Mapping Bengal’s factors and Indianization of Southeast Asia




This paper aims to examine the strategic factors and capacities Bengal utilized in playing her active role in the Indianization of Southeast Asia since the early period. Migration towards Southeast Asian regions from Bengal came about within the stream of Indianization with carrying ancient Bengal’s norms and elements concerning trade, culture, and politics. As a regional entity of India, ancient Bengal contributed to Indianization from 400 BCE to 800 CE by maritime trade, religious and cultural palpitate and political contact. She exposed herself with the richness of the regional cultural solemnity and individuality. From this view point, how Bengal capacitated to contribute to Indianization is a question. In answer to this question, the present study analyzes the capacities Bengal achieved and made herself suit for keeping contribution behind Indianization, and the maritime trade, socio-cultural and political situation prevailed at that period in Bengal. To craft the output, through using the historiographic approach, the ancient Indian texts and archaeological evidence-based literature used as primary sources, and literature published as books and articles have also consulted. The study’s result would provide the newest upbringing in fulfilling the literature gap regarding the role-playing strength, capacity, and components of Bengal worked behind taking place the Indianization in Southeast Asia.    

Author Biographies

  • Sharmin , Department of History, University of Dhaka

    Sharmin Akhtar is an Associate Professor in the Department of History, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is currently studying PhD in the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and doing her research work with a particular concentration on maritime trade of ancient Bengal and Southeast Asia. She is interested in Ancient History and Culture, and Archaeology. She has been teaching Social, Cultural and Economic History of Ancient Bengal, Medieval Indian Architecture, and History of Indian Subcontinent (ancient and early medieval).

  • Shahidul, Department of History, University of Malaya

    M Shahidul Islam Khondaker currently studying Master of Arts and working on a research project entitled “History of the Diplomatic Relations between Malaysia and Bangladesh” in the Department of History, University of Malaya, Malaysia. Earlier he completed his graduation in History from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He worked for the social research organization, Research and Development Collective (RDC), as Director-Project Development in Dhaka where he contributed as associate researcher in several fieldwork-based social research. He has written a book on genocide history entitled ‘Chuti Khan Digi Gonohotya” (Genocide in Chuti Khan Digi) that is related to the liberation war of Bangladesh.