Evidences suggest that India and Indonesia were in trade relations for many millennia, starting from 3500 bce. Suvarnabhumi (Sumatra) is mentioned in Jatakas, Indian epics and Mahavamsa, though there is no sequential documentation of it. The trade relations paved the way for Bali importing Indian pottery, priests coming from India and getting absorbed into the Indonesian society and the Indian traders and priests marrying the locals and settling there, thus spreading Hinduism and Indian culture throughout Java, Bali and Sumatra. Indonesia thus got all three religions — Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam — from India.
The historical and civilizational relations continued till the sixteenth century ce. The Western colonization drive of Asian countries broke this long-stood relationship. Coming to the twentieth century, Indonesia and its leaders were highly inspired by the anti-colonial views of Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Rabindranath Tagore, and India extended her moral support to the freedom struggle of Indonesia. But during the post-colonial era, the bilateral relations between both the countries were incoherent. The Look East Policy of India in the 1990s rejuvenated the relations and Indonesia became one of the greatest allies in fulfilling India’s South-East Asia Policy.
The scholarly articles in this volume vividly talk about topics that foster(ed) mutual relations such as culture, religion, language, traditions, education and so on, keenly drawing the attention of policy makers, trade analysts, cultural enthusiasts, investors, among a wide range of audience.