27 November, 2020

India-Saudi Ties: Old Bonds In New Frames

Saudi Arabia is on the cusp of a leap into the future. In this, India is its natural ally.

Saudi King Saud bin Abdul Aziz with Nehru in Delhi in 1955
India-Saudi Ties: Old Bonds In New Frames
outlookindia.com
2019-05-14T19:27:01+05:30

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is undergoing vast changes at all levels—social, cultural and political. The country is experiencing a complete transformation and is moving from a closed soc­iety to a much more open one. The changes that have been set in motion now were scarcely dreamed of during the last four decades. For those who grew up in Saudi Arabia and remember the Kingdom as it was in the 1960s and 1970s, some of the changes do indeed seem to be going back to what the Kingdom was—as famously articulated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his address at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference in October 2017. “We are simply rev­erting to what we followed—a moderate Islam open to the world,” he said.

In centuries past, when Arab merchants from Jeddah on the Red Sea and Dammam on the Arabian Gulf landed on the shores of India, whether in Bombay or Kerala, they brought with them not only frankincense and pearls, but also an entire value system. The Arab...

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