Indo-Arabia?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by mythmonster2, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. mythmonster2 Well-Known Member

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    Is there any way for the world to end up with a heavily Indianized Arabian Peninsula? Obviously, Indian culture heavily influenced Indochina and Indonesia, so we know that the cultural dominance could happen, but how would it come about? Arabia appears to be about the same distance over water as either of the other two, but I don't know much about currents or monsoon winds, which might make a greater Indian connection with Arabia more difficult. There is also the issue of competition with Persia, which historically had a lot of influence in the Gulf coast. I think it would at least have to be pre-Islam, since Islam was very Arabic in its origin and promoted the Arabic language heavily. Could Hinduism and Buddhism spread there? What other factors could lead India to influence Arabic culture more?
     
  2. Mr_Fanboy Well-Known Member

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    You could do this with a point of divergence after 1900. Have the British Empire stick around longer while the Ottoman Empire still collapses, allowing London to take control of much of the Arabian Peninsula. These colonies are governed as part of the same administrative unit as the Raj, and eventually Indian settlers begin to overwhelm the native Arabs.

    Heck, we are arguably be heading in a similar direction in our timeline. South Asians and Southeast Asians now comprise a large percentage of the Persian Gulf’s population.
     
  3. SunKing105 Well-Known Member

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    Why waste a lot of effort in taking Arabia directly as a colony when it is a lot cheaper to set up client states and “allies” who often have “British advisors” to get the oil and anger the millions of Muslims in Britain’s colonies by directly ruling Mecca and Medina. And they’ve already secured the links to India through the Suez Canal and the establishment of colonies elsewhere. Plus Britain’s colonial empire is already overextended, and Arabia at this point still has a lower population and lower economic potential development, and there are other methods to get the oil than to set up direct rule. And why would they send millions of Indians to Arabia?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  4. SenatorErnesto Well-Known Member

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    To keep with this theme, I don't see why the Arabian peninsula couldn't be Indianized pre-Islam. There were plenty of Indian empires who could have flexed their muscles there.

    What interest's me is post-Islam India Indianizing the Arabian homeland. One of the many sultans of the vast array of empires or larger states in India needed a crown jewel, or have a want to rule both India and where it all started conquering the Arabian peninsula and as a side effect Indianizing the place. What we see is India at large not being as "Indian" (Hindu/Buddhist) but much more influence by Persian/Arabian/Islamic culture, but in return we also get an Arabia that is less Arabian and overtime through population transfers and interactions grow a non-Muslim Indian class, while also being Indianized by the Indian Muslims in control.
     
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  5. Minchandre Well-Known Member

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    I don't see why not.

    The main problem, I think, is that Arabia as a whole is much less wealthy and populous than SE Asia, so will attract less trade from/to India.

    Furthermore, at the same time that Indian influence was spreading east, the trade through Arabia was dominated more by Romans and Egyptians sailing east than by Indians. This keeps happening until the spread of Islam, basically.
     
  6. Il Besarion Active Member

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    Hard to accomplish in premodern times, for the same reasons that Indian empires didn't swallow up Iran and the Middle East. There's no reason for them to migrate west into harsh and (relatively) empty desert/terrain. HOWEVER this is an interesting topic because in modern times a large portion of the Arabian states population has become Indian due to the migrant workers. I feel like this would make an interesting topic for a Future History discussion, and the implications this would have for the peninsula
     
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  7. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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    Prevent the rise of the Sassanid dynasty and the subsequent Zoroastrian reformation. This led to the repression of Buddhism and Hinduism halting their spread across the Iranian Plateau. Have the Parthians or a different dynasty promote or convert to Buddhism/Hinduism and Indian culture is in a much stronger position to spread into Mesopotemia and Arabia.
     
  8. Pesterfield Well-Known Member

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    Isn't this how control of India, and some African kingdoms, started why did the British end up taking direct control in those places?
     
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  9. rfmcdonald Well-Known Member

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    For a modern POD, strengthening the ties between the Gulf and the Raj is possible. IIRC some Britons had the idea of making Mesopotamia, once taken from the Ottomans, into a settlement colony.
     
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  10. SunKing105 Well-Known Member

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    Those places have a far larger population base and economic potential, while Arabia is basically a worthless desert in comparison, especially since oil extraction hadn't really gotten off the ground yet, and even later when it did, Ibn Saud had already established himself in the region and formed an alliance with Britain.
     
  11. Pelranius Well-Known Member

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    Jun 26, 2018
    But India after independence isn't likely to be able to keep control of any attached Arabian territories.
     
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