Georgetown, GINA, March 26, 2007
I have read it with interest. I personally fully support the call for reparation. My only regret is that President Jagdeo (according to this article) did not add a call for apology and reparation for the 1.2 million India's indentured laborers, who were transported to the European colonies after the African slavery was, thankfully, abolished. The Indian indenture system, know as the girmit system in Fiji and South Africa, was as brutal as the African slavery. It took nearly a century from the abolition of the African slavery to abolish the Indian indentured slavery in 1916. I feel that it is not inappropriate for a descendant of the Indian indentured slavery to speak of it while speaking of the African slavery. The two forms of slaveries interlocked by the fact that the end of one heralded the start of the other. Both were brutal forms of human exploitation and both needs apologies and reparation. The article states:The consequences of the slave trade for African societies is still being debated. The removal of millions of young men and women led to depopulation that stifled African creativity and production.
This is also true of more than half million young Indian men and women removed from a small region of East UP and West Bihar. Today these two regions are perhaps the most depressed regions of India. Is there a link here? These young labourers from India contributed greatly towards the economic progress in the indentured colonies of Fiji, Guyana, Mauritius etc. It can be argued that removal of so many of them from a small region of India would have contributed towards the economic degeneration of the same. If this is the case then reparation for these regions must be sought as well.
By linking the two forms of slavery we can support each other in our calls for apology and reparation.
Here is a website www.girmitunited.org which calls for apology and reparation for the girmitiyas and their descendants http://www.girmitunited.org/Apology_Reparation.htm .