Roshni Sinor, executive secretary to the consul general in Mumbai, (1961-2007), the lady who served the office for 45 years and with 18 consul generals during her interesting tenure, shares her thoughts and few anecdotes on Indo-Israeli relationship – what was it then to what it is now
She has witnessed the highs and lows of the Indo-Israeli relationship from 1961. She watched it up close and personal, though behind-the-scene, but nevertheless completely unadulterated. Introducing Roshni Sinor, executive secretary to the consul general in Mumbai, (1961-2007), the lady who served the office for 45 years and with 18 consul generals during her interesting tenure. She shares her thoughts and few anecdotes with FE Online, on Indo-Israeli relationship – what was it then to what it is now. For Sinor, working for the consulate office of Israel in India was more than just a nine-to-five job and so be it. She was working for a consulate office that wasn’t perceived as cordial, but that of sharing strong cammadarie with it’s Indian counterpart, way back in 1961. She says rather proudly, “Having been part of history unfolding during my tenure at the consulate, it gives me immense pleasure to witness the relations between our two great nations growing to the level it has reached. Reminiscing about my journey through more than four decades and the roller coaster relations between our two countries, I can think of so many landmarks in the history of the consulate.”
She shares few notes on her early days at the consulate, and relations between the two countries. Sinor says, “I am talking about the early 1960s, when apart from the basic courtesies extended to the consulate, there was no contact with the government in New Delhi whatsoever. Being sort of ostracized, it was a very difficult time indeed. Every consul general at that time had only one agenda – to forge closer relations; it became our (the Indian staff’s) goal too and we worked ardently towards that. So it was a great achievement when in 1992, the Indian government under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao decided to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. Giora Becher was the lucky consul general at that time.”
The consulate office rejoiced at that time which is vivid in her mind as she says their joy knew no bounds and there was jubilation and celebration at their small office in Mumbai and the staff was filled with a sense of fulfilment at having played even a miniscule role in this endeavour. It was a great achievement to have the Israeli flag flying in New Delhi.
She further adds that, through the years, she got inextricably connected with the people, its culture, its courage, sharing the joys, sorrows and anxiety of the various wars and so 45 years later, she saw herself still at the consulate, totally entrenched in the fibre.
The establishment of an embassy in New Delhi in 1992 opened the floodgates of relations between the two countries at all levels. She further adds, “The year 2003 saw another upheaval in the history of the consulate, though fortunately not for long. The powers that be, decided to shut down the consulate in Mumbai, the commercial capital of India. Good sense prevailed and it restarted with a bang within 15 months of its closing down and is flourishing at the moment.”
Having worked for 18 consul generals through the years, for Sinor it’s like a dream-come-true to see the camaraderie between the Prime Ministers of the two nations and bilateral relations at their peak.