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Shared Culture: Indian festival in South Africa

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By Megha Sharma

Though located in different continents, India and South Africa have a shared culture and common message for the world.

Looking at the time line, it has been 69 years to the independence of India and 55 years to the sovereign state of South Africa. The stories of their independence come across as an exemplar of survival, hope and determination to the world. The “white man’s burden” of the savior of these lands speaks of a hidden self-fulfilling motif. However, even being geographically different, these states define a cultural synchronicity. Years ago, before the independence of India, a huge amount of passengers settled in and around the coastal areas of the place. These people went not as slaves but to work there as meager labors and with meager or no salaries. However, it turned out to be a boon for them and in the present time and age, Durban, one of the most important commercial spaces in the sub-continent, with the maximum number of Indians as land owners. Durban is the second India, so to say, outnumbering the African population. Furthermore, the entire country is inhabited by approximately 1.5 million (15 Lakh) people of Indian origins. Mahatma Gandhi too earned his “Mahatma” epithet from here, in his 21 year long and crucial stay there. This throws lights on the significant heart-rending connect and shared culture of these territories.

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Mahatma Gandhi’s influence

Shared History: Experience India in South Africa

In September-October of last year (2015),  a 6 weeks long event was held in Johannesburg where South Africa explored the bounties of the Indian sub-continent in the annually celebrated festival of “Shared History”. The festival explores the contemporary art of the land and it not only includes various art forms like dance, singing etc. but it has given Yoga, a prominent place in the picture of Indian subcontinent. It was initiated in 2007 with the ideology to contribute to both the states’ cultural commonality. It runs for a month and though initiated with an interest towards the internal dynamics of traditional superstructures, it has now paved ways into fields of literature, yoga, handicrafts and all other contemporary flourishing wonders of the Indian sub-continent.  This following introductory video is a brochure to the festival.

 

It gives an insight into the rich and diverse culture of India and becomes a treat to watch the beautiful dancers performing on the folk traditional songs. Moreover, it observes the multifarious Indian cuisines exhibition which brings one closer to the land by uttering its essence to the world. With all these enriching episodes one is given the idea of past as a tool to perceive these boundaries as similar. It seems to be a crucial step by the Indian high commission and an arts society named “teamwork.” It is hosted in the month of October with a worldwide audience and gives sheer knowledge adding to the socio-economic relations with India.

Thus, hopefully the legacy of shared culture continues between India and South Africa.

Megha Sharma is a student at the University of Delhi. She is pursuing her masters in English and has also done her studies in German language.) Email ID: loveme2010.ms@gmail.com

 

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Death Knell For The Rape Culture

The death penalty for the child rapist is going to see the light of the day

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Death knell for the rape culture
Death knell for the rape culture. Pixabay

By Salil Gewali

The death penalty for the child rapist is going to see the light of the day. Hearty thanks to the countless candle marchers. The credit also goes to those conscious media and columnists who all fueled the agitation and energized the activists. Here PM Modi’s dynamism can’t be overlooked either, because this ordinance, which was long overdue, has happened now.

Let’s all pray that the ‘fear of death’ will be an effective deterrent.  Hope, this will “frighten away” the real vices. In the meanwhile, it would also be very wise on the part of the government to look for other preventive measures since we have lot many “vices” in lot many avatars and assortments which only encourage the sex related crimes. There are also very dangerous “vices” which, when start to infect one’s thought-process, might give birth to the countless Trojan horses, Malwares, even virulent I-love-You. The virus infecting tragedy usually strikes ones very fast who are with weak inborn “antivirus”. This, in fact, turns “sane men into perverts” if one objectively analyses. But what is too bizarre is that some of such virus generating vices are let to flourish under the cover of silence while some are made to believe through media as “virtues” and while others as “talent” — with a whole lot of modish adornment and poetic adulation. Do you want to acknowledge that ones who cried hard against the despicable rape culture are the premier dealers of these vices? Some are producers too. I cut short here.  Because these days I fear the “thunder of hypocrisy” then the roars of the tiger in a jungle!

Candle March for death penalty of rapists.
Candle March. Pixabay

Yes, remaining complacent by mere hanging the perverts will be thus a downright immaturity. The identifying the causes of those vices that are hurting the society at large are equally important.  Of course, many try to overlook those vices as if they never make a bad impact upon the mindset an individual. Here I’ve an argument — has the heat of the hearth stopped boiling the water or burn your pack of currency notes to ash? As mentioned above, we can draw a perfect “analogy” between the virus infecting a computer leading to its inevitable “malfunction” with the people’s behavioral degeneration and wrong indulgences due to the continuous exposure and acceptance of vices.

Also Read: Rape Survivors in India Still Face Humiliation with Two-Finger tests and Barriers to Justice says Human Rights Watch

However, it would surely be good if the Government and awakened women organizations boldly pinpoint those forces as well which are culpable for presenting women as no less than commodities, and the dealers of the vices. In this, one is skeptical whether we can turn to the media with hope, or with doubt! Because, very absurdly, the definition of “good life” and its values have now been willfully distorted and redefined to suit the situation, plans and programs such that they would help further the agendas of that forces which rule the roost.

Stop the Terror of Rape.
Stop the Terror of Rape.

Anyway, whether one agrees or disagree, disinfecting/detoxing the “mindset” of the society is the only pathway to the sane society which we are now crying for. The healthy thought, healthy attitude, healthy acts can only toll the death knell for any kind of rapes or any kind of depravity.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali