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.