Mali : A New Battleground


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 16 , 2013           07.55 P.M.

Birth of Al – Qaeda and demolition of World Trade Centre in New York could be called water – shed moments in the history of modern world . It spawned many Jehads by Al Qaeda against the ” Satanic Western powers ” and several wars by the Western powers to safeguard the world from the ” Islamic menace ” .

War in Afghanistan and killing of Osama Bin Laden are well chronicled and thus need no repetition . But when I read about the recent attack on Mali by French army , I was forced to consult Wikipedia for the history of Mali , as I was not very much familiar with the history of Africa in general and Mali in particular .

An enlargeable map of the Republic of Mali

An enlargeable map of the Republic of Mali (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Green: Mali Federation

Location of Mali Federation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in West Africa . Mali is bordered by Algeria on the north , Niger on the east , Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire on the south , Guinea on the south-west , and Senegal and Mauritania on the west . Its capital is Bamako .

Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara, while the country’s southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Sénégal rivers. The country’s economic structure centers on agriculture and fishing. Some of Mali’s prominent natural resources include gold and salt. About half the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

The Songhay Empire at one point controlled alm...

The Songhai Empire at one point controlled almost all of Mali (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Map of the successor states of the Ghana Empir...

Map of the successor states of the Ghana Empire, on the upper Niger river valley, West Africa, circa 1200 Common Era. These outlines are approximate, and should not suggest modern states with fixed borders. States in this era were centered around cities and strong places, with variations of influence radiating out from these points. C. 1200 on the eve of the rise of the Mali Empire, usually dated in the 1240s CE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade : the Ghana Empire , the Mali Empire (from which Mali is named), and the Songhai Empire . During its golden age , there was a flourishing of mathematics, astronomy, literature, and art .At its peak , Mali was one of the most expansive empires in the world at the time .In the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa , France seized control of Mali, making it a part of French Sudan . French Sudan (then known as the Sudanese Republic) joined with Senegal in 1959 , achieving independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation . Shortly thereafter , following Senegal’s withdrawal from the federation , the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali . After a long period of one-party rule , a 1991 coup led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic , multi-party state .

A conflict in northern Mali began in January 2012 . On 22 March 2012 , a group of junior soldiers seized control of the presidential palace and declared the government dissolved and its constitution suspended . On 6 April 2012 , rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) declared the secession of a new state , Azawad , from Mali . Shortly after, the MNLA were sidelined by Islamist groups associated with Al-Qaeda, and dropped their demands for secession . The soldiers who seized power allowed Dioncounda Traoré , the President of the National Assembly, to take office as head of state in accordance with the constitution , but they have continued to wield considerable power . Plans to re-take the north with international assistance are being formulated , after which the interim government plans to hold the long-delayed national elections .

This above mentioned history of Mali is taken from Wikipedia and is being re – produced here . I don’t know what will be the outcome of this war ? I fail to forecast the future of Mali ? Won’t be able to say whether Azawad will be a reality or not  ? Will Al Qaeda be rooted out from Mali like Afghanistan or will it succeed here ? Outcome of war is not certain in Mali but it is certain that Mali will not be same again .

It is my belief that my students of acting should know the history of our country and the world .I don’t want to declare my acting institute as the best acting institute of Mumbai or the best acting academy of India and not tell my students about the current affairs of the changing world . I don’t want to claim that I run the most successful acting class in Mumbai and my students are illiterate when it comes to world affairs .

I want that students of my acting class ,  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , should become a better citizen of India and a conscientious denizens of the world .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.youtube.com/ividur

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

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South Sudan : Birth of A Nation


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 08 , 2012           11.45 P.M.

It is not that every day a new country is born . It happens occasionally . It happens once in a life time . So when I read about the vivisection of Sudan , a country in Africa , I was pleasantly surprised .

In my 60 years of existence , I have seen birth of 28 major countries . I might be forgetting some tiny countries but 28 major countries took birth during my life time and I vividly remember those epoch – making moments . So when Sudan was split into two , I decided to chronicle these events .

Bangladesh :

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English: East Bengal Map

Map of Bangladesh

Map of Bangladesh

First major country , whose birth I remember , was Bangladesh . She came into being in 1971 after a bloody and gory battle with Pakistan . Formerly East Pakistan , the new country Bangladesh , became independent in 1971 .

Birth of Bangladesh is proof that religion can not be a binding factor for a country . In the case of Bangladesh , the common religion , Islam failed to unite two wings of Pakistan .

Bangladesh became a member of United Nation Organization in 1974 .

Vietnam :

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Map of Vietnam with Indo - China Nations

Vietnam’s journey as a nation is fascinating . From Imperial China to French colonizers she travelled through the centuries and the journey was an arduous one at times . Later on Vietnam accepted communism , she was divided into two ; North Vietnam and South Vietnam . North Vietnam was communist and South Vietnam was capitalist . Hanoi and Saigon were the capital cities of two Vietnams respectively . Both parts of Vietnams were united on July 02 , 1976 .

Vietnam is one nation . She was divided into two states . But nationalism prevailed and finally Vietnam was united again and again became one nation .

Germany :

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Map of East & West Germany

Map of Germany

History of Germany is very fascinating . Germany’s case , like Vietnam , is the classic case of a nation triumphing over a state . Basically a nation , Germany was divided into two states after 1945 . Communist East Germany was called German Democratic Republic with East Berlin as capital . Capitalist  West Germany was called Federal Republic of Germany with Bonn as capital .

After just 45 years of vivisection , German nationalism prevailed and Germany once again became one nation in 1990 . Berlin became the national capital and Berlin wall was demolished .

Case of Germany is like Vietnam . Both are one nation . Both were divided into two states . Political divisions like capitalism and communism were unable to divide them and they finally became one nation .

Union of Soviet Socialist Republic :

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Map of U.S.S.R.

If Vietnam and Germany are the symbols of victory of nation over state , then USSR is the symbol of failure of state in front of nationalism . Vietnam and Germany were one nation divided in two states . Finally they became one nation . USSR was one state with 15 nations and was dissolved in 1991 after 69 years of artificial existence and 15 independent and sovereign nations came into being .

Russia , Ukrain , Belarus , Uzbekistan , Turkmenistan , Tajikistan , Azerbijan , Kazakhistan , Kirghizstan , Georgia , Armenia , Moldova , Estonia , Latvia and Lithuania were merged to form USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ] . They became independent in 1991 .

It was most momentous time of my life . Mighty USSR just collapsed in front of my eyes and 15 new nations were born . It never seemed probable even a month before December 1991 that an invincible looking USSR will cease to exist .

All 15 nations became members of  U. N. O. in 1992 .

Yugoslavia ;

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Map of Yugoslavia

Former Parts of Yugoslavia

After fall of USSR , other communist nations were also became vulnerable . Yugoslavia , another classic case of one state and several nations , became unstable. Artificially created state of Yugoslavia disintegrated in 1991 after demise of Josip Broz Tito and collapse of Union of Soviet Socialist Republic .

Croatia , Serbia , Slovenia , Mecedonia , Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina asserted their nationalistic aspirations and became independent and sovereign nations .

Off all these 6 nations ; Croatia , Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina became members of U. N. O. in 1992 . Mecedonia became a member in 1993 , Serbia joined in 2000 and the 6th one Montenegro became member of U. N. O. in 2006 .

Czechoslovakia :

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Map of Czechoslovakia

Czech Republic & Slovakia

After USSR and Yugoslavia , another communist country , Czechoslovakia , collapsed soon . She was also one state and two nations . On January 01 , 1993 Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent and they both joined U. N. O. in 1993 .

South Sudan :

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Sudan’s case is different . She is one nation but religion divides them . North Sudan is Islamic and finds solace in the comity of Arab nations . South Sudan is Christian and is not comfortable with Arab identity .

After 5 decades of guerrilla struggle and loss of 2 million lives , South Sudan came into existence on July 09 , 2011 . She became Africa’s 54th state with Juba as the capital of the new state .

Religion failed to unite Pakistan and Bangladesh . In Sudan’s case religion divided them . Fate of South Sudan is unknown and precarious . Majority of its people live on less than a dollar a day . Almost three-quarter of  adults cannot read or write . Only 1% has a bank account .

Sudan with Khartoum as its capital is Islamic and prefers Arab identity . While South Sudan with Juba as its capital is Christian and prefers western identity . South Sudan is the 54th African state and 193rd member of United Nations Organization .

India South Sudan Locator

Location of India & South Sudan

Sudan - South Sudan - Locator map

Location of Sudan & South Sudan

Map of Sudan

Map of North & South Sudan

English: Seal of the Government of Southern Sudan

Seal of Government of South Sudan

So South Sudan became the 54th African State . She became newest and 193rd country of the world . She became the 28th nation to become independent in my life time . As I stated earlier , countries don’t take birth everyday . Birth of a nation is a rare experience . I am lucky that I could witness birth of 28 nations in my life .

It is rare . It is unique . It is not going to happen again . Welcome 193rd nation of this earth !

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

 

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