By Sugata Bose
On December 26, 2004, large tsunami waves destroyed groups round the Indian Ocean, from Indonesia to Kenya. past the awful dying toll, this wall of water introduced a telling reminder of the interconnectedness of the various international locations at the ocean rim, and the insignificance of nationwide obstacles. 100 Horizons takes us to those beaches, in a super reinterpretation of the way tradition constructed and historical past used to be made on the peak of the British raj. among 1850 and 1950, the Indian Ocean teemed with humans, commodities, and concepts: pilgrims and armies, trade and hard work, the politics of Mahatma Gandhi and the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore have been all associated in outstanding methods. Sugata Bose reveals in those tricky social and monetary webs proof 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 ordinary methods of taking a look at history--through the lens of nationalism or globalization--are no longer sufficient. The nationwide excellent didn't easily collapse to inevitable globalization within the past due 20th century, as is usually intended; Bose finds in its place the very important value of an intermediate old house, the place interregional geographic entities just like the Indian Ocean rim foster nationalist identities and pursuits but concurrently facilitate interplay between groups. 100 Horizons merges records and delusion, heritage and poetry, in a extraordinary reconstruction of the way a region's tradition, economic system, 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
For all the conﬂicts between rival empires, nation-states, sects, and communities, there were also voices extolling the ocean as a symbol of universal humanity—its unfathomable depths matched by its hundred horizons, if not a horizonless inﬁnity. In this spirit, Chapters 6 and 7 turn to the theme of pilgrimage. Chapter 6 tries to recreate the experience, atmosphere, and meanings of the Muslim hajj in the modern period by using ﬁrsthand accounts as well as annual reports and enquiry committee reports on the hajj produced by the colonial government of India.
To construct my narrative of interregional links across the Arabian Sea, I examine under a microscope a primary product—pearls—that had to be extracted from the seabed and then introduce the tasting of a spice—cloves—that was grown on the tiny islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. For the ﬂows across the Bay of Bengal a plantation product—rubber—cultivated on the Malay peninsula and rice grown on the great Irrawaddy delta are my commodities of choice. Work on the plantations was almost invariably done by migrant laborers while capital was supplied on the rice frontiers by Indian and Chinese intermediaries.
This literary and methodological device is crucial in order to avoid the high degree of abstraction that characterizes so much of global, oceanic, interregional, and comparative histories in 22 space and time on the indian ocean rim which real human beings and their agency vanish from view. While accepting the broad framework of a movement in time from the imposition of colonial and paracolonial domination to the articulation of anticolonial resistance on an interregional plane, I tell my stories in the form of a series of nonlinear narratives.
A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire by Sugata Bose