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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The real Gateway to India - Chagos Archipelago (part 1 & 2)

So how and where and when did we just simply give up the whole British Indian Ocean Territories, our claim to it, the Chagos, and what does it mean to many of us?

""There was a time, glory days, as my seafaring friends will recall, this was '70s and '80s, when if you flew the Indian flag and had "INDIA" painted on the sides of your ship, nobody in the world touched you. The Persian Gulf was at war, 1971 was fresh in the world's mind, Vietnam was drawing to a big American defeat, USSR was dissolving, England was fighting Argentine, but ships with INDIA painted in huge day-glow letters on the side (and huge means each alphabet was 5-10 metres in height, depending on the size of the ship) were inviolate.""


""The first island to go was what is known today as Bab el Manded. Used to be known as Dwar-e-Mandir, or, the gateway to the temples. Located off Aden, a mere speck but straddling the entry and exit to the Red Sea, it is still important enough. In mythology, it is where the Red Sea was split into two to save the Faithful, but in history, these were low-lying swamps which the early humans crossed over to reach Asia from Africa. 60000 years or so ago.
For us it used to be a point of reference, as it was for seafarers for centuries before, from where we knew the courses by heart to a full range of ports from the entry to the Persian Gulf through the Straits of Hormuz to the West Coast of India, or the base of Ceylon called Devundra or Lord's Port and now known as Dondra Head, and thence beyond into the wonders of Malacca.""


read on . . .

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