I have been following the “the polytricks” taking place in Guyana, a land that “has been a torn and tortured terrain with divisive seeds sown in the colonial waters” as Sir Hilary Beckles described it (Express, July 13.) It’s not an overreach to say we are witnessing a replay of a traumatic encounter that took place years ago.
In 1970 Forbes Burnham declared Guyana a Co-operative Republic. I visited Guyana in 1972, the year in which the first Carifesta and the Non-Aligned Nations’ conference took place under the aegis of Comrade-Leader Burnham. It was a new and exciting time. Continue reading Making a Truce with Reality→
There was a minority view back in the 1980s/1990s when the lobby for a holiday to mark the presence of Indians in Trinidad & Tobago was loudest, that the termination of indentureship in 1917, not their arrival in 1845, should be celebrated. If that had prevailed, this year the Indo-Trinidad community would have marked the centennial of end of their semi-slavery. But the very vocal majority had their say and their day, hence the declaration of a public holiday on Arrival Day, May 30, the date when, in 1845, the Fatel Rozack docked in Port of Spain and deposited 200-odd wretched Indian souls on these shores. Continue reading I arrived by birth→
I did a double-take upon reading Freddie Kissoon’s post-May Day column in the Kaieteur News of Guyana. I don’t know Kissoon personally, but I do know that he’s an activist and a writer who is not averse to controversy, who writes as he sees things, damn the consequences. Continue reading Indian Tribalism→
The brutal attack on three African students at Rajiv Chowk Metro station hit headlines last week, reopening debates on racism experienced by Africans in the city. There is no official version yet of what the students – Yohan Koumba Daouda and Mapaga Yannis, both students of Amity Institute of Information Technology, and Guira, a first year BBA student of Sharda University – had done to incite the attack. One of the witnesses, who posted a video of the incident on YouTube, reportedly said that they were accused of ‘misbehaving with female passengers’ by making lewd comments at a woman on a train. Another report said that in the rush to board a train on the Yellow Line, one of the students was pushed aside. He apparently made a comment against Indians in protest, which then angered some passengers. Continue reading Update: African students recount racist attack in India→
With Narendra Modi taking office as Prime Minister of India following a convincing victory in the month-long general elections, the world’s largest parliamentary democracy, India, stands at critical crossroads.
The close to 200 million voters who propelled the controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power comprise in the main Hindu nationalists who see the country as Hindu first, anything else afterwards. But they were not the decisive elements that drove the Indian National Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty out of power in a humiliating rout. Continue reading Whither India?→
The historical truism is that Indian “indentured servants” came from India to Trinidad on 30 May 1845. They did not come from Indo. Ergo, the descendants of these original Indians are Indian-Trinbagonians. They are not Indo-Trinbagonians. This label is totally Euro-centric, ahistorical and must not only be relegated to the ash heap of T&T’s cultural/ethnic history but must also be expunged from T&T’s societal lexicon. Continue reading Indian Arrival Day — Afri-centric Analysis→
It has been a rather perplexing and strange experience to follow the national chorus of prominent citizens’ adamant position that President George Maxwell Richards should remove Nizam Mohammed as chairman of the PSC.
THE EDITOR: Possible points of confluence, and of departure between the ‘Ganges and the Nile’?
As Emancipation, T&T ’10 approaches, and considering possible choices for ongoing nationhood, three prescient thinkers, one in each of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, are worth citing. One is William Faulkner, the Nobel prize-winning American author; the other, George Santayana, the 19th century Spanish philosopher; and T&T’s David Rudder. Continue reading Emancipation 2010: ‘Ganges and the Nile’?→
THE EDITOR: Many Africans, especially those who have traditionally supported the PNM, are concerned about a possible racist, Indian backlash from this People’s Partnership government. In examining these concerns we also have to understand the difference in the dynamics of racial politics today. We have to examine the significance of Jack Warner as chairman of the UNC (an Indian-based political party) and Cabinet minister in the People’s Partnership government. We also have to look at the shortcomings of the PNM as it pertains to race relations. Continue reading The Indo-Afro Political Dynamic→