Essay: Power Conflict and the Making of Modern Asia

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Power, Conflict and the Making of Modern Asia

Power conflict and the making of modern Asia

The center of concern in international politics is yet to change as the Asian-pacific region is seen to become the new strategic center of interest. The transformation is of significant in the manner that the continent in the modern arena has subsisted to be the playground for western powers dominance and exploitation, the continent functioned rather as the object of power than the subject thus owing its political and even eidetic image of itself to the believes and acts of others.

It was not therefore an accident that the historians of the yesteryears era put Southeast Asia in reference as 'Greater India'. this is evident from a survey of the cultural landscape and historical topography which can in reality testify the historical linkage between the two regions.( Helmut Lukas2001 ) India was already a civilized society by the first millennium and it was inconstant contact with great powers of the world, the kingdoms of India engaged in exchange of goods and services with the rest of the world as well as sending its merchants and ambassadors to foreign lands at the same time in the pretext of gaining access to markets of their commodities and resources for domestic consumption.

Indianaisation in this sense means to describe south East Asia countries that are organized in a manner that is in line with traditional and political theory of Indian culture and are followers of religious practices of Hinduism in nature, this states are predominantly in many regions of Thailand, Burma, indo-china, Malaysia and Indonesia. Most often some of these states are described as greater India since they grew into greater metropolitan India. The culture of modern east Asia is a clear evidence of Indian civilization this is well shown by the languages used for instant the many south east Asian languages (maley and Javanese) which contain an important proposition of words of Sanskrit of Dravidian origin. The Thai language for instant is written in scripts which are clearly derived from Indian models.

The concept of kingship and authority even in Muslim dominated regions of south East Asia owe much to the Hindu political theory, for example the Thai monarchy requires the presence of Gourd Brahman however much it follows Hinayana Buddhist of the Sinhalese for the correct performance of its ceremonial rituals. This is also exhibited in the traditional dances and shadow puppets theatres which demonstrate the adventures of Rama and Hanuman. The Borabodar stupa and Khmer temples both of java and combodia are also some of the great monuments which display the influence of India in the region, their ground plan and sculptural decoration subject matter relate to Indian religious rites.

The term mandala is a geopolitical in nature and is used to denote southern East Asia traditional political formations which were adapted by western historians from ancient Indian political discourse as a way of avoiding the term state which highlights the importance of a charismatic leadership in a political system with fluctuations (Rosita Dellios, 2003).

The mandala was like a centralized small state interdependent with other small states or political units of any form or constitution.

At the center of the mandala there e exists a king identified himself by divine power and universal authority over other rulers in the mandala

Socio-Political and Administrative Organization

The term ruling class had a more applicability and descriptive power in southeast asia countries especially in the chine empire. A clique of intelligential, state bureaucracy members and land owners formed a highly social class-knit class known as the gentry in whom they weighed absolute power on all levels of economy, political and social spheres of the people. In order to exercise their power over the peasantry, land owners needed the power of the state, they achieved this through getting their own kin to join the state bureaucracy, the state officials as a requirement had to be tested if they had mastered the knowledge of the Confucian classics, this requirement brought into the scene the intelligentsia who land owners needed to train their kin. In return the scholars are rewarded by getting employed by the land owners, or themselves were landowners or state officials. In this regard therefore landowners, state officials and scholars were bound together in a more complicated web of mutual benefit based in self-interest (marc b.1986)

At the heart of the lao society community is what they held dear to their hearts, life was and still arranged in a manner that it focuses on the community rather than an individual in the since that the life of the person belonging to a particular communal society is protected Organized not round the individual, but within an effective community, in which the life of the individual belonging to this community is protected.

These communities were organized in dynasties which comprised of extended families and/or a clan both referred to us the Baan Which translates to a village?

The people of a particular Baan claim a common descent from a common ancestor; they speak the same language, worship the same deities and share similar cultural values and identities. The Baan settlement acts as a political unit of the muang (mandala).

The Lao communities are it in the Baan or muang were well structured socially, the social mobility was achieved through various ways such as marriage or adoption, monkhood, wealth which was proven through many possessions of baans or a minor muang and slaves (khooy) this proved the major greatness of a muang.

Chao/chao muang or chao phanyaa was regarded as the highest social group among the Lao muang. The chao was specifically the paramount chief who commanded a lot of respect and could receive every kind of tribute from his community and the Baan which belonged to his muang. Alongside the chao who headed a community people who headed nobilities also had titles to their names for instant males held a title of thao or thao phanyaa and females were known as naang, the title nay was given to males of the elite communities which was determined by the individual's wealth, education level, religious or socio-cultural status.

In the event that raised to the death of the king or chao the mahasangkharaat, the highest member of the Buddhist Sangha, together with the phaam (Brahmins, the ritual masters) had to take responsibility in Conducting affairs regarding the community. All people of the muang carried themselves great sorrow to display honor to the fallen king, and actively take part in the cremation ceremony.

The social and political organization of the Lao muang in fact exhibits certain elements that are quite different from what has been known as "absolute monarchies" or "despotism" in some early research.

The chao Baan and chao muang had to undergo a rigorous exercise of being appointed by vote of all Council members, this included elders of the Baan or the muang. Though in practice and according to the principles of ancestor belief the position of a chao often was inherited, this position was not automatically guaranteed by inheritance.

After appointment of the chao, if it happened that he could rule with an iron fist then individual members, whole families or parts of the community could move away to other communities to seek the protection of more powerful and just rulers. If it happened always it was a great Loss for a muang, as a matter of fact the human labor force was the main source for the wealth of a muang. Besides this, such migrations weakened the ruler's standing in the society and Acted as a restraint. The position of authority thus carried with it much social prestige.

The palace represented an office for organizing a consensus on public and political Affairs (wiak Baan kaan muang) rather than one of a dictatorial authority. The king was always Surrounded with elders who could always speak as the elected representatives of the Community, and advisers (phaam and moo) who at times acted as mediums who were able to communicate with the ancestors, and heavenly spirits,.

The last is the social ladder among the Lao community was people known as the khooy or khaa of various classifications. In this category were artists, crafts men and peasants. This group of people were generally outsiders who were either purchased or captured and without their consent as a matter of fact were resettled in particular muang, the khooy or khaa among the larger lao community were unfortunately disadvantaged people in the sense that they had limited or at times minimal access to resources, they literally owned nothing and were prohibited from marrying to the tai lao families, but if they were to marry they were to undergo a rigorous process of acculturisation and assimilation once they were set free (Acculturation first of all meant the adoption of Theravada Buddhism "sasanaa luang" -- the main or great religion).

Most Lao families owned one or more khooy or khaa, this people were regarded as kinless… [END OF PREVIEW]

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