Tuesday December 11, 2018
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Rise of Africans in India shows country’s openness

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New York: India’s openness reflected in the rise of the Africans, who came to India as slaves to the political and military positions, said UN Syed Akbaruddin yesterday at an inauguration ceremony of an exhibition related to the rise of African slaves to positions of military and political authority at the UN headquarters in New York.

“The rise of Africans, who came to India as slaves to positions of generals and princes is reflective of India’s openness,” said Akbaruddin.

The exhibition was organized by Dr Sylviane, Director of the LapidusCenter for Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center and Dr Kenneth X Robbins, collector and expert in Indian art. The exhibition started from Christened Africans in India: From Slaves to General and will continue till March 30 on display at the UN headquarters.

Habshis and Sidis, the East Africans enslaved in India and their rose in positions to military and political authority tells in the exhibition.

The exhibition shades light on how Indian society open-mindedness reflected the Africans who were an ethnic minority and small religion in the society. It also tells about the slave trade in the Indian Ocean and history of Africa and its diaspora in India.

Akbaruddin said that there are great scope for African in India and also mentioned a Nigerian Ugochi Latoya Igwilo who is one of India’s top model.

The exhibition is beautifully portrayed by pictures and texts.It is a part of the observance of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which is held every year on March 25.

“Remember Slavery: Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots” is the theme this year. The exhibition has been held in some Indian cities and UNESCO in Paris. It was also shown at the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in October 2015 in New Delhi.(IANS)

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

World Hindu Congress, Hindu
Hindus don’t oppose anyone, don’t aspire to dominate: RSS chief

“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

Hindu, Mosque
Photo credit: theguardian.com

A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads To Ban On Trucks And Construction

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)