From the Editor's Desk

January 2009

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Best Regards

Sayantan Chakravarty


We have all known about the emigration of indentured Indian workers to different colonies of the British Empire. For the greater part of the 19th century it constituted one of the largest inter-continental migration movements in the history of mankind. The descendants of those workers are today's People of Indian Origin (PIOs).

Interestingly, there are memorials in some parts of the world to mark the starting and concluding parts of such large-scale emigration. Ghana has its slave posts. Mauritius has its Aapravasi Ghat in memory of the arrival of indentured workers. US has the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial at Annapolis dedicated to the earliest slave arrivals to that country. In India, thus far, we've had nothing symbolic.

But now there is hope. That such a place will come up here. It should turn out be a place that will attract thousands of PIOs, as it was the starting point for their ancestors who journeyed across the oceans to unknown lands. It is the Bhowanipore Depot on 14A D.L. Khan Road in Kolkata. It has been declared a heritage property. Much of the credit for this must go to Leela Gujadhur Sarup, an Indo-Mauritian based in Kolkata. All that needs to be done now is to form a trust, and build a monument at the place in memory of the emigrants. We bring you an account of the place, and what it might mean to generations of PIOs.

GOPIO President Inder Singh has written an incisive piece on the immigration of Indians to the United States, the hardships that came their way, the racial attacks that they resiliently withstood before gradually making their mark in American society. We plan to serialize his writings, and you'll find more of them in the forthcoming issues.

We have interviews with the Mauritian President Sir Aneerod Jugnauth, MOIA secretary K Mohandas and the CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee. MOIA and CII are partners at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the flagship event for overseas Indians. Jugnauth, the then Prime Minister of Mauritius, was the chief guest at the very first PBD in 2003.

It is also time we acknowledged some top class editorial work. Heading our copy desk is Rakesh K Simha based in Auckland whose editing skills match up with the best in the world. And Jaydev Bisht in New Delhi heads our design unit and has tried to provide our magazine a fresh new look and feel.

We do hope the new year brings to all of you fresh new opportunities and prosperity. Do keep telling your stories back home for us to keep adding value to INDIA EMPIRE. And to your lives. 

Happy reading.

Sayantan Chakravarty

Consulting Editor
Rakesh K. Simha 

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

Correspondent: Ummul Saba

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

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