Kartik Krishna 6, Vik. Samvat 2072. Yugabda 5117: 1 November 2015
1. FESTIVALS: Gurpurab also known as Guru Nanak Prakash Utsav and Guru Nanak Jayanti (November 25 this year), celebrates the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak dev. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, was born on April 15, 1469 at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi in the present Shekhupura District of Pakistan, now Nankana Sahib. His birth is celebrated on Kartik Poornima,
The celebrations usually commence with Prabhat Pheris. Generally two days before the birthday, Akhand Path of the Guru Granth Sahib is held in the Gurdwaras. A procession, referred to as Nagarkirtan is organized a day before. This procession is led by the Panj Pyaras (Five Beloved Ones). The day begins with the singing of Asa-di-Var (morning hymns).This is followed by any combination of Katha and Kirtan in the praise of the Guru.Following that is the Langar, a special community lunch, which is arranged at the Gurudwaras by volunteers. Guru Nanak Gurpurab is celebrated by the Sikh community all over the world and is one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar. --goTop
2. VIJAYA DASHAMI PARVA AND THE 91ST ANNIVERSARY OF RASHTRIYA SWAYAMSEVAK SANGHA (RSS) : It is an important annual feature for RSS, usually held at Reshimbag grounds of Nagpur, where the Sarsahghchalak of RSS addresses the gathering of swayamsevaks. His address has assumed significance as it contains opinion of RSS on issues of national importance and an indication about its future course of action. Speaking on the auspicious occasion on 22nd October this year, RSS Sarasanghachalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat first of all remembered Baba Saheb Ambedkar and the coronation of Rajarajeshwar Rajendra Chola and said that the reason behind remembering all those personalities was to draw our attention to the call of our innate duty to build up a prosperous, efficient and egalitarian Bharat, to bring peace, prosperity and progress, right from our families to the whole world adding that agile, clear, accurate policies as well as discretion of a society which is free of selfishness and divisiveness are mandatory requirements to change the destiny of nation. He said that in place of an atmosphere of disappointment and lost faith, which existed couple of years back, an atmosphere of expectations has come to fore, generating a sense of optimism that such expectations shall be fulfilled. It has to be made sure that these positive vibes reach the last person in the row, by turning it into an actual experience by bringing about a real positive change in his life; his trust in the bright future of his own personal life as also of national, should grow.
Dr. Bhagwat further said that the World is experiencing a Bharat, which is full of self-respect and self confidence, maintaining the traditional view of goodwill towards all but, at the same time, unhesitatingly taking stand in very clear terms, in international diplomacy whenever national interests are involved, and giving a helping hand to nations in distress anywhere in the world.
He made a clarion call that we must come out of ‘Saheb Wakyam Pramanam’ (Saheb is always Right) mentality. Making Bharatiya mind and soul as the basis, we should adopt whatever is good, truthful and fair from the rest of the world and create an independent modern road-map for our nation.
Dharma and Sanskar are at the forefront of Life and not Arth–Kaam. For sustainable development, this philosophy encourages least use of energy, maximum employment, sensitivity towards environment, ethics, and the wholesome approach to agriculture. It suggests a decentralized and self reliant economic and industrial order. There is a major emphasis on skill development and increased productivity. As per this philosophy, success of the system is judged on the fact whether the last person in the land is getting justice, education and basic needs of life.
We ought to keep whole lot of patience to see the fruition of our efforts to take the benefits of development to the lowest strata of society and enlist their participation in the nation-building.
Dr. Bhagwat said that Mudra Bank, Jan DhanYojna, voluntary surrender of cooking gas subsidy, Swatch Bharat initiative, and skill development are some useful initiatives of the present government,
However, he expressed his serious concern over rise of population of certain sections of our society and said that we need to seriously ponder our population policy. We need to rise above vote bank politics to formulate a holistic approach, equally applicable to all citizens, towards the population policy. We should not be guided by cheap popularity or political incentives. What is truthful and just should be our guiding principle.
Santhara, peculiar life style of Digambar Acharyas, Bal-Deeksha (initiations of children as recluses), etc., are some of the age old practices prevalent in the Jain community. To bring about changes in such matters without consulting the Acharyas of the respective sects about the reason, importance and philosophy behind such practices, will affect social cohesion and harmony and finally harm the nation.
Regarding education, Sarasanghachalakji said that it should be society based and that it should be oriented towards fulfilling its goal as well as contemporary requirements of society. We need to have effective training, and maintain standards for teachers. More than anything else, we need teachers who realize their responsibilities.
To say that Governance and economy and other systems drive human behavior –“Yatha Raja Tatha Praja”. Hence our policies should unite the society; caring for the uplift of the weakest link of the society, they should achieve progress of everyone in the society.
Explaining the chord that can keep our diverse society together, he said that it is our eternal culture – Hindu culture – that accepts and respects all forms of diversity and which precisely forms the nature and value system of every Bharatiya. The very culture, based on which our ancestors built their lives, toiled hard to nurture and foster it, and even sacrificed their live for its protection and honor, even to this day, their glory is a source of inspiration and ideal for us. This divine motherland endowed with richest and wealth helped us realize the truth that formed the foundation of that culture and the Dharma born out of it, whose abundance of divine wealth nurtured us and made us magnanimous, the love and devotion for whom we inherited from our ancestors, such motherland of ours, even today has the power to arouse the creative spirit of every individual of this country.
In the end, remembering Sangh founder Dr. Hedgewar, Dr. Bhagwat said that he had very well understood that the task of nation and society building cannot be entrusted on contract. When an efficient and organized society works persistently for the betterment of nation for a long time, then only the nation becomes prosperous. The mission of RSS is to prepare such workers who can organize the society for this noble cause.
Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, former Director General of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) was the Chief Guest. Many dignitaries including Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari were present on the occasion. -goTop
3. NEW TEMPLE IN PORTUGAL:Using plans drawn up by architect Jose Troufa Real, the project of the Shiva Temple Social Solidarity Association will be built on land ceded by the Municipality of Loures. The parcel of land, comprising 17,000 square meters, is located next to the Torres da Bela Vista neighborhood in Santo Antonio dos Cavaleiros in Lisbon. The infrastructure will include several spaces for socio-cultural activities and religious services as well as features such as a memorial garden and a reflecting pool. The municipality is supporting this construction, since August, with the loan of earth moving machinery for site preparation and an investment of about US$100,000. Most of the Hindu community in Portugal resides in Santo Antonio dos Cavaleiros, Chelas and Sacavem-Portela sections of the Lisbon metropolis. -goTop
4. CHANDERPAUL HONORED BY HINDU SOCIETY: Prolific West Indies and Guyanese batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was honoured by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh on October 25 at a special ceremony at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Bank Demerara. Chanderpaul, who is also called “Tiger”, is the second leading run scorer for West Indies cricket and is seen as a highly talented stalwart for the Hindu society.
“Tiger” is the first Indo-Caribbean to play 100 Tests for the West Indies, and captained them in 14 Tests and 16 One-Day Internationals. A left-handed batsman, Chanderpaul is well-known for his unorthodox batting stance, which has been described as crab-like. He has scored 20,000 runs in international cricket, and in 2008 he was named as one of the five Cricketers of the Year by the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac, and as the Player of the Year by the International Cricket Council. -goTop
5. GOVERNMENT DISTRIBUTES 2 CRORE LED BULBS, SAVES RS 1,000 CRORE A YEAR: The Narendra Modi government's programme to get consumers to replace less efficient CFL or incandescent lights with latest LED bulbs is gaining momentum, with the number of bulbs distributed crossing the 2-crore mark and generating annual savings of over Rs 1,000 crore. Data available with the government showed that more than 2 crore subsidized LED bulbs had been distributed under the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme till October 22, helping in daily energy savings of 73 lakh units, which translates into Rs 2.9 crore a day. With the programme gaining momentum, lighting giant Philips and other companies have shown interest in setting up manufacturing facility in the country given that the scale is suddenly looking much bigger than what they had originally anticipated. The government is looking to provide 77 crore bulbs by 2018.
Although some of the states had been slow off the block, they are now gaining pace. Among them Andhra Pradesh is way ahead of the pack with 65 lakh bulbs, followed by Delhi at a little under 34 lakh and Uttar Pradesh at 33 lakh. Guntur in Andhra appeared to be the top performing district in the country, with 18.6 lakh LED bulbs. -goTop
6. 963 WOMEN MARCHED WITH PRIDE: Dressed in their uniform, 963 Women marched with pride in the PathaSanchalan organized by Rashtra Sevika Samiti as a part of Vijayadashami Utsav at 3 places; Jaynagar and Malleswaram and Ulsoor in Bengaluru on 31st Oct 2015.
At Jayanagar, Savithri Somayaji – Akhil Bharatha Pracharika Pramukh, was the main speaker. More than 400 people attended the Vijayadashami utsav and 380 sevikas marched with pride in the patha sanchalan(route march)
At Malleswaram, Smt Mamatha Vasu – BBMP member, was the Chief Guest and Alaka Inamdar, Akhil Bharatha Saha Karyavaahika, was the main speaker. 200 people attended the event and 100 sevikas participated in the pathasanchalan.
At Ulsoor, Smt Prafulla Devaraj- proprietor Prafulla Polymer, was the chief guest and Sudha Murthy- Sanchaalika of Karnataka Dakshina pranth was the main speaker. About 500 people attended the Utsav and 383 sevikas in ganvesh participated in Patha Sanchalan. -goTop
7. WRITERS CONDEMN POLITICS ON LITERATURE: In a joint statement released in Delhi on October 15, 26 eminent writers, intellectuals and literary persons and four literary organizations from different parts of the country while coming down heavily on the award return drama, termed it as the insult of the both the Sahitya and the Akademi. They wondered why the people who have till now been playing key role in the functioning of the Sahitya Akademi and manipulating awards for each other are now raising fingers on the same Akademi.
Prominent writers who signed the statement included Dr Narendra Kohli (Delhi), Dr Tribhuvananath Shukla (Jabalpur), Dr N Sundaram (Chennai), Dr Shesharattnam (Sahitya Akademi award winner) and several others. Apart from it some literary organizations also signed the statement. These organisations included Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Parishad, Tamilnadu Bhasha Sangam, Madhya Bharat Hindi Sahitya Sabha, Jateeya Sahitya Parishad (Andhra Pradesh), Anchalik Sahitya Parishad (Jabalpur), Kavi Sangam (Jabalpur) and Milan (Jabalpur). -goTop
8. CHILE APPROVED THE NATIONAL DAY OF YOGA: With 83 votes in favor and 17 abstentions, the House of Representatives approved the bill which establishes November 4th as the National Day of Yoga. The bill's dossier was submitted to the Chamber by Deputy Marcelo Schilling (PS) of the Sports Commission.
Lawmakers said that at present this discipline has spread throughout the country and is practiced by children and adults of all ages and socioeconomic levels; they also stressed, "it is a physical, mental and spiritual activity able to enhance certain qualities for individual and social development of the people," as stated on the Camara de Diputados (House of Representatives) website.
In Chile, the start of this practice dates back to 1964, with the arrival of the Mexican teacher, Jose Rafael Estrada, who founded the first institute of yoga in the country on November 4th of that year. -goTop
9. EMPOWERING WOMENINITIATED AT JODHPUR’S PAKISTAN HINDU REFUGEE CAMP SITE: Pakistani Hindu refugee relief program (PHRRP), an umbrella project of multiple US based Hindu organizations on October 22 donated a sewing machine unit to Pakistani Hindu refugee camp based outside Jodhpur, Rajasthan. This program to empower Hindu women, who are skilled in sewing and can work, was envisioned by PHRRP global coordinator Ms. Kavita Tekchandani, who during her visits to many other social service organizations sites during her 2014 Bharatiya visits, envisioned this sewing machine set up which will not only employ skilled Hindu women from Pakistani Sindh province, but also boost clothing sewing business at refugee camps.
Most of the women and men from Sindh are skilled craftsmen, carpenters, skilled labourers etc.
This sewing machine program will help women earn by stitching clothes for women, man and children at refugee camps itself. -goTop
10. TRINIDAD HOSTS 10TH HINDU MANDIR EXECUTIVES’ CONFERENCE (HMEC): The tenth HMEC was held at Port of Spain, Trinidad from October 2 to 4, 2015. The conference sessions were well received by both foreign and local (Caribbean) delegates. The program showcased ancestral Bharatiya dances, folk songs, music still practiced by today’s youth – sixth generation born Hindu Trinidadians. Some 200 adult and youth delegates drawn from over 80 organizations and 6 countries participated in the conference. The theme of the conference was: Strengthening the Hindu Family. HMEC 2015 provided a platform for stakeholders like mandirs, other Hindu organizations, pandits, gurus, teachers, sants, sanyasis, scholars, activists, and practitioners and non-practitioners to celebrate, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate the state of Dharma in North America and the Caribbean and come up with strategies and action plans. The concluding thoughts were delivered by Swami Parmeshwarananda of Guyana. -goTop
11. ABKM 2015: RSS Sarasanghachalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat inaugurated the 3-day RSS national annual meet Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal Baitak (ABKM); the highest body for policy formulation and decision making in RSS, at Ranchi on 30th November. After paying tributes to prominent personalities like Dr APJ Kalam, Swami Dayanand Saraswtii, MM Kalburgi, the ABKM deliberated on reviewing, future planning of organizational matters and activities of shakhas and affiliated organizations.
RSS General Secreatry Suresh ( Bhayyaji ) Joshi issued two statements 1) condemning the acts of desecration of Guru granth Sahib in Punjab and 2) commemorating the millennium of Acharya Abhinavgupta. Addressing the press conference on the concluding day, he said that Sangh sees all with equal respect and it is deplorable that a section is criticizing Sangh in recent days. There are about 50,400 shakhas in the country, an increase of 10,500 during last 10 years. More than 90 percent of shakhas are attended by swayamsevaks below 40 years of age and about 60 percent are in the rural areas.
The ABKM passed a resolution on growing population imbalance in the country.
Challenge of Imbalance in the Population Growth Rate: Steps taken to control the population of the country have yielded adequate results during the last decade. But in this regard, the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal is of the opinion that the severe demographic changes brought forth by the analysis of the religious data of Census 2011 highlight the necessity of the review of population policy. Vast differences in growth rates of different religious groups, infiltration and conversion resulting in religious imbalance of the population-ratio, especially in border areas may emerge as a threat to the unity, integrity and cultural identity of the country.
Although Bharat was one of the early countries in the world to announce as early as in 1952 that it will have population planning measures, it was only in year 2000 that a comprehensive population policy was formulated and a population commission was formed. The policy aimed at achieving a stable but healthy population by the year 2045 by optimizing the fertility rate to the ideal figure of 2.1 total fertility rate [TFR]. It was expected that as this aim is in accordance with our national resources and expected future requirements, it will be uniformly applied to all the sections of society. However, the National Fertility and Health Survey [NFHS] of 2005-6 and the 0-6 age group population percentage data of religion in Census 2011, both indicate that the TFR and child ratio is uneven across the religions. This is reflected in the fact that the share of population of religions of Bharatiya origin which was 88 percent has come down to 83.8 percent while the Muslim population which was 9.8 percent has increased to 14.23 percent during the period 1951-2011.
In addition to that, the rate of growth of Muslim population has been very high than national average, in the border districts of Border States of the country like Assam, West Bengal and Bihar, clearly indicating the unabated infiltration from Bangladesh. The report of the Upamanyu Hazarika Commission appointed by Hon Supreme Court and several judicial pronouncements from time to time have also corroborated these facts. It is also a fact that the infiltrators are usurping the rights of citizens of these states and are becoming a heavy burden on the already scant resources apart from creating socio-cultural, political and economic tensions.
The religious imbalance of population in the North Eastern states has assumed serious proportions. In Arunachal Pradesh, the people of religions of Bharatiya origin were 99.21 percent in 1951. It came down to 81.3 percent in 2001 and to 67 percent in 2011. In just one decade the Christian population of Arunachal Pradesh has grown by almost 13 percentage points. Similarly, in the population of Manipur, the share of religions of Bharatiya origin which was more than 80 percent in 1951 has come down to 50 percent in 2011. These examples and pointers of unnatural growth of Christian population in many districts of the nation indicate an organized and targeted religious conversion activity by some vested interests.
The Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal expresses deep concern over all these severe demographic imbalances and urges the Government to -
Reformulate the National Population Policy keeping in view availability of resources in the country, future needs and the problem of demographic imbalance and apply the same uniformly to all.
Totally curb the illegal infiltration from across the border. Prepare a National Register of Citizens and prevent these infiltrators from acquiring citizenship rights and purchasing lands.
The ABKM calls upon the countrymen including all the Swayamsevaks to take cognizance of the causes of these population changes and consider it their national duty to create public awareness and take all lawful steps to save the country from this demographic imbalance. -goTop
SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Saumitra Gokhale, samyojak Vishwa Vibhag is on a tour to Colombia. Shyam Parande, Secretary Sewa International will tour Bali - Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam. Visitors: Abhay Mishra - Germany, Avnish Tyagi - Cyprus
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Although an act of help done timely might be small in nature, it is truly larger than the world itself. - Thiruvalluvar -goTop
JAI SHREE RAM
Literary and intellectual personalities have an important role to play in the society, especially when it comes to change. They have every right to protest against certain government policies. While doing so they have to be righteous, equal and committed to certain principles rather than political parties. If they avail benefits of political patronage and cry foul when the monopoly over certain institutions is crumbling, their credibility and intent for protests come under question. The present award returning spree in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘secularism’ depict the symptoms of selective amnesia of Left liberal intellectuals and literary figures. These double standards demean the individuals, awards and the institutions they represent.
Left secular lobby with the help of electronic media has succeeded in creating an atmosphere in the country and also outside since last few weeks as if all the Hindus are out on the street killing ‘minorities’ – read Muslims – to save ‘mother cow’ and stop beef eating. It seems Bharat is in a time warp for more than 15 days. All TV channels seem to have plumbed to pessimistic depth. There has been outrage all round as if Bharat is up in flames with one person’s reprehensible killing; as if before that Bharat was living in blissful harmony for earlier 67 years. ‘SahityaAkademi’ awardees drama has added fuel to fire.
However, there have been many more headline making events which are hot in Social Media (SM) but shrouded into silence by Main Stream Media (MSM). So, now I realise that all this outrage is not about Beef or Freedom of Speech. Here is a sample of incidents that took place in these same 7-10 days
Muslim cow smugglers killed a police officer who tried to stop their truck carrying cows.
Muslim goons killed a young man in Delhi who honked to clear road.
Dalit family in UP was disrobed in front of police or as some said, disrobed themselves because police won’t file FIR.
A girl was murdered in Jharkhand by Maoists for daring to study and not joining them. By Left definition, they belong to ‘Marxist parivar’.
Restraints on Durga immersion in Bengal.
A Congress MLA allegedly engineered riots in Varanasi in the name of Ganesh immersion.
An English play, ‘Agnes of God’ has been banned in Hyderabad; more could follow, on demand of Christian bodies.
Nary a debate, nor a hint of outrage! No discussion about suffering poor or carriers of torch of freedom.
Then, we see a concerted drama of a network of Sahitya Akademi award winners returning their awards, mostly not moneys. As numbers swelled I was convinced with my theory that it was well planned strategy to embarrass Modi government and strengthen their effort to illustrate that Modi is a disaster as they had predicted he would be before and after his election as PM.
It is payback time for the Left-secular brigade that had supped, dined and enjoyed perks from their benefactors, viz. Congress. Some writers went to the extent saying that they are protesting now as writer, Kalburgi has been killed. As if a common citizen’s life was less valued. They forgot that many more incidences of such nature had happened earlier too. So-called rationalists, who could dictate rationalism only to Hindus but not to other religions had been killed since years. The favourite left mascot, Safdar Hashmi’s murderers are undergoing 14 year jail term, one of them is a Congress member of that time. riots and lynching had happened earlier too. Voices contrary to Left-Secular thinkers had been throttled, people bludgeoned to death especially in Left ruled states of Kerala and Bengal. RSS was the chosen target. I won’t list out riots and pogroms abetted by Congress over years. Every intelligent reader is aware about them. But, nobody resigned, nobody felt threatened.
Touch stone of freedom has been reduced to freedom to eat beef, freedom to watch porn. I may point out that the defining trait of Fascism is forcing one’s thoughts on people and arresting or silencing the people who don’t agree with their ideology. This is what Left-secular lobby has been doing for years. But, none of these conscience keepers has been harassed or stopped from demeaning, insulting or criticising the chosen PM of Bharat, who had been hounded for 13 years in every possible way, but came out unscathed in due process of law.
Many writers and self-proclaimed intellectuals openly abused Modi during elections, even later. One gentleman from Mumbai said he will run naked in Mumbai if Modi won! It’s a different matter he never did it.
These worthies sat peacefully when a Christian teacher’s hands were chopped off for asking supposedly inflammatory questions in exam paper about Prophet Mohammed. Their conscience was not pricked when worst riots took place in Congress regime, including infamous 1984 pogrom against Sikhs. Most of these people are those who signed mercy petition for Afzal Guru and late lamented Yakub Memon. They forget that law and order is a State subject and nothing stops those governments to take action against perpetrators of crime, of whichever political hue they may be.
Then, what’s the underlying story? Underlying story as Americans would say, “it is not about Beef, nor about Freedom of Speech, stupid!”
The underlying idea is to somehow prove at any cost that Modi and BJP are a disaster for the country, as they had predicted. The elite class brought up on west oriented education and trained by their Marxist philosophers heading all academic and art institutions cannot imagine coming of age of home grown wisdom based on ancient Bharateeya culture and heritage. Left-secular lobby is aghast to see a rural upstart like Modi take position of power inspite of their negative efforts. They know their perks and privileges are no more guaranteed. It’s a last ditch battle to save their privileges and right to tell people what is right or wrong for them. But, the rooted Bharateeya is no more ready to be treated shabbily and insulted for his/her traditions, beliefs or religions.
They will create a fear psychosis and frighten minorities and others to claim that nothing is going right. They will not mind Bharat being seen in poor light across the globe. It seems they are winning the propaganda battle for now, but they will lose the ideological war, no doubt. They are unable to appreciate that inspite of their decades of teaching that Bharat is a backward, orthodox civilisation that is still an ‘idea of a nation in the making’; Bharat's populace is bursting with positive energy, feeling more confident; a fact testified by Pew research, not an RSS affiliate by any yardstick. Bharteeyas need to be vigilant and be ready for these designs and see to it that this nation never looks back and strides the world as a power that seeks peace and wellbeing for humanity. (The writer is a Mumbai based senior columnist, Organiser Weekly November 1, 2015) -goTop
REACHING OUT TO AFRICA
That 41 heads of state and government from 54 countries in Africa were present at the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, itself demonstrates the importance both sides attach to mutual ties. The summit, which concluded on October 30, was the largest gathering of foreign dignitaries in New Delhi since the 1983 Non-Aligned Summit. The message was not lost on anyone: India wants to energise its relations with the continent with which it had strong political ties in the first three decades after Independence. But India lost some momentum in building a stronger partnership with African countries since the 1990s as the country recalibrated its foreign and economic policies. The idea of the India-Africa summit was first mooted to arrest this slide and reboot the relationship. While the previous two gatherings — the 2008 New Delhi and 2011 Addis Ababa summits — were significant, this week’s meet takes relations to a higher level with a demonstrated resolve and a clearly laid-down road map. India has offered a new line of credit worth $10 billion to strengthen economic cooperation and called for a unified stance for the reform of the UN Security Council.
Africa is an important trade partner for India. Indian energy companies have assets in African countries, and New Delhi exports consumer and capital goods and medicines to the continent. India-Africa trade was worth almost $70 billion in 2014-15, and Indian companies invested some $30-35 billion in the continent over the past decade. While trade has improved in these ten years, it is still much less than Africa’s trade with China, which was $200 billion in 2014-15. Besides, China has invested more than $180 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa alone in areas ranging from energy to infrastructure during the period 2005-2015. India may not have the resources to beat the level of Chinese investments, but it can certainly do a lot more with proper policy approaches, faster project execution and improved bilateral relations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of the $10 billion concessional credit is a right step in this direction. Second, there’s a convergence of interest for reforming the Security Council. India’s claim is that as the second most populated country and the largest democracy in the world, it deserves a permanent seat in a reformed Security Council. The Prime Minister has also noted that Africa, with more than a quarter of the members of the UN, is not represented in the powerful UN body. Against this background, it is imperative for both sides to speak in “one voice” for Security Council reforms. Third, stronger ties with Africa fit into India’s traditional foreign policy milieu. The goodwill India enjoys in the continent is a result of the principled anti-colonial positions the country took in the post-Independence era. India should cash in on that goodwill to build a stronger economic and political partnership with Africa in the new century. (Editorial, The Hindu October 31, 2015) -goTop