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November 11, 2004
On November 11, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat passed away in a hospital in Paris, far removed from his promised homeland – Free Palestine!
Flown to France on October 29 after nearly three years of being penned in his West Bank headquarters by Israeli tanks, his health initially improved then sharply deteriorated as rumours swirled about his illness.
Arafat has always been perceived in black or white. For some he epitomised terror in the Middle East, for others he was nothing less than saviour. But no one can deny that he represented an 'enduring symbol' of Palestinian nationhood, to quote Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam.
For Indians, the loss is closer home, given the country's traditional ties both with the Palestinian movement and Arafat.
And in his death, as in life, he remains a legend.
But was his death in vain? Tell us.