i discovered this pic. tucked away at a remote corner of the UN’s visitor’s lobby, nesting un-praised, unsung beside several other pictures of the peacekeeping forces that the UN deploys across the globe. This is the only pic. of an Indian peacekeeping force; more notably, the caption informs that this is the first all-woman patrol team to be deployed by the UN. Formed on Jan 2007, the Indian team is stationed at
I am not naively patriotic & like everyone else, am skeptical of the UN’s role in really providing aid, support & succor to an increasingly fragmented & divided world. In fact, it was disquieting to see our guide mouth a stream of banalities justifying the existence of the UN as an international organization that looks out for every nations’ best interests. I really wasn’t in the mood to get into any political debate but her continuous “Pls feel free to ask me any questions that u may have” finally broke any sense of political correctness I was striving to exhibit. In ans. to my query regarding the absol. breakdown of peacekeeping & lack of UN intervention in countries like Rwanda & earlier during Amin’s rule in Uganda, I was primly informed that the “UN has to work within the parameters set out by member nations & also follow a democratically approved manner of operation that imposes several restrictions on it, which may not be immediately apparent to outsiders.” I realized then what wonderful cover the English language provides for covert operations that ppl like me r to dense to comprehend!
Anyway, as I saw this pic, i wasn’t aware of any conscious sense of pride. However, happy I was at finding this small token of
& indianess in a place thousands of miles away from home. Also, an overwhelming feeling of being connected to India , of being strangely moved, of gratitude that it is thru. the efforts of these men & women that nations write off international debts & any political party who attempts to arrogate such credit to its share shud be kicked. My camera was acting up & despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to keep the flash from exploding. Yet, I wanted to share it with those who visit my blog. India
This is seemingly unrelated but made me happy. Just read about Prez Kalam’s pan-African E-Network Project. If
Africa has to progress with the rest of the world, this is the manner in which it must be done – by linking commercial interests with progress. For , this is a magnificent opportunity to foray into the dark continent's ICT development before India sets shop. China will have a ready market to sell its telecom apparatus, IT services & peddle its expertise in long distance education & tele-medicine. For India Africa, this is a unique opportunity to connect its 53 countries thru. a fiber optic network to enable better access to healthcare, education & technology at supremely affordable costs.
With the traditional concept of armchair charity being replaced by a more healthy & competitive idea of charity generating revenue for both the recipient & the giver, the E-Network Project seems a much better alternative to Africa’s woes rather than the UN’s doling of aid to the starving masses of sub-Saharan Africa.