India and the Gulf countries have had cordial relations for decades. India’s relations with the Gulf countries have always been important in matters of economic, strategic, cultural etc.
Recently, after the statement given by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Prophet Mohammed, while anger is being expressed in many ways in India, there has been strong reaction from Islamic countries as well. There has been strong reactions, especially from the Gulf countries, which include countries that have close ties with the Modi government, such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. And with whom the Government of India is constantly trying to strengthen its relations.
Therefore, it is necessary to know, how much damage can be caused to India by this controversial statement of Nupur Sharma and how is the Modi government doing damage control? Because this can affect the image of the country as well as the diplomatic and economic interests of India.
India is deepening ties with the Gulf countries on the basis of trade, commerce, history and culture with Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE etc.
If we look from the business point of view, ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’ ie ‘GCC’ has emerged as a major partner in trade with India. And there is a lot of business potential in the future. Under this group U. a. e. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait are included. India has recently a. Free trade agreement with E.
The United Arab Emirates is the third largest trading partner of India. After the United States, the United Arab Emirates is India’s second largest expert base and third largest trading partner. India and UAE’s bilateral trade stood at $72.9 billion in 2021-22, in which India sold goods worth $28.4 billion to the UAE. At the same time, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement has also been signed between India and UAE in February, under which the total trade of both the countries has been targeted to reach 100 billion dollars by the year 2026.
The same India has a trade of $ 42.9 billion with Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest trading partner. Along with this, India’s crude oil imports also have to go in sufficient quantity from this country.
Similarly, Iraq is the fifth largest trading partner of India. While Qatar is the country with the largest natural gas importer of about 41% to India. Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu went on a three-day visit to strengthen ties between India and Qatar.
After the arrival of the Modi government, when the propaganda of being ‘against Islam’ was being spread against India by Pakistan and it was also instigated on the issue of Kashmir and CAA, but at that time the Gulf countries supported India. Which shows that India’s relations with Gulf countries are based on trust.
Along with trade, lakhs of Indians are employed in the Gulf countries. And India gets a major part of the foreign exchange from these countries in the form of remittances. According to the World Bank, in 2020, $ 83.15 billion was received in currency.
Indians make up more than a third of the population of the United Arab Emirates. More than 89 lakh Indian citizens live and work in Gulf countries. 34 lakh 25 thousand 144 in UAE, 25 lakh 94 thousand 947 in Saudi Arabia, 10 lakh 29 thousand 861 Indians in Kuwait, 7 lakh 81 thousand 141 in Oman, 7 lakh 46 thousand 550 in Qatar, 3 lakh 26 thousand 658 in Bahrain, 20 thousand 760 Indians live in Jordan, 18 thousand 07 in Iraq, 8 thousand 537 Indians live in Lebanon. At the same time, many major retail stores and restaurants in Gulf countries are owned by Indians. If a campaign is launched against India in these countries, then the interests of the Indians living there may be affected.
Apart from this, the Gulf country is dependent on India for food and grain imports. India exports more than 85% of their food and 93% of their food grains to the Gulf countries. Along with this, India mainly exports rice, buffalo meat, spices, marine products, fruits, vegetables and sugar to the Gulf countries.
India has been building important links not only with energy needs but also for strategic and security reasons. Because China is also trying to infiltrate these countries. Whereas India has always been conscious of its interests in this area and that is why many visits were made to these countries by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Therefore, it is necessary that strict action should be taken against such political leaders and elements inside the country, which are hindering the social harmony and development of the country, because due to such elements, the image of the country is also tarnished at the global level and our interests are hurt.