Long live this friendship, India - Kuwait

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Nineteen years before, on a National Day, I landed in Kuwait for the first time. As a new comer, completely ignorant of Kuwait, I remember that I was very much interested to know and explore Kuwait more and more. I used to read from all possible sources to know Kuwait better, its history, its journey forward etc. All I knew until then was the story of Iraqi Invasion and Liberation that came in newspapers back at my home. Knowing Kuwait closer, along with the other specialities of Kuwait life, unfurled before me the intensity of its time tested close connections with India.

Both countries share a well-built partnership, which has its roots on history, culture and economy. I was surprised to know that Indian currency and postal stamps were in circulation here. Also, Indian teak wood was used for building Kuwaiti dhows. Geographic closeness, historical trade connections, cultural resemblance and existence of a large number of Indian expatriates maintain and foster this friendship. India has been a business partner and a point for higher education. My surprise and joy knew no bounds when I met someone who cherished the memories of holidays she spend in India with her grandfather who went there for business. In the arena of education, science & technology and media, there have been regular interactions between Kuwait and India. Gradually, I started loving Kuwait, not only as my breadwinning land, but also as the close friend of my motherland, India.

It is a fact that the history of deep-rooted relationship between India and Kuwait can be traced back to decades; and it is true that documented as well as non-documented evidences exist in this regard. But, feeling happy and pride reading those stories of past has gone. Today, I, or rather, our generation, is blessed to witness the warmth of that ‘decade old friendship’ right in front of our eyes, the reason being “Covid 19”.

In April, Indian Air Force flight touched down Kuwait Air Base with medical supplies and a team of Indian doctors and healthcare specialists to join hand in the efforts of the Kuwaiti Government to fight Covid 19. The arrival of rapid response team from India was the result of the decision by the leaders of both the countries to have a collective and coordinated effort against the pandemic. This happened just because of the close ties existed between both the countries and their search of ways to reinforce the relationship during challenging times.

Later in February, few weeks before, Kuwait received first lot of ‘Made in India” vaccines showcasing again the valued friendship between the two countries. My emotions reading the tweet by External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar reiterating the close tie between both countries was beyond words. It is true that Kuwait is not the first or the sole country where this vaccine was taken. Neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka and other countries like Mauritius, Seychelles, Bahrain, Oman, Barbados, and Dominica have been benefitted by this gesture. Many more countries are expected to receive the vaccines in this manner from India, especially from Africa and Latin America. What make this even more significant is the fact that India is extending its support to even economically and infrastructurally disadvantaged countries while taking care of its citizens parallelly. But, as a person who holds both India and Kuwait very much close to heart, that moment was something very special.

#VaccineMaitri, the vaccine diplomacy drive by India that earned the respect and admiration of the whole world, is something each one of us, as an Indian, is proud today. The Corona virus, a standing out household name, is something that socked the world. India is the solution everyone is looking at. She is in the limelight as a saviour. She is supplying doses of the Serum Institute manufactured COVISHIELD vaccines and Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN, even free of cost to many countries in need and cannot afford it.

India believes in the concept “Vasudeva Kudumbakam-the whole world is one family” and the State of Kuwait believes in mutual respect and peace valuing relationships. Together they believe in universal brotherhood, being the part and parcel of one big family, the world; and I, as a happy resident of Kuwait and proud citizen of India, feel so blissful to watch them marching forward, hand in hand, in rhythm of universal brotherhood and co-operation.


Reshmy
Reshmy Krishnakumar is working with Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) as Research Assistant. Having done her post-graduation in Statistics, she worked as lecturer at St.Teresa’s College, Ernakulam, until her relocation to Kuwait. As a freelance writer, she is contributing to various magazines, blogs, and websites. Her passion includes classical dance, writing poems in Malayalam and Hindi. She is a member of the Writers’ Forum, Kuwait and the Indian Women In Kuwait (IWIK)
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Prasidakmaruthy
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Good informative article mam

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