Envoy’s book celebrates India’s shared history with Netherlands
In the 251-page India and Netherlands: Past, Present and Future, Rajamony dwells on the shared history, close economic ties, and vibrant cultural and people-to-people exchanges, including at a high level between the two nations.Updated: Oct 14, 2019 17:09 IST
In an increasingly volatile and unpredictable world which increasingly resembles the infamous Dutch weather, India and Netherlands remain relatively peaceful and stable democracies which continue to grow in prosperity and this success unites them and bestows on them the responsibility to play a leadership role, individually as well as collectively, believes Venu Rajamony, the Indian Ambassador to the European nation.
At a time when the Dutch king and queen are visiting India, the senior Indian Foreign Service officer has authored a book on the historic ties between the two nations. In the 251-page India and Netherlands: Past, Present and Future, Rajamony dwells on the shared history, close economic ties, and vibrant cultural and people-to-people exchanges, including at a high level between the two nations.
A special characteristic of both their people is also resilience in the face of adversity, he says. Having built a country from the swamps of the sea, the Netherlands is now an economic powerhouse. The people of India too, like the Dutch, have built their nation through hard work and intelligence. They have transformed their country from a poverty-stricken, underdeveloped colony to the seventh largest economy in the world in little over 70 years, says Rajamony.
“As India engages in strenuous efforts to speed up growth and address its social and developmental challenges, there are few countries as ideal as the Netherlands to partner its endeavours. Dutch strengths are exactly in the areas where India has its largest needs –water, agriculture, and the maritime sector,” the senior diplomat says.
India can benefit from Dutch expertise in its efforts to clean up the Ganges and other major rivers. Technologies and expertise which have made the Netherlands a success story in agricultural productivity, logistics, food processing, and exports can bring prosperity to India’s farmers and entrepreneurs.
Similarly, developing ports along India’s long coastline and inland riverine transport can benefit both countries. The contributions of Dutch companies can also advance India’s ambitious plans to ensure healthcare for its masses, he adds.
India also offers Dutch companies a huge market, a skilled workforce, English-language capabilities and a common commitment to promoting a competitive business environment. Indian companies already have an important presence in the Netherlands and are growing in numbers as well as diversifying rapidly, says Rajamony.
India’s world class IT companies are enabling Dutch industry acquire cutting-edge capabilities and become industry leaders. India’s medical talent, pharma companies, and traditional medicine, as well as practices like yoga and meditation, also have the potential to add tremendous value to the health and wellness requirements of the Dutch people, he adds.
As India and the Netherlands march into the future, there is an obvious convergence of economic interests. A self-sustaining momentum is already in place. However, there is little room for complacency. Periodic infusion of new energy, vision and persistent efforts will bring exponential results, he adds.
“The international community must work together and address global problems in a spirit of cooperation. Freedom, democracy, multiculturalism, and pluralism must flourish. India and the Netherlands must stand shoulder to shoulder and make this dream a reality. It might be a marathon race. If anyone can win the race, it will be these two countries,” says the Indian Ambassador in the attractive volume, optimistically.