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Zee Bangla: Connecting Diaspora to their homes


When Chirag Biswas relocated to the US from India, one of the things he missed most was being able to watch his country’s native TV channels. Through his new locale offered access to hundreds of networks, shows, and TV streaming services, he longed to watch his favorite channel from back home — Zee Bangla.

Fortunately for him, watching India’s Zee Bangla TV online is not only possible — it’s free, and the channel maintains a vast library of video-on-demand content.

Zee Bangla first launched in 1996 as India’s first Bengali-language cable channel. Since then it has grown to be one of the most popular broadcasters in the country, with a programming lineup studded with hit shows. Some of the biggest favorites are Didi No. 1, Rashi, Raikishori (a “passionate love story”), and Boyei Gelo.

It’s not only Indians living abroad that tune to stream full episodes of their beloved Zee Bangla shows. According to Mr. Biswas, second-generation Indians born in the US, but who speak Bengali as well as English, watch the channel online to get a taste of the country they may never have visited but which is a part them and their history.

“It’s so great to watch Zee Bangla from here [in the US],” Mr. Biswas said. “It takes me back to home, and one day my children I hope will love watching it too.”

India has a diverse and dynamic selection of TV channels. One of the reasons there are so many — aside from the fact that the country’s population is robust and rising — is because of the number of different languages spoken. When a channel launches in a language like Bengali or Telugu or Hindi or Urdu it has a built-in audience waiting to check it out.

With so many India TV channels streaming online — many of them offering a live stream, like 24 Ghanta, and others like Zee Bangla providing full episodes of shows on demand — anyone can see what the country’s TV has to offer.


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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

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