India in the World

Ancient Indian Culture permanently ties Indonesia to India

India and Indonesia have shared two millennia of close cultural and commercial contacts. The Hindu, Buddhist and later Muslim faith travelled to Indonesia from the shores of India. The Indonesian folk art and dramas are based on stories from the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The shared culture, colonial history and post-independence goals of political sovereignty, economic self-sufficiency and independent foreign policy have unifying effect on the bilateral relations.

During our respective struggles for independence, the national leaderships of India and Indonesia led by Jawaharlal Nehru and President Sukarno collaborated closely in supporting the cause of Asian and African independence and later laid the foundation of the Afro-Asian and Non-Aligned Movements at the Bandung Conference in 1955. Since the adoption of India’s ‘Look East Policy’ in 1991, there has been a rapid development of bilateral relations in political, security, defence, commercial and cultural fields. The current Government wants to further deepen the relationship with East Asia and has therefore rightly titled its policy as “Act East”.

State Visit of President Yudhoyono in January 2011: During the State Visit of President Mr S. B. Yudhoyono to India in 2005, the two countries signed a Joint Declaration on Establishing a Strategic Partnership. In January 2011, President Yudhoyono visited India as the Chief Guest on the occasion of India’s Republic Day. During the visit, 16 Inter- Governmental Agreements were signed which included an Extradition Treaty, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, an MoU on Establishing a Biennial Trade Ministers’ Forum, an MoU on Cooperation in Oil and Gas, an MoU on Science and Technology Cooperation, and a Cultural Exchange Programme. In addition, during the visit, it was agreed to set up an Eminent Persons Group and to organize regular meetings of Defense, Home, Oil and Gas, Coal, Power, Renewable Energy, Science and Technology, Tourism, Health and Education Ministers. India and Indonesia agreed to launch negotiations for a Bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. The two sides also agreed to organize a Trade and Investment Forum, an Energy Forum and a CEO’s Forum alternately in either country.

Today, Ajanta HC invites people from Indonesia and other associated cultures to explore their existence by deep diving into the ancient culture of India.

About the author

Ashwin Srivastava

Ashwin Srivastava is the founder and CEO of Sapio Analytics, a data driven government advisory firm with head offices in Mumbai, USA and UK. The company uses data analytics and artificial intelligence to help provide decision making support to policy makers, and has multiple divisions, in form of healthcare, law enforcement and intelligence, MSME & economic growth, rural development, urban local bodies, heritage and culture, transport, and others.

He is also the co-founder of Great Manager Institute (GMI), a leading multinational people management consultancy firm based out of India, that uses A.I. to provide lifetime coaching for people managers. GMI boasts of more than 1300 unique clients spread across different industries.

He also co-owns Cancer Rounds, a comprehensive virtual cancer care hospital, and a brand of nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals for cancer patients through Princeton Healthcare. He sits on the Advisory Board of venture capital firm Crucible Venture Advisors, a domestic venture fund focused on companies in the new-age tech particularly involving data and also advises UAE-based Idein Ventures, currently focused on growth capital advisory (having co-founded it earlier in its then avatar as a seed stage VC firm). He is also an Advisor to ICMR TCC and is a special advisor to the Government of Guinea Bissau.

He is also the co-owner of a London based media network called Ajanta HC (headquartered in Mayfair), focused on ancient Indian culture.

As a Regional Mentor of Change in the Atal Innovation Mission of NITI Aayog (India’s apex body on policy making), he is responsible for mentoring 115+ mentors of change in the Mission.

Besides the same, he has also worked in various official and unofficial capacities with different bodies of governments across the globe, advising the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Government of India, Government of Telangana among others, in India.

Recipient of the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 honor in 2017, he has previously been awarded and featured by leading media publications. He has led and/or invested in companies such as Plancess, Infurnia, Qriyo, Incept, among others.

Currently, in the financial sector, he advises a growing startup called GramePay. He is also working with the Government of Uttar Pradesh on an in-progress Direct Benefits Transfer scheme.

A graduate from IIT Bombay (Dual Degree, 2006-2011), he has been actively involved in technology entrepreneurship from the first year of his college and has been a critical part of the growth of the startup ecosystem in India. Data Analytics focused products are his expertise and passion.

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