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This article is completely based on the research work and opinion of Dr Kwame Nantambu. Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and Tobago marks an important event in the Indian History as well as World History. If one browses through the article, they will come across details about the origins that include the Asian-Chinese Dynasty, “Ganges” river, Indian originality and the label “Indentured Servants.” Dr Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies has highlighted certain origins and the historical dynamics of Indian Arrival.
Pieces of evidence and studies have revealed that Africans had ruled all of Asia in the B.C. era. It is quite strange to know that China’s first two and most important dynasties- the Xia (2205-1766 B.C.) and Shang/Chang were ruled by Africans.
Understanding facial dynamics also add an interesting angle in knowing the origin of several communities. If one takes a closer look at the Asian facial type of eyes, one will notice it is slanted. This is one of the common characteristics of people in West Africa, the Sahara and in South Africa among the Kong-San Bushmen. Therefore, as one can already figure it out that these ancient Africans brought numerous facial dynamics when they ruled Asia for centuries and mingled with the indigenous population; just as the African-Moors did in Euro-Spain from 711-1492 A.D.
History bears proof that the earliest occupants or inhabitants of Asia are Africans, from ancient Kemet or Egypt. They were the ones who built pyramids in China, which is located near Siang Fu city in the Shensi province.
Need more proofs? The 1st Chinese emperor, Fu-Hsi (“Son of Heaven”) 2953-2838 B.C. was a woolly-haired Black-African man who invented the oracle of “I Ching” or “The Book of Change.”
In addition to that “martial arts,” a form of sports and the therapy called “acupuncture” today were the gift of the ancient Africans from Kemet/Egypt to China. One can go in person and see the evidence of all these historical truisms painted on the walls of Temple of Ptah. In ancient Kemet or Egypt B.C., the ‘opening of the mouth’ ceremony was believed to have been devised by him.”
“Ganges” is considered one of the most sacred of rivers in India, as there is a spiritual significance attached to it. But, only a few of them is aware of the fact that is named in the honour of the most famous and powerful African or Ethiopian King, namely Pharaoh/King Ganges, who invaded, conquered as well as ruled Asia as far as this river in India circa 1,500 B.C.
History bears witness that Indian “indentured servants” came to Trinidad from India in May 1845. They did not come from Indo. Put another way, Indians were the people who came from India; they were not the Indoes who came from Indo.
Ergo, the descendants of these original Indians are now proud Indian-Trinbagonians in May 2011. They are not Indo-Trinbagonians- this label is totally ahistorical and must not only be immediately relegated to the ash heap of T&T’s cultural or ethnic history but must also be expunged from T&T’s societal lexicon.
“Indentured Servants”: Afri-centric Background
In his magnum opus titled Capitalism and Slavery (1938), Dr. Eric Williams asserts:
“The immediate successor of the Amerindians was not the African but ‘poor whites.’ They were regarded as ‘indentured servants’ because before leaving England, they had to sign a contract binding them to service for a stipulated period in return for their passage. Others were criminals/convicts who were sent by the British government to serve for a specific time on plantations in the Caribbean.” (p.9).
Dynamics of Indian Arrival
Prof. Isaac Dookhan in his book titled A Post Emancipation History of the West Indies (1975), suggests that immigration of Indians to the Caribbean was very attractive due to following reasons:
- During the Colonial rule, the establishment of the British factory system in India destroyed Indian domestic industries, like the spinning of cloth and as a result about tens of thousands were thrown out of work and this resulted in the high unemployment rate.
- Due to the failing of crops and high food prices, parts of India got affected by famine.
- Lands were taken away forcefully or by illegal methods in India and Indians were promised of land for themselves in Carribean
- Indians saw Trinidad and Guyana as a better future for themselves as the Indians were promised higher wages. Labourers were paid between 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 pence a day in India but in Trinidad, they could earn 2 shillings a day and in Guyana, 1 shilling and 9 pence a day, that was enough to lure them.
- Criminals who escaped from the police and were afraid of returning to the village, as well as loafers, could go to the colonies.
- As small scale industries were shut down, displaced workers in cottage industries and agriculture and labourers experienced seasonal unemployment and financial crisis became common. Due to lack of job opportunities, they were ready to listen to the Euro-British recruiters’ propaganda.
- Some Indians were brought to Carribean by giving a false hope that they could find non-agricultural work as policemen, teachers, clerks, and much more in the Caribbean colonies.
- Contacts and communications with returning relatives and friends from Carribean, who came back home with a decent sum of money encouraged Indians to emigrate. (pp.51-52)
The religious breakdown of the Indians who came to Trinidad: 85.3% Hindus, 14% Muslims and .07% Christians.
The result clearly states that majority of them were Hindus as the last Euro-British ship to bring Indians from India was called the “Ganges.” It took about five months to reach Carribean from India as it was via Cape of Good Hope (Africa).
225 Indians arrived at Nelson Island, Trinidad, on the Muslim-owned vessel “Fath Al Razak,” on 30 May 1845. Six Indians died during that journey via the “Kala Paani” or Middle Passage.
Indian Arrival Day—Guyana
18 Indians died in the journey, when two small sailing ships, the “Whitby” and “Hesperus” arrived with 396 immigrants from India on 5 May 1847.
Indian Arrival Day—Jamaica
In Jamaica, it was on 10 May 1845 when 261 Indians arrived on the ship “Blundell Hunter.”
Indians who came to Trinidad consisted of men and women between the age group of 10-30 years and they were from the lower caste people Shudras, and not the Brahmins, who came to Trinidad. Others were agricultural workers and 40 women to 100 men were selected from this section.
The Indians came to Trinidad from the following towns in India: Calcutta, Madras, Pondicherry, Punjab, Lahore, Karachi, Bihar, Hyderabad, Peshawar, Mardan and Kashmir. As of this writing (29 May 2011), the umbilical, ancestral cord of this historic, unforgettable journey is still etched in the names of streets in St. James — location, location, location.
An offer of 5 pounds and five acres of land were made to the Indian “indentured labourers” to stay in the colonies after their contract ended. The offer was different for men and women. While men received a five-year contract, women got only a three-year contract. The stark historical reality is that the Indian “indentured labourers” received the same treatment from the Euro-British government that was afforded to the Euro-British “poor whites” or “indentured servants.” The contract said that 10 years after the contract ended, immigrants could return to India and a free passage will be provided.
In the colonies, the work schedule was such that the Indian “indentured migrants” were required to work only 280 days a year; while women who are pregnant worked part-time on the plantations. In case a woman has children, older women used to look after them.
In 1869, the Euro-Trinidad–colonial government opened up Crown Lands for sale and thousands of ex-indentured Indians acquired ten–acre estates. In 1884, the Euro-colonial-British government established the Peasant Development Programme to assist in the economic development of Indians in Trinidad.
Dispersal of Indians in Diaspora
Research by Prof. Isaac Dookhan reveals the count of Caribbean indenture dispersal of Indians: Trinidad, 143,939 (1845-1917); Jamaica, 36, 412 (1845-1885); Guyana, 238,909 (1847-1917); St. Lucia 4,354; Grenada, 3,200; St. Vincent, 2,472 and St. Kitts, 337 (p.51). Apart from that, Indian “Indentured labourers” also went to Fiji, Belize, Mauritius, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. If one counts the total, it sums up to 1.5 million Indians, who left India in this labour-intensive exercise.
It was on 21 March 1916, when the Euro-colonial–British government went ahead and abolished the Indian indentureship system and it came into effect on 21 March 1917.
– prepared by NewsGram team
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England brought with it many apprehensions and fears that translated into a new genre in literature: the gothic. Today, the idea of the gothic does not have to much with literature as much as it is associated with fashion.
The Victorians began to wear black more often during the Industrial Revolution to hide the stains of soot on their clothes. Many of the working class were employed in factories. They were newly introduced to technology, the idea of coal as fuel, and the working of machines to serve a certain purpose. This kind of work was hard and messy. Wearing light colours burdened the tired folk when the stubborn stains did not get washed away.
The steam engine was invented to make locomotion easier for the masses, but it brought fear to the people. They had led quiet and simple lives till now, and suddenly their world was infiltrated with loud noises and smoke. Dark places became synonymous with evil deeds and mysteries. It was from this time that horror gained a place in the imaginations of people and artists.
A man sporting gothic clothes and shock coloured hair Image source: wikimedia commons
The gothics of today are those who have held on to these practices. There is no need to fear smoke and noise anymore, but the goths wear black clothes all the time, paint their skin a pale shade, to contrast their clothes, and wear bright shades of red. The traditional gothics decorated themselves with jewellery bearing religious significances, as the belief in Dracula and vampires emerged in the Victorian period. Today, it is a trend to wear studded crosses, or crosses made of black metal either as neck chokers, or earrings.
Modern goths also wear bright monotones to show their patronage of a certain style or order of the goths. They can be seen in neon shades of green, pink, and yellow, often sporting piercings, and matching hair. Their tastes are metallic, and they have an uncanny love for tattoos.
Designers consistently include gothic tastes and styles in their clothing lines to create inclusivity for this subculture. Being gothic, or identifying with them is somewhat a concern even in today's society, and such people are often stigmatised to the extent that it is considered a mental illness associated with the dark arts. The phenomenon is mostly observed in teenagers, and often phases out when they reach adulthood, depending on their sphere of influence.
Keywords: Gothic, Fashion, Victorian, Black, Jewellery