\SAMVAD  श्री विश्व निकेतन SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN
Dwitiya Jyestha Krishna 3, Vik.Samvat 2075, Yugabda 5120: 1 June 2018

1. FESTIVALS: Mela Kheer Bhawani & Narasimha Chaturdashi 2. PRANAB TO ADDRESS RSS SHIKSHARTHIS IN NAGPUR
3. Kushok Bakula's vision relevant even today 4. HINDU SWAYAMSEVAK SANGH AUSTRALIA - Sangh SikshaVarga (SSV)
5. Modi invites bharatiya diaspora for Kumbh 6. father-daughter team scale up Mount Everest
7. Heroic Tarinis touches its homeland after conquering waves of whole globe in 254 days 8. Pakistan seeks Bharat’s help for conservation, excavation of Mohenjo Daro
9. bharatiya-American brain behind key Nasa project 10. Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year
11. Renowned Physicist EC George Sudarshan Dies At 86 12. Two bharatiya Americans Take Top Awards at Intel ISEF 2018 Competition
13. BHARAT sixth wealthiest country with total wealth of $8,230 billion 14. Crater on Pluto’s Largest Moon Named revati
15. University of Virginia offers “Medical Yoga for Health Professionals” course 16. bharatiya American Teens Sweep Up Top Three Prizes in National Geographic Bee Competition
17. Visionary bharatiya Americans Honored With Prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor 18. bharatiya-origin Sikh man becomes Malaysia's first cabinet minister
19. bharat Emerges as Cultural Tourism Hotspot 20. FLOATING VARANASI MUSEUM TO REVIVIFY GANGA
21. bharatiya American Rajputs of Rajasthan Celebrate Grandeur of Rajputana Culture 22. 'Maa ki Rasoi' - BHU students’ humane initiative launched in Varanasi
23. English welcomes its new guest word ‘AYUSH’ in it 24. Maharashtra govt awards tourism status to RSS memorial in Nagpur

1. FESTIVALS: Mela Kheer Bhawani: Mata Ragnya Devi is symbolised as a sacred spring at Tula Mula village, near (27 kms) Srinagar, Kashmir.

 The Temple, dedicated to Mata Kheer Bhawani (originally Bhawani Mata), has been constructed over a Sacred Spring. Within the spring is a marble temple. The temple-spring complex is affectionately known as Kheer Bhawani as thousands of devotees offer milk and 'kheer' to the Sacred Spring. The devotees of Mata Kheer Bhawani fast and gather here on Jyeshtha Shukla Ashtami (June 26 this year). Kheer Bhawani is considered to be the Presiding Deity of most of the Kashmiri Brahmans.
Swami Vivekananda's Experience: Swamiji visited Kashmir. During this stay, while ritually worshiping Kheer Bhavani, he had the thought: "Mata Bhavani has been manifesting Her Presence here for untold years. The Mohammedans came and destroyed Her temple, yet the people of the place did nothing to protect Her. Alas, if only I were then living, I would not have borne it, I would have protected the temple from the invaders." He, then, distinctly heard the voice of the goddess saying: "It was my desire that the Mohammedans destroy the temple. It is my desire that I should live in [a] dilapidated temple, otherwise, can I not immediately erect a seven-storied temple of gold here if I like? What can you do? Do I protect you or do you protect me?"
Narasimha Chaturdashi celebrated with grace and devotion in Pakistan: Karachi celebrated Narasimha Chaturdashi on April 28 with around 10,000 Gujarati, Marwari, Kathiawar, Lassi, Meghwar etc., from different parts of the area gracefully participating in it with different kinds of Prasad to Narasimha Bhagwan.
This made it one of the biggest festivals of Hinduism in Pakistan. Bhajans, Kirtans, Parvachan, Yagna all made the environment devotional and sacred. Yogi Wajahat, Hindu priest and Salman Shaik were the special guests who gave the message of peace and harmony to the community saying that “humanity is the best religion in the world. ”The festival is celebrated annually at Narshinga Shiv Mandir which is a historical monument in Karachi old city area. Narasimha Bhagwan rescued the child devotee of Vishnu, named Prahlad, from his own evil demon father Hiranyakashipu. -GoToTop

2. PRANAB TO ADDRESS RSS SHIKSHARTHIS IN NAGPUR: Former Rashtrapati Pranab Mukherjee will address the trainees of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the concluding session of the 25-day Truteeya Varsh Shiksha Varg at Nagpur on June 7.-GoToTop
Shri Mukherjee and Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS Sarasanghachalak will speak to over 600 trainees who will also demonstrate what they learned at the varg.

3. Kushok Bakula's vision relevant even today:
RSS Sah Sarkaryavaha Dattatreya Hosabale on May 19 paid his tributes to the 18th Kushok Bakula Lobzang Thupten Chognor Rinpoche at the closing ceremony of his birth centenary celebrations at the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies (CIBS) in Leh, Ladakh. Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC) and India Foundation had jointly organized a National Scholars' Confluence in Leh from 16th to 18th May to commemorate the year-long centenary celebrations.12-year-old Nashtan, ordained as the 20th Kushok Bakula, also participated in the celebrations. "Kushok Bakula Rinpoche was a Buddhist monk, a spiritual leader, a statesman and an outstanding diplomat who worked with an all -encompassing vision of human welfare," Hosabale said. "Kushok Bakula always took the unambiguous stand that Ladakh is an unquestionable part of Bharat along with the rest of Jammu Kashmir," he added. Jammu and Kashmir Upa Mukhya  Mantri Kavinder Gupta was the chief guest at the ceremony, which was presided by Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) chairman Prof S.R. Bhatt. -GoToTop


Annual 8-day camp, Sangh SikshaVarg (SSV) was conducted in   Sydney 17th-25th of April. The camp was designed to cater - all the three levels Prathamik (first year), Pravesh (second year) and Praveen (third year). The program witnessed 100 students (Siksharthis) across Australia. More than 100 volunteers took part in training (sikshaks), administration, transportation, cooking and organising the event. Surendra Reddy of Sree Rama Krishna mission, Sydney stayed in the camp as Shibiradhikari (camp supervisor).-GoToTop

5. Modi invites bharatiya diaspora for Kumbh: “We will grant free of cost visas for Indonesian citizens for travel of up to 30 days,” said Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi during an address at the Jakarta Convention Center on May 30. “Not only do the names of our nations rhyme but also there is a distinct rhythm in the Bharat-Indonesia friendship,” he added. -GoToTop
“Many of you may never have been to Bharat. I invite you all to come to India for the Kumbh Mela in Prayag next year,” Modi told the gathering. "I am very proud of the fact that you (the Bharatiya diaspora in Indonesia) have been contributing a lot to Indonesia's development," Modi added. "For our government, corruption-free, citizen-friendly and development-friendly ecosystem is the biggest priority," he said.

6. father-daughter team scale up Mount Everest: On 16 May, just as the sun was rising in the eastern hemisphere, Deeya Bajaj was taking her final steps towards the highest point on earth, and her father, Ajeet Bajaj, was right behind her. The invincible duo has become the first Bharatiya father-daughter team to scale Mount Everest. Sardar Nima Nuru, who has climbed Everest 20 times, was their Sherpa. Ajeet Bajaj was the first Bharatiya to ski to the North Pole, the South Pole and across the Greenland Ice Cap completing the ‘Polar Trilogy’.
At the age of 17, Deeya became the youngest person to undertake the Trans-Greenland Skiing expedition in May 2011. In the following year, Ajeet and Deeya became the first Bharatiyas to ski across the Greenland Ice Cap. -GoToTop

7. Heroic Tarinis touches its homeland after conquering waves of whole globe in 254 days: Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman and Admiral Sunil Lamba were standing with pride to welcome our brave Tarinis who completed their mission to circumnavigate the globe named ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama.’ Brave Heroic Tarinis sailed over 21600nm, visited 5 countries, sailed across 4 continents and across 3 Oceans, passed south of three Capes, crossed the Equator twice. This was the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. They had begun their voyage in September last year from Goa.
The Navika Sagar Parikrama was covered in five legs, with stop-overs at 4 ports: Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa).The all-women crew consisted Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, Lt Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lt Commander P Swati, Lt Vijaya Devi, Lt B Aishwarya and Lt Payal Guptastarted their journey on a 55-foot yacht. INVS Tarini was one of the operating four sailing vessels capable of open ocean deployments. INSV Tarini is 55 feet in length and built in Bharat in line with the ‘Make in Bharat’ initiative of the Bharatiya Nausena, fructified by Aquarius Shipyard, Goa. -GoToTop

8. Pakistan seeks Bharat’s help for conservation, excavation of Mohenjo Daro: Pakistani archaeologists excavating the Harappan site of Mohenjo Daro have sought help from their Bharatiya counterparts for carrying out conservation works and planning future excavations at the site. The site, in present-day Sindh, Pakistan, was likely the world’s largest settlement between 2600 and 1900 BC. Vice-Chancellor of Pune’s Deccan College and a leading scholar on Harappan civilization, Vasant Shinde was among the few foreign archaeologists who were recently invited to visit Mohenjo Daro. “I was the only Bharatiya invitee to Mohenjo Daro. We have realised that we need to work hand-in-hand. The Pakistani side is very keen and we also want that the two countries must come together…because, the remaining half of the Harappan sites lie on the other side of the Bharatiya border and without understanding the entire region, we cannot really get a holistic picture about the civilization,” Vasant Shinde said. -GoToTop

9. bharatiya-American brain behind key Nasa project: Anita Sengupta, a Bharatiya American is behind NASA’s latest physics experiment to create the soldest spot in the universe. The spot created by Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) is expected to be 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space.CAL, flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 22 by an Antares rocket from Nasa’s Wallops facility at Virginia, United States, could potentially lead to a number of technologies, including sensors, quantum computers and atomic clocks used in spacecraft navigation, said NASA. “CAL will make it possible to observe these ultra-cold atoms much longer in the microgravity environment,” the space agency stated. Sengupta, who said she proposed the mission, had played a key role in the successful landing of Nasa’s Curiosity rover on Mars on August 6, 2012. Sengupta said that CAL will investigate the properties of “Bose Einstein Condensate, a state of matter that only occurs just above absolute zero”. She is currently the V-P of Hyperloop One and had visited Mumbai in 2013. -GoToTop

10. Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year:
Travel website Trip Advisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller reviews to choose its winner each year. Angkor Wat received a five-out-of-five ‘bubble rating’, with the majority of the more than 40,000 visitor reviews highly favourable. From January to March this year, the Angkor Archaeological Park attracted 858,580 foreign tourists, a 12 percent increase over the same period in 2017, according to the state-owned Angkor Enterprise.
Five Bharatiya landmarks made it to the Asia list — Taj Mahal (#2), Amber Fort (#9), Harmandir Sahib (#10), Swaminarayan Akshardham (#13) and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib (#14). -GoToTop

11. Renowned Physicist EC George Sudarshan Dies At 86:

Sudarshan had been teaching as a professor at University of Texas for over 40 years. Sudarshan, an outstanding theoretical physicist, discovered the V - A theory of weak interactions while working on his PhD thesis under the late Robert E. Marshak. In 2007, Bharat recognised and awarded the physicist with the second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan. He was also awarded the Dirac Medal in 2010, which is known to be given out to scientists who have made substantial contributions in theoretical physics, computational chemistry and mathematics. The renowned physicist was even recommended for the Nobel Prize nine times but never awarded. -GoToTop

12. Two bharatiya Americans Take Top Awards at Intel ISEF 2018 Competition:
The Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of $50,000 has been won by Meghana Bollimpalli, of Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas; as well as by Dhruvik Parikh, of Henry M. Jackson High School in Washington. The Society for Science & the Public, in partnership with the Intel Foundation, announced May 19. Student winners are ninth through twelfth graders who earned the right to compete at Intel ISEF 2018 by winning a top prize at a local, regional, state, or national science fair. Bollimpalli’s winning project was titled, “Green Synthesis of Phosphorous, Nitrogen Co-Doped Carbon Materials from Renewable Resources for Supercapacitor Applications via Microwave Assisted Technique.” Parikh’s project was titled, “A Novel Sol-Gel Derived SPEEK/Silicon Dioxide Composite Membrane for the Vanadium Redox Flow Battery.” -GoToTop

13. BHARAT sixth wealthiest country with total wealth of $8,230 billion: According to the AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review, the US is the wealthiest country in the world with a total wealth of $62,584 billion, followed by China ($24,803 billion) in the second place and Japan ($19,522 billion) in third. Other countries in the top 10 wealthiest list includes the United Kingdom ($9,919 billion), Germany ($9,660 billion), India ($8,230 billion), Australia ($6,142 billion), Canada ($6,393 billion), France ($6,649 billion) and Italy ($4,276 billion). -GoToTop

14. Crater on Pluto’s Largest Moon Named revati: The International Astronomical Union, the internationally recognized authority for naming celestial bodies and their surface features, recently approved a dozen names, including the name of Revati Crater on Charon, which was proposed by NASA’s New Horizons team. Charon, according to the organization, is one of the larger bodies in the Kuiper Belt, and has a wealth of geological features, as well as a collection of craters similar to those seen on most moons. These features and some of Charon’s craters have now been assigned official names. “Revati Crater is named for the main character in the Hindu epic narrative Mahabharata — widely regarded as the first in history (circa 400 BC) to include the concept of time travel,” stated the International Astronomical Union, adding that the names approved by the IAU “encompass the diverse range of recommendations the team received from around the world during the Our Pluto campaign.” -GoToTop

15. University of Virginia offers “Medical Yoga for Health Professionals” course: The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, public research university and tier-one research institution with a nationally renowned health system, is offering “Foundations of Medical Yoga for Health Professionals” in Fall this year. This three-credits course “will provide graduate students, medical students, and practicing health professionals with a foundational understanding of medical yoga to improve health and wellness from a historical, theoretical, and research perspective.” Dr. Maureen Mala Cunningham, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing, is the instructor. Highly selective University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, which claims to be nation’s #2 public university, has about 22,800 students and one of its “purposes” is “providing world-class patient care”. -GoToTop

16. bharatiya American Teens Sweep Up Top Three Prizes in National Geographic Bee Competition: In the 2018 National Geographic Bee held May 23, Venkat Ranjan, 13, of California correctly answered the question, “Which South American country has a population size most similar to Lebanon?” with his response of Paraguay, while Anoushka Buddhikot, 13, of New Jersey, answered Guyana, securing second place in the annual competition. Vishal Sareddy, 14, of Georgia came in third place.
Ranjan bested 10 finalists in the nail-biting competition at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. The 2018 champion was awarded a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Second- and third-place finishers received $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively. -GoToTop

17. Visionary bharatiya Americans Honored With Prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor: Four visionary Bharatiya Americans and one Indo-Canadian were among the 84 prominent immigrants who received the 2018 Ellis Island Medal of Honor at a ceremony in New York May 12. This year’s Bharatiya American honorees were software pioneer Vanu Bose, who was honored posthumously after succumbing to a sudden pulmonary embolism last year; Moon Express founder Naveen Jain; Ethan Allen chairman and Kashmiri activist Farooq Kathwari; and Sikh activist Bhai Sahiba Inderjit Kaur Khalsa. Peter Dhillon, the ‘cranberry king’ of Canada, was one of three recipients of the International Ellis Island Medal. -GoToTop

18. bharatiya-origin Sikh man becomes Malaysia's first cabinet minister: Gobind Singh Deo, a Bharatiya-origin Sikh politician in Malaysia, has become a cabinet minister, the first member of the minority community in the country's history to be appointed as a minister. Deo, 45, who has been given the communications and multimedia portfolio, is among the two politicians of Bharatiya descent included in the Pakatan Harapan coalition's Cabinet. The other Bharatiya-origin lawmaker is M  Kulasegaran from the Democratic Action Party, who has been made the human resource minister. The Punjabi community in the country has hailed the appointment of Deo as the minister. "It is a proud and happy occasion for our community. Other than being a recognition of his abilities, it is also a recognition for the long established Punjabi community in Malaysia," Miri Indian Association president, Councillor Karambir Singh was quoted as saying by the Borneo Post. Malaysia has nearly 1,00,000 Sikh population. -GoToTop

19. bharat Emerges as Cultural Tourism Hotspot: Cultural tourism is growing in the country, as more and more Bharatiyas are going to popular pilgrimages, like Varanasi in UP and Puri in Odisha, according to a report of Travel Company Ixigo. The company officials say that there has been a month-on-month growth in hotel bookings of 60 per cent for Puri, 48 per cent for Varanasi, 34 per cent for Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and 19 per cent growth for Shirdi in Maharashtra. The report is based on actual hotel searches and bookings on ixigo this summer. -GoToTop

A first-of-its kind floating museum will soon sail on the river Ganga in Varanasi, moving from ghats to ghats to create awareness about the importance and need for conservation of the water body — one of the most revered rivers in the world and also one of the most polluted. An exhibition has been proposed on bajras — the magnificent boats meant to be floating on river waters — showcasing detailed information on Ganga’s pristine history, ecology and riverine ecosystem, its route — from origin to destination — biodiversity like wild animals and plant species found in and around the river. The museum will also highlight threats and possible solutions to overcome the threats to the river. Another important feature of the museum will be focus on climate change and how it is affecting the river. -GoToTop

21. bharatiya American Rajputs of Rajasthan Celebrate Grandeur of Rajputana Culture: Bharatiya American members of the newly-founded Rajputana Rawla of America congregated in large numbers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Calif., April 26-28 to attend the historic celebration of the Rajputana culture of Rajasthan. “Me’l was celebrated in traditional manner to bring Rajputs together to network, celebrate and nurture high values standards of Rajputana life in the next generation, and help under privileged societies to get guidance and financial help to achieve path for progress,” said Raj Nathawat, convener of the event.
After a grand traditional welcome, guests enjoyed a host of activities including a visit to the Livermore wineries, career counseling sessions, a presentation on the history of Rajputs, cultural performances, including a special performance, “Dance of the Desert,” by Antara Bhardwaj, disciple of renowned Kathak master Pandit Chitresh Das, and an elaborate photo session. -GoToTop

22. 'Maa ki Rasoi' - BHU students’ humane initiative launched in Varanasi: RSS Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarini Sadasya Indresh Kumar on May 19 inaugurated this unique initiative at this historical and religious city. ‘Maa ki Rasoi’ will provide homely meals to the students coming from all parts of the country. On initiative of Dr Rajiv Shrivastava, a social scientist, a group of five students of the BHU talked to some women and decided to launch ‘Maa ki Rasoi’ project. The BHU students will now get the tasty, home cooked food with a touch of motherly affection. Inaugurating this unique initiative, Indresh Kumar said ‘Maa ki Rasoi’ is the big step forward in making women self-reliant and at the same time providing homely food to the students. This is a journey of a mother from ‘roti’ to ‘roji’, that will make her self-reliant and independent. -GoToTop

23. English welcomes its new guest word ‘AYUSH’ in it: The word ‘AYUSH’ has got a place in Hindi and English languages for scientific and technical purposes. The Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology has decided to adopt the word. The “AYUSH” became popular as the acronym for five traditional and complementary systems of medicine, namely Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy and successfully adopted and used in all Government communications. Hailing this decision, Shripad Naik, the Union AYUSH Minister said that it would underline the essential unity of all holistic systems of healing. This decision will also give a boost to Bharat’s efforts to find a place for the Indian Systems of Healthcare in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the World Health Organization  -GoToTop

24. Maharashtra govt awards tourism status to RSS memorial in Nagpur:
The Maharashtra government has accorded the C-grade tourism status to the memorial of Rashtriya Swayamsevak  Sangh (RSS) founder Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, popularly known as the Smruti Mandir, at Nagpur. Dr. Hedgewar, who founded the RSS along with four others at Mahal in 1925, died on June 21, 1940. His last rites were performed at Reshimbagh, where the last rites of his successor – Guru Golwalkar – were also performed. -GoToTop

25. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravaas: Shri Saumitra Gokhale ji, Samyojak Vishwa Vibhag is on a short tour to Japan. Visitors: Ma. Ramesh Babu, Uganda,
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Shivaji is one of the greatest national saviours who emancipated our society and our Dharma when they were faced with the threat of total destruction. He was a peerless hero, a pious and God-fearing king and verily a manifestation of all the virtues of a born leader of men described in our ancient scriptures. He also embodied the deathless spirit of our land and stood as the light of hope for our future.—Jadunath Sarkar, the famous historian. -GoToTop
Genesis of Indian Arrival Day as a national holiday in Trinidad and Tobago
Paras Ramoutar
After 150 years of Indian Arrival, it was only in 1995, that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago opted to announce a day marking the first arrival of over East Indians here, May 30, 1845.
The Patrick Manning Government had announced that May 30, 1995 would be called Arrival Day, which was a one all day. In 1996, when Basdeo Panday came to the political throne he feverishly announced that May 30 will be Indian Arrival Day which was to be etched in our national calendar.
Despite earlier attempts by the Indian Revival and Reform Committee led by Ramdath Jagessar, the
Hindu Seva Sangh with Dool Hanooman Singh and others, the Indian Review Committee led by Kamal Persad and Ashram Maharaj, the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, it was former Member of Parliament for Oropouche, Trevor Sudama who moved a motion in Parliament on October 28, 1994 to have Indian Arrival Day declared a national holiday annually.
And despite stiff opposition within the corridors of Parliament and in public opinion, Sudama successfully move the motion which was ably seconded by then MP for Caroni Central, Raymond Pallackdharry Singh.
Sudama in his presentation made a strong plea which was buttressed by philosophical and sociological data and facts so that he would have left no stone unturned. This he did with great clarity and maturity, and it was passed with contributions from Members of Parliament. One would imagine that the debate was a very emotional issue, and one had to look at the historical antecedents of the whole question of
Indian Arrival, as was the case of the Chinese. Syrians, Africans and Europeans coming here, that each group singularly would have called for similar treatment. Sudama moaned that the Motion to declare Indian Arrival Day a national holiday was on the Order Paper since 1989, but was only afforded the light of the day on October 28, 1994. Notwithstanding the fact the then Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams had announced that both Divali and Eid would be public holidays from 1966, which was an election year. Later, then Prime Minister George Chambers announced in 1982 that Discovery Day, which was celebrated on the first Monday in August, was to be replaced by Emancipation Day August 1. Both Prime Ministers had ignored the presence of the East Indians in Trinidad and Tobago. It is worth remembering spirited tone of Sudama when he piloted the motion saying that it must be accepted in the, “spirit of light, in that spirit of seeking what is best for the nation, what is best for the people of Trinidad and Tobago, and indeed, of acknowledging the cultural and plural diversity of our society and where are as a nation today”. “Madam Speaker(OccahSeepaul) we do not want to put the systems of indentureship and African
slavery as counterposed; they are different systems; they are different historical experiences. The conditions under which the African slaves were brought in.” Sudama must be congratulated for his incisive and straight forward presentation, which would serve as a reference point for any dialogue today or in the coming decades about the relevance of a public holiday to mark Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and Tobago.
Just in March 2017, the world community observed the centenary of the abolition of Indian indentureship, and Trinidad and Tobago was the venue for this historical observance as scores of notably former Prime Ministers, Presidents, Government Ministers, legislators, East Indian leaders, professionals among others gathered to discuss the past and the future role of the 33 million Indian diaspora membership in over 100 countries. A nation is marked as to how it shows respects for it ethnic groups, and this means equal treatment for everyone, and one is reminded to paraphrase Dr Williams’ address to the nation on Independence Day August 1962 that there is No Mother India, No Mother Africa, No Mother China, No Mother Lebanon, but the only Mother is Mother Trinidad and Tobago. And that a Mother cannot discriminate among its children. I think that it was in this vein that Sudama so brilliantly proposed that Indian Arrival Day becomes a national holiday.
The East Indians were brought here between the period 1845 to 1917, when in excess of 347,000, most of whom were devout Hindus who brought with the Ramayana, Gita, Mahabharat, the Puranas, Hanuman Chalisa, among several others, principally from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, to rescue a dying agricultural economy, and their presence brought new hope and aspirations for the planters, and by extension the national economy. They brought with them new cuisine, jewelry, customs, habits, religion, culture, thought and way of life.
Today, the East Indian community has contributed significantly to the national well-being, prosperity as they are remain leaders in the professions, corporate sector, business, culture and politics. And the rest is history for we have had two Prime Ministers of East Indian extraction, namely Basdeo Panday and Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The East Indian labourers ignited friendship between India and Trinidad and Tobago, despite their geographical distance. The East Indian labourers were brought here to contribute to British capitalism, and they worked hard, very hard and struggled with other ethnic groups for this country’s prosperity, and as well for political freedom and independence. Independence was not a one-party or one ethnic group affair, but rather it was a people’s consciousness blended with the different ethnic groups and peoples that made it happen.
Today friendship between India and Trinidad and Tobago continues to escalate to greater heights a the clock ticks, and one could decipher that it would continue to escalate in the coming years and decades, and even centuries. As we observe the 173 rd anniversary of Indian Arrival Day, 71 st anniversary of India’s Independence, and our own 56 th anniversary of our Independence, all of these factors make it compulsory for our both countries to continue in this trend of friendship, of growth, and support in all the councils of the world’s geopolitical and economic groups.
Trinidad and Tobago have benefitted from India’s graciousness in terms of ITEC, consultancies in various endeavours of economic, agricultural, cultural co-operation. Aside to these initiatives, religion and culture continue to dominate the calendar of both countries. The Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Cultural Co-operation which was inked when India’s Indira Gandhi came here in October 1968, after 50 years, has now taken shape.
This is a first for any diplomat, more so, an Indian diplomat. Incumbent Indian High Commissioner, Shri Bishwadip Dey, has embarked on an unique foray of cultural diplomacy by visiting descendants of indentured labourers at their homes and presenting hampers. This must be viewed as a micro engagement initiative, and His Excellency must be publicly commended.
Usually, diplomats are noted for presenting or promoting macro issues. Dey told the media these elderly citizens have contributed not only to the development of Trinidad and Tobago, but have played an important role in keeping family values alive and passing on cultural and religious practices from one generation to the next. He continued that there are also,” strong family ties in the homes visited where witnessed that love and devotion for the elderly.” Dey added that as “senior members of society, the elderly have had an important guiding role for the local communities and form an historical link for Indian nationals of East Indian origin”.
The High Commission of India shares in the pride of the Indo-Trinidadian community which remains justly proud of these elders who have carved out their lives through initial struggles in their adopted country. With this trend of co-operation at several levels of governance, the foundation has been established for co-operation in future issues which face the world society, which India continues to play a dominant role, and for which Trinidad and Tobago would fully endorse. Source: World Hindu News (WHN) Posted on May 17, 2018 by WHN Reporter. -GoToTop