Thursday December 14, 2017
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Indian Diaspora, please don’t be judgmental!

Indian Diaspora

By Shrinivas Dharmadhikari

The Independent, a British newspaper will no longer call India’s commercial capital “Mumbai”. Instead, plans to revert to colonial Bombay. While explaining the rationale One Amol Rajan, India-born editor of the paper told BBC radio “If you call it what Hindu nationalists want you to call it, you essentially do their work for them.”

This is not the first time Indians staying abroad passing at times patronizing, often silly stereotypical and most irritating of all highly judgmental comments. Ever since the Neo Liberal Indian Governments have opened doors for the so-called diaspora dividends from this eminent community, what we have got is tons of tips and grams of gold.

The bulk of the investments flowing in from NRI/PIOs has been by way of bank deposits, portfolio investment or real estate what is called hot money, which moves globally in search for higher returns. Universal economic logic used by persons of all nationalities. Despites decades of attractive schemes, investment in productive sectors has not reached even double digits more striking when contrasted with China , where the investment by the Chinese diaspora is the major share of total foreign direct investment. This is not to say self seeking character is something special about Indians. Several studies of diaspora investment in homeland is first governed by risk return trade off and then comes home bias as poor second.

Hence, we do not grudge about Indian diaspora’s economic behaviour towards India. Indeed, we Indians have been successful in our nation building since late fifties , when most of PIOs today having got best of the training at highly subsidised rates in IITs and IIMs, abandoned motherland for better creature comforts. But we certainly object to their passing judgements over issues purely Indian which are not only much less nuanced (crude?) but many times frozen in the times when they left the country. Unless of course they abandon their London based imperial world view and do serious homework at the grass root level. I am not sure if my editor friend young as he is (born 1983) , knows what Mumbai means to every Maharashtrian of any political affiliation. It was during the Samyukta Maharashtra movement(1960) which was an all-party struggle with active participation by the left that 19 activist sacrificed their life.

And regional identity per se is nothing regressive or fundamentalists. It’s use can be teleological and ideology driven. There are adequate number of similar issues in Scotland and Northern Ireland where he can take appropriate stands wearing his ideological trapping on his sleeves

Further, it is a need of large section of Indian diaspora in UK to selectively forget India’s colonial past and the draconian exploitation done by Imperial England. We in India don’t have those compulsions. Rather, we would like each of our forthcoming generation to remember it as vividly as possible and learn to despise it and its residual vestiges. In fact, we wholeheartedly support the reparation demand made by Shashi Tharoor as compensation for India’s colonial exploitation during which India’s share of the world economy dropped from 23 to 4 per cent I urge our editor friend to support it and advocate it, the least he should do as his leftist commitment.

In fact this takes me to an even larger issue. The Times Square and Wembley Stadium events where an organized attempt of made to parade PM Modi as the rock star poster boy of new emergent India is also an organized attempt by Saffron Diaspora to influence Indian public opinion. In fact it is high time these “Chitthi Ayee re, Chitthi ayi”, permanently nostalgic super patriots restrict such acts of celebrations to their palatial drawing rooms in late evenings with few pegs of single malt down the throat. They can even hug and cry as much as they want. After all we have obliged them with a hug loving Prime Minister !

In the end just a small clarification. I am not diaspora phobic as many may have by now might have mistaken me for. I admire each of them for venturing out and exploring unknown lands. How I wish , we Indians had started doing it way back in the fifteenth and sixteenth century.

To all those brave hearts, all that I wish to say can best be summarized as;

I don’t miss you and you alone, I miss you and me together.

The writer lives in United Kingdom and is a researcher of Global and National Strategic issues. Twitter


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Jadav Molai Peyang: Forest Man of India

Jadav Molai Peyang, 'Forest Man of India' single-handedly plants 1360 acre of forest on a barren sandbar.

Indian Forest Man
Jadav Peyang, Forest Man of India. Wikimedia Commons.

There are many international organizations that have been working to save our planet from many harms of deforestation but there is one Indian man who, single-handedly, gave rise to the forest in 1360 acre land and converted it into the man-made forest in India and that man is Jadav Molai Peyang.
Jadav Peyang’s story was first discovered by journalist Jitu Kalita when he was stalking the vultures on the other end of Arun Sapori, an over 1,000-hectare riverine island on the Brahmaputra when he saw the forested area and found Peyang’s story there.
The forest man has planted over 1500-saplings since 1980 which has grown into the famous, Molai Kathoni, the forest famously named after his maker. Peyang had started this initiative as a teenager who started planting bamboo in the woodland after he had witnessed deaths of several snakes at the shore when water had resided from the area after a flood. Following that horrifying scenario, he sought the advice from the village elders who asked him to grow a forest as only the forest can save the lives of birds and animals. Since then, Peyang’s Molai Forest has developed its own ecosystem as deer, rabbits, rhinoceros, Bengal tigers, birds, insects have inhabited the forest which consists of trees such as Bamboo, valcol, Arjun, Pride of India, silk trees, cotton trees, to name a few. But it was a herd of 100 elephants that brought the attention of Assam’s forest department on Peyang in 2008. The elephants pay a yearly visit to his forest and give birth to their calves in the comfort there.
But the journey of creating a barren sandbar in the middle of the river Brahmaputra of Assam into the thriving forest that it is today wasn’t easy.
In the initial stages, he found planting trees extremely difficult and time-consuming but now as he gets the seeds from the trees, the forest seems to live on itself.
The forest man was the first part of the 5-year project launched by the Assam Forestry Division in Aruna Chapori in 1980 with an aim to reforest two hundred hectares of land. Peyang enrolled for the job and started planting trees for the project though, the project was finished in five years, Peyang had stayed and spread his own project bigger than Central Park, NYC (842.6 acres). Since his first project, he has been invited to several environmental conferences, conferred many honors among which is Padam Shri, the highest civilian award and ‘Forest Man of India’ by JNU along with the recent honor bestowed on Jitu Kalita and Jadav Peyang by Taiwan Government for their efforts.
The forest man’s story is full of inspiration and compassion as he keeps providing shelter to various insects and animals while his family, which consists of two sons, a daughter, and his wife subsides on the income provided by their livestock, there is a lot to learn from him. He had braved several threats and all he has to say to them, ‘Kill me first, before you kill my forest,’ but his ideas for the world remains unknown among the several honors.

Samridhi Nain. Samridhi is a student of Philosophy (Hons.) from University of Delhi.

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5 Beautiful Indian Sportswomen you Want to Know About

These eight women with their talent and achievements have set a benchmark for the meaning of true beauty.

Akanksha Singh. Instagram.
  • Indian sports personalities like Saina Nehwal and Smriti Mandhana have shown us the true meaning of being bold and beautiful.
  • There achievements have been an inspiration for women to rise.

Beauty and style have always corresponded with looks, but these Indian sportswomen have shunned such critics. With their style and achievements, they have told us that beauty is about the way you embody confidence and lead in life. Their accomplishments have inspired many Indian women to be like her.

1. Smriti Mandhana:

She is one the beautiful indian sportswomen

Smriti Mandhana is a 21-year-old Indian cricketer who currently plays for the Indian women’s cricket team. She made her Test debut in against England August 2014 and helped her team in winning the match by scoring 22 and 51 runs in her first and second innings, respectively. The sports personality came into the limelight after she scored a 90 against England in the group matches in World Cup 2017.

2. Babita Phogat

She is one the beautiful indian sportswomen

Babita Kumari Phogat, the younger sister of Geeta Phogat, is a 27-year-old Indian female wrestler and a gold medal recipient in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Haryana girl has won a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi, and a bronze medal at the 2012 World Wrestling Championships.

y to Academy Awards next year

3. Deepika Pallikal

Deepika Pallikal is an Indian squash player, and the first one to break into the top 10 WSA rankings. She was honored with Arjuna Award in 2012 and Padma Shri in 2014. Her highest ranking has been World no. 10. Her current ranking is World no. 19. Apart from all her achievements, She is one the beautiful indian sportswomen.


4. Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal is an Indian badminton singles player, who is currently the World No. 12. She became the World no. 1 in 2015. Nehwal has won over twenty-one international titles. She after, Prakash Padukone became the only Indian player to achieve this ranking. Nehwal has represented India three times in the Olympics and won a bronze medal in her second appearance.

5. Akanksha Singh

Akanksha Singh.                                                                                                                                            Instagram.

Akanksha Singh is a 28-year-old Indian Basketball player and the current captain of the country’s Women’s National Basketball Team. She has been a member of the national women team since 2004 to till date. She has been accoladed with the best player in many national and state championships. During her captaincy at Delhi University, she won a gold medal in All India University basketball championship at Nallor.


by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. 


‘Newton’ Starring Rajkummar Rao Is India’s official entry to Academy Awards next year

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Bollywood Megastars Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan Promote New Short-film ‘Vaadi-e-Kashmir’

Kashmir's mountains, greenery and the beautiful shikaras; Vaadi-e-Kashmir aims to touch the heart of the Kashmiri brothers and sisters

Vaadi-e-Kashmir aims to make our brothers and sisters in Kashmir feel that the rest of the country stands with them. YouTube

Kashmir, September 7, 2017 : Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and veteran actress-politician Hema Malini have featured in “Vaadi-e-Kashmir”, a short film aimed at spreading the message of oneness.

“As an Indian, this film is my attempt to reach out to Kashmir and touch the hearts of our brothers and sisters in the valley,” Hema, who has also curated the film, said in a statement.

Veteran actress-politician Hema Malini has featured in “Vaadi-e-Kashmir”, a short film aimed at spreading the message of oneness. IANS
‘Vaadi-e-Kashmir’ will make you fall in love with the people of Kashmir 

“Vaadi-e-Kashmir”, which captures the valley’s beauty and people, is supported by KENT RO Systems Ltd, and has music and lyrics by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Gulzar. It is directed by filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar and conceptualised by Praveen Kenneth, Chairman – Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi.

Talking about his experience of shooting the film over two weeks in Kashmir, Sarkar said in statement: “Falling in love at the age of 62 years is possible… It happened to me when I went and met Kashmir. Though it was my first trip to Kashmir, it seemed like I knew the place.”

“The warm and friendly people just make you feel at home instantly. In this film, I tried to capture her beauty… but I want to go back to capture her beauty unawares — and also to know her a little better. Believe it, we all need to know her a little better.”

#DilSeKashmir : Watch ‘Vaadi-e-Kashmir Trailer 

Amitabh gives a key message at the start of the movie, which showcases Kashmir’s mountains, greenery and shikaras.

The vision of the six minutes long film is to make our brothers and sisters in Kashmir feel that the rest of the country stands with them and also open many more doors to bring us closer to one another, said Mahesh Gupta, Chairman – KENT RO.

“Vaadi-e-Kashmir” also calls viewers to log on to, a platform for the people across the nation to send a message of love to the people of Kashmir. (IANS)