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Asia Watch

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four-nation African diplomatic safari from July 7 covered three different kinds of African neighbours across the Indian Ocean. Kenya and Tanzania are former British colonies, with a large Indian diaspora at the time of their freedom; Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony, like Goa; and South Africa the second biggest African economy and last bastion of apartheid freed only in the post-Cold War. It was also the laboratory of Mahatma Gandhi’s experiments with civil disobedience. But history can bind as indeed crucible of residual hurts, both of which linger in the region.

 
 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ongoing four nation tour to Africa — Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya — comes at a time when Africa is changing fast, with this change auguring well for India-Africa relations.

 
 

India’s relationship with the African continent may be a centuries-old civilisational compact but as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to reinvigorate that relationship in all its nuances and across the full spectrum of diplomatic ties, the focus must, first and foremost, be on intensifying political engagement. 

 
 

The choice of the four countries by Mr Modi shows calibrated strategic thinking.

 

June 2016 has seen an unprecedented intensification of India’s relationship with Africa. In the first week, Vice President Hamid Ansari visited Tunisia and Morocco. In the second week, President Pranab Mukherjee launched his whirlwind tour of Western and Southern Africa, covering Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia.

 
 

Tunisia was the pioneer in the Arab Spring which was a moment of hope for the region’s people, leading to the overthrow of Egypt’s long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak, followed by the one-year rule of the Muslim Brotherhood government  of Mohamed Morsi. 

 
 

The new Arab nations are finding it too difficult to live up to their artificial identities founded on European precepts.

 

Israel's national water company on Wednesday cut crucial water supplies to large areas of the occupied West Bank, leaving tens of thousands of Palestinians without access to safe drinking water during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

 

What distinguishes our relationship with Africa is our shared empathy arising out of our common past and suffering from colonial subjugation. In fact, India raised its voice against the pernicious system of apartheid even before we had gained our Independence and remained at the forefront of international campaign for its eradication

 

Considering the help provided to big foreign manufacturers in Morocco over the past few years, it would have taken a serious effort by them to fail. Renault, a French carmaker, for example, is thriving: of 2.8m cars it made globally last year, one in ten trundled out from its two shiny assembly plants in Tangier and Casablanca. 

 
 


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Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
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As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
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Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
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This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
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History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
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