Tag Archives: indentured servants

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

The Case for Compensating the Caribbean – commentary

The Case for Compensating the Caribbean

Thursday, April 11, 2013 – By Sir Ronald Sanders

In 1838, British slave owners in the English-Speaking Caribbean received £11.6 (US$17.8) billion in today’s value as compensation for the emancipation of their “property” – 655,780 human beings of African descent that they had enslaved, brutalised and exploited.  The freed slaves, by comparison, received nothing in recompense for their dehumanisation, their cruel treatment, the abuse of their labour and the plain injustice of their enslavement.

The monies paid to slaves owners have been studied and assembled by a team of Academics from University College London, including Dr Nick Draper, who spent three years pulling together 46,000 records which they have now launched as an internet database.  The website is: ucl.ac.uk/lbs.                       Continue reading