Tag Archives: Casteism

Indian Guyanese have much to celebrate on May 5 – By Dr. Devanand Bhagwan

Dear Editor: – May 5, (Indian) Arrival Day is special to me.

As an Indian Guyanese, I reflect on those Indians taking that bold step to leave Hindustan (India) behind and cross the kala pani (black water) into the unknown future. Folks were promised a just reward for indentured servitude, and they were willing to take a chance. They never knew of the slave-like conditions that were awaiting them, but they were a resilient lot.

The Indians endured much hardship. Most of them were sick and many died on the way to British Guiana during the months it took them to reach the promised land. Caste-ism, a societal bane then, as it is now, virtually disappeared because of the dynamics within the ship. Folks from all religions and castes became a virtual family. This jehaji (shipmates) familial feeling was so strong that they could have a marriage that involved jehajis!      Continue reading

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