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History

Since independence

Religions

Caste System

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Politics

India History

India and Israel - some similarities

India and Israel are two different countries. India is one of the largest countries in the world easily pointed out in world atlas while Israel, on the other hand, is a very small country and can hardly be pointed out in world atlas. India is one of the poorest countries in the world with a very low per capita income, while Israel is among the top 20 in per capita income index. Two countries distance from each other but still have many similarities.

In both these countries religions were established, some of which have among the largest number of followers in the world. Both these countries have many holy sites, which are among the holiest for their followers. In India, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism were established. The holiest sites of these religions exist in India. In Israel, Judaism and Christianity were established. The holiest sites of these religions exist in Israel. Islam was established in Saudi Arabia but some of its holiest sites are in the Land of Israel. Israel also has the holy sites of other religions like Bahai and the Druze.

The religions established in these countries which got world recognition and have large number of followers outside these countries are minorities in these countries. Christianity is a minority in Israel with about 2% followers and Buddhism is a minority in India with less than 1% followers, but both these religions have in general more followers worldwide than in their land of birth. In both these countries Islam is the largest minority. In both these countries some of the holiest sites of the dominant religions, Judaism in Israel and Hinduism in India, are now Muslim mosques.

Both the dominant religions are as ancient as 5000 years old and influenced the establishment of other religions. The followers of both these religions believe their religion is the cradle of the whole human culture. These are the only great religions, which had not force their religion on others by coercion or conversion.

Both the countries, especially their dominant religions, are multi-ethnic and have many differences between the different communities. Even so these countries have established a national ethos among its citizens which got its boost mostly because of their problems with neighboring countries.

Both countries never had a single local continuous ruler. The lands of these countries always fascinated foreigners, India because of its spices and Israel because of its holiness. Both countries had many foreign invaders, conquerors and settlers all claiming it to be theirs. The histories of both these countries are sequences of different conquerors who arrived there from different parts of the world.

Both these countries before independence were under British control. The freedom fighters of both these countries can be divided into two groups who were political rivals of each other. In both these countries the freedom fighters who received the management of the country tried to suppress the other group after independence. Both these countries were the only countries, which were established after World War II and adopted the democratic system and remained democratic since then.

Both these countries during independence were in total chaos and people were leaving and arriving in these countries. In India a large Muslim population left India for Pakistan while Hindus and Sikhs arrived in India. In Israel a large Muslim population left Israel and many Jews arrived from Muslim countries within a short period.

Both these countries since their independence had wars with their neighbors over the border issue. India had wars with Pakistan and China and its borders with these countries are disputed. Israel had wars with Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan and its borders aren't clear yet. India, when created, had Pakistan flanked on both its sides. Today Israel has the Palestinian entity flanked on both its sides.

Both these countries had important political leaders assassinated after being blamed as traitors. In 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in India because his assassin saw in Mahatma Gandhi responsible for all the violent acts which occurred in India against Hindus and because India was partitioned and parts of India became a Muslim country, Pakistan. In 1995 Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in Israel because his assassin saw him responsible for the terrorist acts in which many Jews died and also because Rabin was giving the Palestinians what is considered to be the Land of Israel.


Aharon Daniel

1999-2000

allowed to use