India and the Indian Ocean Basin

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Before We Begin
 The introduction of Islam into India marks an
important change in India’s history.
 The question is whether or not Islam and Hinduism
can live together.
 Modern India, at the time of independence from
Britain, decided it could not and so split into India and
Pakistan in 1947.
 You will see that change in India comes from the
northwest through Afghanistan, as did the Aryan
societies, but now sea ports also open the
subcontinent to change.
Islamic and Hindu Kingdoms
 After the Gupta Dynasty collapsed in the sixth century,
India divided into many regional authorities much like
Europe after the fall of Rome.
Islamic and Hindu Kingdoms
 The Quest for Centralized Imperial Rule
 Many small kingdoms of northern India were almost at
constant war until the period of the Mughal dynasty in
the sixteenth century.
 However, Harsha, a dynamic warrior, was able to bring
northern India under centralized control for a period of
time.
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Buddhist, but tolerated other faiths.
Generous – Providing health care and building hospitals.
After his assassination India fell back into a period of small,
warring kingdoms.
The Introduction of Islam into
Northern India
 Spread into India in 3 ways
 Conquests of Arab forces in northwest India by 711 C.E.
 Muslim Merchants in coastal regions and their
intermarriage with local women scattered Muslims
throughout coastal cities.
 Eleventh century invasion of Mahmud Ghazni
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Seventeen raids into India to plunder and demolish its
Buddhist temples, hastening the disappearance of Buddhism
from its place of origin.
Continue conquest by attacking Hindu regions in South India
Little success in convert people to Islam, as a result Islam
becomes religion of a small minority in South India.
The Hindu Kingdoms of Southern
India
 Southern 2/3 of India managed to avoid intense
conflicts of the north.
 Small kingdoms like the North
 Two kingdoms managed to establish control of large
parts of southern India for short periods of time.
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The Chola Kingdom – Southern tip of India 400 years of
control
Kingdom of Vijayanagar – Western Deccan plateau for a
century.
Devoted to Hindu, but tolerated and encouraged Muslim
Merchants.
Production and Trade in the Indian
Ocean Basin
 Agricultural surplus in India allowed the growth of
industry and trade in the postclassical period.
 Merchant and artisan guilds became more important
but the caste system remained in place.
Production and trade in the Indian
Ocean Basin
 Agriculture in the Monsoon World
 Spring and summer brought the moist southwest winds
off the Indian Ocean to water the crops in the wet
season.
 Dry season – Northeast fall and winter winds blew cold,
dry air from the mountains that left the land parched.
 Meant massive irrigation projects were necessary to
maintain crop production.
 This lead to massive population increases

105 Million by 1500 CE
Production and Trade in Indian
Ocean Basin
 Trade and Economic Development in Southern India
 Staple crops of rice, barley, millet, and wheat.
 Iron and copper
 Salt and Pepper (Could only get these in a few places
around the world)
 Hindu temples served as the center of community,
agricultural endeavors, and trade.

Made temples powerful
Production and trade in the Indian
Ocean Basin
 Cross-Cultural Trade in the Indian Ocean Basin
 Access to the Indian Ocean allowed for cross-cultural
trading.
 Dependent on the monsoon seasons and winds
 Built Warehouses as a result because trade came in
waves.
 Indian cities became diverse hubs of trade

Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Jewish merchants all
interacting in one place.
Production and Trade in the Indian
Ocean Basin
 Caste and Society
 Wealth brought from trade made the caste system more
complex and the caste distinctions more prominent.
 Hindu temples’ power increase contributed to this.
The Meeting of Hindu and Islamic
Traditions
 Jainism and Buddhism lost followers and Hinduism
and Islam increased their positions in India.
 Today in India, there are a few very small communities
of Jainists and Buddhists.
 Hinduism and Islam are very different, but both
managed to prosper in India.
 Hinduism – Many gods and goddesses
 Islam – Monotheistic belief in Allah
The Meeting of Hindu and Islamic
Traditions
 The Development of Hinduism
 Islamic armies destroyed many Buddhists sites during
conflicts in Northern India

Benefited from Buddhism’s declining numbers
 Individuals and families who took on Hinduism began
to choose favorite gods within the Hindu pantheon.
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Devoted themselves to intense worship of those chosen gods
in a hope to become unified with them, thus achieving
salvation.
Shiva and Vishnu in southern India were the devotional cults
that gained the widest following.
The Meeting of Hindu and Islamic
Traditions
 Islam and Its Appeal
 At first, outside of coastal cities, there was little
incentive for Indians to convert to Islam because it was
viewed as the religion of their conquerors, and was a
scary concept.
 Over time, however, Islam became more appealing
because of its message of equality for all caste members.
 During the twelfth century, the bhakti movement in
southern India attempted to blend the two religions.
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Was not very successful, but it did serve to connect the two
communities.
The Influence of Indian Society in
Southeast Asia
 Over a thousand year period, the peoples and
governments of southeast Asia were profoundly
affected by Hindu merchants who first brought them
Indian political structures and religions, and, later, by
Muslim merchants.
The Influence of Indian Society in
Southeast Asia
 The States of Southeast Asia
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In the first millenium C.E., Indian Merchants were a common
sight in southeast Asia
Traded products with local elites for spices, pearls, and animal
skins.
Rulers used trade wealth to gain political power.
Often sponsored Indian traditions and Hinduism and
Buddhism in their kingdoms
 Examples – Vietnam and Cambodia
The Influence of Indian Society in
Southeast Asia
 The Arrival of Islam
 Similar to adoption of Hinduism and Buddhism in
Southeast Asia
 Integrated Islam into local traditions to allow for better
communication with Muslim traders and support their
political power.
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Conversion areas included the Malayan peninsula and
present-day Indonesia.
Melaka Kingdom (Islamic) grew powerful by controlling
commerce that moved between the Indian Ocean and the
South China Sea.
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