Postclassical india
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Postclassical India. c. 600 to c. 1450. Political fragmentation. India was mostly decentralized through most of the post-classical age, though it exerted strong economic and cultural influences across south and southeast Asia. caste system and Hinduism in south Asia

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Postclassical India

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Postclassical india

Postclassical India

c. 600 to c. 1450


Political fragmentation

Political fragmentation

India was mostly decentralized through most of the post-classical age, though it exerted strong economic and cultural influences across south and southeast Asia.

  • caste system and Hinduism in south Asia

  • Hinduism, Buddhism and eventually Islam to SE Asia via trade


Islam to india via three routes

Islam to India via three routes

1) Sind (the Indus River Valley) remained nominally under the jurisdiction of caliphs from 700s to 1200s (first the Umayyads, then after 750 the Abbasids).


Islam to india via three routes1

Islam to India via three routes

2) Islam infiltrated the coastal regions of northern and southern India as Muslim merchants dominated trade and transportation networks, setting up diasporic communities in major port cities, where they played prominent roles in commercial life and married local women.


Islam to india via three routes2

Islam to India via three routes

Migrations and invasions of Turkish-speaking peoples from central Asia

Mahmud of Ghazni (1001-1027): plundered and demolished hundreds of sites associated with Hindu or Buddhist faiths in northern India, hastening the decline of Buddhism in the land of its birth


Islam to india via three routes3

Islam to India via three routes

Migrations and invasions of Turkish-speaking peoples from central Asia

Mahmud’s successors later established the Delhi Sultinatein northern India (1206-1526), which built mosques, shrines and fortresses but imposed only a thin veneer of Islamic political and military authority


Islam to india via three routes4

Islam to India via three routes

The Delhi Sultinate had no permanent bureaucracy or administrative apparatus … or even firm control of its own court: more than half of its 35 sultans were assassinated!

Despite commanding an army of 300,000 men, they depended on the goodwill of local Hindu kings to carry out their policies.


Islam and its appeal

Islam and its appeal

Islamic conquerors offered little incentive for Indians to convert to Islam, but gradually many did. By 1500, about one-fourth of India’s 100 million inhabitants were Muslim. Many – especially among the lower Hindu castes – adopted Islam in hopes of improving their status in society. Sometimes whole castes or subcastes converted en masse.


The bhakti movement

The bhakti movement

The bhakti movement was a cult of love and devotion that ultimately sought to erase the distinction between Hinduism and Islam. Emerging in southern India in the 12th century, the movement initially promoted a pious devotion to Hindu values … but evolved, as it moved northward and encountered more Muslims, to reject the exclusive features of both religions and teach that Shiva, Vishnu and Allah were all manifestations of a single, universal deity. It built bridges but failed to harmonize Hinduism and Islam.


Southern india

Southern India

India south of the Deccan Plateau largely escaped the invasions, chronic war and turmoil that plagued the subcontinent’s north … but a coherent, distinctive society flourished on the basis of trade, common social structures and inherited cultural traditions.


Caste and indian society

Caste and Indian society

India’s caste system adapted to the arrival of Turkish peoples and Muslim merchants by recognizing them as distinct groups and establishing codes of conduct to regulate their dealings with other castes.


Caste and indian society1

Caste and Indian society

The castes that most people identified with were the subcastes (jati), which often took the form of workers’ guilds. Merchant guilds – representing the common interests of those working in particular types of commerce, such as the silk, cotton or spice trades – in particular wielded political and economic influence.


Indian emporia

Indian emporia

Anchoring the center of the Indian Ocean basin, India was a natural site for emporia and warehouses – a clearinghouse for the increasingly heavy oceanic trade of the postclassical era. India gained a reputation for high-quality cotton textiles; China produced silk and porcelain; SE Asia provided fine spices; SW Asia traded in incense, horses and dates; East Africa contributed gold, ivory and slaves.


India s influence on se asia

India’s influence on SE Asia

The temple complex dedicated to Vishnu at Angkor Wat reflects the deep influence of Indian traditions in southeast Asia.


Islam s arrival in southeast asia

Islam’s arrival in Southeast Asia

Islam maintained a quiet presence in SE Asia for several centuries before ruling elites became interested in the faith. Its spread was greatly facilitated when the powerful state of Melaka sponsored it throughout the region beginning in the 15th century.


Melaka

Melaka

  • Melaka began as a Hindu state before converting to Islam. It welcomed theologians, Sufis and other Islamic authorities.

  • Its navy patrolled the region’s waters, compelled ships to call at its port and levied taxes on their cargoes.


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