By: Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq.
Weekly articles on India, Guyana, Trinidad, and the United States.
India and Palestine’s relationship was initially influenced by the countries’ common struggle for independence against British colonialism. A brief look at the history of both countries can shed light on their current diplomatic relations.
The region currently known as Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I and the British controlled the region thereafter.
In 1947, the United Nations proposed to partition Palestine into a Jewish state and Arab state. Jerusalem would be an international territory. Palestinian Arabs opposed the plan on the grounds that they should have had more territory because their population was the majority.
In 1948, Britain withdrew from Palestine and Israel declared itself an independent state. The Arab-Israeli War immediately followed and resulted in Israel controlling more than two-thirds of the former British Mandate territory. Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian Arabs continued to contest the Israeli occupation. In 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed. Yasser Arafat led the PLO from 1969 to his death in 2004.
In 1967, Israel gained more land (including the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Golan Heights) following the Six-Day War involving Israel, Syria, Egypt, the Soviet Union, and Jordan.
Palestine and Israel would continue to war over the subject lands, and especially those acquired in 1967.
Not all countries recognize Palestine as a formal state and conflict continues over undefined borders.
Over the last 11 days, more than 250 people died as a result of violence between Israel and Palestine. It began with increased tensions between Palestinian protestors and Israeli police, and also threatened eviction of Palestinians by Jewish settlers. On May 10th, Hamas militants in Gaza fired missiles towards Jerusalem. Hamas and other militant groups attacked Israeli cities, while Israel launched airstrikes on Palestinians.
Most of the casualties were Palestinians and 66 were children. At 2:00 AM today, a cease-fire went into effect. Both Israel and Hamas Palestinians claimed victory.
The United States initially supported Israel until the civilian deaths continued to rise.
India’s history dates back approximately 30,000 thousand years, and can be divided into the ancient times, medieval times, early modern times, and modern times. Around 4,500 BCE, the Indus Valley emerged with the first urban culture in South Asia. It was one of the three earliest cradles of civilization-- the other two being the Fertile Crescent (Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia) and Ancient China. Gautama Buddha, or simply Buddha as he is commonly known, lived and died in Ancient India. His biography was a starting point of recorded history in India. The Indus Valley civilization eventually declined because of a water shortage caused by a lack of monsoons.
Next, Medieval India, like Ancient India, consisted of various regional kingdoms and cultural diversity. India was not a unified kingdom. Emperors or kings reigned over many different portions and sections. Nevertheless, there was still a sense of belonging among all kingdoms to the motherland itself. With time, the Indian culture began to share certain commonalities. For example, devotional hymns in the Tamil language were widely imitated throughout India. This would later develop into the current Indian languages.
The third era, Early Modern India, began in the 16th century with the reign of the Mughal Empire. The emperors were direct descendants of the infamous Ghengis Khan. Though the emperors were Muslim and descendants of the warlord, they did not impose their religion on the people and the locals were basically free to continue their native practices. The relatively peaceful empire allowed the arts to flourish with a mix of Persian and Indian aspects.
Finally, Modern India began when the British defeated the Mughal Empire and ended the golden age of art and co-existence. One good thing that came from the forced colonization was that Britain provided India with a map. The map altered the Indians’ perception of themselves from competing subgroups to a unified continent.
The British did not rule as successfully as the Mughals and India experienced a high poverty rate during this time. The poverty rate in India contributed to Indians seeking employment under the indentured servitude system. Some Indians accepted the job offer to work overseas for 5 years and then return home to India, their families, and their culture. Others were deceived and thought that they were only going to work in another part of India. The British’s indentured servitude system would forever change the course of generations involved in the Indian diaspora.
India and Palestine’s Diplomatic Relationship
India achieved independence in 1947 and it supported Palestine’s independence and recognition. The relations between the two countries seemingly cooled after India recognized Israel. Nevertheless, India appears to be trying to maintain a balance regarding its diplomatic ties between Israel and Palestine.
Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq. writes articles on the importance of trademarks, trademark law updates, and also West Indian history (with an emphasis on India, Trinidad, Guyana, and the United States).
MDGR Law, P.A.
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