There is a special kind of celebration on New Year’s Eve in Khartoum the capital city of Sudan. The Shabab (youth) are on the streets merry making the whole night. 1st of January in Sudan has more significance than being the first day of a new year. The official ceremony that marked the Independence of Sudan was held on 1 January 1956 at the People’s Palace. That day both the Egyptian and British flags were lowered and the new Sudanese flag was raised by the first Prime Minister Ismail al-Azhari. Today is 62nd Independence Day of Sudan. Interestingly most Sudanese have 1st January recorded as their date of birth. Today I have to wish 114 Sudanese friends in Facebook on their birthday. Fortunately today is a public holiday.
The Embassy of India, Khartoum usually has a Sudanese speaker in almost every event organized by them in Khartoum. To celebrate the National Unity Day on 31st October’17, which commemorates the birthday of the Iron man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the speaker was Prof. Abdelgadir Elfadil Abdelgadir of the Department of Environment, AlNilein University. Prof.Elfadil studied at the University of Agriculture at Bangalore, India and later obtained his PhD from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.
The welcome speech at the function was delivered by Ambassador of India H.E.Amrit Lugun who also spoke about the great contributions made by Sardar Patel in integrating 565 Princely States and in unifying the nation. He was a barrister, statesman, a leader of Indian National Congress and one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India.
Prof.Elfadil in his speech said the Sardar which means a leader was the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India and made huge efforts to restore the peace all across the nation. Sardar Patel is also referred as Bismarck of India but some say that his task of unifying India was more herculean than Bismarck in Germany.
At the function, the speeches were followed by two films one on the theme of Unity in Diversity in India and a documentary on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
In order to remember him annually, Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) was introduced by the Government of India in 2014. Many believe that if Sarder Vallabhbhai Patel had dealt with Kashmir independently there would have been one Jammu & Kashmir.
Last month my Industrialist neighbour Ashok Bhai Parekh informed me that a play named ’Yugpurush’ about Mahatma Gandhi’s spiritual mentor Shrimad Rajchandraji will be staged in Khartoum. I had never read or heard about Shrimad Rajchandraji. I revisited the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi –‘The stories of my experiments with truth’. There I found in Chapter 26 the title ‘Raychandbhai’. This was the person Gandhiji often referred to as Kavi (Poet).The other name for Raychandbhai was Rajchandraji and Shrimad was an honorific or title. The play directed by Rajesh Joshi, written by Uttam Gada and music scored by Sachin-JIga is an award winning play. Besides many awards, Yugpurush has won the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Excellence Award 2017. The creativity and techniques in the play are par excellence. The actors were amazing with 11 actors playing the role of more than 50 people. The lead role of Shrimad Rajchandraji was very well portrayed by Parthsarthi Vaidya . Gandhi was influenced by three persons in his life: John Ruskin, Leo Tolstoy and Shrimad Rajchandraji and of course Shrimad Rajchandraji a living contact had the deepest impression. Raychandbhai sowed the seeds of Truth, Non-violence and Compassion in the mind of Gandhi. They had met in Bombay and continued to exchange 200 letters while Gandhi was in South Africa. The spiritual relationship transformed Mohandas to a Mahatma. Kavi told Gandhi how one can’t wash the blood stains of violence with violence. You need the pure water of non-violence to wash the stains of violence. He also taught him that life is temporary and the body is perishable but prayers lead us to God and the prayers remain forever. This play has had more than 900 shows in almost 300 cities in many languages all over the world and touched the hearts and minds of more than 600,000 viewers. Many of us in Khartoum were lucky to view this play at Friendship Theatre Hall on Friday 29th September. There were two shows one in Gujarati in the morning for the Omdurman Indian Community and another in English in the evening. Ambassador of India H.E.Amrit Lugun welcomed the viewers and the Chief Guest was Federal Minister of Culture Altayeb Hassan Badawi. There were other dignitaries present at the show including Actor and Director Ali Mahdi Nouri who found the play amazing from every department. We remain ever grateful to the benevolent sponsors of the play and the joint organisers namely Embassy of India, Khartoum and Omdurman Indian Community for bringing this heart touching and thought provoking play to Khartoum.
My journalist Mohamed Sharfee dedicated his page today in the local Arabic daily Al Sahafa to Mahatma Gandhi. He also spoke about the arrangements made by the Indian community in Sudan to celebrate Gandhi’s birthday.
Yugpurush is an award winning play performed by artists from India. The play in English is about Mahatma Gandhi and his spiritual mentor. Book your free tickets at
http://Buytickets.at/yugpurush for Friday 29 Sept at 4:30 PM at Friendship Hall Theatre. If you have any problems call Grishma Gandhi 0923047382
Traveled 200 kms every day for the last 8 days to work at Wad Madani, Gadaref, Rabak, Kosti, Um Rawaba, El Obeid and Atbara. I was lucky to have Abdalla who drove the Land Cruiser. Thus got the opportunity to capture interesting moments on the roads through my camera. Take a look…
The Police Association of Omdurman felicitated Dr. Anil Kumar Mithani at an Iftar hosted by the Indian club in Omdurman on the 12th day of Ramadan. Dr.Anil Kumar Mithani a Senior Consultant Urologist and President of the Omdurman Indian Community (truly the Indian diaspora, Sudanese nationals of Indian origin mainly from Rajkot) has excellent public relations. Senior Police Officers like Haytham Osman and others participated at the Iftar which presented a commendable group performance of songs and dance by children of the Police community. Ambassador of India who returned from Asmara the same evening attended the event. He conveyed Ramadan Greetings to all and praised the Police for the good job done since the law and order situation is very much under control in Sudan. He appreciated the joint cultural exchange between the Police Association and the Indian community and looked forward to more such events.
First Vice President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan Lt.Gen. Bakri Hassan Saleh inaugurated the Industrial Fair at Burri on Thursday under the theme – Made in Sudan. He was accompanied by many Ministers and the Governor of Khartoum. 193 companies from the Food Industry, 48 Engineering industries and 8 Universities participated. The only Pharmaceuticals manufacturer Amipharma made their presence felt at the exhibition. As you can see in these pictures right from shoes to mangoes, made in Sudan, were showcased with enthusiasm. It was a pleasure meeting the suave and energetic State Minister of Industry Dr.Abdu Daoud. He affirmed that the industry is the driving force behind the economy and such exhibitions would go a long way to further consolidate on the Industrial growth. He added that 8 Universities were exhibiting their 80 Industrial Innovations. He is hopeful of increased production and productivity for industrial development.