Memorable moments with Malka

Saturday, 16 January 2021



Memorable moments with Malka

Swapnil Bharali | May 04, 2019 13:48 hrs

I, along with many others, was privy to a great piece of lecture delivered as a keynote address by the Ambassador of Israel to India, Dr Ron Malka. This was part of the 6th Prof Sarat Mahanta Memorial Annual Lecture series held dutifully every year on May 1. While I had been to the previous editions as well, the lecture this year, delivered with élan and peppered with humour, held the greatest impact on me. 

The envoy basically talked about the growing relations between India and Israel, especially over the past 5 years after Narendra Modi came to power. Dr Malka’s PPT slides had nothing much to mention prior to 2014 besides India’s formal recognition of the state of Israel in 1950 and establishment of its embassy in Tel Aviv in 1992. The rapid growth in relations clearly began after 2014 when PM Modi, in his first year as Prime Minister, took his globe-trotting rather seriously and there were a number of bilateral exchanges between the two countries including a couple of summits.

Unbeknownst to be simply because the growth in the relations was never very “newsy” so to say, the two countries have made rapid strides such that they are two of the biggest mutual trade partners today collaborating in many areas of productivity including information technology, biotechnology and agriculture; all are sectors where Israel happens to be a world leader and can hold a beacon of guidance to India.

Moreover, what clearly came across to his audience is the awe that India is held in today – a clear and definite indication of PM Modi’s massive exercises in international diplomacy that had been the subject of many trolls in his first year of power. The ambassador kept referring to India as a close friend today – something that was never the case under previous regimes with India’s non-aligned and pro-Arab policies.

Clearly, given many other current affairs of the world today – including China lifting its veto finally allowing the UN to categorize Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” and again, China redrawing its maps to not stake its claims on Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, PM Modi’s huge hard work is showing clear dividends. Israel has earned global respect for its resolute survival instincts. For the same country to show such respect towards India is heart-warming.

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