Issue 13: Come, Africa (//)
The relationship between the Indian subcontinent and the African continent has always been one of political solidarity. India and Pakistan were among the earliest nations to voice the need for boycotting the apartheid regime of South Africa. The South West African People's Organization (SWAPO) was accorded the status of a sovereign nation in South Asia way before Namibian independence influence. The death of Patrice Lumumba was mourned in the streets of Dhaka, Calcutta and Karachi. And the common experience of colonization led to the creation of a vast South Asian diaspora all across Africa.
There has also been a living history of eastward migration by Africans into South Asia. From the Sidis of Western India and the Chaush colonies of Hyderabad, down to the students from Kenya and Nigeria who have chosen to settle down in the region, there has been a history of coexistence that provides a welcome counterpart to the harsh events of 1971 in Uganda. The cultural links between the nations are even older. From the spice route, which established trade between the west coast of the subcontinent and east Africa, down to the popularity of Bollywood movies in Morocco, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania, the two regions continue to enact an easy, matter-of-fact tradition of a shared life and a shared struggle.
In this issue of SAMAR magazine, we invite you to sample several ways in which Africa and South mesh and interweave. From both sides of the Indian ocean, we present a medley of articles on the history of centuries of engagement, with some poetry thrown in. Enjoy!