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Malaysian PM gives boost to Indian community; approves $26 million for Sedic

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Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has approved 100 million Malaysian ringgit (about $26 million) for the upliftment of the Indian community in the country.

The fund was approved to the Special Unit for Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community (Sedic), Malaysia’s Bernama news agency reported.

Sedic Director N.S. Rajendran on Friday said that it was an effort to create opportunities to improve the lives of 40 percent of the 2.6 million ethnic Indians in the southeast Asian nation.

He said funds would be channeled through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and skills-training institutions that were selected based on certain criteria and not to individuals or political parties.

Rajendran said Sedic has identified 11 scopes for the Indian community, including Tamil schools issue, documentation, admission to universities, youths at high risk, and Indian participation in the public sector.

“Sedic will ensure that the funds are managed efficiently so that the target groups receive benefits from the government,” he said.

Over 600,000 Indians nationwide make up the bottom 40 percent in 38 districts in nine states and earning less than 2,500 Malaysian ringgit ($664) per month.

Every application made by NGOs and skills training institutions goes through three stages before it is approved by the prime minister.

-IANS

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Ethnic Indian Jai Sears responds to complaint against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada

Jai Sears wrote in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier

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Gandhi
Mahatama Gandhi, leader of non violence

Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:

I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”

Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.

In favour of Mahatama Gandhi
Photo of Jai Sears

Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

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Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?

A friend to all.
Jai Sears
Grenada, Caribbean

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