Thursday, May 30, 2013

From our archives: PM Kamla at Kolkota Memorial

In January 2011 the Kolkata Memorial was opened in tribute to some one-and-a half million indentured labourers were transported from here in Garden Reach to destinations in the British, French and Dutch empires.

In our own time the descendants of those who departed from Garden Reach have ascended to the highest offices in their respective countries.

All of us would recall Sir S. Ramgoolam as Prime Minister of Mauritius, Ramdat Misier as Acting President of Suriname and R. Shankar who became President in 1997. In Guyana, Dr. Cheddi Jagan was elected Executive President in 1992 and he was followed by Bharath Jagdeo and now Donald Ramoutar.

In 1987, Justice Noor Hassanali was elected President of Trinidad and Tobago and re-elected five years later; and in 1995 the trade unionists/lawyer, Basdeo Panday, was elected Prime Minister of our nation.

Throughout this long journey from Garden Reach to a far-flung diaspora, the spiritual and cultural heritage of this great civilization has inspired and nurtured its numerous diasporas.

At the present time India's emergence as a world power has provided a further boost to that self-confidence, enabling her diaspora to contribute fully to the development of their many respective nations.

In that sense India's ancient message of whole world being one family bears special resonance in today's world. So I would end with that Sanskrit mantra, Vasudevam Kutumbakam, meaning that the whole world is one family.

The Kolkota Memorial
CLICK HERE for the story: PM Kamla's speech (edited) at Kolkata Memorial

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai