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Project MAUSAM for Cross-Cultural Linkage
Apr 04, 2015

The Indian government has proposed to establish cross-cultural linkages and revive historic maritime cultural and economic ties under Project Mausam with 39 Indian Ocean countries. These include Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Iraq, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand, Yemen, South Africa, Philippines, and Pakistan.

  • Project Mausam was launched in the 30th Session of World Heritage Committee meeting which was held at Doha, Qatar in June, 2014 and since then it has received positive response from countries such as China, UAE, Qatar, Myanmar, Iran and Vietnam. 

  • Archaeological Survey of India in collaboration with State Govt of Kerala organized a National Conference on Project Mausam in Kochi in November 2014. 

  • Indira Gandhi National Centre for Art (IGNCA) has constituted an Academic Committee and a temporary research unit in this regard. 

  • The Government has formulated action plan for achieving a World Heritage transnational nomination for Indian Ocean Maritime Routes. 

  • The Plan envisages joint initiative of India and various member states for implementation of UNESCO Cultural Conventions of World Heritage and Intangible culture. 

  • It further promotes joint research and selection of appropriate sites to prepare application of trans-national nomination of Maritime Routes & Coastal Cultural Landscape sites. 

  • The Standing Financial Committee memorandum is under consideration.

  • Project Mausam would allow India to reestablish its ties with its ancient trade partners and re-establish an “Indian Ocean world” along the littoral of the Indian Ocean. 

  • This world would stretch from east Africa, along the Arabian Peninsula, past southern Iran to the major countries of South Asia and thence to Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.

The Project Mausam is considered Indian government’s most significant foreign policy initiative designed to counter China. It is inspired by India’s historical role as the focal point for trade in the Indian Ocean. In pre-modern times, sailors used seasonal monsoons to swiftly journey across the Indian Ocean. This trip usually involved starting from one of the edges of the ocean, around today’s Indonesia or east Africa, sailing to India, stopping, and allowing another crew to wait for another monsoon to sail to the other edge of the Indian Ocean, as different monsoon winds blew in different directions at different times of the year. 

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