New Delhi: October 30, 2015. (PCP) “It was a great occasion when the world witnessed 54 sovereign African nations sitting with India in New Delhi in 2015, just a repeat of Bandung conference in 1954 and emergence of Non-Aligned Movement in search for peace and progress of the third world. The visit of 20 heads of African states and participation of 54 African nations has left a unique message for the Indian leadership that rule India today that the contribution to consolidate friendship and unity of India with African world by Mahatma Gandhi, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Mrs. Indira Gandhi deserved attention of the new generation that India under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mrs. Indira Gandhi contributed tremendously to reach out to the people of East, West, North and South Africa. The rulers today should not forget that past history that gave rise to India as India’s ambassador of peace, cooperation and mutual co-existence has to be kept in mind with the political actors of that time.” This was reaction of Prof. Bhim Singh, Sr. Advocate and expert on Indo-African and Indo-Arab relations with several books to his credit. It was Prof.Bhim Singh (then globetrotter Bhim Singh) who travelled around the world on motorcycle(s) between 1967-1973. He is the only person in the world to cross Sahara Desert on motorcycle from Morocco to Senegal via Spanish Sahara in 20 days in 1971 on motorcycle creating history.
Bhim Singh travelled from North Africa to West Africa, Central Africa, South Africa and to East Africa on road in about seven months. His book, ‘Around the World on Motorcycle’ provides the glimpses of the African world, its people, its culture, its geographical formation, colonial affects of different colonial cultures. North Africa from Sudan to Mauritania is predominantly part of Arab world wedded with Arab language and culture, Arab civilization and history. This region is placed at different situation politically, socially and even ideologically. India has not cared to develop socio, cultural or political relations with this part of the African world after Mrs. Gandhi’s period. Similarly West Africa has a different kind of political situation which include Senegal (French Culture), Ghana and small other states. The South Africa under colonial rule of Netherlands has slightly different political culture and situation in that part. The Congo which was ruled by Belgium needs a different approach to understand its problems and situation. East African world is altogether different story. This part was governed by British colonial rulers who left a different kind of culture and system demolishing the ancient African cultural heritage. US President Obama’s father was also a national of East African state of Kennya.
The Prime Minister’s address to 54 African nations on 29th October, 2015 though full of fresh ideas, proposals to bring 1.25 billion Indians to 1.25 billion Africans for bringing two great civilizations of the world closer yet it did not come out with any proposal or suggestion to develop structure for sharing information between India and 54 African nations which are placed in different cultural and political platforms.
Prof. Bhim Singh said, “My personal experience after having travelled through Africa on broken roads and even on donkeys in the Congo when he lost his motorcycle has made him to learn about the loving and the most beautiful people in the African world who have been kept aloof from the wretched of the world by the Western colonial powers.” Prof. Bhim Singh said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should propose to set up different research centre for different regions of the African world. India must understand that Africa needs much more than solar energy or FDIs in 54 African nations. India has a chance to work for African nations to re-write their history which has been destroyed by the colonial rulers; Italians (Libya), French (Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal), Netherlands (South Africa where Prince of human degradation on the basis of colour still shine sharp), Britain (East Africa and Sudan where the two nation theory is still burning the fire of division, partition and racism).
Prof. Bhim Singh hoped that media in India and the men who understand the African history and composite culture should come out boldly and fearlessly in consolidating the unity, friendship, understanding with the African people so that India and Africa can play a bigger role. It is hoped that African heads of states and the leadership from 54 countries take a cue from the Constitution of India, its democracy and respect for fundamental rights of all human beings on earth. That shall provide solar energy to every person in the East and the West. Let Africa awake and let India shine.