From the Editor's Desk

June 2010

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Best Regards

Sayantan Chakravarty


Our cover story this time is on two political stalwarts in the Indian diaspora—Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Navinchandra Ramgoolam. Both are now Prime Ministers of their respective nations, Trinidad and Tobago, and Mauritius. Both are descendants of indentured workers. Persad-Bissessar’s ascent to the top has been spectacular. It was only in January this year that she became the leader of her party—the United National Congress—by winning an internal election fairly and squarely. In the process she ended the stranglehold that her one time political mentor Basdeo Panday had in the party. Little would she have known then that bigger things awaited her, in less than four months time. The ruling PNM and its PM Patrick Manning fearing an internal rebellion and threat to his leadership declared elections with two-and-a-half years of term left. The move backfired. PNM was crushed at the polls by the UNC-led coalition and Persad-Bissessar was catapulted to prime ministership. She is now the first woman of Indian origin to be PM of a country outside India.

Ramgoolam’s victory too was nothing less than emphatic. Dispelling all doubts, and proving all skeptics wrong, his coalition swept to power in style. He astutely kept away all threats posed by Paul Berenger, a former Mauritian PM of French descent. While Mauritius’ ties with India are old and established since the days of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam—independent Mauritius’ first PM, Trinidad and Tobago will be looking to broad-base its relations with India. To a large extent, the PNM’s ambassador to India Pundit Maniedeo Persad has played a crucial role in strengthening ties between his country and India over the past 6 years. But now with Bissessar-Persad at the helm, that process can only be taken to the next level.

Elsewhere in the issue we have a write-up by Canadian MP Ruby Dhalla on the possibilities of greater synergy between India and Canada. There is a story on how India evolved in the minds of the American public through a set of TV programmes in the 1950s and 1960s.

There is a very comprehensive section on NRIs. And when it comes to mind over matter, Yogi Ashwini’s columns are always special and insightful.

Happy reading.

Sayantan Chakravarty

Consulting Editor
Rakesh Krishnan

Head - Design and Layout
Jaydev Bisht

Contributions From
Paras Ramoutar
Rami Ranger
Ruby Dhalla
Michael Macy
Jagannadham Thunuguntla

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