Sunday, February 28, 2021
Home Lead Story Political Violence Against Indians in Suriname is Rare

Political Violence Against Indians in Suriname is Rare

Way back in 1964, the New York Times reported that 3000 East Indians were beaten and driven from their homes by Africans in the Mackenzie mining district

ANGELIQUE ALI HUSSAIN DEL CASTILLO is from Suriname. She is a former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Indonesia. She is the Chair of the Democratic Alternative91 (DA’91), a liberal political party in Suriname. Del Castillo is also the Founder and Chair of the Foundation Platform for Politically Active Women. She is also the author of a book entitled The Positive Branding of Islam.
ANGELIQUE ALI HUSSAIN DEL CASTILLO is from Suriname. She is a former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Indonesia. She is the Chair of the Democratic Alternative91 (DA’91), a liberal political party in Suriname. Del Castillo is also the Founder and Chair of the Foundation Platform for Politically Active Women. She is also the author of a book entitled The Positive Branding of Islam.

With reporting by Dr Kumar Mahabir

The following is a REPORT on Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre (ICC) ZOOM public meeting (6/9/20) on the topic “Political violence against Indians in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad – past and recent: Strategies to achieve peace and unity.” The meeting was moderated by Dr Kumar Mahabir of Trinidad and Tobago.

The speakers were RAVI DEV (Guyana), ANGELIQUE ALI HUSSAIN DEL CASTILLO
(Suriname), BASDEO PANDAY (Trinidad) and DR TARA SINGH (Guyana) as the discussant.
GUYANA has a long, bloody history of violence and murders. Way back in 1964, the New York Times reported that 3000 East Indians were beaten and driven from their homes by Africans in the Mackenzie mining district. And recently, on January 12 th 1998, 200 Indian-Guyanese were beaten and assaulted in the streets of Georgetown in full view of the police; yet no arrests were made. These riots were triggered by the victory of the Indian-based People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in the elections of December 1997.

Follow NewsGram on Quora Space to get answers to all your questions.

In SURINAME, former President Desi Bouterse was convicted of torturing and killing15
political opponents in 1982. The victims of the “December murders” included Indians
(Hindustanis) such as Baboeram, Shamber, Oemrawsingh, Rambocus and Sohansing. However, ethnic violence against Indians (Hindustanis) in Paramaribo and elsewhere is rare.
In TRINIDAD, Daurius Figueira has written a book on the political violence against the Indian-
based Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the 1960s. When DLP politicians attempted to stage
campaign meetings in either San Juan, Barataria, Laventille or Port of Spain, they were heckled, cursed and pelted with bottles and stones. Figueira wrote that in both Guyana and Trinidad, a “racist British strategy” destroyed East Indian political ascendancy “and placed a minority race in power through successive fraudulent elections.” Figueira’s book is entitled The East Indian Problem in Trinidad and Tobago 1953-1962 & Terror and Race War in Guyana 1961-1964 (2009).

Political violence against Indians in Suriname is rare
Political violence, as described by the WHO, is the deliberate use of power and force to achieve political goals. Pexels

ANGELIQUE ALI HUSSAIN DEL CASTILLO is from Suriname. She is a former Ambassador
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Indonesia. She is the Chair of the Democratic Alternative91 (DA’91), a liberal political party in Suriname. Del Castillo is also the Founder and Chair of the Foundation Platform for Politically Active Women. She is also the author of a book entitled The Positive Branding of Islam.

DEL CASTILLO said:

“Political violence, as described by the WHO, is the deliberate use of power and force to achieve political goals. It is characterized by both physical and psychological acts aimed at injuring or intimidating populations. This includes deprivation and deliberate denial of basic needs and human rights.

The Case of Suriname: The Surinamese community of today is the result of immigration both forced and free over the centuries from Asia, Africa and Europe. In the current demographics, Surinamese with Indian roots make up about 30% of the population. Their position has improved from the period of indentured labourers to one where they are active in business and in government as well as in law, medicine and any other professions. Fundamental to this emancipation process was education and additional political participation.

Governor J.C. Kielstra had an instrumental role in the development of the Indian community in Suriname. Because of Kielstra, Asian Marital law was introduced and accepted as a law in
Suriname. He also used his right to appoint five members for parliament for appointing mainly
Indians and Indonesians. With this, the threshold for political participation was crossed. He laid a foundation for recognition.

An important icon of Indian politics in Suriname is Mr. Jagernath Lachmon. Another notable
politician, also because she is female, is Indra Marijke Djwalapersad. Important was their
philosophy drawn from Confucius: ‘The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.’ Lachmon and Djwalapersad believed in promoting unity in diversity as opposed to assimilation, in building a political power structure based on the diverse ethnicity and culture of Suriname.

Political violence against Indians in Suriname is rare
Skin-colour, ethnicity and gender are weapons that could have been used in the psychological political violence. Pexels

Hard political violence against Indians did not materialise even though Indians chose to leave the country around independence out of fear, but then the early political leaders chose to contest elections as coalitions of political parties with a diverse ethnic base.

The political scene as well as the political behaviour of many ethnic groups, including the
Indians in Suriname, is much a product of fears and rules for acceptance.

Also Read: Breakups Amidst Lockdown Can Be Tough: Bollywood

There have been crucial moments when it could have gone either way: physical political violence or just staying with the still-present undercurrent of psychological political violence. Our independence in 1975 was such a moment. Most recently the elections held in May 2020 were based on a campaign of ethnicity.

Skin-colour, ethnicity and gender are weapons that could have been used in the psychological
political violence.

We will have to emphasize education, leadership and politics based on programs, ideals and
principles. This strategy will allow for a deeper understanding, and less fear and unconditional
acceptance. It will lead a collective ‘We’ instead of an ethnic “I”.

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

With Current Climate Pledges, Global Emissions in 2030 Will Only Be 1% Lower

A United Nations Climate Change report has warned that with all current climate pledges, global emissions in 2030 will only be one per cent...

Does B-Town Link Women’s Beauty With Fair Skin? AI Analysis Reveals Truth!

For Bollywood, beautiful women have fair skin, according to an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based computer analysis which reveals that conception of beauty has remained consistent...

Smartphones May Help To Detect Early-Warning Signs of Glaucoma

Smartphones, often blamed for eye strains and other problems, can also come to your aid as researchers have found that these devices could be...

Google To Test AI Technology For Boosting Maternal Health

Researchers from Google Research and IIT Madras have designed an AI technology that could provide an indication of women who are at risk of...

Journey of Jasprit Bumrah Towards Becoming a World-Class Pace Bowler From Scratch!

When Jasprit Bumrah started troubling young batsmen with pace generated by his quick arm action and short run-up at his school's cricket academy, a...

Are Good Bacteria Getting Viral Infections?

Researchers have developed a test to determine if bacteria are sick, similar to the one used to test humans for Covid-19. According to the...

Aerobic Exercise May Help Slow Memory Loss For Older Adults

Aerobic exercise may help slow memory loss for older adults living with Alzheimer's dementia, says new research. The findings indicate that a six-month aerobic...

Bacteria To Defeat Infections Afflicting People With Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers have discovered a slimy strategy used by bacteria to defeat antibiotics and other drugs used to combat infections afflicting people with cystic fibrosis. Cystic...

Recent Comments