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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Uganda sociology ~ Indian connection !!

Western World depicts most African countries as suffering from poverty, disease and lawlessness.  Have near heard or read of this place as named the Pearl of Africa because of it’s a unique natural destination as compared to other African countries basically because of its large forested area composed of national parks and wildlife reserves giving home to a large numbers of primates including chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, butterflies and birds. Its  national parks offer a variety of wildlife which includes – Lions, buffalo, elephant, leopard, giraffe and other several species of animals not found anywhere in Africa. The country comprises of 10 national parks with a number of wildlife and forest reserves. Including Bwindi national park, Mgahinga national park, Semliki, Queen Elizabeth, Budongo, Kanyiyo and Pabidi forest reserves, Murchison falls national park and several others.  It is also blessed with water bodies including – Lake Victoria, Kyoga, Albert, Edward and several crater lakes especially around the Rwenzori foothills. ~ that is Uganda

Buganda is a subnational kingdom within Uganda. The kingdom of the Ganda people, Buganda is the largest of the traditional kingdoms in present-day Uganda, comprising all of Uganda's Central Region, including the Ugandan capital Kampala. Following Uganda's independence in 1962, the kingdom was abolished by Uganda's first Prime Minister Milton Obote in 1966.  Kampala is the capital and largest city of Uganda. 

Uganda, is bordered by South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo,  Rwanda, and  Tanzania.   Lake Victoria is  shared with Kenya and Tanzania.  Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally a modified equatorial climate. Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala. The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country.   Beginning in 1894, the area was ruled as a protectorate by the UK, who established administrative law across the territory. Uganda gained independence from the UK on 9 October 1962.

The official languages are English and Swahili, although "any other language may be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as may be prescribed by law”. The current president of Uganda is Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who came to power in January 1986 after a protracted six-year guerrilla war. The previous ruler was notoriously known across the globe - Idi Amin Dada Oumee,  a Ugandan military officer who served as the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Popularly known as the "Butcher of Uganda," he is considered one of the most brutal despots in world history. During his years in power, Amin shifted from being a pro-western ruler enjoying considerable support from Israel to being backed by Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko, the Soviet Union, and East Germany. As Amin's rule progressed into the late 1970s, there was increased unrest against his persecution of certain ethnic groups and political dissidents, along with Uganda's very poor international standing due to Amin's support for the terrorist hijackers in Operation Entebbe. Reportedly many Indians fled his country and came back to India.

This report in BBC [is BBC losing its credibility for being brazenly anti-India !]  makes an interesting read for it states that the  latest census data on migration to India says the number of people from Uganda living in India has risen rapidly, by tens of thousands of people. One Migration expert explains why this is likely to be the result of a major bungle by officials.  In the 1890s, around 40,000 Indians, mostly Punjabis, were brought in as immigrant workers to build the Uganda Railway connecting Mombasa in Kenya to Kampala in Uganda.  They were forced to leave the country in 1972 on the orders of military ruler Idi Amin, who accused them of "milking Uganda's money".   The good and bad aspects were captured in Hollywood dramas such as The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) and The Last King of Scotland (2006).

Now, in 2019, a third connection has been established between India and Uganda - and rather dramatically, it has come from a 2011 Census of India. The exhaustive exercise is conducted every 10 years, but some of the data is being released only now.  India's population grew by 181 million people to 1.21 billion over the decade to 2011, according to the census. As per the recently released migration statistics, the number of Indians who reported Uganda as their last place of residence shot up from 694 in 2001 to 151,363 in 2011. The rise was starker among women - 339 to 111,700 - than men - 355 to 39,663. After the regional nations of Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it is Uganda in Africa that appears to be the source of the highest immigration or return migration to India. This could either refer to Ugandan nationals who have moved to India or Indian nationals who were living in Uganda and have returned. Unlike a century ago, the Punjabi connection is minuscule. In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and the eastern state of Bihar, the number of Ugandan immigrants or return migrants rose from five in 2001 to 94,704 in 2011.

The census questionnaire is a short document and census-takers have to write the name of the country on the sheet if people report their place of last residence as being outside India. These sheets are then scanned and a computer software tabulates the data to generate tables. These spreadsheets are then uploaded to the web and disseminated to the public.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13th Aug 2019.

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