Love transcends all barriers. H.E.M. Olabiyi Babaloba Joseph Ya, Chairman of the executive board, UNESCO delivered a lecture ?Africa, African diaspora and the prospect of global cultural dialogue? at India International Centre in Delhi on September 4. Shri Joseph Ya lauded India hailing, ?coming to India is equivalent to a pilgrimage in the cradle of wisdom?.
The speaker was imbued with Tagore'sdoctrine of permeance. In his words, ?As an overture to my remarks, I have found no more inspiring relevant and melodious notes than a poem of the most illustrious Baul of modern India. Let Tagore speak of Africa:
In an insane time, the long, long past,
When the creator himself gravely displeased himself,
Destroyed his own creations over and over again,
The ocean with its angry arms, snatched,
Away a piece of the eastern earth,
And called it Africa?.
Alas, Africa of shadows,
Your human face remains unknown
To the darkened vision of contempt.
Human hunters all.
The iron chains,
And claws sharper than wolves.
Their pride blinder than your sunless forests.
The barbaric lust of civilised men
Revealed in ugliness of their own
Only a poet from India, like Tagore, rich in poetic sedimentation spanning millennia could have captured the African condition in such deceitfully simple, but rhythmic and beautiful words so reminiscent of the verse of our African village bards.? Shri Joseph Ya was in all praise of Tagore and emphasised on the line from the aforementioned stanza, ?Your human face remains unknown that deplores the apathy meted out to the Africans?
He strongly felt that both African and Indian cultures need to live upto ?Tagore'sideal of a new humanity ?where the world meets in one nest? (yatra visram bhavatyekanidam)?. He exhorted that both India and Africa wield potential to become the ?wisdom nucleus? that would exchange those elements from other cultures ?to drive our humanity back to what Tagore once termed ?the moral orbit?, a sine qua non condition for a newly appeased humanism and a globalisation with human face?.
The discerning audience that had likes of Kapila Vatsyayan, Pavan Verma and IIC president M.G.K. Menon among others were all impressed with Shri Joseph Ya'serudition about India and Africa alike. His rare insight into global culture let large several cogitations and ruminations in the mindscape of many of his spectators.