Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

Julie Rahra

I celebrate my Indian ancestry because India was born in me !

The above-captioned statement is an adaptation of the words of the late Ghana President Kwame Nkrumah. Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley, repeated the axiom at the September meeting of CARICOM and African States, by saying: "I am not African because I was born in Africa, but because Africa was born in me."

The Indian Diaspora should be inspired by Blacks' affirmation of their race, ancestry and consciousness, and strive to emulate it. Dr. Rowley's public statement of his pride in his race and roots met with no public outcry. We should all have the freedom to do so without criticism from others. He is a leader of a country with a large Indian-origin population. They did not rise up to call him racist or call for an apology.

Yet Indian leaders in Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname cannot speak in like terms without being attacked and called racist. They are afraid to publicly express their pride in themselves and their ancestry.

Africans in the Diaspora are very proactive in fighting for equality and attacking racism by others against themselves, as they rightly should. Yet, they take umbrage when others speak out against racism. Open your mouth about it and you are immediately called racist. I call this type of aggression: "bullyism."

All races stood with the Black Lives Movement (BLM) to protest the injustices against Blacks, myself included as a person of Indian descent. Justice and equality do not come in varying shades, nor is it partial. It is time Black leaders speak up for other races when they are attacked by individuals, institutions and governments.

The world condemned apartheid in South Africa. White American leaders also stood up for justice and freedom for Blacks and marched with them and Martin Luther King. Indians in Uganda were expelled, and recently there was racial violence against Indians in South Africa. Did Black leaders speak out against this? No. Instead, they embraced South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa at the CARICOM/Africa meeting in September.

Imagine if the Indo-Presidents of Suriname and Guyana held a summit with India, and both leaders publicly affirmed their pride in their race and their ancestral homeland. What would be the reaction? Imagine President Chandrikapersad "Chan" Santokhi and President Mohamed Irfaan Ali echoing Rowley by saying: "I am not Indian because I was born in India, but because India was born in me." There would surely be an outcry of racism? Where is the sense of fairness? Are there two sets of rules for judgement? Wouldn't this be hypocrisy?

All peoples everywhere should publicly take pride in their race, culture and ancestral land if they so choose. Indians came from a great ancient civilisation and culture. They should be given the freedom to celebrate that. They must not be afraid to say so publicly because of the threat of criticism from others who boldly embrace their own heritage. Dr. Rowley, thank you for your bold statement. Your affirmation and pride in your African race and ancestry mean we can all do the same, hopefully without any outcry.In celebration of my ancestry, I have created a repository to store information about Indo- Caribbean history and culture. Please visit us at INDO CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL on Facebook.

(This article is originally written by Julie Rahra for


wikimedia commons

Recently, Tom and Jerry was made into a live action film

Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.

The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Unsplash

Indians Rarely Make Time For Arts And Culture, Says Survey

One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.

The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by alexey turenkov on Unsplash

What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?

What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?

Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.

"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.

2 glasses of a white drink Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS

Keep reading... Show less