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Gandhi of Guadeloupe: Henry Sidambaram

The revolutionist who helped Indians acquire a french citizenship in Guadeloupe, Henry Sidambarom.

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a picture of the beauty of the island.

By Megha Sharma

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Guadeloupe, a French colony, lies in the south of Caribbean islands and is a group of Islands. The cause of freedom accelerated in the beginning of 20th century. All the colonies understood the need of an identity for them. Where Mahatma Gandhi became the catalyst of a successful freedom struggle in India, the widespread migration caused a lot of chaos.

The migrations initially were to earn a livelihood, which was becoming difficult in their own land. The primary occupation of being a farmer had no hope for their future survival because of the recurring draughts and even some colonial impositions on the lands. Thus, rather than owning a land they felt migration to be a better choice. However, the reality was too hard to gather. They not only had to undergo an identity-crisis, but they were asked not to even perform any religious or cultural activities of their land.

A similar story seems to inhabit this Island of Guadeloupe. A decline in the plantation productivity was seen after the abolition of slavery in 1848. Thus after 6 years, about 40,000 people were migrated to this land after a positive response of the work of Indian labours in the south-western Indian Ocean areas. A large number of these were from the South- Indian region and were bonded in a 5 year contract, after which either they could return to their origins or undertake another assignment.

Sir Henry Sidambarom
Sir Henry Sidambarom

The scenario was such that the first generation of these refugees saw themselves being devoid of any cultural background. One of these first generations is Henry Sidambaram. He was born in Capesterre-Belle-Eau of Guadeloupe and was denied the status of being the Mayor by his own party who considered his Indian origins to be a threat. It was an absurd thought for him as they were neither Indians nor did they receive any concrete French identity.

This made him later take an initiative to restore the long lost individuality. He wanted to demolish the refugees’ being in a no man’s land, devoid of a background, culture and selfhood. He triggered a lawsuit in this light to attain a French citizenship to all Indians there. He volunteered himself as a lawyer. A long battle of around 19 years (1904-1923) took him to victory. Later, in 1946 France declared the Island as a part of it, though not a Schengen entity.

He is considered a pioneer in the socio-cultural history of Guadeloupian Indians. So much so that today he is considered equivalent to Gandhi for them. In 2013, his 150th anniversary was celebrated, commemorating his significant role in establishing this movement of acquiring a citizenship and was also rewared with the Félix Eboué Prize.

an image of the ceremony that took place in 2013
an image of the ceremony that took place in 2013

This is what his granddaughter said about his contribution:

“On the death anniversary of my grandfather, Henry SIDAMBAROM whom I knew well, (I remember like it was yesterday) that day a huge crowd had gathered in the Rue de la Liberté outside his house.His body was greeted by a eulogy delivered by Mr. Auguste SAINTE-LUCE deputy mayor of Capesterre Belle Eau. Today I have an affectionate thought for my grandfather, and I am very touched by your loyalty to his memory…….The creation of the Committee Henry SIDAMBAROM whose brother is President JACQUES SIDAMBAROM helped perpetuate the memory of this great man. I hope that in the future, his ideas survive and continue on their way just as a grain thrown to the ground winds, seed, shoot, and generates harvests.

Thank you!

Camille SIDAMBAROM” (translated text)

Without him, Indians would have long forlorn in the alien cultural baggage given to them and of which they couldn’t be a part.

Megha is a student at the University of Delhi. She is pursuing her Masters in English and has also done her studies in the German Language.) Email: loveme2010@gmail.com. Twitter @meghash06510344

  • sudheer naik

    Henry Sidambarom has fought for the rights for Indians in Guadeloupe.without him Indians in Guadeloupe would have suffered a lot

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Over 14% Indians Affected by ‘Shopper’ Malware: Report

After the screen is unlocked, the app launches, gathers information about the victim's device and sends it to the attacker's servers. The server returns the commands for the application to execute

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A new Trojan application is boosting popular shopping app ratings and installations and spreading ads that annoy users and over 14 percent Indians have been affected by this malware dubbed as “Shopper”, researchers from global cybersecurity and anti-virus brand Kaspersky said on Sunday.

The highest share of users infected by “Trojan-Dropper. AndroidOS.Shopper.a” from October to November 2019 was in Russia, with a staggering 28.46 per cent of all users affected by the shopaholic app located in the country. Almost a fifth (18.70 per cent) of infections were in Brazil and 14.23 per cent in India.

“Despite the fact that at the moment, the real danger stemming from this malicious app is limited to unsolicited ads, fake reviews and ratings issued in the name of the victim, no one can guarantee that the creators of this malware will not change their payload to something else,” Igor Golovin, Malware Analyst at Kaspersky, said in a statement.

For now, the focus of this malicious app is on retail, but its capabilities enable attackers to spread fake information via users’ social media accounts and other platforms.

The Trojan, dubbed “Shopper”, first drew the attention of researchers following its extensive obfuscation and use of the Google Accessibility Service.

The service enables users to set a voice to read out app content and automate interaction with the user interface — designed to help people with disabilities. However, in the hands of attackers this feature presents a serious threat to the device owner.

“The malware could automatically share videos containing whatever the operators behind Shopper would want on personal pages of users accounts and just flood the internet with unreliable information,” added GOlovin.

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According to the researchers, once the Trojan has the permission to use the service, it can gain almost unlimited opportunities to interact with the system interface and applications. It can capture data featured on the screen, press buttons and even emulate user gestures.

It is not known yet how the malicious application is being spread, however, researchers at Kaspersky assume that it may be downloaded by device owners from fraudulent ads or third-party app stores while trying to get a legitimate application.

Surprisingly, the app masks itself as a system application and uses a system icon named “ConfigAPKs” in order to hide itself from the user.

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After the screen is unlocked, the app launches, gathers information about the victim’s device and sends it to the attacker’s servers. The server returns the commands for the application to execute.

Notably, depending on the commands, the app can use a device owner’s Google or Facebook account to register on popular shopping and entertainment such as AliExpress, Lazada, Zalora, Shein, Joom, Likee and Alibaba, leave application reviews in Google Play on behalf of the device owner, check the rights to use the Accessibility Service and if permission is not granted, it sends a phishing request for them.

The app can also turn off Google Play Protect — a feature that runs a safety check on apps from the Google Play Store before they are downloaded, and open links received from the remote server in an invisible window and hide itself from the app menu after a number of screens are unblocked. (IANS)