A Look Back in the Past

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Did you know that Indians constitute 19% of the total expatriate population in Kuwait ?

Yes , that’s well much right , Indians form a majority among the 10 expatriate communities living here in Kuwait .This is not at all surprising because the relations between Kuwait and India go all the way back to several centuries. They seem to have maintained a very healthy and warm relation throughout. In fact , until 1961 , the rupee was the official tender in Kuwait. Let us flip through the pages of history and have a glance on how and when it all started.

This will take us all the way back to the 1900’s Kuwait when oil had still not been discovered and Kuwait was largely dependent on activities such as fishing, pearl-diving, seafaring, boat-building, herding and trade for its economic growth .The recent discovery of artefacts such as pottery and jewellery from the Kuwaiti island of Failaka point to commercial and cultural interaction between the two countries dating back several millennia .Life in Kuwait before oil was a lot different from life nowadays. It was not economically developed and lifestyle of the people living here was completely different than how we live now. Back then the houses were made of mud. Electricity was not easily available. So we can see how people lived their lives before the discovery of oil.

Oil was discovered in Kuwait in 1938, in Burgan field of Kuwait .In the 1960s and 1970s , Kuwait was the most developed country in the region. Kuwait was first Middle East country to diversify its revenue away from oil export. By this time many other oil were discovered and developed. Kuwait started trading in oil from 1946 onwards.
Now that we know some of Kuwait’s history , lets have a look when exactly the interactions between India and Kuwait started

Diplomatic relations between the countries began in June 1962 with the appointment of Yacoub Abdulaziz al-Rushaid as the first Kuwaiti Ambassador to India. Also, India was among the earliest countries to recognise Kuwaiti independence , while Kuwait was one of the first countries to extend support to India during the war with China in 1962 . We can see how Kuwait helped India in its hard times and how the two countries show records of old trade. Not only that , Bombay was a business hub for many Kuwaitis back in the 1950’s .

There has been high level bilateral state visits state visits between the two countries Vice-Presidents of India, Dr Zakir Husain in 1965 and Hamid Ansari in 2009 and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1981 have led Indian visits to Kuwait , other major visits have been made by The 52nd Sultan Al Bohra, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin for the first time in the year 1968 and prayed for the prosperity and well-being of the community, the leadership and the residents. His successor, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, visited Kuwait in 2022 and during his meeting with the Emir of Kuwait, His Highness Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, prayed for continued progress and peace in the country.






Sakina Dr Burhan Bhatia, 9-C, Carmel School



By:
Sakina Dr Burhan Bhatia, 9-C, Carmel School
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