Modi is in Indonesia.
Addressing the Indian community PM Modi said, “The accomplishments of the Indian diaspora make us proud… India and Indonesia are connected by shared heritage and culture.”
While this was going on, PM Modi tried his hand at some of the traditional Indonesian musical instruments, and when he arrived he was greeted with “Modi, Modi.”
“As I speak to you in Bali and we sing songs of Indonesian traditions, 1500 km away from here in India’s Cuttack, Bali Yatra Mahotsav is going on – Bali Jatra. This Mahotsav celebrates thousands of years old India-Indonesia trade relations,” Modi said.
PM Modi further added, “When people of Indonesia see photos of this year’s Bali Jatra on the internet. They will be proud and happy. Due to the issues arising due to Covid-19, some hurdles had cropped up. After several years, Bali Jatra Mahotsav is being celebrated on a grand scale with mass participation in Odisha.”
Furthermore, India and Indonesia have a solid partnership. India launched the Samudra Maitri effort in Indonesia during the 2018 earthquake.
“That year when I came to Jakarta, I had said that India and Indonesia may be 90 nautical miles apart, but in reality, we are not 90 nautical miles apart but 90 nautical miles close,” Modi said.
In addition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled the Indonesian Ramayana custom.
“India’s talent, technology, innovation, and industry have made their mark in the world today… Today, India is the world’s fastest-growing large economy, Modi… Today’s India doesn’t think small. Today, India is doing work at unprecedented scale and speed,” Modi said.
PM Modi further stated, “A few months back, on August 15, India celebrated 75 years of independence. Indonesia’s independence day comes two days after India’s – on August 17. But Indonesia was fortunate to attain independence two years before India. There is a lot that India can learn from Indonesia.”
“But in its 75-year-long development journey, there is a lot that India can give to Indonesia. India’s talent, technology, innovation, and industry have made an identity for themselves before the world. Several big companies in the world have an Indian-origin CEO,” he added.
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