Life has given me so much. I am deeply indebted. With age, you can never know when, how and  where it will end. Once, during a radio interview, I summarized it so clearly: “I already have one foot in the grave with the other one on a slippery banana peel.” That’s because unlike some others, I’ve been struggling very hard and nonstop since the time of birth-to earn a place in the world. That’s just “en passant”.
And then, in much a similar vein, the BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION (BBC); the RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONALE (RFI), the VOICE OF AMERICA (VOA), the world press agencies REUTERS and AFP, and the international magazine NEWSWEEK-have all contributed so much to my personal development, persona and personality as well as general outlook.
No doubt, of the six, I am more than grateful to the BBC. It’s like fresh air to my intellectual lungs. Put simply, it’s my lifeblood, if not, lifeline to keep me informed. To exist and develop! In brief, I am what I am today thanks to the BBC.
And what’s more, my English (though far from perfect) is what it is today due to BBC. Notwithstanding, I am still learning. The process never stops.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam led me to the discovery of the BBC universe
Yes, I am greatly indebted because BBC has helped me tremendously to offset and fill in the vacuum left by a non-university and irregular college education. Believe you me; it’s been a significant contributing factor to build me up. And in the course, it has naturally strengthened me from both inside and outside. In other words, I have come out of my shell and the negative world I was living in mainly because of the BBC. Thanks, you’ve given me so much in life!
All told, why all of a sudden, am I bothering you about the BBC? The main reason is that the most listened international radio station is today in administrative turmoil: Its newly-appointed director has resigned after a series of past scandals and chronic shortcomings. There is a management crisis. Which has obviously resulted in a crisis of identity, trust and conscience. Unlike other stations, the BBC itself took the lead to inform the world of their serious and pressing problems. Drastic and sweeping changes are now imminent.
Everything has a beginning somewhere. Everybody has a guru somehow. But who initiated me into the BBC universe? It all happened by pure coincidence. Come 1978 sharp differences with Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and the conservative old guard.  At one of the many protracted negotiations at his house, I saw him listening attentively to the BBC. He told me he kept himself abreast of the latest world news through it.
From that time onwards, I started listening to the BBC. But it only developed into a habit many years later. I bitterly regret it. Otherwise, today, after 34 years, I would have learned and developed a hundredfold more.
Alas, time lost never comes back. Remorse drove me to adopt the BBC. It was only then that I started discovering my real self and the fast-developing outer world. My gratitude towards the BBC knows no bounds.
BBC has educated, helped and saved millions
But wait a second; I’m not alone to have been moulded by it. Since 18th Oct 1922, BBC has helped, shaped and saved millions of people and hundreds of countries across the planet. In truth, it has-through its international broadcasts in some 27 languages-educated, liberated and rescued more people outside Great Britain than inside. It is believed that an average of 27 million people daily listen to the London station.
There is of course its starring role during the Second World War-to liberate the world from the clutches of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi butchers. It is recognized as a work of bravery and genius.
Still, their ongoing mission to sound the alarm and alert the international community-to the dangers of droughts, famine, floods, earthquakes, human sufferings, dictatorship, military rules and other human rights violations-is still another source of international pride. SO : The BBC is a world educator and an international watchdog against human rights abuses. That’s an overall picture obviously.
Of course, the BBC is not a paragon of virtue-in my eyes. It has its own weaknesses. Initially, it was British bias to protect blindly the interests of the monarchy and its vast empire:  So vast that when the sun would set in one colony, it rose in another!
Later, BBC was biased in favour of Europe and Western democracy. At times, I just tune out in disgust when some presenters relish in singing the praises of members of the British monarchy. There is an unwarranted overexposure. Thank goodness such programmes are rare. All said, the BBC often forgets that it belongs to mankind now!
That’s the dark side. We’ve already dealt with many parts of the bright surface. Let’s now see how it has turned into an integral part of my life: As soon as I wake up by 4.30 am, I immediately tune to the BBC-TV or radio. It’s on whilst I am doing the daily morning rituals-brushing teeth, bathroom activities, physical exercise, reading, meditation, cleaning or drinking tea.
BBC: Lifejacket and friend in troubled times
Not only that, at times, I also note down the interesting  phrases. Which all means that when I come out of my sleeping room by 8am, I have already been through the BBC education for some 3 hours at least. Quite often, I do listen to the RFI, too. During the day, I also tune in to the BBC. It’s so at night, too. Therefore, in all, on an average, my BBC education amounts to some 5 hours.
Previously, when I had my PROTON car, I always listened to RFI or BBC whilst driving. To be honest with you, I don’t like listening to local radios. Some are so negative that I fear developing a bitter culture-of seeing only the dark side-in my life. All said, BBC is my lifejacket and friend when I am in troubled waters of life. I owe it a debt of gratitude.
Without patting myself on the back or basking in my 1960s teaching glories, let me point out that I excelled in demonstration classes at COLONEL MAINGARD and BARKLY GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS and the TEACHERS’ TRAINING COLLEGE. Thereafter, I’ve helped and trained lots of students, politicians, civil servants and other citizens. That’s history. It’s common knowledge. I am not breaking any news. No sermonizing. No crowing. So, I am not foreign to teaching. THESE ARE BUT A FEW SUGGESTIONS:
1) If you are not an adept at listening to the BBC or the RFI; please start it today. It should be a must for the student class. Your personality will be drastically transformed. I can bet my life!
2) The Ministry of Education should start BBC classes in the classrooms as from Form 1. Examination papers should be based on them.
3) All the intellectuals working in Government or the Private sector should be asked to listen to the BBC or RFI programmes. Exam papers can include them. And the country as a whole will be the winner!
Yes, BBC has helped me to help myself to forge ahead. Thank you Sir Seewoosagur for leading me to that discovery. It has given me much too much!