India got a little corner in Islamic Heart to make a Hindu Temple ../ Rashmi Talwar / Rising Kashmir

India UAE shake hands  at Dubai in August 2015

India UAE shake hands at Dubai in August 2015

India got a little corner in Islamic Heart to make a Hindu Temple
Rashmi Talwar

Politics is chess. When direct approach fails, the rival can be checkmated by opening another front. Perhaps this is the stratagem used by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi against a belligerent Pakistan, a neighbor who continues to violate ceasefire, needles India on Kashmir, ignites anti nation sentiments, blueprints terrorist strikes in India, and is perpetually in denial mode of any wrongdoing.

By attaining the ‘natural strategic partnership’ with United Arab Emirates and adding counter terrorism as core area of security cooperation, the Indian PM has drafted a new chapter with the gulf country located in a critical region. No wonder the Indian PM laid out his priorities promptly when approached with a prospect of a gulf visit. He became the first Prime Minister to visit UAE in 34 years.

It was an opportune moment. The focus of discussion and political endorsement against terrorism are breakthroughs for Delhi, given Pakistan’s proximity with the Arab nation. The gulf nation always had strained relations with India, owing to its closeness with Pakistan – a country on the same religious tangent. This, despite the large human resource pool of 2.5 million Indians contributing to UAE’s success story and workforce of 7 million, as also commerce ties, geographical proximity, mutual interdependence in trade and travel and endless other common factors. So much so that today, India has already become UAE’s second largest trading partner while UAE is India’s third largest.

By resolving to combat terrorism and broad-basing terrorism’s causes and nurseries, India is hoping UAE has successfully rethought its traditional support to India’s neighbor and would engage a balanced approach towards disputes between India and Pakistan. Apart from this, the talks took in a strong stand against the broad spectrum of sub-continental and Middle East terrorism.

Earlier, UAE’s disinclination towards India’s difficulties in dealing with cross-border terrorism had put their relationship in cold storage. However, the shared bonds in matters of faith with Pakistan, surprisingly, didn’t prove to be any hurdle for forging Delhi’s engagement with UAE leaders. Rather, Pakistan believes, the Indian PM has stepped into the recent breach in relationships between Pakistan and UAE on the former’s refusal to actively join the Yemen war against the Houthi fighters.

Za’abeel Palace, Dubai remained seriously engaged with Delhi before the two Nations arrived at a joint statement denouncing terrorism and a closer cooperation by the Arab nation to deal with it.

Outstanding concerns that had hardly been discussed before were thrashed including issues of disassembling criminal and terrorist networks from money laundering, disallowing religious hues to percolate disputes in the political spectrum, besides bringing perpetrators of vicious terrorism to book.

It is an open secret that Pakistan has been erring on all above factors. These issues found acceptability and entered into an agreement flashed in the joint statement between Emirates and India.

Pakistan is seen to be guilty on many counts including free run to accused of violent terrorist acts in India such as Hafiz Sayeed, ZR Lakhvi; giving jihadi color to disputes between India and Pakistan, especially in Jammu & Kashmir as also money laundering alliances with terrorist groups of ‘Bhai’ culture of Dawood Ibrahim.

Pakistan had enjoyed fraternal relations with UAE, founded on shared religion, traditions, deep-rooted cultural affinities, geographic proximity and economic interests. UAE is a major economic donor to Pakistan and main supporter of Pakistan’s position on Jammu & Kashmir and Afghanistan.

Today, UAE and other Arab nations have woken up to dangers of supporting terrorist networks of Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Islamic or non-Islamic nations. Its fear about being targeted owing to its prosperity or something as absurd as boredom or over excited extremists on a whim to destroy appears real.

India has grabbed the opportune moment to checkmate Pakistan, closing in a deal with rival’s ally and attempt to rid its stratosphere of violent tribulations. The two nations rejected extremism and any link between religion and terrorism. They condemned efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries or inciting hatred besides perpetrating and justifying terrorism.

The agreement incorporates cooperation in counter terrorism operations, intelligence sharing as well as control, regulate and share information on flow of funds that could have a bearing on activities of radicalization including on cyber-sphere. To strengthen cooperation in law enforcement, anti-money laundering, drug trafficking, other trans-national crimes, extradition arrangements, as well as police training.

The hand of support from UAE clearly means the threat perception in the Gulf countries is in the line of fire. India not only got a hand of cooperation for an arch rival’s friend but also a little corner in the Islamic heart to make a Hindu Temple.

However all this may turn out to be hogwash, given the fact that Pakistan continues to be bellicose over any efforts at dialogue. It tacitly impinges on the dialogue route with an invite to Hurriyat leaders, days ahead of National Security Advisors-NSA talks in Delhi on August 23 between Sartaj Aziz of Pakistan and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.

It is exactly, the same month a year back, when chances of Foreign Secretary level talks were frittered away due to the same gameplay. The invite to Syed Ali Shah Geelani for talks is scheduled for the same day as the NSA meeting. Other separatist leaders Yasin Mallik, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq too have invites but for reception of Aziz. Sources say they feel slighted by Pakistan with the kind of prominence Geelani is commanding.

With recent brazen attacks in Gurdaspur and Udhampur simmering in India, and diplomatic engagements between the two being hampered, hurdles have arisen between India and Pakistan with near negligible breakthroughs in the near future.

This cold war reflects badly on publics of both countries who are cheery on people to people relationships, but are stalled to meet due to diplomatic and political stand offs. Such stinging calisthenics seem to be puppetry exercises, slowly drawing out the Queens on both sides of the chessboard. It remains to be seen who can ultimately save its King.

Rashmi Talwar is an Award winning writer, and can be reached at rashmitalwarno1@gmail.com

URL: http://www.risingkashmir.com/news/india-got-a-little-corner-in-islamic-heart-to-make-a-hindu-temple/

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50 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Aalok Aima . on September 21, 2015 at 2:04 PM

    Abudhabhi does not have a Hindu Temple. In Dubai it has been there since 1904.

    Abudhabhi did not have a significant Hindu expatriate population till it became very prominent as the capital of a oil-rich economy and generated a lot of economic activity.

    It might be of interest to know that on Diwali almost every Hindu household lights up its residence for at least a couple of days.

    Holi is openly celebrated in the UAE (as long as public places are not stained by colour).

    Similarly the culmination of the Navratri in the Garba and Dandiya Dance festivities are public events.

    On Diwali it is not uncommon to see full page Advertisements from quasi-Govt organisations greeting the Indian Community.

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  2. Posted by Rama Ranjit Mehra on September 21, 2015 at 2:03 PM

    What is on the face creates a lot of doubt but hope keeps things going …

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  3. Posted by Amandeep Ahluwalia Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    Mom Rashmi Talwar very informative article . Would love to know more abt it from you. So proud…

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  4. Posted by Amnah Khalid on September 21, 2015 at 2:01 PM

    http://indianexpress.com/…/india-has-strong-interests…/

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  5. Posted by Gourav Sharma on September 21, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    In Dubai we have temple and a Grand Gurudwara ….. People use to visit both places on the weekends. However Abu Dhabi dosnt have Gurdwara/ temple and they have to Drive almost 180km to & Fro in order to visit temple in Dubai. So its a welcoming step by Abu dhabi Govt and People are eagerly waiting for the Temple proceedings.

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  6. Posted by Aalok Aima . on September 21, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    On the ‘Temple’ …… Abudhabhi does not have a Hindu Temple. In Dubai it has been there since 1904.

    Abudhabhi did not have a significant Hindu expatriate population till it became very prominent as the capital of a oil-rich economy and generated a lot of economic activity.

    It might be of interest to know that on Diwali almost every Hindu household lights up its residence for at least a couple of days.

    Holi is openly celebrated in the UAE (as long as public places are not stained by colour).

    Similarly the culmination of the Navratri in the Garba and Dandiya Dance festivities are public events.

    On Diwali it is not uncommon to see full page Advertisements from quasi-Govt organisations greeting the Indian Community.

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    • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 1:56 PM

      Aalok Aima — Thanks, Good information regarding our neighbour … An additional temple in the heart of Islam esp one that finds mention in talks is mentionable .. smile emoticon

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      • Posted by Aalok Aima . on September 21, 2015 at 1:56 PM

        Rashmi I do not look at it as ” An additional temple in the heart of Islam ” . I look at it as religious tolerance and acceptance of other religions and right to practice those religions by an Islamic country.

        It is something for others to learn from.

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  7. Posted by Autar Mota on September 21, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    Very well written piece on emerging alliances in Asia to counter the threats of terrorism . Unfortunately our immediate neighbour is unable to understand that it suffers equally through HATE INDIA Institutions that it has allowed to grow within.The day it genuinely acts tough with them, a meaningful peace initiative shall emerge from that side .That shall be the basis of mutual talks over other issues..

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    • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 1:52 PM

      [[The day it genuinely acts tough with them, ]] Most Indo-Pak issues will be resolved and the region ‘threatens’ to become prosperous … Question is, whose got a stake in prosperity not arriving ?

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      • Posted by Vee Kay Sharma on September 21, 2015 at 1:53 PM

        Pak still feels insecure both from within and outside, and in order to save itself, is engaging in the proxy war with India by targeting Indian side through the state sponsored terrorist groups.

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  8. Posted by Krishan Murari on September 21, 2015 at 1:50 PM

    All credit goes to Rashmi for such informative well written article

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  9. Posted by Sadaf Munshi on September 21, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    Well written

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  10. Posted by Kaul Ravinder on September 21, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    The is a timely and thoughtfully argued piece on a significant recent development. Kudos…

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  11. Posted by Bishwajeet Dutt on September 21, 2015 at 1:46 PM

    Bishwajeet Dutt
    I wonder what effect will it have with India’s relation with Iran besides pandering to the ‘selfie’ passion. Will Emirates give us Dawood. Well am pretty dure that ‘selfie’ opportunity won’t arise!!

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  12. Posted by Krishan Murari on September 21, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    Amnah K: To people style is immaterial so long as manifesto vision is delivered. There will always be a small number of people who agenda id only fault finding. All patriotic Indians should see how they can contribute to the betterment of the country.

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    • Posted by Amnah Khalid on September 21, 2015 at 1:05 PM

      Patriotism is not supporting a person or idelogy but the country!

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      • Posted by Krishan Murari on September 21, 2015 at 1:06 PM

        Agree. Patriotism is surely for the country but there has to be strong,honest hardworking leader
        Negative criticism will help no one not even the critiser.

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        • Posted by Amnah Khalid on September 21, 2015 at 1:07 PM

          That’s an assumption being made bcoz Im Muslim, in which comment u found criticism ? There is a difference bw criticism, analysis, negativity and positive criticism.

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          • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 1:08 PM

            Amnah Khalid agree with ur definition of approach on criticism ..Plz keep faith out of it …

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            • Posted by Amnah Khalid on September 21, 2015 at 1:09 PM

              When Im reminded to prove my patriotism im asking a pertinent Q . Whether ones like it or not but i will carry multiple identities through my life in a contemporary world.

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              • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 1:10 PM

                Dear All of us have multiple identities and they are no one’s exclusive right or property ..but to bring faith in the middle of discussion is somewhat unsavory

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          • Posted by Krishan Murari on September 21, 2015 at 1:54 PM

            AK: I know only one religion created by Almighty called ‘HUMANITY’, rest are all man made to suit their conveniences

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            • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 1:58 PM

              So True KM , all other divisions are just for egos

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              • Posted by Krishan Murari on September 21, 2015 at 1:59 PM

                AK: You are an Indian and nobody can question your patriotism just because you believe in a particular faith which, as all others should flourish. India has several luminaries from that faith who have done us all proud. Bharat Ratna, late President Dr Kalam is a very recent example.

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  13. Posted by Harry Rakhraj on September 21, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    It’s always a pleasure to see you in formal print media. Way to go Rashmi.

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  14. Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 12:50 PM

    In contemporary times, it seems no one is listening to America

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  15. Posted by Amnah Khalid on September 21, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    India is acting pompous and not mature for the role it has been given via US to serve its purpose not the other way round.

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  16. Posted by Krishan Murari on September 21, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    As an NRI I can for sure say that our hardworking, well meaning admiral PM made India a power to reckon within short period from its almost ‘elephant riding and snake charmers’ image.

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    • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 12:47 PM

      Yes that he is … but it is a step , his talks should now concretize .. there should be somethng on ground level that could elevate his bar

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  17. Posted by Amnah Khalid on September 21, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    Good stuff ill put in the political security input, with Oman hosting the biggest US military base in the region and talks with Taliban for settlement, India’s closer relations with Afghanistan, Iran and US over and above Pakistan makes this visit particularly important in fight against terrorism. With US backing India as buffer zone for China, it is set to play bigger role in the region esp with democratization pressures from US in middle east and India losing out to China in Central Asia and South east asia, so more dealings in energy with Muslim nations.

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    • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 12:42 PM

      How US and China strategize their energies to cut each other is the game-play unfolding in recent years.
      China has already gained an upper hand by the super corridor it cuts from itself to PoK …For all you know the little Kashmir territory left with Pakistan also intends to be gobbled up by China ..while US is doing little to woo Afghanistan to put a little order in Pakistan

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  18. Posted by Vee Kay Sharma on September 21, 2015 at 12:36 PM

    Rashmi,
    You have very rationally analysed the the issue and the gains it could make for New Delhi and the repercussions it would have on Indo- Pak relations.
    However, the sort of diplomatic and political pressure it would succeed to mount on Pak is discernible.
    Your writeup is very much timely, to the point and praiseworthy .

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    • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 12:37 PM

      @vee kay the point is Pakistan is alienating itself from all friends and those who profess to be allies are merely using it …like China US et al

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      • Posted by Vee Kay Sharma on September 21, 2015 at 12:38 PM

        Your observation is very correct.
        In fact Pak is not only alienating itself from all friends but also allowing it to be used by the so called “professed allies”.
        Unfortunately its political masters are being used by the STATE within the state for their ulterior designs and motives, that’s why they want the “Cold war between India and Pak to continue simmering.

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  19. Posted by Amnah Khalid on September 21, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    The q is not language but slogan, he was not on home turf or elections but it was tolerated. We are suddenly moving from parliamentary to presidential style of functioning. very hawkish

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  20. Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    If Obama has a language that is not so understandable in India … He too can do Hail America ..:)))

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  21. Posted by Rashmi Talwar on September 21, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    Ha Ha @Amnah .. that was a quaint observation !!

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  22. Posted by Amnah Khalid on September 21, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    Modi also got a chance to shout the slogan of Bharat mata ki jai in Dubai !! hehe

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