ASIA AND WESTERN DOMINANCE: A Survey of the Vasco Da Gama Epoch of Asian History 1498-1945
This book has a sweeping account of how West came onto dominate Asia around Indian ocean. How the West used its superior maritime forces to take control over Asia is quite enthralling. The book starts with Portuguese sailor Vasco Da Gama whose journey from Lisbon to Calicut in 1498 opened gates for Europeans. The book has an interesting account of wars between Portuguese and King of Travancore which latter won Keeping Portuguese limited to the Western coast. After Portuguese, came the Dutch and then the British. The author has divided the book in certain phases and focuses on three main countries in these phases – India, China and Japan. After all these years, the discussion also moves to Russia as it became a stakeholder in China and Japan wars.
Born in 1895, Sardar K.M. Panikkar was educated in Madras and Oxford. He was a scholar of Christ Church and was later called to the Bar (Middle Temple). After a period as a professor at Aligarh Muslim University, he became editor ofThe Hindustan Times. Later he went to Patiala State as Foreign Minister, during which period he was also Secretary to the Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes. He then went to Bikaner as Foreign Miniser, later becoming Prime Minister of that State. In 1948 he was appointed India’s Ambassador to China, it was his proper assessment of the situaton there that led India to advise the United Nations to recognise the new regime and to desist from carrying the Korean War beyond the Yalu river. After a successful tenure in China, he went as Envoy to Egypt in 1952. When the state Reorganisation Commission was set up at the end of 1953, Sardar Panikkar was appointed a member and he returned from Cairo early in 1954. In 1956 Sardar Panikkar was appointed Indian Ambassador to France.