Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:53

Footsteps

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A poet passionate about the suffering of her Punjabi people By Amrita Pritam The death of Amrita Pritam, in New Delhi at the age of 86, is being mourned on both sides of the India-Pakistan border, for it was she who chronicled so movingly and passionately the pain of partition in 1947. Regarded as the leading 20th-century poet of the Punjabi language, she wrote verses that are sung and recited in cities and villages by many who are illiterate - such is the hypnotic appeal of her poetry. She was, in many ways, the voice of the Punjabi people, for…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:53

‘Black’ is beautiful

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By Zahid Rajan Bollywood is the biggest producer of films in the world. Great love stories, melodious and heart warming songs and tear jerking ends are the hallmark of the industry and it rakes in millions. The African people have also warmed up to these movies and now it is not uncommon to hear Africans hum tunes from Bollywood and use words from the Indian languages like ‘so’ (meaning hundred) and ‘budda’ (meaning old man). But little is heard of the great ‘art’ films by filmmakers like Shyam Benegal and others. These ‘art’ films are never ‘box-office’ successes and yet…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:52

Real African Phantom -By Khalid H. Malik

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By Zahid Rajan What orphans sailed over treacherous seas, and through African lands of man-eating lions, to end up with unthinkable fortunes? Who were the "Greatest Big-Game Hunter" and the "Flying Sikh"? Aficionados of life and adventures in 19th century Africa have long enjoyed a singularly one-sided view – a view from the West. The romance and excitement of European accounts of East Africa have exploited the mystique of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika. But in so doing, they have given that region an exclusively Western perspective, obscuring an equally thrilling parallel world that existed on the same time-plane, albeit through…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:51

A Knight in Africa

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By J.K. Chande -Penumbra Press rom Bukene By Reviewed By Brian Adeba Embassy, Canada’s Foreign Policy Newsletter A Knight in Africa: Journey From Bukene tells a philanthropist’s success story in Tanzania. Neither solely autobiography, nor political history, it is a hybrid of both, for the life of author Jayantilal Keshavji Chande is intertwined with Tanzania’s postcolonial era. The book’s intriguing title comes from Chande’s 2003 appointment as an honorary knight of the British Empire in recognition of the “valuable” services he has rendered to UK-Tanzania relations. The heir to one of East Africa’s wealthiest families, Jayantilal Chande, who currently resides…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:50

FIRST WORD

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Shades Of A Nation By: Zahid Rajan NARC the party may be dead as a dodo but the rainbow that illuminated the nation in 2002 is leaving behind institutions of varying shades that will dominate the landscape for years to come. The orange band once again confirmed what we had voted for in 2002 – the power of the people to force change and catapult a new democratic tendency into the political matrix. No politician, from the president to the councillor, will ever take his or her political office for granted. No! We certainly are NOT a ‘mob’ and the…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:49

TWO FACES, ONE TEAR

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By SHAILJA PATEL Two faces, one tear The music over the PA system, when I arrive at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, is relentlessly American. Kenny Rogers, Whitney Houston, muzak you can’t name but you’ve heard a hundred times before in a hundred generic interchangeable locations. It sounds especially ironic to me this time, given the purpose of my trip. 16 hours ago, in the UK, I posted the following entry on my blog: Migritude and I are going home. To an audience that may love us or loathe us, but cannot possibly be bored or indifferent. An audience more…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:49

YOU KNOW WHAT THEY’RE LIKE!

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By JOHN SIBI-OKUMU In this regular column, a teacher and media personality starts from personal anecdote to present an outsider’s view of a different community. O.K! Hands up all those who have never heard of Gao Xingjian? Don’t feel too badly if you haven’t. If it’s any consolation, then neither had I before very recently when I chanced upon a TV documentary profile on the great man. Gao Xingjian, as you may or may not know, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 2000. Born in 1940, he became persona non grata in China, the country of his…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:48

THEY CAME IN DHOWS AND LEFT IN JETS

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By Ramnik Shah The existence of an East African Asian (EAA) Diaspora should not come as a surprise to readers of this magazine, and yet the metamorphosis of the off-spring of the Asians of East Africa in the last 40 years into a global community is something that does not appear to have attracted much intellectual curiosity. It arose of course from the onward movement of the East African Asians first to Britain (and marginally to others parts of Europe), then to North America (Canada and the US), and more recently to Australia and New Zealand. Some have gone to…
By Prof. S. Bhatnagar Punjab University India It is indeed remarkable of the Indians that nature as well as tradition has cast them in such a mould that they seldom harbour evil design against any race or region. Instead, they try to win over whomever they may come in contact with by their peaceful conduct and loving manners. History stands witness to the fact that wherever they went they carried with them the message of goodwill, love and peace. Had they entertained imperial ambitions like many others, they could have woven for themselves an empire that might have been far…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:46

Fusion or Confusion

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By Sunny Bindra Why Sunny Bindra refuses to listen to fusion music Fusion music has taken over. Whether it’s in Hindi films, the pop charts, or even semi-classical experimental music, it’s only in if it’s of mixed parentage. The most popular filmi tracks of today sound like rock anthems. The sassy, globalised new generation wants music that’s hip and cool, in your face, funky and fitful. And that means rock, rap and hip-hop. Only the accents are Indian now: the words, cantos and rhythms are sourced occidentally. At a somewhat higher level of exposition, artistes like Prem Joshua, Nitin Sawhney…
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