Hinduism and Racism in Trinidad

This topic is a split from the thread:
“T&T General Elections 2007 Unofficial Results”

Peter Beharry
Nov 13th, 2007 at 10:45 pm

HindusI agree with Mr. Ruel Daniels that racism perpetrated by certain indo-trinis needs to be eradicated (like any other kind of racism).
However, his wholesale labelling of east indians in general and hindus in particular as racist brahmin plottrers (dalit origins nonwithstanding).
This actually makes it difficult for east indians to attack the racists in their own community, as they would likely draw additional fire by doing so.
Perhaps, something like this:

Sat: “I am opposed to the steel pan, I don’t like anything African”

Peter Beharry: “Sat you’re talking crap. It’s an Afro-Trini invention but it’s the national instrument of all Trinbagonians. Swim back to India if you will”

Rued Daniel: “Who the hell is Beharry trying to fool? It’s the sneaky hypocrites like him who are the worst. Beharry, you’re a racist just like all of your kind. What’s your agenda in pretending otherwise? At least Sat’s being honest. Wake up my people! The Indians who pretend to be non-racist are the worst kind of deceivers! Their agenda is to destroy by stealth, even by intermarriage! The only honest Indians are the ones who speak and live their vile racism in its plain and raw form!”

Peter Beharry:”Why did I even try….”


Nov 14th, 2007 at 12:37 am

Dark-skin Indians in Trinidad have been victims of racism from the time they entered Trinidad in the late 19th century. Dark-skin Indians coming to Trinidad were also victims of racism in their own country (India) where a vicious caste system existed and still exists today. Unfortunately, most Indians have adopted this same caste-like, Brahminical, racist attitudes against darker-skin ones including dark-skin Indians and Africans. Even dark-skin Indians have accepted racism against them and aspire to ‘whiteness’ by self-loathing tactics, including skin-bleaching and adopting the same nasty attitudes against other dark-skin Indians and Africans.

The African community has been quite aware of the general dislike of them by a wide cross-section of Indians and their bold display of haughtiness and intolerance, particularly during the UNC regime. Also, the Indo-Muslim community does demonstrate racism and a tendency to separate themselves from the African community, even from other African Muslims, but there is no escaping the overt, racist attitudes of Hindus especially as their spokespeople are quite vocal about it. In fact, entrenched in Hindu teachings are inferiorizations about darker skin people. So Sat Maharaj’s and others’ racist ramblings are only because they closely follow the tenets of Hinduism. That is not to say that all Hindus or Indians are so blatant with their racism or agree with Sat Maharaj’s stance.

Also, when have Indians come out publicly to speak out against racism in their communities? First of all, Indians who experience racism by other Indians quietly submit to the abuse and ridicule. They, supposedly because of religious loyalties, have not historically demonstrated rejection of racial abuse by other Indians in Trinidad and Tobago. In India, the Dalit in some instances have fought against Indian racism and continue to fight their oppression. Not so in Trinidad and Tobago. In terms of fighting against racism by Africans, they have never done so save some bogus ramblings about Indians being discriminated against in the public service, which is historically proven to be untrue. Stereotypes of one group against the other are very prevalent, even today, but oft times have gone overboard. Remember Hulsie Bhagan’s claim that Africans were raping Indian females; a claim that was not only malicious but proven false?

If Indians feel that they are treated unfairly by Africans they should state their case. It would be hypocritical though if they do not first address racism and colourism within their own communities. As it stands now, Africans have a right to remain distrustful of Indians. The conduct of many Indians when UNC held the reigns of power in this country gave sufficient reason to be distrustful of them in leadership positions.


Peter Beharry
Nov 14th, 2007 at 7:59 am
Dear L. Paul
You claim that “entrenched in Hindu teachings are inferiorizations about darker skin people”. I am sure you can find some quotes from some old indian myth(s) consistent with this.
But, please note:
Lord Krishna (the hero of the Mahabharata and Gita, viewed as divine by many Hindus) is described as DARK or even BLACK skinned. In fact, the word Krishna means BLACK.
Lord Rama, the hero of the Ramayana epic, is unequivocally and particularly described as dark skinned. He is not a brahmin. In the story, he fights and kills the evil king Ravana, who IS a brahmin, and is not singled out for description as dark. (This point is distorted by some racist indos, possibly influenced by British color prejudices).
The goddess Kali, revered by many Hindus, is also described as dark/black in skin complexion.
I stand by my claim that Indo-Trinis who try to speak against racism are subjected to the double attack of the Sats and Devants who they are up against in their own communities, and the Africans who label them as both racist and hypocritical. I have seen this myself.


Peter Beharry
Nov 14th, 2007 at 8:15 am

One more thing–
L. Paul, thanks for saying “most indians have adopted this caste-like, brahminical attitude”…
You used the word MOST, creating space for those who do not fit this mold.
So many would have said “those indians” or “all the indians” or even “those ******* indians”, crushing those who wish to walk away from Sat&Co. (there are many)
Please understand- attacking all indo-trinis or all hindus in response to the Sat-like, vocal racists, just forces them to turn inwards and seek the company of their own ethnic group– not from hatred of others, but fear and unease engendered by those who place a single label of “evil racist” on all those with the misfortune to be born of east indian ancestry.
As an Indo-Trini I have to live with the fact that NO MATTER WHAT I think, say or do, I will be hated by many or most Africans as a presumed racist solely on the grounds of my phyiscal appearance.


Peter Beharry
Nov 14th, 2007 at 8:23 am

Dear Mr. Ruel Daniels and Ms. Linda Edwards

Let’s try to be constructive.

Let’s say that there is are Indo-Trinis who are not in support of the East Indian racism against others and wish to simply be regular Trinis, able to interact with others, free of the “brahmin/racist” taint and label.
What do you suggest that this person should say or do?
(Let’s leave out “migrate”, “commit suicide”, “go to st. ann’s, or “could never have been born in the first place”
Peter Beharry

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog – URL for this article:

96 thoughts on “Hinduism and Racism in Trinidad”

  1. The name Marcos Zapata sounds Mexican, and if it is, one can understand the slant the article takes. One only need to take a look at the caricature of black people on Mexican stamps to grasp that the liklihood of understanding black opposition to racism and racist stereotypes is non existant. If you belong to a country that has caricatures of black people on your national stamps, how the hell can you provide an objective analysis on racism involving black people and any other group. Give me a break!!

  2. You are correct, chemicals are harmful to the skin as you’ve described, but self hatred harms the entire soul. If you doubt me , then ask the King of Pop when you see him in heaven, and a certain unmentionable Knighted Trini – com British global Nobel Literature icon ,when you run in to him on your next Buckingham palace visit.

  3. Neal
    You say that East Indians have economic power over 70% of the country. Is this figure from the CSO? I really would like to see some accurate statistics on distribution of wealth.
    African people often make reference to an East Indian stranglehold on the economy. Casual observation, however, suggests that the White, Syrian, Lebanese and Chinese communities seem to have disproportionate command over the economy, despite making up about 2 to 3 per cent of the population. I would like to see a comparison of the average individual income and assets of each of Trinidad’s races. Would East Indians come in second-to-last ahead of Africans? Africans alone were the victims of the holocaust of slavery. Would Indians have an excuse for falling behind Syrians, Whites and Chinese?

  4. i think this website is very offensive because children at secondary schools faces racism. african children shows they not ashamed of hating indian people in front of the teacher

  5. To think that I was of the misguided view that a week could pass without us allowing a few disciples of the selfish ,greedy, ‘dog with a bone,’ ‘me, me gang,’ out of the closet. Here it is our the two political allies in Mr. Panday and Mr. Manning were trying to impress on the investment and political world that racial and ethnic tolerance is alive and well in this neck of the woods, here comes ravi and shivana. Which one of the schools are you referring Shivana , one of the exclusive Hindu primary schools in Central and South, or the Lakshmi Girls Hindu College,in St Augustine ?
    Cousin Ravi I doubt that you are that dense to still not be able to figure out why Chinese, Whites, Syrians, Lebanese and Indians, as opposed to Africans, are ahead of the game economically in this country.The immigrant ethos played some role , but tone and climate was set by a particular brand of elite , middle class global African leadership ,that would forever ‘cut their nose to spoil their face,’ as they continually elevate others over themselves for a few pieces of silver.
    And no , Africans did not dominate politically since 1962 merely due to electoral frauds ,political intimidations ,and wanton Human rights abuse activities.
    Once more fellow nationals ,I am forced to enquire via this esteemed forum,with citizens like these,who needs enemies?

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