India and Israel: A love story
Today, the leaders of the 19 wealthiest nations plus the European Union have met in Hamburg, Germany to discuss global issues like sustainable growth, counter-terrorism measures, migration and the refugee crisis. The focus has been on the very first meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. However, India´s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attending the meeting, as well, and there are speculations about how the Chinese leader Xi Jinping will react once they bump into each other.
Recently, Modi has been travelling to many countries, having finished his successful trip in USA, and later having met the Dutch prime minister, who gifted him a bicycle to tell the story of vibrant Holland, where there are more bicycles than people. 18 million bicycles and 16 million people.
India´s prime minister has been welcomed in many countries in Europe, where both the leaders of France and Germany broadcast an open statement of trust and reliability in the partnership with India. However, one historical meeting made an exceptional impact, taking into account the hectic activity of India´s prime minister in the last two months.
It was when the Israeli prime minister welcomed Narendra Modi in true Bollywood style and uttered those famous lines: “We´ve waited for 70 years for you”. Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel after its independence. “Aapka Swagat hai mere dost” were the welcoming words of Healthcare Solution Video Netanyahu and Modi reciprocated by thanking in Hebrew.
It should not be a cause of envy, but Israelis whom I have met both in India and Europe have always shown exceptional admiration for Indian culture, history and the zest for democracy. Both the Indian and the Jewish diaspora living in Europe and America are extremely proud that their countries of origin, India and Israel respectively, have remained liberal democracies since they became independent nations. This is no minor achievement because they are in fact the only two countries out of 140 countries that gained independence after the end of colonialism, to stay democratic incessantly without abruption.
The Jewish and the Indian diaspora tend to work well, and we have ample examples of successful ventures where both communities are involved either as entrepreneurs or in other forms of business relationships. Trust and understanding comes easy, as both these communities believe in hard work and have excelled in the field of science and technology.
So even though the Dutch gave us a bicycle, the Germans declared that we were truly a reliable partner, the French showed interest in our commitment to fight climate change, and Donald Trump without hesitation said that he was a true friend of India, nothing could beat the Bachan-like lines of Natanyahu. “We have waited for 70 years for you”.
The time for closer relationship has arrived and both countries ought to make better bilateral deals. Water harvesting, agriculture, co-operation in the field of education and scientific research, defense and intelligence-sharing are some areas where better collaboration can be established. Israel is ready to boost India´s defense capabilities and might become the chief exporter of arms and ammunition to India. Billions of dollars worth of contracts have been signed by India with Israel Aerospace Industries, thereby indicating that both countries have mutual interests.
India and Israel´s secret love affair had clandestinely existed for a long time. Now they have come out in the open and declared their love for each other. Chemistry matters not just in XII grade examination but also when world leaders meet. It seems that Modi’s and Natanyahu’s chemistries match. Israelis have never forgotten and keep reminding me in different conferences that India was one of the few countries in the world where in the entire country the Jewish community were well protected and their rights fully granted.