Why a newsmagazine? Why now? Mohan Nair explores the idea…..
In an age of fast paced living, where days, months and years crash into each other leaving you breathless and wondering where all those years went by, 2011 is bound to be remembered for a long time to come. After all, it is the year that signalled creation of a new world order. A year that witnessed meltdown of West, with the financial crises snowballingfrom one European country to another , exposingsoft under bellies of countries that were traditionally seen as rich , powerful and beyond reproach. This December the international conference of climate change in Durban will further expose the west as not just the worst offenders, but also as countries that are doing the least – further denting their image as role models and world leaders.
In contrast, Africa and India has been in the news for some astonishing reasons. For example, Ghana posted a double digit growth while the rest of the world witnessed slow down and recessionary trends. Zambia holds election and witnesses a peaceful political transition. Hosni Mubarak bows to people’s protest and leaves office after 40 years. Liberia, a country ravished by one of world’s bloodiest warfare for 14 years, has the country’s President and a social worker winning Nobel Prize for peace! Interestingly, the 3rd recipient of Nobel Peace Prize is also an African, also a female, who received the award for her role in leading political protest for change in Algeria, a Muslim male dominated country, still wearing her hijab!
This year saw India quietly continuing its progress towards its destiny as the new world leader along with China. However 2011 exposed the contrasting style between the two countries by showcasing the uniqueness of India and Indians. This year saw one of the biggest Indian protests in decades to get one man, Anna Hazare, to start eating normal food. And that too for an age old, world-wide, hackneyed problem like corruption! It’s as if India is having a revival of spirit and has decided to set right what has been wrong for too long. You will agree that in no other country can we imagine this to take place except in Gandhi’s homeland. Whatever our individual opinion, one thing is certain – this event has placed Indians on a moral high ground among other nations that we can all be proud of.
So 2011 is a perfect year for Indians in Africa to have our own revival of spirits and look back on what we have as a community achieved so far and the way forward. We leave that to the individual readers to do so and possibly share with us so we can publish it in future editions. One thing is certain though. So many of us have travelled across the ocean for such a long time back that it looks almost as if Indian Ocean got its name due to this! We came and created our own little circle of family and friends. Formed our own cultural group, created our own website as if we are hoisting our own flag, defining our territory. Indians4africa is created with the idea of connecting all those groups to bring about synergy that comes with coming together. For us who have initiated this idea, it’s not another idea to make money since there is more money to be made if we just focus on our own business. It is not about fame since we have normally shied away from limelight. It’s about doing the right thing. Bring out an idea whose time has come.
Our plan is to create a platform to showcase your contributions be it your own work or your opinion about anything that interests you. Or just share any information that you found in your email inbox or elsewhere and believe fellow indians deserves to know. Share information about your city that will be useful to newcomers. Or just your thoughts about this initiative.
Hopefully your contributions in the coming days will get Indians settled in Enugu – Nigeria know what Indians in Durban are up to. Help business netrworking. Unleash your creativity. Improve your health. Stay inspired. Have a laugh. Take on a new habit – like reading (preferably a book -hence we would like to have atleast one book reviewed every edition).
We have not done all that we would have like to in this 1st edition. We initiated this quite late and put together whatever came in handy. Rushed up good friends to contribute. However we are not done primarily because we have not heard from you. They say an average Indian has more than one opinion about everything in the world! That’s what makes us one of the most opinionated and at the same time , cynical race in the world today. It’s our greatest strength and also our biggest weakness. However this is 2011 – a year that saw the largest gathering in India showcasing that we can overcome our inhibitions and come together for a good cause. Even the corrupt joined the fight against corruption that evening. Similarly, you will find many things in this initiative that is not right, the format, content or people. This time, that will not stop you from giving your ideas. It’s 2011 after all.
Together, let us make Africa an exciting place to be.