Putting Ylias Akbaraly on the cover of INDIA EMPIRE was a great idea. His list of accomplishments is indeed long: a string of successful businesses and charities. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman citation is, therefore, a clear recognition of all these activities. However, one thing I don’t understand is why he wants to set up a charity in New Delhi. Why not Bihar, UP, Bengal or Orissa. Surely there is more poverty in those places.
Ylias Akbaraly is a true Indian at heart. He says that he’s very positive about India, and sees the opportunities. Unlike many westerners he realises that this is not the India of 1960. But most importantly, he says that the country has moved forward thanks to the vision of people like APJ Abdul Kalam. Indians have forgotten the huge contributions of this former Indian President. Akbaraly shows great awareness of Indian affairs. Most PIOs would blandly reel off names like Gandhi, Nehru, Indira and even Buddha! Akbaraly is refreshingly different.
The column by Anand Ramlogan was brilliant. Indians living abroad are torn between two worlds—the one they have adopted and the mother country they have left behind. However, it’s not all that scary. Indian parents who bring up their kids and inclucate pride in India will see good results. Parents who talk about India frequently create a sense of wonder in their children for India. I and my wife constantly teach our kids Indian manners, talk to them about Indian history, about it’s greatness, inventiveness and patriotism, bravery, culture and wealth and its progress to great power status. My kids, therefore, walk with their heads held high in a western country.
“Please Wake Up, Reunion Needs India” was one of the best articles I’ve read this year. Jean Ramasamy’s impassioned appeal to his mother country creates such a big impact. While we all know about the travails of Indians during colonisation and the diaspora in English speaking parts of the world, this is something out of the big blue. The French weren’t any better. Imagine, Indians weren’t allowed an Indian first name. And to think that such a state of affairs was being created by the nation that parrots the slogan “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. India should immediately fund a cultural centre in Reunion Is and facilitate the movement to and fro of Indians and PIOs.
I must congratulate you for the superb PBD issue. It was packed with information, articles, speeches, memoirs, ruminations, interviews and ideas that stimulate. It’s the kind of issue you treasure for ever. Yours is the only genuine magazine for Indians abroad.
Playing Hardball was excellent. I’ve read many stories on Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel both in the Indian and western media, but yours was really the best. The fact that you gave us a post-euphoria story makes it all the more credible. The boys are hoping to make a mark in the world of baseball in America and our wishes are with them. Jai Hind!
Baseball is the quintessential American sport and for Indians to have made it thus far is quite commendable. The fact is that Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel are still very young. They had not even heard of the sport until a year ago. For them to have landed a place in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ scheme of things is amazing news. Rakesh K. Simha is right when he says that even if they do not turn out to be the next Barry Bonds or Babe Ruth, they will inspire more Indians to take up baseball. At least that will wean some Indians from their addiction to cricket.
HEALTH NEEDS SPACE
INDIA EMPIRE has a couple of great columns on health. I feel you should have more such features because health is everyone’s concern.