Video Editor: Mohd IbrahimVideo Producer: Sonal GuptaAmerica and India finally inaugurated their “2+2” dialogue, overcoming fears of a Trump-ian misadventure, of the kind that has derailed Uncle Sam’s relationship with Germany, Canada, EU, and NATO, even as he has cosied up to Russia!Now there’s another “2+2”, or Four, Lessons of History that America & India must always remember, far more crucial than any diplomatic architecture.History Lesson 1: America & India are Foetal SiblingsThere is a fundamental point of connection between the two nations: Both emerged from the stifling womb of British rule.While the Americans had protested British rule by dumping tea into the sea, the Indians registered their disapproval by extracting salt from it. Time magazine named Gandhi 1930’s ‘Man of the Year’, praising his march ‘to defy Britain’s salt tax as some New Englanders once defied a British tea tax.’ Gandhi himself noted the comparison. Having tea with the British viceroy, Lord Irwin, not long afterwards, he reached into a brown bag full of illegal salt and placed a pinch in his teacup — ‘to remind us of the famous Boston Tea Party,’ he told the viceroy.History Lesson 2: Knitting a Fractious Collection of Independent StatesFollowing Britain’s departure, each faced the same challenge: How to create a federal union out of a group of separate, sometimes disparate, states.Each had a strong, anti-federalist contingent, which feared its own interests would be subsumed by the larger Union. Indeed, like America 150 years before, India was blessed at birth with a set of wise and principled leaders. Gandhi can be viewed as a sort of nonviolent George Washington. Likening India to a ‘younger United States’, American commentator Walter Lippmann wrote that it wasn’t ‘far-fetched’ to ‘think of Nehru as the Jefferson, of Sardar Patel as the Hamilton, and of Exterior Affairs Minister Girija Bajpai as the John Quincy Adams of the young Indian republic.’History Lesson “2+1”: An Umbilical Chord Between Two ConstitutionsThe preamble to both documents starts with the same three stirring words: ‘We the people,’ a phrase that somehow confers equality, humility and self-possession all at once. Other echoes abound; India’s Fundamental Rights – which include the abolishment of untouchability – mirror America’s Bill of Rights: Both guarantee freedom of speech (though India’s does not explicitly mention ‘the press’) and the right of citizens ‘peaceably to assemble’ (America’s) or ‘to assemble peaceably’ (India’s).The language of America’s fifth amendment, dictating due process before the law, can also be glimpsed in India’s Fundamental Rights: Both prohibit citizens from being tried for the same crime twice, and both ensure that a suspected criminal cannot be ‘compelled’ to ‘be a witness against himself.’Even the minimum age requirements for president (thirty-five) and parliament (twenty-five) are the same as America’s.History Lesson “2+2”: Never Repeat the Follies of Secretary Dulles & President JohnsonSecretary of State John Foster Dulles (to President Eisenhower) was a staunch anti-Communist with such contempt for Indian neutrality that he once called it ‘immoral’. He also said: “Pakistan is one country that has moral courage to do its part resisting Communism.”This “indulge Pakistan” stance continued well into the 21st century, until America discovered Pakistan’s perfidy in sheltering Osama bin Laden and conspiring with the 9/11 perpetrators. The other historical sticking point between America and India was President Lyndon Johnson. When Delhi came asking Washington in 1965 to shore up its wheat aid programme, known as PL-480, President Johnson said no.With India facing severe drought – grain production plummeted from 89 to 72 million tons that year—Johnson approved shipments of two months’ and then one month’s worth of grain at a time.The following year, with the drought persisting, Johnson went even further, implementing what came to be known as the ‘ship to mouth’ policy – essentially keeping the supply line so short there was no cushion against famine.For many Indians, this was the final indignity that drove a permanent wedge between the US and India.So here’s a postscript: If both foetal siblings, America and India, vow never to forget these “2+2”, or four, Lessons of History, we shall become the defining strategic allies of the 21st century, give or take the accidents that a few ‘Trump-like presidencies’ could cause!(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.) We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.