Skip to main content

(53): Salaam, Namaste, Sat Sri Akal INDIA

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim

Why did you come to study in India if it is not better than your country, Nigeria?

Three keen followers of my blog, one Indian and two Nigerians, and whom I respect, impliedly asked me the above after reading one of my non-romantic articles on India. Yes, India is ahead of Nigeria in terms of many developmental indexes like economy, military establishment and infrastructure. It is however ahead of it also on various other unmentionable indexes such as racism, communal clashes, maternal mortality, female foeticide and infanticide; child labour and slavery, etc. Though, mosaic as India is, you can’t, or rather shouldn’t, generalize. No hyperbole in the above comparison: each country has its good and bad sides.

My coming to India, as I said before, was deliberate and purposed. I dug deeper and had a lengthy back-and-forth over email with the university I was joining. My area of specialization is film-related (not English as many, I mean many, people think). Needless to mention, the glamorous Indian film industry, Bollywood is famous worldwide. So you can construe the correlation. As a developing nation like Nigeria, I expected living expense to be affordable. And it is. The U.S, with Hollywood and all, would have been a better option. But going there is much tougher for obvious reasons.

India is not that a terrible choice, either. Our university claims to be one of the leading private institutions in the country. I however think there’s much to be desired, especially in terms of academic strength. They, nonetheless, undeniably have a very good infrastructure and impeccable administration. They also provide students and staff with a 24/7 high tech WiFi connection across its 600 acres campus. There are thousand of students some from many countries, mainly African and Indian subcontinent as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, others. 

Rest assured, I would naturally miss India when I am gone in a few days away. I will miss the relatively stable power supply, unlimited and yet cheap internet connection, books (as a bibliophile) and a few other pleasures on offer not that effortlessly obtainable in Nigeria.

As aforesaid, India is more advanced than Nigeria. That does not, as you well know, deter me from dissecting things I have seen around and writing on the same. I have discussed with so many foreign students about their prior and present perception of India and our university. More than majority expressed an unreserved dissatisfaction and disappointment. Many of them realized the reality of what’s truly India when only they came here. This corroborates a popular saying that seeing is believing.

The India seen on the media, often in the Bollywood films, is chiefly an ideal India. It’s noteworthy though that one seldom sees the real portrayal of the country in a few other films. Not often. Indian government do not openhandedly welcome criticism. They censor the media, especially foreign ones. A few months ago, the BBC was seriously warned, nay, threatened, for broadcasting a documentary on the rampant cases of rape in the country. The Qatari Al Jazeera English channel got a harsher punishment for another petty ‘wrongdoing’ as it was taken off the air for five days. There are several other similar cases. An appalling portmanteau word: “presstitude” is used by many fanatical nationalists to refer to any local media house that broadcast any ‘un-Indian’ sentiment.

As a black African and Muslim, I, sometime along with my wife, have faced several challenges in my two-year stay here. I have also had my good, memorable time. Often said in the many articles I wrote on the country, Indians are equally individuals as any other people. Thus, I didn’t expect to be treated in the same way by everybody. To be very sincere, the good side of the people over-weighs the bad one. But, to also be very honest, the bad side is felt and stays afresh all the more in my reminiscences. That’s the psyche of humans.

I thank Allah, first and then the government of Kano state under its ex-governor, Engr. Rabi’u Kwankwaso; my employers, Bayero University, Kano and all who supported me in whatever way from India, Nigeria and elsewhere. This is my last article in, perhaps on, India.

I forgive whoever regrets maltreating me, and wish for life to teach lesson to whoever doesn’t repent doing the same. I know that I might have also offended someone. It wasn’t intentional and I thus ask for your forgiveness. The value of human being irrespective of his race, religion, region, ethnicity, etc should not be reduced to condescension of any sort. One World, One Love.

Popular posts from this blog

(76): Girl-Child as ‘Endangered’ Human in our Society

Muhsin Ibrahim
“Muhsin”, Shamsiyya (not a real name) called my attention. I answered, and listened. “Come and marry me”, She finished, retorting my allegation that she was still unmarried not because she lacks suitors, but for her being too choosy. It was later that I pondered on our lengthy conversation and realised that I was wrong. Many men are afraid of successful women like her. She is from a wealthy family, has two degrees and works with an international organisation. She also confided to me that she could not stretch the cultural perception and norms to seriously ask anyone to marry her. She would instead continue to wait for Allah’s choice. I was left in a daze.
I came back home, sat down and ruminated over our chit-chat. I then recalled Dr Muhammad Tahar Adamu aka Baba Impossible’s lecture back in our freshman year in the university. He one-day spent many minutes of his period admonishing the ladies in the class on relationship and marriage issues. He was u…

(88): Kannywood Movie Review: Husna ko Huzna

Director:         Falalu A. Dorayi Producer:       Tahir I. Tahir Story:              M.M. Haruna Language:      Hausa Year:               2017 Company:      M.M. Haruna Film Production, Kano
Introduction The film, Husna ko Huzna, comes with quite some novelties. Notably, it was not hurriedly produced as were many movies in Kannywood film industry. I can remember being told of its pre-production and production phases almost a year ago. The post-production, too, took unconventional period before it’s finished. This is replete in the handling of the special effects (VFX) used in the film. The advertorial is yet another well-planned thing, for every now and then, listeners of different radio stations in Kano, and probably beyond, were informed about the film. The voiceover adds a freebie to the prospective viewers that the film was carefully subtitled in Standard English, unlike other films. Many viewers would not expect anything short of this as the executive producer cum screenwriter, M.M. Ha…

(16): Remembering our Slaughtered Sister, A’isha

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234 (Twitter)
Many people welcome the month of April by the popular April fool prank; the month, however, from the year 2012, will be remembered as April foul by the family and friends of Talban Taura, Alhaji Muhd Lawan (Alhaji Abba) who lives in Gwale LGA, Kano. A tragedy befell the family on the 1st April in that year, when his 20-year-old daughter, A’isha, was murdered in cold blood, just a few weeks away to her wedding. Forgive a little digression: this is the first written tribute I am paying to anyone’s life. This is, nonetheless, not because nobody so significant in my life has died before; in fact, people dearest and nearest to me like my mother, an eldest brother and sister, among others have died. To say I miss them is literally an understatement. I never forget to beseech Allah, the Exalted, to have mercy on their souls.

However, the death of A’isha is instead a unique one, for the cause was so unnatural, though unavoidable, fatalistically speak…