Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 26th 2015 Contents A34
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, September 26, 2015
The Indian diaspora in the
Caribbean is one of the most vibrant
across the globe, writes India s Min-
ister of External Affairs and Overseas
Indian Affairs, Sushma Swaraj in a
message in the just published book
India In The Caribbean, which was
recently at Nalis.
The book was initiated and co-ordi-
nated by India s High Commissioner,
Shri Gauri Shankar Gupta,and edited
by Atlury Murali.
Swaraj continues: "Though num-
bering less than two million across
the Caribbean islands, they occupy a
position of considerable power and
They have produced some of the
best artists, writers, spiritual leaders,
political thinkers, doctors, lawyers,
scientists and sportsmen. Indian fes-
tivities including Diwali, Holi, Maha
Shiva and Ram Navami are celebrated
with traditional fervour and gaiety.
Indian films and music areas popular
as they are in India."
She adds: "I, therefore, take this
opportunity to pay tribute to the
sagacity, fortitude and courage of these
valiant people faraway from India."
Then Foreign Affairs minister, Win-
ston Dookeran, in a message said that
as with other diasporas, the Indian
community does have an affinity with
"That affinity was kept alive by
films, letters and the ties of kinship.
The earlier generations understandably
were nostalgic. Globalisation today,
however, is triumphant.
With growing convergence among
nations and states, nostalgia will recede
and some memories lost.
While not losing their heritage, the
Indian community is first and foremost
part and parcel of the citizenry of
T&T," Dookeran noted.
Dookeran said that the journey was
long, at times arduous and difficult
but always inspiring, in discovery of
a new Caribbean identity.
Indian High Commissioner Shri
Gauri Shankar Gupta, in the foreword,
noted that relations between India and
T&T are deeply rooted in history and
culture, through their initial history
has been painful and brutal.
"During the colonial era, after abo-
lition of slavery in 1833, the British
faced extreme shortage of labour for
sugar plantation in their sugar pro-
ducing colonies of the Caribbean.
To overcome this problem, over half
a million Indians were transported to
the region as indentured workers (often
called as Indian coolies) with false
hope and promises.
Most of these workers came from
Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Western
Bihar, while a smaller number came
from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Many of them even died on the way
during the long voyage," Gupta added.
India In The Caribbean is a classic
presentation, away from the routine
issues such as cramped in huts, but
it now singles out some of the achieve-
ments of the Indian diaspora today
which is both educational and for-
ward-looking, thus ensuring a firm
place in the overall scheme of chal-
lenges which they faced earlier on in
their sojourn to T&T, and by extension
In its 275 pages, the book which was
edited by published by India Empire
Publications, India, is compressed with
articles by Dr Rampersad Parasram on
Customs and Traditions of East Indi-
ans in T&T; Prof Brinsley Samaroo,
From Girmityas to Nation-builders:
the Indo-Caribbean Experience; Dr
Hans Hanoomansingh Role and Evo-
lution of Broadcasting; Dr Primnath
Gooptar, Memory---Indian Films and
the Creation of Indian Identity in
Trinidad; Shamshu Deen, Challenges
to Tracing Roots in Trinidad; and Amar
Jeet, Culture and Traditional Way of
Life, among the 24 contributors.
Each one of the contributions is
stimulating, refreshing and thought-
provoking enhanced by in depth bib-
liographies and researches.
There are also commendations from
Dr Deokienanan Sharma, president of
the National Council of Indian Culture
(NCIC), Satnarayan Maharaj, secretary
general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha
Sabha (SDMS), Yacoob Ali, president
general of the Anjuman Sunnat-ul-
Jamaat Association (ASJA), and Pandit
Hardeo Persad, Paramacharya,
India In The Caribbean is worth
reading by all, regardless of religious,
cultural, geographic or ethnic orien-
tations as it gives an eventful insight
of the Indian Diaspora which has a
few years short of 200 years on this
side of the Atlantic.
New book highlights
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