American journalist Gene Fowler's sentiment that 'news is history shot on the wing' comes true nearly every day across the world. For many families in southern India, particularly Tamil Nadu, this has meant watching the declaration of military rule in Myanmar (formerly Burma) this month with more than just a passing interest, because the two regions share a history that goes back several centuries. Emperor Rajendra Chola (1014-1044 AD), expanded his empire to the Bay of Bengal, including parts of southern Burma. As seen on several steles, Chola campaigns were conducted against territories in modern Burma, for example, Bago (near modern Yangon). By the mid-19th Century, Tamils migrated to Burma which was also a British colony annexed through the three Anglo-Burmese wars. Though Burma was separated from British India in 1937, just 10 years before the subcontinent would gain its own Independence from the Raj, the ties that bind have continued to hold. There was a mass exodus of Indians from Burma after the Second World War and after the military dictatorship took over in 1963. Despite this, many maintain links with their family members who chose to stay on in Burma. Explaining this unique relationship in an email interview… Read full this story
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