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'Will Mother India open her arms to us?'

January 12, 2009
If you want to dominate the world, you must have Africa on your side... was the sentiment that echoed at the Africa session of the recently-concluded Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

Stressing on the need for greater co-operation between India and the African Continent, delegates said it was time to implement the declaration signed between New Delhi and African Heads of State in 2008.

Taking part in the discussion -- chaired by Tata International Limited Chairman Syamal Gupta -- Jean-Regis Ramsamy, president of the Reunion section of the Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives, said: "We left India 6 generations ago. We had British travel passes, which the French government in the Reunion burnt. They did not like the British. So we have no records to prove that we came from here. But we have photographs of our migrants. Will you recognise them? All we have is our looks and out surnames. Will Mother India open her arms to us?"

Image: Tata International Limited Chairman Syamal Gupta chaired the session.

Text: A Ganesh Nadar | Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

Also see: 'I have convinced our Diaspora that India cares'

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