India and Indonesia experienced close historical and civilizational relations from the ancient times to sixteenth century ce. During the Indonesian freedom struggle, its leaders were inspired by the anti-colonial views of Indian leaders. India firmly stood for the freedom of Indonesia from the Dutch.
During the post-colonial period, the bilateral relations underwent ups and downs. India’s Look East Policy of the 1990s made a phenomenal leap in both the countries’ relationship. India by leveraging its soft power, stable foreign policy, non-interference policy established trust among many South-East Asian countries and in particular Indonesia. Indonesia, being the largest country in the region, has been proved as one of the greatest allies of India.
After a decade of stable governance under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia now has a fairly strong democratic set-up. The country made the transition after thirty-one years of dictatorship of Soeharto, under the leadership of B.J. Habibie, Abdurrhaman Wahid and Megawati Soekarnoputri.
Now, when both the countries are poised to fly high after having witnessed considerable economic reforms, they need to forge stronger ties in order to further expand bilateral trade and strategic relations, being the main focus of this volume.