From the Editor's Desk

August 2009

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Best Regards

Sayantan Chakravarty


Ten years is a long time in a city’s history, especially when the city happens to be the nation’s capital. With all the pulls and pressures of a burgeoning population, it is never easy to administer Delhi. But in the last 10 years you could say that Delhi has improved through innovative administration by its Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Delhi is today a modern metropolis with its fair share of upscale malls, food courts, swank theatres, memorable festivals and of course a world class public transport network that is only going to get better as the Commonwealth Games 2010 nears. Yet, what has kept Dikshit grounded and focused is her attention towards the large sections of the urban poor. A number of schemes have been introduced to make the underprivileged sections an integral part of Delhi’s growth story. These are also sections that throw up a large number of voters, and have made a difference to the Congress’ fortunes in Delhi. Overall, the chief minister’s journey is a great story to tell.

Also in this issue we have an authoritative account of colonial emigration by writer Leela Gujadhur Sarup. While Dikshit spent a decade rebuilding Delhi, Sarup spent a decade researching the movement of indentured workers to several sugar colonies of the world. Documentation was never complete at any one library or archives, so she had to travel all over the country to complete her records. What she found had to be pieced together mostly through hand-written notes since photocopying is not allowed in most of our libraries. We have carried excerpts from her latest book.

Another lady who features prominently in this issue is Sadia Shepard. Her journey through the Ben Israel community in India is fascinating and connects her with a past she rarely knew about while growing up in the United States.

There are several other features and articles to keep you interested in India and in her very large diaspora.

Happy reading.

Sayantan Chakravarty

Consulting Editor
Rakesh Krishnan

Contributing Editors
Vatsala Kaul, Dinesh Raheja, Indrani Talukdar (all India), Srikanth Beldona, Dharminder Diwan, Arnelle Hartenstein (all US), Monica Kapoor (New Zealand), Ramesh Mathew (Qatar)

Correspondent: Ummul Saba

Art & Design
Jaydev Bisht (Head - Design and Layout)
Debashish Dutta (Consultant - Design)

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