Monday, May 28, 2007

Annamaachaarya Kirthana

I like this kirthana, "Baavamulona Baahyamunadu...."I dont know why...

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The French - Indians Pondicherry

A southern Indian seaside town of Pondichery, a former French colony with 7,000 eligible voters, used to be a bastion of France's right. It has three other regions under this Union teritorry. They are Yanam, Mahe and Karaikal with another approximately 250 voters.

But for the first time a socialist candidate has come out ahead in the town's choice for a new French president, another sign that right-wing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy is hard to digest for non-white French.

In the first round of voting on April 22, the socialist Segolene Royal emerged with just over 36 percent of the vote against 34 percent for Sarkozy -- even though he is seen as the rightful heir to French "Gaullism," to which many in Pondichery attach themselves.

The territory, nestled in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and French soil until just 53 years ago, was among the first to rally to Charles de Gaulle's 1940 call for resistance against Germany.

The town is also still packed with reminders of its heritage -- police in kepi hats, French street names and a statue of Joan of Arc, a symbol used by the right wing.

But "it's anyone except right wing," explained Claude Marius, editor of the local French language Trait-d'Union newspaper. Even thousands of kilometres (miles) away in India, he said, "Right ideas scares people now."

The problem is Sarkozy's tougher stance on issues such as immigration, appealing to some in France but not in former colonies such as Pondichery.

A new immigration law pushed through last year by Sarkozy as interior minister, aimed at steering the country towards a policy of a more selective intake, did not go down well in the territory.

"In India most of the marriages are arranged," said Marius, explaining that ethnic Tamils from Pondichery residing in France like to "return home to take an Indian wife."

But he said the French consulate in Pondichery now views such unions as marriages of convenience, refusing to issue the necessary paperwork for newlyweds to live together in France.

More about it is here.