No compensation for slaves

By George Alleyne
August 29, 2012 – newsday.co.tt

EmancipationThe argument has often been put forward by politicians and would be politicians that persons of Indian descent own a far greater degree of property in Trinidad than people of African descent, because they had saved and used their money wisely.

It is an attempt to create misunderstanding between the two major ethnic groups. What led to today’s disparity in land ownership is well documented and rooted in Trinidad’s colonial past. The end of slavery in 1838 and the movement by freed slaves to urban and suburban areas and away from the sugar estates, with which they had for so long identified with their suffering, meant that the sugar planters had to source new labour.

Wages demanded by ex-slaves, who remained, were in the order of some 36 cents a day. Planters, with the example of Indian indentureship in Mauritius, looked to India for the restocking of their labour force.

Lord John Russell, then United Kingdom Secretary of State for the Colonies, would refer to the proposition for the introduction of Indian labour to the West Indies in a letter to Sir Henry Light, Governor of British Guiana, dated February 15, 1840. “It is stated” Lord Russell wrote, “that the wages of a day labourer are in Guiana one shilling and six pence 36 cents per day and in Hindostan (India) not more than two pence.”

While there had been a limited use of Indian indentured labourers in Guiana, between 1837 and 1839, indentureship had not been introduced in other areas of the West Indies. On July 25, 1842, Lord Howick moved a resolution in the British House of Commons: “That is the opinion of this Committee (the House of Commons Committee on the West Indian Colonies)” that, inter alia, “one obvious and desirable mode of endeavouring to compensate “for the diminished supply of labour,” is to promote the immigration of a fresh labouring population, to such an extent as to create competition for employment”.

It should be pointed out that as early as 1814, 24 years before the end of slavery, a planter in Trinidad, William Burnley, had proposed the bringing of free labour from India “on a large scale”, as Dr Eric Williams would note in From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean (Page 347). This proposal carried with it a sense of urgency as the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 had effectively blocked a traditional means of supplying labour to the sugar plantations.

Sir Ralph Woodford, who was Governor of Trinidad at the time, would recommend to the Colonial Office “the introduction of East Indian immigrants” — Eric Williams. With the bringing into operation of indentureship, a crucial provision of the agreements between parties had been the repatriation of indentureds to India at the end of their contracted stays, with the expense to be borne by the planters. But because sugar planters had found the cost of passages of indentured labourers back to India to be expensive, they made offers to the labourers of either money or land in Trinidad in lieu of return passages.

More than 100,000 accepted. Many of those who accepted cash, purchased land. The entire process would see some 100,000 indentureds becoming land owners. It would provide a financial jump-start and ladder that not even the calculated up to 1970 denial of commercial bank loans, in all too many cases, could negatively affect.

Ironically, following on Emancipation, instead of former slaves being given money for their years of having been forcefully and brutally exploited, money which could have given them the same jump start, the sum of 973,442 pounds sterling was paid out by the British Government to the planters in Trinidad as compensation “for the loss of their slaves”! It was a dismissal of the former slaves and was a statement that only the interests of sugar planters really mattered.

Indeed, the only freed slaves who received grants of land in Trinidad were those who had fought on the side of the British in the 1813 war in Virginia. They were given land in an area South of Princes Town known today as Fourth Company, Fifth Company and Sixth Company.

Meanwhile, despite the efforts of some politicians, Indian and African descent Trinbagonians are committed, as other ethnic groups, to the development of their country.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/commentary/0,165498.html

37 Responses to “No compensation for slaves”


  • I wonder if Mr Alleyne would be interested in examining the causes of the decrease and decline of the African professional and intellectual population in T&T. This pool is slowly drying up presenting challenges with regard to filling political and corporate vacancies in T&T.

  • Linda Edwards, class of '67

    This is not a reply but a comment. I am a descendant of the Freed Negroes- called Merikins by some detractors, who have cultivated their own land in the Company Villages since 1815, when my father’s people arrived. I am glad Mr.Alleyne expoed this myth of Indian Industriousness, which if believed, could case someone to ask why then did they not prosper in India?
    A jumpstart in a new land is essential. This is why Jonas Mohammed BAth, a West African sultan, petitioned the crown for compensation for those MAndingoes who had already purchased their freedom. He never got a reply. In contrast, my African friends-malawians, Ghnaians, Nigerians have lived on their own land for hundred of years, and the landowning families intermarry, keping and extending property holdings. Some of the Company Village residents lost their land to chicanery. People rented out their holdings, and often and over time, the taxes were paid by the renter, who was Indian. Bitish law is, if you pay the taxes in your own name, after 21 years, it is your land. The Africans did not know this. Their ladholdings are traditional. Everyone knows its yours.

    Now there is a mad scramble for regularization of title to lands in East Africa, as extensive mineral wealth has been found in Zambia, Malawi and Congo. One such case involves a friend of mine. She knows where the boundaries of her mother’s family land aare. they have lwys been there.Mother is illiterate and 97 years old. how does one prevent the rampant theft of their copper and iron ore rich lands?
    what happened to the African in the Caribbean should be classified as genocide- a deliberate attempt to wipe out the gene pool, by outsiders.

    • “Mr Alleyne exposed the myth of Indian industriousness..”-Linda. Asking a silly question as to why Indians were not prosperous in India. That is a subjective view of prosperity. It is common knowlege that the true builders of nations are pioneers. They are the first generation whose determination to succeed drives them to excel. If people are living according to a particular social code there level of success and property is measured by their history. When taken out of that particular setting they have to work harder to succeed in this change environment.

      The Africans after slavery ran away from the land. The land bore memories of hardship. And so the city became more attractive. Indians on the other hand had a strong affinity with the land as is evidence in India where there are over 600,000 villages. The land provided food a place to build a home and a sense of ownership. There in the harsh conditons food was grown, family raised and that is the measure of true prosperity the ability to feed oneself and take care of your family. Today is a remarkable day to celebrate Indian prosperity. Little is a lot when placed in the hands of wise people. The fool take his huge amount and spend it partying. Then wonder about his poverty.

  • Linda Edwards, class of '67

    It was in Antigua, where I went to work as a consultant in 1988 that my eyes were opened to the possibilities denied us in TnT. All the liquor stores, jewellry stores and fancy boutiques in their airport were owned by very dark women, who in TnT woul have had a market stall as a business opportunity, and maybe, expanded to two market stalls. Women, African women in Antigua owned trucking businesses, a set of beauty supply stores and salons, owned by one woman, and deparartment stores. The head of Antigua Commercial Bank at the time, John Benjamin, was the only AFRICAN bank manager I knew, and they owned a number of other businesses besides the bank. I began to study their society, and that of Barbados and Jamaica, and found that it was only in Trinidad(not Tobago) where the East Indian had been inserted by the Brit, and supported in their position, that an almost permanent underclass had been ceated among African people.Of course most Trinis have traveled to North America and Europe, but not taken a critical look at their neighbouring islands, so they are unaware of how differently Trinidad fared in the emerging business scene.For less to start thinking of the resons for it. Even in Martinique, the African originated people owned busineses. I first went there in 1976. In Guadeloupe, however, almost everything was white-owned.This difference could be explained by the leadership of Aime Ceziare, Mayor of Fort de France, and a leading French Intellectual, founder of the concept of Negritude. We need in upcoming years to take a more critical look at the emergent business climate in Trinidad. An analysis of small business loans by any bank, could be quite revealing, but the will power, and the laws that would release the documents to an analyst, are not there, or not working. We prefer to believe in the myth of the Lazy African, and we resent the ones from Nigeria who come here and set up small businesses, while we gladly seem to do business with the new immigrant Chinese.

    Incidentally, the ONLY Afro-Trini jeweller I know, is a descendant of those free Africans from 1815. His family has the deed to the land they were given, framed and hanging on the wall. A jump-start is a powerful thing.

    • “permanent underclass has been created amongst African people”–Linda. Madame Linda the PNM controlled the treasury for the past 40 plus years in the 50 years of nationhood. How did the so called “African underclass” emerge In sweet TnT? I am bewildered at your folly and great envy of Indian people. Does the success or failure of African people in TnT have to be measured against the success of Indian people. The PNM implemented massive social programs OJT, HYPE, Costatt, CEPEP, and secret scholarship support that saw thousands of PNMites getting free education abroad. In addition jobs were guaranteed, so much so that 75 percent of jobs in the civil service went to African people. Housing was a voter padding effort by the PNM as was evident in their political adds.

      I am tired of people behaving like victims and blaming others for their failures. If the Africans are failing here then they can make the journey back up the islands where success is guaranteed. Jamaica a great Caribbean success no underclass there, Barbados a great success where most Africans work as paid slaves….

      • “..the PNM controlled the treasury for the past 40 plus years in the 50 years of nationhood..”

        That is a telling and interesting way of looking at the task of governing T&T!

        “Housing was a voter padding effort by the PNM…”

        Is this simply the pro-apartheid Indo-Trinidadian way of seeking to take the moral high ground? It is instructive to recall that Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi spent most of his sojourn in South Africa exhorting both his fellow Indians and The British Colonial authorities for the opportunity to fight with the Whites against the Zulus so that when the more formalised colour segregation was introduced the Indians would find favour and be classed with the Whites.
        It would seem that there are many Ghandis in our midsts.

  • I have always believe that slaves and their descendants should be compensated. I think $7 billion should be enough to make them happy. I would recommend Mr. Alleyne start a campaign by gathering before the British Embassy and making this claim. The slaves after slavery ran away from the land, to this day in Africa starvation is a common feature because of a lack of farmers. Haiti was perhaps the only nation where the people had the land for themselves yet it is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Why? Mr. Alleyne must explain. Also much of the Caribbean is owned by descendants of slavery.

    Trinidad and Guyana saw the jealous descendants of slaves wanting more. Burnham tried that experiment by taking lands and giving it to descendants of slaves these lands remain uncultivated while indos fled this tyrant. Many have done extremely well for themselves. In Trinidad islanders were brought in “en mass”. Many of them received houses and today we are seeing the result of this with uneducated boys using the gun to slaughter without a conscience. Mr. Alleyne must understand capitalism, in a capitalist nation you can purchase property at market value. The real question for Mr.Alleyne is why descendants of slaves are prone to be unproductive, lazy and gun lovers.

    Finally all descendants of slavery can get on board an airplane and with a one way ticket return to their African motherland. Mr. Goodluck will be happy to receive them.

    • “In Trinidad islanders were brought in “en mass”. Many of them received houses…”

      And Land too. It is known as the Cedula of Population and took place long before the Fath Al Razack sullied our shores

  • No compensation for slaves-worst, It Was the Whiteman’s left-over,their demonization of slave descendants:first they stole us brutally then deprived and demoted us for “coolie” labor.
    Thank You Linda Edwards, class of ’67.
    We’re yet to have a permanent articulation of both or History and contemporary passage engraved into our text books.
    For the racist. My Moms mother settled in Toco from KolKata her Father full-blown African Stock and the aristocratic de Verteuil for a Father Bred with indigenous Carib/Arawak breeding that’s my father’s side…be quiet! Now you see,I’m no racist. SHORT&TRUE!is it?

  • I am not sure that money is the answer. How will it be divided?? Is it going to be a country by country issue?? Which of the colonial masters will be contributing to the ‘pot’?? What about modern day slaves, are they going to be part of the deal??

    While in theory this sounds great it is a burden to administer, not withstanding the heavy racial undertones that will come out of it. How ‘black’ do you have to be to get any of it?? Look at what the posters are saying, it would get nasty.

    There is no decline of professionals of African ancestry in T&T. We keep on about the tribes on the African continent, there are thousands and millions impovish and whenever the world shakes there are more fundraising to help on the African continent. There is vast wealth on the continent and where is that wealth?? I am of African decent and I am not prone to un productivity, would not classify myself as lazy but would love to have a legal gun as an ex-military person. The “uneducated boys using the gun to slaughter without a conscience” is not race specific. I am, however, Trinbagonian and have no desire to return anywhere but to T&T, so stop talking about oneway tickets.

    • The true Trinis I say live abroad. If you meet one them they are proud of their nation. They don’t look to any other nation such as Africa or India for their identity. Many see the nation not from ethnocentric basis but as a melting pot.

      Al you are right there is no decline of african professionals in TnT. The point I was making is the sad commentary on victimhood. As I wrote the PNM had access to the treasury and money in excess of $500,000,000,000. They made every effort to take care of their support base. You only had to live in rural areas to understand the neglect, no water, no roads, no drainage etc. So if anyone should be playing the victim it should be those who lived in those rural areas.

  • Poor Mamoo, he could claim to have missed the point, but I more believe that he did not want to see it, and that is the sad part. Some ‘people’ cannot handle even evident truths because it does not fit into their ultimate objectives. I pray for Trinidad that one day we could rid ourselves of people with ulterior motives not in keeping with national development. And so, because of Mamoo’s attempt to deny truths we perpetuate a lot of negative activities in our social lives today. God bless our nation

  • ” I think $7 billion should be enough to make them happy.”
    It is about doing justice to US the descendants of the enslaved, not throwing baubels to “make them happy”. Your arrogance says a lot more than your words. Are you by any chance Stephen Kangal?

  • If trinidad where to pay reparations, where would it stop? I suspect 7 billion would not be enough. Every person with a Trinbagonian ancestor would collect a check from abroad.
    No, I believe that it has to be measured in more ways than money. The best way would be money and education or land and education. Then again, land is a very limited resource.
    If people are unwilling to learn or make the best of the education that they are given in today’s society, I don’t know what else to suggest or how TNT could move past current positions in dialogue concearning the subject.
    I suspect that if reparations where paid in some monetary amount, that many people would waste money trying to be like someone or something that they are not. Education is key.

    • You have to go for what you can get. The distribution of this incredible sum would be a problem. Why because descendants of slaves are all over the world. The second is this,the British are broke, they do not have the money. Cameron has attack the British budget with a wrecking ball.

      The only solution for this repatriation of money is massive protest at British embassies across the Caribbean, as I have suggested before. Shame the British into handing over the cash and form an organization to distribute the money. The United Negro Alliance as an organization could go after the British.
      The British repatriate money to India, they may stop in
      2015 when the agreement will be up for renewal. Perhaps at that time George can rally the troops. The Brits can repay in installments. George should start with a head count. In 10 years all descendants of slaves can feel vindicated.

  • First of all, the title of the article should be more appropriately stated as” No compensation for FORMER slaves.” Because once a people become emancipated, they are no longer slaves!
    Secondly, emancipated slaves did what was necessary to remain free and alive.
    Running away from the environment which keep them enslaved was done out of necessity!
    In his 1943 publication,’Negro in the Caribbean,’ Dr. Eric Williams stated quite clearly that:
    “The abolition of Negro Slavery left economic and
    political power in the hand of the former slaveowners.
    Therefore, freed blacks still faced many social challenges which few were willing to help US overcome, even to this day!
    It must be remembered historically that slavery is the lowest form of human bondage. And, that no group carried a heavier burden in modern history, than blacks in the Caribbean, Americas, Africa, Europe.
    In regard to labour and the cultivation of sugar in the West indies: Dr. Eric Williams stated:
    ” The plight of the Negro wage-earner is aggravated by the intermittent character of employment available. In sugar cultivation there is a long dead period between harvest time, which represented in slavery days, a great drain on the planter’s resources.
    Simply said, the British were willing to pay former slaveowners for their slaves, and not the slaves themselves for their labour, says many things, apart from being an act of war, of what slavery was all about.
    May we all learn something significant about this, apart from the abolition proclamation, apart from the publication of ‘Capitalism and Slavery,’ and apart from Independence day celebrations which we all look to as historical accomplishments in a new age.

  • Linda Edwards, class of '67

    I have not met a single slave descendant who wanted “Money” per se. What all the groups have asked for is an education system that acknowledges the role African have played in the development of the Western Hemisphere, An Afrocentric education system that places African culture and history in its rightful role,a more favourable system of making small and midsized business loans, adequate housing at affordable prices, research into diseases that affect Africans in the west but are rarely known in Africa like sickle cell and lupus, and an acknowledgement by the profiteers that these people were stolen from their homelands, their cultures destroyed, and deliberate attempts were made to sepaprate familes so that their languages were lost.The building of technical schools on the west coast of AFrica that was denuded of population due to the slave trade would also help.
    A museum devoted to telling the true story of Africa and the slave trade would also be a geat help. Those of us educated enough to travel can find the knowledge, but your average Trinidad person still lives in ignorance about the greatness of WestAfrica before it was destroyed by the invasions of Europeans. Some of those ignorant people spout utter nonsense on these pages.
    The grave of Jonas Mohammed Bath,in the Lapeyrouse Cemetery should be on the national register of important cultural sites.

    No descendant of a slave would today put a price on our great-great-great-great grandparents.We see them on the auction blocks in our minds’eyes, but they are beyond price.

    • Building a slave museum so that people can feel good about their past is an oxymoron. Yes my ancestors struggled in very inhospitable conditions. The land that they lived on flooded every rainy season. There was caimans, snakes, all kinds of dangerous varmins. Yet we do not complain but simply accept it as part of our history. The good or bad will enventually play itself out with the good overtaking the bad at some point in time. Bad cannot always rule. If your mother was a prostitute does not mean you have to be a prostitute.

      Historians estimate that between 10 and 18 million Africans were enslaved by Arab slave traders and taken across the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara desert between 650 and 1900. The tragedy of this is that no one is talking about repatriation from these oil rich nations. Surely they could repatriate a few billions. Where is the voice of Madame Linda on this issue?.

      • “Building a slave museum so that people can feel good about their past is an oxymoron”

        Tell that to the Jews.

        • Yes but the attrocities against the Jews is recent history. With physical evidence to prove their story. The ovens and other detention rooms still exist. So their story can be proven.

          Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807 and the slavery itself in 1833. Approximately 179 years has gone by. Don’t you think it is time to get over it..

          • “..their story can be proven.”

            Are you claiming that the enslavement and transportation of Africans is a myth! I know you have a penchant for “re-interpreting” facts but this time you have excelled even yourself.

            There are several primary sources, many of them official documents of the slaving nations, which are still in existance. You can make a start by consulting the Bibliography of a work called “Capitalism and Slavery” by a gentleman named Eric E Williams.

          • “Don’t you think it is time to get over it..”

            The descendants of the Slave Trade can only, to wit, “get over it”, when they rediscover their heritage, a point I have articulated ad nauseam on these boards.

            The Jews have never lost their heritage neither many other groups.

            It is either that you do not get it, or you are being intellectually dishonest.

      • Linda Edwards, class of '67

        A museum that tells the story of the slave trade, and a “slave museum” Mr. MAmoo are not the same thing. You would need to be a thinker to understand the difference. Leave off the “oxy” in that word and find yourself.

  • Quite a great deal of the paraphernalia used to physically subdue and coerce enslaved Africans still exist, even in old slave ports like Bristol.

  • “… Don’t you think it is time to get over it..”

    Hindus and Moslems have been warring in the Indian sub-continent for a longer period, have you gotten over it?

    • Yeah but comparing Hindu/Muslim conflict with slavery is simply being disengenuous. Slavery was for a short time in the Caribbean. Now I understand in the American context that slavery was different, even after emancipation the slaves were treated as sub-human. I could understand their pain, but when in came to slavery in the Caribbean the experience is much different. Trinidad did not have many slaves and so slaves were imported from the islands. Eventually they will all be free.

      After slavery the slaves in Trinidad enjoy the benefits of living in city areas, they became entreprenuers developed their own unique culture and lifestyle. They were no longer interested in working the land, many of them were better than the indians who were now slaving away in the rice and sugar plantations. Indians laboured in the fields from 1845 to 1995. That is a 150 years of back breaking working in the hot sun. In the mean time descendants of slaves seize power in TnT and governed for over 40 years being the prime beneficiaries of the public purse. Billions of dollars was given to them.

      So why are you still complaining????

      • “So why are you still complaining????”

        Because the enslavers were “compensated” when the enslaved were freed, when it should have been the enslaved. To compensate the enslaved or their descendants is the only true way of admitting that they were guilty of the greatest atrocity committed in recorded history.
        It was the labour of African slaves that cleared the primordial Forests that covered the islands, established the agricultural plantations, and powered the economy of the colony single handedly until the late 19th century.
        Gaining and using the adult franchise to run the colony, gain indepedence, and deflect demands for some form of partitioning of the country, while providing a racially equitable administration, is to our credit. No amount of lies can really change the facts of History.

  • My mind is buzzing from IVOR ST. HILLs’ first reply……I’m ignoring the matter being discussed since i’m so flabbergasted. GANDHI DID WHAT? Nah nah ah cyar believe that…a man that i have admired for so long. I never read indepth about his South African sojourn since i always took it for granted that he always fought for the downtrodden. IS THIS REALLY TRUE Mr ST> HILL? If it is i can only HAWK and SPIT on his memory.
    I need to check this out for myself. nah nah not Gandhi…eh eh..

    • Actually, the British Colonial authorities were too clever for him.
      1) They would only allow Indians to act as stretcher bearers and other medical functionaries. The British gave Ghandi a medal for these activities.
      2) When they came to implement their colour bar system they proceeded to have THREE categories instead of just the straight forwards Black and White. They introduced the “Coloured” category to hold certain mixed race persons but primarily for Indians. No way were they going to let Indians believe they were White!

  • Mr Jeffrey, another of Ghandi’s peeves, at that time, was that there should be separate jails for Indians. He found it totally unacceptable that Indians should be incarcerated with Kaffirs (Ghandi’s word).

  • Linda Edwards, class of '67

    Mr. St.Hill is correct. I said it befor on these very pages that Ghandi ony went home to free his people from the British, when, on returning to South Africa he tried , with his new law degree and all, to ride the white section of the train,in S.A. and was tossed out on his butt. You can see it in the movie Ghandi, but if you did not know the story from other sources, you would miss the significance of that clip.Dark skinned South Indians, ulike the KAshimiris, have a deep seated hatered for their Pure African brothers.It was those mostly dark skinned Indians from South India who were indentured to the islands.

  • So bewildering this thing….and to think that Martin Luther King aligned his non violent movement for justice due to his influence from Gandhi….what a ting! How this Indian man could’ve gone to the land of the African man for the social upliftment of his Indian peeps and denigrate the African peeps at the same time is beyond my comprehension. This same man is revered the world over as a frigging saint! This father of Indian independence is rightly respected for what he did for HIS people….but i can’t shake these newfound facts (for me) of his distasteful behavior in S Africa. What did these Africans do to him to warrant such disrespect? Did he feel the need to denigrate in order to self elevate? He was lucky the Zulus and Bantu peeps did not kill him!

    What’s up with these Dravidians hating on the African people? Maybe it’s the African blood that’s running through their collective veins thats causing it. OOPS….did i just infer that they are impure due to this? Nah it’s the South Indian climate that’s responsible for their skin color….got to be! Right?!

    Anyway i don’t like Gandhi anymore! Wonderful are the things he did for his people though. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

    Regards

  • Linda Edwards, Class of 1967

    I do not think Ghandi was any different from Cecil Rhodes(of Rhodes Scholar fame) or David Livingston.Africans at the time were denigrated by everyone and anyone, even in their own continent, although to this day, Africans welcome everyone to their continent. They are the original people, and all people belong to them.It is up to modern day Africans of the diaspora to educate ourselves as to the truth of our history. For example, it is not usually known that the machine gun, was designed for killing Africans and was first use to suppress the Zulus who were very angry at the theft of their land by Europeans.By aligning himself with the Europeans, Ghandi had hoped to buy a better status fr himself and his people in South Africa, which he thought would have remained white. Had he lived long enough, he would have choked on the idea of Mandela and his people gaining their own freedom, but Mandela’s government has erected a statue of him in South Africa, as the first non-white to secure his country’s freedom from the Europeans. As such, he inspired others.
    Sinners can become saints. Repentant sinners make the best saints.It has never been recorded that any African went to Ghandi’s ashram,in India, but it well may be that if they had gone there in his last years, they may have been well treated. A bullet in 1948 cut short what he may have evolved into. At that itme he was trying to hold the subcontinent together, while Jinna preached partition, and many greedy Hindus were eyeing the possessions of the Muslims in India.

  • Salient words Ms edwards of 67′. Who am i to judge him…..that’s what anger does to the soul i guess. If in later life he evolved into something special then that in itself is highly commendable…most of us NEVER reach to that realm.

    Why are some of these people posting here trying to create mischief by denying slavery existed? And why are they further comparing it to the Hindu / Muslim struggle? They are not the same. Never will be! I always say walk a mile in my ancestors’ footsteps and come again!

    • Linda Edwards, Class of 1967

      Revisionism is part of all political history. When once the state gets hold of the textbook printing business, watch out. I heard the Indian Nobel Laureate, Armatya Sen speak at a World Council Forum in Houston some years ago, and bought his book- The Argumentative Indian. He has chapters on how the Janata Hindu Party tried to revise Indian history to erase the Muslins of the Munghal period
      from the textbooks, and the Congress Party had to fight them continuously on that.The Taj Mahal was built during the Munghal period, the most beautiful Muslim shrine in the world. I went to see the Classical Dancers of Rajastan- a Muslim state, and group, and they were wonderful. They are distinctly Muslim, they do the dance of the Sufi(dervishes who whirl in ecstacy for God), but the majority Hindu parties in India, do not give them full rights. (Go see the movie Slum Dog Millioniare, and recognize that the children who are being blinded to become beggars are Muslim and their handlers are not). You may begin to understand why they think it is the same thing. Slavery also existed in British India and was not abolished until 1888.They enslaved Africans and poor Indians of the lower castes. Debt slavery still exists in many parts of rural India. There are many unlettered, and therefore ignorant people in Trinidad, posing as sages and Guru-jis. They need exposing with the facts.
      It is a fact that for one hundred miles inland from Mali to the Congo River, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, there were no people living. The slave raiders had emptied the coastal towns.Estimates of the people forcibly removed from the continent go as high as twenty million, with about half of them dying on the Middle Passage. Some historians think those figures are too low, and have projected one hundred million instead. Indians, Arabs and Europeans were slave traders.

  • Good info Ms.Edwards OF 67′. Clarify something for me….cause my head just got real HOT; Did the Indians get in on the Transatlantic atrocities too or are you referring to another trade bet them and the muslims of India?

  • Linda Edwards, Class of 1967

    The transatlantic trade was mostly a triangle between Europe, West Africa and the Caribbean, and between North America, West Africa and the Caribbean. However, the most famous slave dealer in the area of Tanganika/Zanzibar, and reaching far into Central Africa,was a muslim named Tippu Tib. If you search him online you would learn how extensive his holding pens were in central Africa, from which he supplied slaves to whoever could pay for the.- Arabs supplying Saudi Arabia, slave traders to the western Hemisphere and those rajahs in India who wanted an exotic poodle in the form of a small page boy, who was African.Remember the little slave boy page in Pirates of the Caribbean? Such children were the toy poodles of the late eighteenth andearly nineteenth century.I hope this gives you enough to find what you are seeking.

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