15 December, 2017

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Part 3: Indian Plantation Workers Overseas – Fiji, The Caribbean

By Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan

Prof. Charles Sarvan

In Fiji, the racial divide between Indians and Fijians, the suspicion, fear and hostility, led to the military coup of 1987 which prompted many Indians to emigrate. They, like their parents and grandparents, had been born in Fiji; had believed and felt it to be home, but suddenly home was no longer home. This imperial legacy is similar to that experienced by descendants of indentured labour in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. In Satendra Nandan’s The Wounded Sea (1991), Fijian Indians are like Rama in the Indian epic The Ramayana who, on the eve of his coronation, in an abrupt reversal, is sent into exile. But to Rama and his wife there was a triumphant return; to the Indians, a dispersal, insecurity and unease. By law, most of the land is reserved for Fijians, and though the first batch of indentured workers reached Fiji in 1879, their children cannot own land; cannot have the claims and the feelings which flow from such rights. “Coolies” do not make history: they merely suffer it. As Nandan shows, suffering without hope, many degenerate into alcoholism, crudity and violence (77). Satendra Nandan is a contemporary writer (born 1939), and for an account of the earlier experience of indenture in Fiji, one must turn to Totaram Sanadhya’s My Twenty-One Years in the Fiji Islands and The Story of the Haunted Line, both now in one volume. Sanadhya arrived in Fiji in 1893, at the age of seventeen, returned to India in 1914, and published these works which were subsequently translated into several Indian languages. Even as an adult, the remembrance of the poverty his parents endured in India brought “clouds of sorrow” (32) to him. He ran away from his widowed mother (because he was unable to be of help, and didn’t want to be an additional burden on her) and met up with an arkati or recruiter. The arkati trained their victims to answer “Yes” to all questions, and the latter found they had “voluntarily” bound themselves to go to Fiji, a land whose very name they had not heard before. Those recruited were known as grimitiyas because they had signed a grimit, an Indianisation of “agreement.” The trapped grimitiyas, prior to embarkation (Sanadhya’s voyage took three months and twelve days) were forbidden to speak to each other, in case information was exchanged and the true nature of things discovered. The food given was so hard it first had to be soaked in water. On arrival, they were immediately surrounded by police, indicating their captive status. They woke at four in the morning, and were working by five. An impossible amount of work was set, and failure to fulfil the quota meant a fine. This last reduced the grimitya’s pay and set him down the road into inextricable debt. The government inspectors who came round were “White”; they stayed with the planters, were their guests and wrote positive reports. Women suffered the most, getting up at three-thirty in the morning to prepare food for the day; working ten hours, and retuning home to cook for the night and to clean. There was “a corpse-like shading to their faces” (61). A woman desired by a man with power was assigned work in a lonely place so that she could be raped. One woman, forced back to work only three days after giving birth and being unable to cope, was so badly beaten that she ended up mentally deranged. Brij Lal records cases such as an English overseer pouring acid on the penis of a grimitya; of a woman who just after giving birth was put to work breaking stones, and when unable to complete the task, being beaten senseless (41). Since the ratio of women was about thirty to every hundred men, prostitution, infidelity, suspicion and violence were rife. In The Story of the Haunted Line, women lament their fate, comfort each other and resume work (119): work was both destroyer and distraction. The author himself was tempted to commit suicide but was stopped by thoughts of his mother’s love for him, and of his love for, and duty towards, her.

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Caribbean. If the ancestors are texts waiting to be written (Dabydeen 1988, 12) then it is the children of those who went West, to the Caribbean and to Guyana – who have done the most to commemorate, to indict, to celebrate: I have already referred to several works from this region. The “coolie” mother in Dabydeen’s work, Coolie Odyssey, has incredible courage; is iron-like in her determination that her son will have a better life, and so, though her feet and hands are cracked, though she’s coughing blood, she continues to labour.

The “discovery” (sic) of the Caribbean was an unmitigated disaster for the Amerindians, the autochthonous inhabitants, for it marked their extinction. This was followed by the importation of Africans as slaves and, with abolition, there began the new form of slavery, indenture. Between 1838 and 1917, about over half a million Indians were shipped out to the Caribbean and to the northern coasts of the South American continent (Dabydeen 1996, 1). Yet this region is generally thought of as being African, the Indians and their contribution being overlooked (Mangru, vii). Similar to Maniam’s description of the voyage to Malaya, Mangru cites evidence that, on board ship, the “coolies” received but one meal a day. The absence of toilets for the exclusive use of women resulted in extreme embarrassment to them, not to mention vulnerability to sexual assault (26). The spirit of slavery but newly abolished, governed employer-employee relations, and it was convenient for the former – as with ruling classes all over – to believe that the workers were contented, even happy, with their degraded status and miserable lives. The “coolies” were restricted to the plantation, their movement curtailed by law. Generally, the aim was to create a sense of helplessness, despair and dependence. Laws, rights and entitlements were not explained to the “coolies”: the planter, the overseer and others with power were the law, and what they said was the law. Civil contracts were enforced by criminal proceedings. Mangru concludes that indenture (particularly in the early years) was slavery in a disguised form. He cites the rate of suicide for 1902-1912 as averaging 400 per every million in Trinidad and 926 in Fiji, while for the whole of British India, it was a mere 51 (Mangru, 114) The wealth created by the “coolie” went into British coffers; into the pockets of plantation owners and their managers: very little was given back to the actual producers of wealth. Those who opted out of indenture and remained in the colony, found life difficult because it was not in the interests of the colonial government, of plantation owners and managers: a thriving peasantry would make cheap, exploitable labour hard to come by. Further, as in Fiji and Sri Lanka, the numbers imported, the expropriation of land in the latter, the separation between groups (encouraged, if not enforced) led to racial tension (see, for example, Shewcharan).

Clem Seecharan confirms much of the above in his study. For example, he writes that where the “coolies” lived, the “logies” (in Sri Lanka, the “coolie lines”) were known as “the nigger yard” (67): cramped, unhygienic places breeding ill health and strife. These were the “homes” to which the exhausted “coolie” returned. They were cowed into silence by the fear of being dismissed, evicted or being assigned more arduous and unpleasant work. The “coolie lines” or “logies” are the most enduring symbol of plantation life (74). However, Seecharan also points out that oppression, degradation and despair, though axiomatic, are not the complete picture: “The elaborate rituals, the lavish preparation, and the informal, joyful participation in festivals, like Holi and Diwali, fed a sense of community…. The Indians were irrepressible, their wit was spontaneous, they were alive. To paint a picture of darkness, of a pervasive melancholy, is a distortion” (73). This is true of the “coolie” experience in general as, for example, some of the songs Velupillai has recorded attest. RoopIall Monar’s Backdarn People (1985), rather like Velupillai’s work, describes the daily life of the “coolie” but is different in that the focus is on escapades, mischief and infidelities. Despite the strong picaresque element, there is the unmistakable presence of the plantation, and of the reality of plantation (or estate) life: “backdam” itself refers to the distant part of the estate. Those assigned to work there had to walk four or five miles in the darkness, getting up extra early to begin work on time. The village teacher must accept that, however intelligent, his pupils will end up working as “coolies”.

Two significant fictional works from this region are Harold Ladoo’s No Pain Like This Body (1972) and David Dabydeen’s The Counting House (1996). The former is set in Trinidad and told through the perspective of a child. It is August, the rainy season, and the family live in a hut with a leaking roof and muddy floors. With the rain, the ants and scorpions come out of hiding, and outside, in the rice fields and forests, there are snakes. The father has given up altogether and turned alcoholic. His despair finds vent in gross crudity and appalling brutality meted out to his wife and children. The emaciated woman endures and struggles, determined that her children will, one day, “come man and woman” (1972, 41). But a desperate poverty and unhygienic conditions; ill health, constant beatings and the lack of care; sorrow and grief, drive her to insanity and death. The father may rant and rampage; be foul, lie, brutalise, but it is the mother and grandmother, their courage born of love, that one remembers. There is nothing shy and timid in them (Espinet, 81). When on the verge of despair, the grandmother beats her drum: it is a call to God; a warding off of evil; defiance and celebration. Repeatedly, the two women ask, “Where you is God?” (Ladoo 49); “Which part in dat sky you is God?” (Ladoo 71) but God calmly continues to watch the sorry soap-opera of human lives. It is a searing novel, one that makes the reader flinch and, once read, is difficult to forget. (In 1973, while on a visit to Trinidad, Harold Ladoo was attacked and killed. He was twenty-eight.)

Dabydeen’s novel covers two phases of the indenture experience – recruitment and servitude – and briefly mentions the third – the return. Rohini, aged seventeen, and Vidia, twenty, marry and, a year later (1857) sail to Guiana. Clem Seecharan writes (xxiii) that the infamous recruiter still excites the imagination of local Indians, and in Dabydeen’s novel, the recruiter slinks at the edges of the village; he entices, traps and transports. Of the two, it is Rohini, the wife, who persuades her husband to emigrate. She is the one with enterprise and determination. On arrival, they find that they have sold themselves into virtual slavery. As I suggested in a brief review of the novel (1997), Vidia’s inability to father a child points to a wider impotency, given the context of indenture and “cooliehood”. Disappointed, Rohini begins to admire imperial power, purpose and achievement. She is made pregnant by Gladstone (Glad-stone) and steals the money Vidia had collected (tiny sum by tiny sum, through arduous toil) to pay for the abortion. Rohini ends deranged and Vidia drowns on the return voyage to India: ironically, his intention was to become a recruiter. Often, the victims of cruelty turn cruel.

Both these novels end in defeat; both confirm what Lucille, in Janice Shineboume’s The Last English Plantation tells her daughter of “coolie” life and marriage: “they drink rum … and beat their wives, and fight…. Their wives cook from three o’clock in the morning to late at night! You want to be a coolie woman? …. Coolie women have to carry all the burdens for the men, the burden of the sick, the old, the children … and get no thanks for it, only [beatings]” (128). But with the passage of time, things have changed and improved. The descendants of those “coolies” who went to Mauritius have fared the best, while the situation of the so-called “Indian” Tamils in Sri Lanka remains the most unfortunate. The authors mentioned in this article are themselves evidence that at least some escaped “cooliehood”. Through intelligence and resolve, they got into various lifeboats and escaped the long-lingering effects of “coolieness” – helped by those for whom escape was too late in life, and too early in history.

Coolie is “the name of our hard-working, economy-building forefathers…   All this they gave to us and more. In return… what greater tribute can we pay to them than to keep alive the name by which they were called? COOLIE is a beautiful word that conjures up poignancy, tears defeats, achievements.” (Singh 353)

WORKS CITED

Anand, Mulk Raj 1935, Untouchable, Lawrence & Wishart, London.

________1936, Coolie, Lawrence & Wishart, London.

________1937, Two Leaves and a Bud, Lawrence & Wishart, London.

Arasaratnam, S.1970, Indians in Malaysia and Singapore, Oxford UP, London.

Beaton, Patrick 1859, Creoles and Coolies: Fi ve Years in Mauritius, James Nisbet,

London.

Chandrasekhar, S. (ed) 1988, From India to Mauritius, Population Review Books, Califomia.

Dabydeen, David 1986, Slave Song, Dangaroo Press, Oxford.

________1988, Coolie Odyssey, Dangaroo Press, Coventry, UK.

________1996, The Counting House, Cape, London.

_________1999, A Harlot’s Progress, Cape, London.

Dabyden, David and Brinsley Samaroo (ed) 1996. Across The Dark Waters:

Ethnicity and Indian Identity in the Caribbean, Macmillan, London.

Daniel, Valentine E. 1996, Charred Lullabies, Princeton UP, Princeton.

Das, Mahadai 1988, Bones, Peepal Tree Press, Leeds.

Donnell, Alison and Sarah Welsh (ed;) 1999, The Routledge Reader in Caribbean Literature, Routledge, London.

Espinet, Ramabai 1991, Nuclear Seasons, Sister Vision Press, Toronto.

Fries, Yvonne and Thomas Bibin 1984, The Undesirables, K.P. Bagchi, Calcutta.

Gillard, Michael 1975, ‘Sri Lanka’s Diet of Death’, The Guardian,

           London, 8 April, p. 14.

Kurian, Rachel et al. 1984, ‘Plantation Politics’, Race & Class,

         vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 83-95.

Ladoo, Harold Sonny 1987 (1972), No Pain Like This Body, Heinemann, London.

Lal, Brij V. 1992, Broken Waves: A History of the Fiji Islands in the Twentieth

Century, U of Hawaii P, Honolulu.

Lauchmonen 1965, 0ld Thorn’s Harvest, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London. 1960,

_______ Guiana Boy, New Literature Publishing, Sussex.

Lessing, Doris 1973, ‘”Leopard” George’, in This Was the 0ld Chief’s County, Vol. 1 of Doris Lessing’s Collected African Stories, Michael Joseph, London.

Mangru, Basedo 1993, Indenture and Abolition: Sacrifice and Survival on the Guyanese Sugar Plantations, TSAR Publications, Toronto.

Maniam, K.S. 1993a (1981); The Return, Skoob Books, London.

_________1993b, In a Far Country, Skoob Books, London.

Markandaya, Kamala 1994 (1955), Nectar in a Sieve, Jaico Publishing House. Bombay.

Monar, Rooplall 1985, Backdam People, Peepal Tree Press, Leeds.

Muller, Carl 1993, The Jarn Fruit Tree, Penguin Books, New Delhi.

________ 2000, ‘Sri Lanka’s Cinderella’, The Sunday Times (Colombo), 12 Mar. p. 6.

Naipaul, V.S. 1987, The Enigma of Arrival, Penguin Books, London.

Nandan, Satendra 1991, The Wounded Sea, Simon & Schuster, Australia.

Ramesar, Marianne Soares, ‘The Repatriates’, in Across the Dark Waters, ed. David Dabydeen and Brinsley Samaroo, pp. 175-200.

Rigby, Graeme 1993, The Black Cook’s Historian, Constable, London.

Sadeek, Sheik 1980, ‘Windswept’ and Other Stories.

             Privately printed: Georgetown, Guyana.

_______1969, Dreams and Reflections, Privately printed, Newtown, Guyana.

Sanadhya, Totaram 1991, My Twenty-One Years in the Fiji Islands and The Story of the Haunted Line, translated by John Dunham Kelly and Uttra Kumari Singh,

Fiji Museum, Suva.

Sarvan, Charles 1989, ‘With the Begging Bowl: The Politics of Poverty’,

World Literature Today, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 439-43.

_______1996a, ‘Ethnic Nationalism and Response in K.S. Maniam’s In a Far ­Country’, World Literature Written in English, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 67-74.

————1996b, ‘Paradigms of the Slave Trade in Two British Novels’, International Fiction Review, vol. 23, no.s 1 & 2, pp. 1-8

———– 1997, ‘David Dabydeen’s The Counting House’,

World Literature Today, vol. 71, no. 3, p. 634.

Seecharan, Clem 1997, Tiger in the Stars: The Anatorny of Indian Achievement in British Guiana 1919-29, Macmillan. London.

Shewcharan, Narmala 1994, Tomorrow Is Another Day, Peepal Tree Press, Leeds.

Shinebourne, Janice 1988, The Last English Plantation, Peepal Tree Press, Leeds. Singh, Rajkumari 1996, ‘I Am a Coolie’, in The Routledge Reader in Caribbean

Literature, ed. Alison Donnell and Sarah Welsh, Routledge, London. pp.

351-53.

Sivanandan, A. 1984a, ‘Editorial’, Race & Class, vol. XXV 1, no. 1, pp. i-ii.

_______ 1984b, ‘Sri Lanka: Racism and the Politics of Underdevelopment’,

Race & Class, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 1-37.

1997, When Memory Dies, Arcadia Books, London.

Tate, D.J.M. 1996, The Rubber Growers’ Association History Of The Plantation Industry in the Malay Peninsula, Oxford UP, London.

Thondaman, S.1987, My Life and Times, The Ceylon Workers Congress, Colombo.

______1994, Tea & Politics, Vijitha Yapa Books, Colombo.

Tinker, Hugh 1974, A New System of Slavery: The Export of Indian Labour Overseas, 1830-1920, Oxford UP, Oxford.

Unsworth, Barry 1992, Sacred Hunger, Penguin, Hamondsworth.

Velupillai, C.V. 1957, In Ceylon’s Tea Garden, Harrison Peiris, Colombo.

________1970, Born to Labour, Gunasena Publications, Colombo.


Related posts:

Part 2: Indian Plantation Workers Overseas – Ceylon

Indian Plantation Workers Overseas: Introduction & Malaya

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Latest comments

  • 2
    5

    Dont’ blame the native real Fijians for being worried and resenting your tamil Indian serfs. Blame the British. Coolies from S.India where their oppressed desperate lives to this date are abysmal preferred to be labourers in Ceylon, Malaysia and Fiji. They work really hard. They labour under the scorching sun and storms and work hard. But essentially they were a foreign force who stick together, do not marry outside, stick to Hinduism and do not mingle with real natives in Fiji. Same goes in Ceylon in a way. They are the most exploited poorly managed group of people with the most corrupt filthy rich CWC and other bribe taking political leaders and ministers. CWC keeps them ignorant and dependent. Very few break out of their circumstances. In India the Hindi speaking Indians came later as traders and farm owners. The Tamils came as serfs/indentured labour imported by British and then stayed on. India is still a shithole for them; that is why there are 25,000 illegal S.Indian immigrants in Ceylon now. Go back and use your Western money to help poor people and specially poor Estate Tamils. SIT With them, SHARE Their cups and plates. Sit in their line room homes. Can you do that? no Ceylon tamil upper castes respect them.. The sinhala people who hire them as domestic help support them better than the arrogant Vellala and Brahmin Ceylon Tamils.

    • 9
      1

      Stupid creature the Indians in Fiji are largely from the Hindi speaking parts of India and very few Tamils. It is the same in the West Indies and Mauritius. Indentured labour from South India largely went to Ceylon and Malaysia and some to South Africa. Lots of indentured Tamil serfs from South India imported by the Portuguese and the Dutch became Sinhalese. Half the so called present Sinhalese population are descended from this indentured South Indian labour. very high chance they were your ancestors too Sinhalese racist. Funny it is the recently Sinhalised descendants of these indentured South Indian labour or” Tamil serfs” as you call, are now the biggest anti Tamils and supporters of the Sinhalese Aryan theory and the Mahavamsa myth. You are a very good example. Stop screeching and posting rubbish here before you get your facts correct.

  • 3
    0

    During the beginning of 19th century there was a serious drought in the land todays called India ..people died daily ..watching this pathetic situation collectors (= govt.agents) sent letters to their friends in British controlled countries requested them to help these people .Graduates from same British schools went as civil servants…in many countries under British Raj…thus they have maintained contacts.

    This is how emigration of Indians started .aroud 1824..except Myanmar ( Burma ) Indians went to South Africa,Mauritius ,Guyana,Trinidad ,Fiji ,Malaysia ,Sri Lanka as workers in Tea ,Sugar Cane,Rubber plantations…Nattu Kottai Chettiars who once controlled 70% of paddy fields in Burma brought people mainly Tamils to work in agriculture ..even today 15 Million Tamils live in Myanmar and majority work in paddy fields.

    Banking system in South Asia was started by these Chettiars ..before the arrival of modern banks …Sultans and British merchants borrowed money from Chettiars who owned large part of Rubber plantations in Malaya..Singapore Changi Airport land was indeed owned by Chettiars from where coconuts and banana leaves, fruits came to the Hindu temples there later this land was acquired by Singapore government to develop International airport.

    Unfortunately because of the distance and non availability of proper supports Tamils in South Africa..Mauritius ..Fiji…Guyana ..they lost language …but still preserve culture and traditions while Indian government give full support to Hindi speaking people in these countries…anyhow the good news is the modern social media helps
    these Tamils to learn n talk their mother tongue .

  • 2
    0

    Dear Real shiva Sankaran Sarma

    It is not correct to say that the majority of the indentured labourers who went to Fiji ,Mauritius and West indies are from Hindi speaking areas of India. I have visited Fiji, West indies and have read up on the indentured labourers of Mauritius and can say that 20% of mauritians are of Tamil origin that is why Tamil appears above the hindi writings on the currency notes of that country. Further more there have been presidents and deputy presidents of that country who were Tamils. In Fiji the 2nd city is called Nandi named after our Nandi the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva there is a very big murugan Temple in Nandi the gopuram of this temple is even taller than the Nallur mrugan Temple in Jaffna. There are approximately one hundred thousand Tamils in Fiji still living there despite the coup. Many cabinet ministers , Chief Justice are Tamils in Fiji.

    In the west indies primarily in the french speaking countries such as Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana the majority of Indians are from Tamil speaking provinces such as Ponicherry, Karaikkal etc. In Guyana the current prime minister is a Tamil by the name of Moses Nagamootu , there are approximately one hundred thousand Tamils living there primarily in areas like Demarara where the famous sugar comes from. In Trinidad also there are over 100 thousand Tamils living there.

    I have visited most of the places I have mentioned above, you also will find the relevant information about the Tamils in these parts of the world on Google.

    • 2
      0

      May be but the majority are from the Hindi speaking parts of the India, this is why Hindi not Tamil is language of the Indian population in these regions. I also have been to Fiji and the vast majority of the Indian population originated from Bihar and the lingua franca is Bhojpuri , a dialect of Hindi spoken in parts of Bihar and UP. it is the same with Mauritius and the west Indies.

      Tamils may have gone but the vast overwhelming majority of the Indian indentured labour came from Hindi speaking North India. It is not Nandi but Nadi. The huge Hindu temple to Sri Siva Submramania temple is Dravidian and of Tamil origin, however even most Fiji Indians of Tamil origin have now lost their language and speak in Hindi. It is ironic, as many times during my work I have to speak and interpret for them in Hindi and not in Tamil. Only some of the older generation can speak some form of Tamil.

      It is like most Malayali and Telugu in places like Sri Lanka Malaysia and South Africa have lost their language and now speak Tamil and call themselves Tamils. Tamils were the predominant ethnic group the British sent to Sri Lanka and Malaysia and to South Africa to some extent but in the rest of the colonies it was largely from Hindi belt. This does not mean many Tamils were also sent to these places but they were not the majority. This is the reason Hindi basically Bhojpuri and not Tamil prevailed in these areas.

    • 0
      0

      @ Lingajothy

      Thanks for details.
      Mauritius currency notes numbers are contain TAMIL numbers nothing to do with Hindi.
      At government Schools in Mauritius and Fiji they teach TAMIL as a subject.
      In Guadeloupe “KULAMPU” is national food and many many of Mariyamaman temples are there.
      Still people from Guadaloupe visit Pondhicherry to meet their relations .

      Cheers

      • 0
        0

        Cholan

        Thanks for the info. I was in Cuba , Mexico, Chile and Argentina recently and was keen to visit Guadeloupe as well but couldn’t make it. Do you know anyone who regularly visit from Canada to Guadeloupe and Martinique , who will be able to tell me about the number of the Tamil population in those countries.

        Cheers.

  • 2
    0

    No the vast majority sent to these colonise are from the Hindi belt. Tamils also may have gone in substantial numbers but they were not overwhelming majority. This is why the lingua franca for the Indian population in these regions is Bhojpuri a dialect of Hindi largely spoken in Bihar and parts of UP. It is actually Nadi not Nandi. The huge Hindu temple thee is Dravidian and Tamil but does not mean Tamils are the largest Indian ethnic group. Even in Australia most of the huge Hindu temple are in Dravidian South Indian style largely built by Sri Lankan Tamils but most of the devotees are North Indians. originally all the priests were Brahmins from Jaffna now a good amount are from India, as the Indians prefer their own Brahmins.
    Tamils in Fiji have now lost their language and they all speak Hindi(Bhojpuri) only the older generation may know some Tamil. It is ironic during the course of my work I have to speak/interpret to these Fiji Indians of Tamil origin in Hindi and not in Tamil, despite both of us being ethnically Tamil.

  • 0
    0

    Real Siva Sankaran Sarma

    Thanks for the response

    It was Nandi initially but due to North Indian influence the “N” has been dropped. un-like in Mauritius where the North Indians and South Indians are to a large extent united under the Hindu banner in Fiji there was a tacit and sinister plot to under mine the initial dominance of Tamil language by the North Indians in all walks of life. It appears now the North Indians and South Indians are largely inter married and their language even Bhojpuri has absorbed many Tamil words and phrases.

    I generally agree with what you have said about the other matters such as Tamil speaking Bhojpuri etc.

  • 0
    0

    Correction: I generally agree with what you have said about other matters such as Tamils speaking Bhojpuri etc.

  • 0
    0

    It is the human condition that from time immemorial someone somewhere is screwing someone. Let’s not blame the British, Dutch, Portuguese, Indians, Russians, Chinese, et al. We are all creatures of circumstance and the sooner we accept that, the quicker we will work to resolve the here and now, and arrive at a solution that will bring out the best in all of us, leaving no one marginalised.

    It is big challenge but possible (look around the globe and see the successes).

    To succeed we need enough people of vision.

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