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December 20, 2011

The Pleasure of Seeing Your Friends on Stage

Filed under: Extra-Curricular — campus NOW @ 8:46 am
RAMZIYA ASHRAF watches Durabhiman Hatya, Noor and Ayesha – three plays staged by SIAS team at C-zone and praises the team members. 

Arts fests are always exciting. It’s during such fests that you learn a lot of things you are not taught in the classroom; teamwork, passion, perseverance and other stuff you never think are important, but later discover that they are really what life’s all about. The past few weeks were definitely memorable for many of us at SIAS. Fine arts competitions started in the last week of November and lasted for about two weeks. Then it was time to prepare for C-zone inter-collegiate arts fest, held at SNDP YSS College, Angadipuram. Rehearsals were in full swing; more students could be found outside rather than inside classes. The college was in near chaos. The teachers frequently grew tired of continuously herding everyone into class and finally gave up. The preparations were hectic, with events getting cancelled and restarted on and off. Fine Arts secretary, Shamnas and other union members could be seen walking about the campus with sleep-deprived eyes, and stacks of papers in their hands, trying to get everything organised.
Drama is an art where creativity, talent and intellect blend together. It’s a combination of different art forms. When the characters you read, write, meet and hear about come to life in front of your eyes, it’s magic. SIAS students worked this magic on the audience at C-zone in three different languages.
With the presence of Noushad sir and Nazarullah sir, dramas have been an unavoidable part of SIAS’ C-zone participation for the last two years. Under their guidance and leadership, students from various departments geared up to act. Time proved to be the villain in our preparations for C-zone. Thanks to the inconveniences of the semester system, the university’s late declaration of college elections and other technical reasons, we got barely a week to practice. The selection of actors for different roles was the biggest snag that our union members had to cross. Once they had managed to find enough students, things started running a little smoother. The enthusiasm and sincerity of the participants added fuel to the practice sessions. They happily agreed to come for rehearsals on weekends. There were warming-up sessions, which helped them to shed off their inhibitions and taught them the basic lessons of being a stage-performer. The casual and friendly attitude of the teachers definitely boosted up their self-esteem and confidence.
The English and Hindi dramas were scheduled to be staged on December 13th. Hindi drama – Durabhiman Hatya, about inter-caste romance and dishonor killings in northern India – was to be staged first; anxiety levels were very high-up. No surprise, since they were the least prepared among the three, and hadn’t had the chance to rehearse with all their properties even once. Most of them were not well-versed with the language, and memorising the dialogues was in itself a big task for them. The technically-poor stage of the host college didn’t help matters either. There was not enough space onstage, no proper lights system and there were huge gaps at the sides through which properties fell off mid-performance. But despite all these, the students performed well, considering the time they got to practice. Apart from a few dialogue misspells and confusion with the missing property, it was a fine performance. The team – led by Vishnu, Fayas and Fasna – deserves praise for their dedication.
    Next came the English drama – Noor, a brilliant script originally written by Akber S Ahmed, discussing the plight of a girl (played by Farha) being kidnapped by invading US soldiers. Her three ideologically different brothers (Dhanish, Fuad and Shimnas) try to tackle the crisis without letting their dying father (Rony James) know the truth. Our abridged version was close to perfect. The act was way better than all the rehearsals put together. Everyone gave their best; and they had the audience spell-bound. Each character had an originality and life; something that is quite difficult to achieve. I guess that the final component that renders perfection to an actor’s performance is the stage. The spotlight gives the final wrapping around the package you present to the audience. Had we brought our own lights like the team that bagged the first position did, I’m sure we would have stood first, rather than second. But after all, it’s not the ranks that matter.
The Malayalam drama –the celebrated Ayesha, scripted by Noushad sir – was staged the next day. It was touching and perfect. Mehna and Farjas convincingly presented the graceful relationship in the plot. Noushad’s villain was welcomed by the audience with applause. The effect of lights, which the other two plays didn’t have, and the background music added to the wonderful performance of the actors. The audience heartily accepted Ayesha, and sympathised with her fate. But yet again, time proved to be a villain. The performance exceeded the specified time-limit of 30 minutes by a margin of 2 minutes. But the applause and compliments showered on the actors brought a glow of satisfaction on their faces; and that was reward enough.
      There are certain people apart from the participants who deserve a mention here. The teachers, who kept aside all their engagements and spent their days and nights with us – teaching, guiding and inspiring us to achieve great heights; the union members and students who worked backstage as stage and property managers, at the lightings and sounds. Without their presence, none of this would have worked out the way it did. Most of the students who accompanied the drama team assisted in whatever small way they could. It was their eagerness to help and their moral support that kept the performers going and stimulated them to give their best. The sleepless nights and exhausting workload of the union members finally paid off. Another important person not to be forgotten is Sabu sir, the fine arts advisor, whose presence was felt every day at the C-zone venue. Maya ma’am and Radhika ma’am also contributed their part, with their presence and love.
The C-zone team returned back with a load of memories and feelings of satisfaction. The experience was unforgettable; more than the prizes we bagged, there were certain other accomplishments that could never be substituted. The feeling of being in and working with a team, the lessons of perseverance – of trying and trying until you succeed; and of course, the journey back in the college bus – where everyone was literally slumped one on top of the other!

When Special Children Dance…

Filed under: Uncategorized — campus NOW @ 7:26 am
FATHIMA SHIYANA attends the national day for the mentally challenged at Chelari and shares the warmth she felt.  
Chelari: It was awesome. Mentally challenged children from across the district coming to attend a big get-together. Their parents and siblings helping those innocent kids. Their smiles, tears, joys and angers. The mentally challenged kids paint with rainbow colours on canvas, they dance, sing and celebrate. One moment, you wonder, aren’t they like other children, too? Very “special children”, they are, indeed. They offer a lot of warmth with a hug, a touch, a smile, innocently and humbly. When they paint, they follow rules of an unknown world. When they dance, they make a new rhythm, of compassion and sweetness.
Malappuram ‘Sheshi’ Charitable Society and Calicut AWH conducted a programme on the National Day for Mentally Challenged at Liberty auditorium, Chelari on Dec 8. Around 200 mentally challenged children assembled there with their parents and other family members.
Autism is a special disorder of neural development characterised by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repatative behaviour. This day is observed for presenting the problems faced by the children and their families in front of the world. Various competitions were conducted. The children actively participated in painting, singing, dancing competitions and proved that they are mentally special persons.
Adv.KNA Khader MLA formally inaugurated the function. He promised that the state government will fully support the needy children. Kalliyil Firoz, Thenjipalam Panchayat president presided over the function. V.Jameela,Vallikkunnu Panchayat president, Zeenath Ali Bappu, Parappanangadi Panchayat president, Musthafa,Vallikunnu Standing Committee Chairman, PVS Padikal, National Teachers Award Winner, K.Janardhanan, Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi president etc felicitated in the function.
In the seminar followed by the inaugural session, Krishnamoorthy, Malappuram Social Welfare Officer, Dr. CP.Aboobacker, Calicut AWH, spoke on the topic ‘Autism-problems and solutions’. They discussed about the new government schemes like Pratheeksha, Aashwasakiranam for the mentally challenged. The session followed the distribution of prizes to the winners in various competitions.

December 11, 2011

C Zone, Off-stage Begins Tomorrow

Filed under: SAFI — campus NOW @ 4:30 am
SIAS: Campus is getting ready for the arts festivals. The Calicut University C Zone festival is commencing on December 12, 2011 at SNDP College, Perinthalmanna. The Off-stage competitions will be conducted on December 12 & 13 and stage items will be held from December 13 to 15. Students of SAFI Institute of Advanced Study is preparing to take part in the C Zone arts festival.
The college off-stage programmes have been conducted on December 1, 2 and 6. Ms. Akhila of first year Biotechnology and Mr. Shameel Ahamed of third year B.Com excelled in off-stage programmes with a number of  prizes. The college arts fest is expected to be held in January.
There are 111 participants for this year’s C Zone from our campus. We are taking part in 40 off-stage programmes and 15 stage competitions. Participation in off-stage is high. Students along with fine arts coordinator Mr. KT Sabu (lecturer in Economics) are taking all efforts to assure the triumph. Practice of Malayalam, English, Hindi drama, Kolkkali, Oppana, Folk Orchestra, Mappila Song, Group song etc. is in full swing. “We are preparing well despite our all limitations. It is unfortunate that we did not get enough time for preparation. As our election delayed, we got less time for grouping and other preparations like arranging trainees. We have promising talents here. The only problem is lack of time. Still, we hope our students will perform well and raise SIAS’s fame in the C Zone venues. We will work to improve our previous achievements”, says Shamnas, college fine arts secretary.
Last year we have won a handful of prizes in arts, We were in a leading position in off-stage items and have also made a fine record in stage items also. Our Hindi drama team has even awarded third prize in Interzone level.
C Zone Off-stage Time Schedule:
December 12, 2011, Monday
10.00 am-            Essay Writing (All languages), Pencil Drawing
11.00 am-            Collage, Water Colour
11.30 am-            Story Writing (All languages), Cartoon Drawing, Oil Painting
12.00 noon-        Spot Photography
2.00 pm-              Poster Making, Embroidery, Versification (All languages)

December 9, 2011

IFFK begins, Another Film Season at Thiruvananthapuram

Filed under: Uncategorized — campus NOW @ 5:45 pm
Curtain raised for the 16th IFFK at Thiruvananthapuram. Reports Campus Now Special Correspondent from Thiruvananthapuram.

Kairali and Sree theatres, two main venues of IFFK
Thiruvananthapuram: Long queue was in front of Kalabhavan theatre to receive delegate passes, in the morning. Another queue for festival book and bags. Soon, it was learnt that there was a Mass ‘theft’ at the counter. Festival books finished. Delegates had to collect schedule and bags as they wanted. Festival mismanagement starts and the festival too… 
These are the routine scenes from the venues of the 16th chapter of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) organised by the Kerala state Chalachitra Academy for the Department of Cultural Affairs. Thiruvanathapuram is again enjoying the ecstasy of hosting the esteemed film festival of Kerala. The festival is from December 9, 2011 to December 16, 2011.
The festival is inaugurated by Mr. Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister, Kerala. Bollywood cine stars Ms. Jaya Bachchan and Mr. Ompuri were the chief guests of the function. Mr. Bruce Beresford (Australian filmmaker), Jury Chairman; Mr. KB Ganesh kumar, Minister for cinema; Mr. VS Shivakumar, Minister for Transport and Devaswom; Mr. KC Joseph, Minister for rural development, planning and culture; Mr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament; Ms. Sukumari, cine artist; Mr. Priyadarshan, filmmaker etc. were also present. Under The Hawthorn Tree, the Chinese film by Zhang Yimou was the inaugural film.

Under the Hawthorn Tree
Despite some hoots and shouts, the function went smooth. Film lovers crowded at Nishagandhi auditorium to witness the function. A cliche Kadhakali was performed as an exhibition of tradition of Kerala. Some unnoticed placards raised at the venues advocating the Mullaperiyar issue. Kerala University Journalism students have prepared bulletins, book, booklet which filed the festival bag along with a Janayugam Supplement.
The first film at Kalabhavan was Pickpocket, a 1959 French movie directed by Robert Bresson. A Screaming Man, directed by Mahamat- Saleh Haroun, at Kairali theatre tells about the violence struck Chad state in Africa. A swimming champion turned pool attendant in a hotel is forced to give his son to state army to fight against rebels. It is indeed a good movie to watch.
Almost all the students of third semester MCJ and three students from first semester MCJ of SIAS are participating the festival. Ms. Sajna, Lecturer in Chemistry, SIAS is also accompanying them. Mr. Mohammed Juman,  lecturer in MCJ, SIAS  has already joined the fest.

December 8, 2011

Seminar on Mullaperiyar

Filed under: SAFI,seminars — campus NOW @ 8:46 am
SIAS:SAFI Institute of Advanced Study conducted a seminar on the much discussed Mullaperiyar  issue. Dr. Dinesh,a senior scientist with the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) talked in detail about the history and the potential threat of the dam failure. All students and staff memebrs participated in the seminar. The gathering was welcomed by the college union Chairman AbdulYasar.  Prof. Kuttyalikkutty, Principal of SIAS, delivered an introductory note. Dr. Dinesh began his words about the history of Mullaperiyar dam.

Dr. Dinesh talks in the session
The Dam was built in 1895 in Kerala in the river Mullaperiyar. Mullaperiyar dam is part of our pre-independent history. On 29 Oct 1886, a lease indenture for an unheard of and unfair period of 999 years was made between the Maharaja of Travancore Vishakam Thirunal and the Secretary of State for India for periyar irigation works. The lease agreement was signed by the Dewan of Travancore V. Ram Iyengar and State Secretary of Madras state J C Hannigton. Later, in 1970 the lease rent was enhanced and revised to allow Tamilnadu to genareate power supply. After elaborating on hte history, Dr.. Dinesh talked about the design, limitations of the construction of dam, structural weaknesses. A potential failure would simply wash away four districts and 35 lakh people, with billions of assets and major cities. The talk was concluded with three steps to protect the dam: immidate, medium and long-term measures. The seminar ended with vote of thanks by Jawad, General Secretary of the college union.

November 29, 2011

Libraries for the Birth of Ideas

Filed under: SAFI — campus NOW @ 4:49 am
MUHAMMED VILAYIL documents the relevance of Libraries in the historic occasion when SIAS digital library is about to start functioning.
SIAS campus is on the high heel of pleasure to sign in the new world of knowledge, as a variety of titles array over diverse subjects will be a click away. The flamboyant ceremony of the Dedication of SAFI to the Nation by the honourable Vice President of India, Mr. M Hamid Ansari has set fire to the hopes and dreams of a campus community who genuinely stick to their passion of learning and knowledge production. SIAS Digital Library stands magnificent to nurture this passion.
The human society cannot survive without being learnt all the past intellectual contributions as well as updating with the growing and ever adding knowledge in the domain of various disciplines such as Humanities, Social Sciences, Science and Technology etc. To prevail over this problem, man has discovered libraries. Today libraries have become the essential ingredients of a civilized society and its contribution is more towards education, research and training.
Empowerment of a society, as history proved, is marked by crossing the illusory frontiers of knowledge; of different branches, whether it would be absolutely materialistic discipline or not. The quench for wisdom has obviously worked behind every ruling classes of world history in assuming power, even though it would be malpractice in much of the areas. Ancient Greek Masters had produced not only great disciples of knowledge, but dictators, emperors and colonizers were sprouted out from the relics of their own wisdom. In the glorious period of Islam, Medieval period, they were rightly the producers of knowledge. Mathematics, for example, had got right concern over this period and side stepped into several branches. Having reigned over the existing power of knowledge, the Medieval Muslims successfully ensured the political security, economic stability and high profiled social status. These brilliant scholars also tried the best to document all pages of their achieved knowledge to smooth the progress of to the coming generations, they exhibited and stored it in special spaces; it later assumed the form of libraries.
Education cannot exist alone in the absence of library, and library has no meaning if it cannot impart education. Education is an eye-opener to a human being; it gives him perfect, adequate knowledge, creates civic and rational sense, and withdraws him from the subjection of low habits, selfish passions, and base pursuits. While library is an instrument of self-education, a means of knowledge and factual information, a centre of intellectual recreation, and a beacon of enlightenment, it provides accumulated and preserved knowledge of civilization.
In 1971, Michael S. Hart created the first e-book by typing the United States Declaration of Independence into a computer storage device. Early e-books were generally written for special areas and a limited audience, meant to be read only by small and devoted interest groups. The scope of the subject matter of these e-books included technical manuals for hardware, manufacturing techniques and other subjects. In the 1990s, the widespread accessibility of the internet made transferring electronic files much easier, including e-books. Numerous e-book formats, emerged, proliferated and some supported by major software companies such as Adobe with its PDF format, and others supported by independent and open-source programmers.
Digital libraries offer opportunities for e-learning that are not possible in their physical counterparts. Digital libraries have the potential to offer unprecedented resources to support e-learning. It is expected that around 50000 e-books would be available at SIAS Digital Library.

Social Media Politics Needs to be Directed

Filed under: seminars — campus NOW @ 4:34 am
Thalassery: “Social media has by and large become a public sphere which democratizes the information and the knowledge”, said Mr. Prabhash, Vice Chancellor, University of Kerala inaugurating  the University Grants Commission (UGC) sponsored three-day national seminar on Politics and Social Media: Commons in the Space Online organised by  Department of Political Science,  Government Brennen College, Thalassery, held on October 12,13 and 14, 2011.
Dr KP Satheesh, Principal, Government Brennen College presided over the function. Dr. Achuthsankar S Nair, Director, Centre for Bio Informatics, University of Kerala made the keynote address. He expertly analysed the pros and corns of the new media. “The new generation is in a complete hallucination without any direction while they live through social media”, he pointed out.
In the three day seminar, research scholars from reputed institutions presented their papers on different areas of social media and politics ranging from politics of online and democracy, online social movements, digital divide and civil society online. Each session followed an open forum. The participants, who have high academic potential, from media and cultural realm including the think-tanks of JNU, University of Pondicherry and other Central Universities, actively interacted with the speakers on dais which sometimes led to hot debates.
Dr. PP Shaju, Course Director, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Kannur University, Dr M Ramakrishnan, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Benild Joseph,  Digital Securty Consultant and Sub Editor with Hacker 5 magazine and Core Member in  Indian Cyber Army, Avaneet Kaur, research scholar, Department of Political Science , Delhi University  were among the key speakers at the seminar. Biju PR, Assistant Professor in Political Science, Brennen College convened the programme.
Ayoob Rahman, Aneesh AP, Haris VK and Vishnu Prasad KS were the delegates from SIAS Media School.

Really, He is the son of Adam

Filed under: Film Review — campus NOW @ 4:24 am
The film Adaminte Makan Abu, directed by Salim Ahammad, tells the story of Abu, a perfume seller, who postponed his pilgrimage to Mecca to next year with the perfect faith in God.

A scene from the film
The Hajj was a lifelong dream of Abu and his wife Ayishu. Abu is not unaware of the Islamic law which directly excludes the disabled people from the compulsion of Hajj, even though he earned coins and currencies of ten, twenty and hundred to fulfill his dream and cleared his visa and other papers for pilgrimage.
Once Abu was compelled to cut down the tree in front of his house, which he preserved instead of his prodigal son, to get enough money. But the tree gave him only useless void trunk. Abu’s comment ‘some child may be useless’, is also meant to the tree which he treated as his son.
The film tries to tell a story that Malayalam Cinema never heard which has a taste of Sufism, virtue of a real man and the society around him. One of the main specialties of the film is the casting of Salim Kumar as Abu. Molywood viewers acquainted with Salim Kumar as a comedian, reserved for slapstick jokes. But he surprised the viewers with his unforgettable acting in the film.
The story of Abu shows how Sufism is connected with every walk of life in all its meanings. Love to each and every beings, faith in God and never lasting hope make the character of Abu rich from its basin. When the pilgrimage fails, he thinks that it is because of displanting the tree. He consoles his wife with the hope that the pilgrimage can be done in the next year. After planting a new tree, he walks to the mosque and that is the end of the film.
Adaminte Makan Abu is of course a different film which happened after a long time like a rain in the summer. There may be people who are arrogant at rain. But Abu never said a useless word on rain.
The casting of the film except the role done by Suraj Venjarammoodu is really perfect. The performance of Suraj, a tea shop owner, who becomes a saint at the end is somewhat disappointing one. The film is a fine integral of love, dreams and hopes, just like the dream of Abu, the perfume seller.

November 25, 2011

SIAS excelled in Padmavyuh- 2011

Filed under: Academic Excellence,SAFI — campus NOW @ 5:59 pm

Thrissur: Management meets aid students in developing their skills and competencies that are required of them in the corporate world and equips them with better communication and presentation skills. Participating in such meets boosts their confidence levels and self-esteem. The Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), an educational institution run by the Westfront Higher Education Trust, Thrissur organised such a meet in which the students from the Department of Commerce and Management Studies (DCMS), SIAS participated in full form. The meet, named Padmavyuh – 2011, was organised by the MBA students of the host college and included commerce and management students – both at the UG as well as PG level – from various colleges under Calicut University.

Fuad abdussamed MT
Twenty five students from SIAS, including 10 participants from both first and second year and 5 viewers along with 3 teachers left for IMT on Wednesday, November 16, 2011. For majority of them, it was a first experience. Naturally, nervousness and anxiety levels were quite high. But injected with the encouragement from their teachers and peers, the participants gave their best in the events. In the ‘Best Manager’event, Shamnas Mohammed, II B.Com was selected in the qualifying round. In the Business quiz, out of 30 colleges, 7 colleges including SIAS were selected after the preliminary round. Fuad abdussamed MT, II BBA and Fahed Khader, II, who represented SIAS, competed dynamically, beating other colleges, including PG students and reached the finals. The other sessions of the meet included Stock Game, Human Resource Game, Marketing quiz etc.

Fahed Khader
More than the academic events, the students of SIAS gained popularity among the participants and organisers by entertaining them with their creative talents. In between the various sessions, as the organisers called for students to get on stage and present programmes of their wish, our students enthusiastically relented. They sang, danced and captured the hearts of the people present there. The Padmavyuh Management Meet was definitely a confidence-boosting event for SIAS DCMS students.

November 21, 2011

SIAS Family Shares the Joy

Filed under: SAFI — campus NOW @ 5:12 pm
SIAS: Accomplishing ostentatiously the Dedication of the Campus to the Nation and the Inauguration of the Digital Library and the Cultural Centre, the students and staff of SIAS were dined with grand feast by the SAFI Management on Monday noon. The students queued up themselves with the lunch coupons in a festive atmosphere. Student volunteers took the charge of distributing the well-packed biriyani and even the cleaning and disposal of wastes. It was like a reward to the students and staff for their sincere and hard efforts on the last Friday.

The venue of the function held on 11-11-2011
It was an auspicious and memorable score in the history, when SAFI campus was dedicated to the nation by our Vice President, Mr. M Hamid Ansari on Friday, 11 November. The entire SIAS family was working all along to mount the dignity of the campus. All the students wholeheartedly worked and proved their excellence and it was widely appreciated by the Management, audience and the security officers. Committees were formed for the easy functioning of the grand programme and SIAS family made it a victory. This feast was a feast to their great commitment. Moreover, it was a sharing of love.
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The Indians

Members of the South African community
Members of the South African Indian community, some in traditional dress.
The Indians in South Africa had long lived under the shadow of government policy that considered them as aliens against whom it was legitimate to discriminate. In one of their exchanges, Jan Smuts told Gandhi bluntly, ‘Your civilisation is different from ours. Ours must not be overwhelmed by yours. That is why we must go in for legislation which must in effect put disabilities on you.’ Yet the government did not have a free hand. Commonwealth ties, pressure by the government in India and the Indian Agent in South Africa, and after 1945 the United Nations, together with local Indian protests and resistance, all put pressure on successive governments. The result was a policy towards Indians that was confusing and contradictory, and satisfied no one.
Indian sugar cane workers
Indian sugar cane workers
The government’s ideal solution would have been wholesale repatriation, but in the early 1920s an average of only 2 500 Indians left per year. At that point there were some 141 000 Indians living in Natal and 15 000 in the Transvaal. To placate the voters the Smuts government intended to segregate Indian trade and landownership, but he refused to give the Natal provincial government its way when it passed an ordinance abolishing the Indian municipal franchise. After 1924 the new Pact government passed the ordinance into law. The Indians were now completely disenfranchised.
In 1927 Dr D.F. Malan, on behalf of the Pact government, unexpectedly signed the Cape Town Agreement with the government of India. It offered some hope to Indians, although it was decidedly ambiguous. On the one hand, the Union government undertook to introduce a scheme of assisted emigration to India; on the other, it committed itself to settle the Indian question in a manner that ‘would safeguard the maintenance of Western standards of life in South Africa by just and legitimate means’.
It stated that the Union government ‘like every civilised Government’ had the duty to take all viable steps ‘for the upliftment of every section of their permanent population’. It further asserted that the ‘considerable section of the Indian community who will remain part of the permanent population should not be allowed to lag behind other sections of the population’.
To give effect to ‘upliftment’, the government undertook to launch an inquiry into the ‘admittedly grave situation’ of Indian education and to improve the facilities for Indians at the South African Native College in Fort Hare. It also would investigate housing and sanitary conditions in Durban.
A young indian woman
A young Indian woman with a necklace made from the gold coins with which workers were at one stage paid.
Critics pointed out that in signing the agreement Dr Malan implicitly made the promise of upliftment conditional on growing numbers of Indians leaving. The latter did not happen, and discrimination continued but it was no longer possible to state categorically, as Malan did in 1922, that the Indians were an alien element. Using gaps in the law and the contradictions in the system of oppression, the Indians managed to take what chances there were. G.H. Calpin in his book Indians in South Africa, published in 1949, noted:
Indians in South Africa often wonder whether it is not a disadvantage to be British subjects. They still feel, however, that to be British subjects in South Africa is preferable to being British subjects in India. Indeed after the Cape Town Agreement they settled down with a sense of security they had never before enjoyed . . . Some might have very vague ideas of what constituted Western standards of life, and the European example was not always good, but there was no doubt of their willingness no acquire the qualifications set for them and meet the demands made on them.
Two Indian workers assisting a white welder
Two Indian workers assist a white welder, photographed in December 1948. Blacks were not allowed to take on skilled work and the law forbade them to operate steam-powered vehicles.
Education played a major role in the efforts at upliftment and private Indian initiatives formed an extraordinary part of the progress that was made as a result of education and training. Christian missionaries had started the first school for Indians in 1869, but schools established by the Indian community soon exceeded the number of mission schools. It was the Indian community that provided the local funds for their schools under the grants-in-aid system – unlike the coloured and black communities who relied on churches and missionary societies, and the whites who received their education virtually free from the state.
In the first half of the twentieth century four-fifths of the Indian schools in Natal were state-aided but the Indian community provided the sites and building for the schools. It was strong community support that made possible the establishment in 1930 of Sastri College, the first Indian high school in Natal. A large donation by Hajee M.L. Sultan went a long way to the founding of a technical college.
Despite the Cape Town Agreement, discrimination continued. The Durban City Council passed an ordinance denying Indians the right to purchase land the municipality owned.
Municipalities refused to issue trading licenses. The civilised labour policy was used to reduce the number of Indians employed on the railways from 3 000 in 1920 to 500 in the decade after the Pact government came to power. In the Transvaal the policy was a jigsaw puzzle making it very difficult for Indians to know where, outside their own ‘locations’, they could live, trade and own property. Yet despite the obstacles they could progress, particularly in Natal where Indians could own property anywhere from the early 1940s.

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