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By Sugata Bose

On December 26, 2004, mammoth tsunami waves destroyed groups round the Indian Ocean, from Indonesia to Kenya. past the bad demise toll, this wall of water introduced a telling reminder of the interconnectedness of the numerous nations at the ocean rim, and the insignificance of nationwide obstacles. 100 Horizons takes us to those shorelines, in a super reinterpretation of ways tradition built and heritage was once made on the top 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 marvelous methods. Sugata Bose unearths in those elaborate social and fiscal 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 enough. The nationwide perfect didn't easily fall down to inevitable globalization within the past due 20th century, as is frequently meant; Bose unearths in its place the important significance of an intermediate old area, the place interregional geographic entities just like the Indian Ocean rim foster nationalist identities and objectives but concurrently facilitate interplay between groups. 100 Horizons merges facts and fable, historical past and poetry, in a impressive reconstruction of ways 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

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In his famous ode to the eternal woman “Banalata Sen,” Jibanananda Das evoked its atmosphere: A thousand years have I been roaming the world’s pathways, From Ceylon to Malaya in darkness of night across oceans 16 space and time on the indian ocean rim Much have I traveled; in the grey universe of Bimbisara, Ashoka, Yes, I was there; deeper in the darkness in Vidarbha metropolis, A weary soul, I, life ’s waves all around foaming at the crest, A moment or two of peace she gave me, Natore ’s Banalata Sen.

Yet the fact that none of the Asian intermediary capitalists except the Sassoons could enter London’s financial world suggests that there were some glass ceilings in the capitalist architecture. Psychological obstacles were certainly as important as material barriers. The nineteenth-century movement of indentured labor monitored by the British colonial state to the Caribbean across the Atlantic and to Fiji in the middle of the Pacific may have been part of a connected economic system along with migration to plantations in different parts of the Indian Ocean arena.

During the twentieth century, the peoples of the Indian Ocean rim witnessed both oppression and liberation, terrible 33 a hundred horizons destruction and remarkable creativity. 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.

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