Guyana Customs Restricts Indian Wear

http://www.icdn.today/opinions...stricts-indian-wear/

I recently passed through Cheddi Jagan Airport and was pulled out for “hand” inspection. For some inexplicable reason, every time I arrived in Guyana under this PNC led regime, I am harassed at immigration and or at customs. If the intention of the regime is for me to end my activism against racial discrimination and political persecution, it is sadly mistaken. I spent my entire life championing free and fair elections and advocating for grass roots democracy in Guyana. I was accustomed to the harassment, intimidation, and physical violence of the PNC dictatorship –these did not stop me from my struggle against the dictatorship or speaking out against bad governance of the PNC and even during the PPP administration (although the latter did not directly harass me).

At Cheddi Jagan, the custom officer thoroughly went through all of my bags and separated all of the Indian garb on one side and left the other items in the luggage. She was not focused on a new pair of expensive booths or the new sneakers or refreshments or other items. She focused like a laser on the Indian wear. She ripped open the see through plastic bags containing the Indian ethnic wear instead of gently taking them out and examining them. These were brought to Guyana to donate to the poor as I would normally do whenever I come to Guyana. I always donate to the poor children particularly to orphanages.

The customs officer said I had to pay duty on the Indian garb. I asked why. She informed me that only three pieces of Indian wear are allowed duty free. What? Unheard of! Clearly none of the items could be for sale; they are personal items. The monetary value was negligible. How would she determine cost to levy duty? She said I had nine pieces; the truth is I had ten pieces with a total value of less than US $50 that I bought on a recent trip to India. Friends can attest I donate generously when in Guyana. I always brought Indian wear to donate in Guyana.

The issue of three Indian wear is very troubling as it restricts my right to dress in my culture. So if someone visits Guyana for an Indian cultural event, he or she can’t bring more than three ethnic wear without paying duties. Is this what the officer is saying?  Is that the instruction from Finance Minister Winston Jordan and customs towards Indian coming to Guyana — not many Indian wear to be allowed in Guyana — deculturize the Indians? What next? Will there be restriction on consumption of aloo, dhal, roti, channa, prasad, sirni, etc. as happened during the PNC ethnic dictatorship between 1966 and 1992. Is the PNC government resending a message for Indo-Guyanese to go back to India or simply leave Guyana as the PNC did? Are we going back to the Burnhamism? Has Moses Nagamootoo, Khemraj Ramjattan and Charandass Persaud trade in the 11% Indian support with the PNC to go back to Burnhamism?

Does the restriction of three traditional garbs also apply to African wear? African nationalists like David Hinds, Kwayana, Ogunseye, Eric Phillips, Clive Thomas, etc. wear traditional African garbs. Are restrictions placed on how many pieces they can bring into Guyana? Do they support this restriction on Indian wear? Will they speak out against it?

I do not know if it is now de facto government policy to restrict how much Indian clothing a person can have or wear. I call on Indian organizations within Guyana and internationally to take note and voice their strong objection to this policy of only three duty free Indian wear.

Guyanese customs and or government cannot impose a limit on peoples’ choice of ethnic clothing of how many personal wears are permitted at customs. White governments don’t do it in North America and Europe. The Afro-PNC led government must cease and desist from this clearly racist policy. And the government also needs to stop giving instructions to harass political activists and having the special branch trail (and spy on) opposition figures – these were the hallmarks of Burnhamism and the evidence so far over the last two years is very strong that we are returning to that period.

I should note, however, that not even during the height of the PNC ethnic dictatorship did Burnham put restriction on Indian ethnic wear although importation of Indian garb was almost impossible because he refused to authorize foreign exchange to bring in traditional Indian garments. But there was a ban in place on food imports such as roti, dhal, raisins, etc. relating to the Indian cultural and religious diet.

The policy of levying duty on Indian wear for personal use must be resisted by all.

Yours truly,

Dr Vishnu Bisram


 

Bisram at it again.

Saris from india is big business, you could make U$ 50.00 markup on a single sari out of india. I know from some of my friends who use to be paid by Guyanese people who own stores in Liberty ave to bring saris from india through Guyana by suitcases then to the states just to avoid American duty charges.

Bisram might be busted trying to recoup his passage money to India....

sachin_05 posted:

Saris from india is big business, you could make U$ 50.00 markup on a single sari out of india. I know from some of my friends who use to be paid by Guyanese people who own stores in Liberty ave to bring saris from india through Guyana by suitcases then to the states just to avoid American duty charges.

Bisram might be busted trying to recoup his passage money to India....

Kishan95, I don't think Dr. Bisram is a dry goods salesman. Maybe I should ask Prashad. He can spot a dry goods salesman from a distance.

Drugb posted:

Very sad that now caribj and his tribe take over along with lilmohan, cain, warrior and other wicked folks, IndoG's are now being punished for propagating cultural aspects of their identity. 

So one customs officer, who was looking for a bribe, now defines government policy.

BTW the excuse that he was bringing Indian garb for poor people to wear is a laugh. How many Guyanese routinely walk out of their homes wearing Indian garb?  Poor people, who presumably have limited clothing items to wear will want that which they can wear in the broadest range of circumstances.

Given who this character is it wouldn't surprise me if he is LYING!

Prashad posted:

At one time in Guyana Hindu women would cover their heads at religious services. That has stopped. These bloody pandits needs to bring back the practice.

Why?  Do you also think that they should walk behind their husbands and be tossed into the fire when their husbands die as well? Or be tossed out of the house if they object if their in-laws abuse them, and their own family rejects them as being a disgrace?

We can go whole hog in resurrecting ancient customs, or we can let people be.  Cultures evolve over time and you living in your mixed ethnicity household will be fully aware of this. I bet your wife isn't going to fling herself into a funeral pyre just because this is ancient Indian custom.

Is that the instruction from Finance Minister Winston Jordan and customs towards Indian coming to Guyana and not many Indian wear to be allowed in Guyana — deculturize the Indians? What next? Will there be restriction on consumption of aloo, dhal, roti, channa, prasad, sirni, etc. as happened during the PNC ethnic dictatorship between 1966 and 1992. Is the PNC government resending a message for Indo-Guyanese to go back to India or simply leave Guyana as the PNC did? Are we going back to the Burnhamism? Has Moses Nagamootoo, Khemraj Ramjattan and Charandass Persaud trade in the 11% Indian support with the PNC to go back to Burnhamism?

I happen to believe Dr. Vishnu Bisram. I would like to hear what Winston Jordan have to say. 

Mitwah posted:

Is that the instruction from Finance Minister Winston Jordan and customs towards Indian coming to Guyana and not many Indian wear to be allowed in Guyana — deculturize the Indians? What next? Will there be restriction on consumption of aloo, dhal, roti, channa, prasad, sirni, etc. as happened during the PNC ethnic dictatorship between 1966 and 1992. Is the PNC government resending a message for Indo-Guyanese to go back to India or simply leave Guyana as the PNC did? Are we going back to the Burnhamism? Has Moses Nagamootoo, Khemraj Ramjattan and Charandass Persaud trade in the 11% Indian support with the PNC to go back to Burnhamism?

I happen to believe Dr. Vishnu Bisram. I would like to hear what Winston Jordan have to say. 

1. Vishram knows fully well that the AFC didn't bring in 11% Indian support.  The PPP won back the Indians that they lost in 2011 and he fully well knows this.  In 2015 the PPP arrested the decline in their votes which had been dropping since 2001, even as the Indian population was smaller in 2015 than it was in that year.  This increase came in the rural coastal areas. Yes from the people who Jagdeo screams are his.

2. Vishram fully knows that he is attempting to scare Indians.  Well he is welcome to do so but he will also scare black and mixed people. Already there are some who fear violence in 2020.

Now he can attempt to devise solutions to move Guyana further into its miasma of ethnic distrust by injecting what I bet is a lie. Or he can engage in serious discussions about how to alleviate ethnic distrust knowing that Indians don't have much to gain if we see the violence that some (on both sides) fear will occur in 2020.

I am willing to bet that the issue is the continuation of corruption that the coalition government lacks the interest in eradicating.  That is what these tactics of intimidation  are usually aimed at achieving.

In fact he should identify the customs officer and insist that she provide documentary evidence of her claims or be fined for attempting to receive a bribe.

Mars posted:
Prashad posted:

At one time in Guyana Hindu women would cover their heads at religious services. That has stopped. These bloody pandits needs to bring back the practice.

Like you wanna be like your dry goods pushing buddy now.

He needs to go back to his true roots.

caribny posted:

So one customs officer, who was looking for a bribe, now defines government policy.

BTW the excuse that he was bringing Indian garb for poor people to wear is a laugh. How many Guyanese routinely walk out of their homes wearing Indian garb?  Poor people, who presumably have limited clothing items to wear will want that which they can wear in the broadest range of circumstances.

Given who this character is it wouldn't surprise me if he is LYING!

Apparently you are so disconnected from the Indian culture that you don't know that IndoG's wear these types of clothing to religious functions.  You jackasses are trying to squeeze every penny out of the IndianG by hook or by crook with no regard for religion. 

Vishnu Bisram is over reacting on this issue. His heading tells a different story than what had actually happened. The PNC govt is NOT restricting Indian garbs in Guyana. He was carrying more that was was allowed for personal use.

TK (Tarron Khemraj) did the same thing on many occasions during the PPP rule. He complained about harassment at the airport when he was supporting the AFC, because he wanted special treatment. Vishnu should have declared the items and mention for charity purpose. 

Shiv Chanderpaul, Alvin Kallicharran and others supported the coalition force and expected special treatment until they get duped by Granger government. Nobody isn't talking about them. 

We have spoiled brats on both sides of the isle. 

caribny posted:
Drugb posted:

Very sad that now caribj and his tribe take over along with lilmohan, cain, warrior and other wicked folks, IndoG's are now being punished for propagating cultural aspects of their identity. 

So one customs officer, who was looking for a bribe, now defines government policy.

BTW the excuse that he was bringing Indian garb for poor people to wear is a laugh. How many Guyanese routinely walk out of their homes wearing Indian garb?  Poor people, who presumably have limited clothing items to wear will want that which they can wear in the broadest range of circumstances.

Given who this character is it wouldn't surprise me if he is LYING!

You are displaying your ignorance. When was the last time you visited Guyana? 

When did this regulation change? Since when used clothes are subject to custom fees? 

Carib, do you wear pyjamas or cummerbunds?

Drugb posted:
caribny posted:

So one customs officer, who was looking for a bribe, now defines government policy.

BTW the excuse that he was bringing Indian garb for poor people to wear is a laugh. How many Guyanese routinely walk out of their homes wearing Indian garb?  Poor people, who presumably have limited clothing items to wear will want that which they can wear in the broadest range of circumstances.

Given who this character is it wouldn't surprise me if he is LYING!

Apparently you are so disconnected from the Indian culture that you don't know that IndoG's wear these types of clothing to religious functions.  You jackasses are trying to squeeze every penny out of the IndianG by hook or by crook with no regard for religion. 

Does Carib know Muslim women in Guyana wear the Muslim head wear now? What makes him think Hindus don't wear Indian clothes? I strongly believe that Carib was in love with a coolie girl and he suffered an unrequited love relationship, hence his hate for coolies.

caribny posted:
 

 

Already there are some who fear violence in 2020.

 

Can't blame people for feeling this way. History has shown that when the PNC or any of its so-called names lost the elections in 1992, 1997, 2001, 2006 and 2011, they resorted to violence.

ksazma posted:
caribny posted:
 

 

Already there are some who fear violence in 2020.

 

Can't blame people for feeling this way. History has shown that when the PNC or any of its so-called names lost the elections in 1992, 1997, 2001, 2006 and 2011, they resorted to violence.

Carib will blame the PPP and the coolies for the PNC reign of terror since 1962. Somehow coolies are to be blamed for all of Guyana's problems.

Indian garb is not inexpensive but they are very attractive and one can easily become envious of them. While Guyanese don't wear them everyday, I think that Indians in Guyana would be very grateful for them. If Bisram was truly giving them away, then that is a commendable act given how much these outfits would be appreciated by those not able to afford them.

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People in authority in Guyana have always felt the liberty to make up rules to support their actions and this Customs officer may have done just that. There has always been a bully aspect to people in authority in Guyana. I tend to repudiate the PNC because I had first hand experience while living in Guyana when they were ILLEGALLY in government.

Drugb posted:!

Apparently you are so disconnected from the Indian culture that you don't know that IndoG's wear these types of clothing to religious functions. 

And clothing for an occasional event is a huge priority for some one who is poor?  I would think that clothing for work or school would be a higher priority.

ksazma posted:

 

People in authority in Guyana have always felt the liberty to make up rules to support their actions and this Customs officer may have done just that. 

Playing the bully to force a bribe has long been a tactic used by customs officials. I would think that this would be the larger issue that this man would tackle if indeed he wants a war.

BTW I don't think that anyone is jealous of that attire unless they are part of the religion.  Assuming that this woman was black I bet you there would have been other items that he had in his possession that she would want. Like the US dollars in his wallet.

, 2006 and 2011, they resorted to violence.

There was no violence in 2006 and the only violence that occurred in 2011 is when Ramotar had his goons fire tear gas at people PEACEFULLY protesting delays in releasing election results. So cruel and callous he was that small kids playing in a school yard had to be rushed to hospital.

In 2015 the PPP tried its best to instigate violence on election day because they wanted the election canceled.

Putting all the blame for political violence on the PNC is a tactic used by racists.  Jagdeo's para militias will likely be active around 2020 to do what he wanted Kwame to do, but he failed at doing.

skeldon_man posted:
 

Does Carib know Muslim women in Guyana wear the Muslim head wear now? 

The headwear that Muslim women now wear is actually Arabic and not South Asian in origin.

I invite you to walk down the streets of G/T wearing a dhoti.

caribny posted:
Drugb posted:!

Apparently you are so disconnected from the Indian culture that you don't know that IndoG's wear these types of clothing to religious functions. 

And clothing for an occasional event is a huge priority for some one who is poor?  I would think that clothing for work or school would be a higher priority.

Nothing wrong with your assessment. However, you or I don't get the right to determine what others make their priority.

ksazma posted:
caribny posted:
Drugb posted:!

Apparently you are so disconnected from the Indian culture that you don't know that IndoG's wear these types of clothing to religious functions. 

And clothing for an occasional event is a huge priority for some one who is poor?  I would think that clothing for work or school would be a higher priority.

Nothing wrong with your assessment. However, you or I don't get the right to determine what others make their priority.

The man can do as he wishes but he screams his case on the basis of helping the poor. Well the poor in Guyana need help with day to day living and not having sufficient decent clothing for work or school is actually more damaging to them than not having attire for an occasional event.

And if he had a large amount of items, not used for personal purposes, and in excess of amounts that can be considered a gift then I can see why a corrupt customs official would attempt to use this to squeeze out a bribe.  Another person with African fabrics probably would have gotten the same treatment if the customs official could have used this to claim that the items were being brought in for sale.

caribny posted:
ksazma posted:

 

People in authority in Guyana have always felt the liberty to make up rules to support their actions and this Customs officer may have done just that. 

Playing the bully to force a bribe has long been a tactic used by customs officials. I would think that this would be the larger issue that this man would tackle if indeed he wants a war.

BTW I don't think that anyone is jealous of that attire unless they are part of the religion.  Assuming that this woman was black I bet you there would have been other items that he had in his possession that she would want. Like the US dollars in his wallet.

When all those outfits converge, it can overwhelm people just by their pure unadulterated beauty regardless of if one is an Indian or not. Even white folks in America find them attractive.

While a bribe may be the main objective, the person seeking the bribe still need an object to create the situation for the bribe. A plain shirt, skirt of dress does not have the same attractiveness or effect as an Indian outfit.

caribny posted:

The man can do as he wishes but he screams his case on the basis of helping the poor. Well the poor in Guyana need help with day to day living and not having sufficient decent clothing for work or school is actually more damaging to them than not having attire for an occasional event.

You and I still don't get the right to determine what he assess as helping the poor in Guyana. He should be entitled to determine what he feels is best accomplished from him spending his time and money. Now I do agree with you that whether the Customs Officer acted legally or not is the main argument but maybe he has already determined that from his experiences.

ksazma posted:

When all those outfits converge, it can overwhelm people just by their pure unadulterated beauty regardless of if one is an Indian or not. Even white folks in America find them attractive.

While a bribe may be the main objective, the person seeking the bribe still need an object to create the situation for the bribe. A plain shirt, skirt of dress does not have the same attractiveness or effect as an Indian outfit.

To her the garments mean nothing more than a carnival costume would.  I see no reason why a black woman would be jealous.  She isn't going to wear them.  

Being GUYANESE she has been exposed to Hindu wedding attire, even if she lives in a majority black place like Linden, so this isn't  an overwhelming event. Being GUYANESE its nothing new to her, whether she participates in the Hindu religion or not.

What she is jealous of is that he lives in the USA and so she thinks that she can squeeze money out of him, and so bullies him to attempt to do so. Too bad for her Bisram is himself a bully and a well connected one at that, so her plot most likely didn't work.

caribny posted:

 

Another person with African fabrics probably would have gotten the same treatment if the customs official could have used this to claim that the items were being brought in for sale.

According to his post, he was not allowed more than 3 outfits. He also argued that folks like Kwayana wears African outfits all the time so they would need more than 3 outfits if they were keen on clean clothes.

ksazma posted:. Now I do agree with you that whether the Customs Officer acted legally or not is the main argument but maybe he has already determined that from his experiences.

And that should be the point. And this is what I mean about having a multi ethnic rather then singular ethnocentric focus.

Guyanese of ALL RACES are harassed by bullying government officials in Guyana. This was true under Burnham, under Jagdeo/Ramotar and is once again true under Granger/Harmon.

Now Bisram could pick as a battle the high handed way that these people treat the powerless. This is a problem that ALL Guyanese face and so he would get more backing.  Unless he can prove that there is in fact a documented policy of customs to levy duty on Indian attire then he begins to look like another PPP operative who just cannot get over the fact that on TWO occasions Guyanese rejected the PPP.

Clothing that isn't for personal use, or isn't in small amounts to be used as a gift does face import duty.  So if customs claims that they didn't buy his argument that these garments fit this criteria then they might well be within their rights to do so.  And Bisram ends up with egg on his face if it turns out that he had a whole suit case full of unused garments.

What we have in Guyana is a bullying and arrogant set of folks ru(I)ning the country.  Guyanese voted against the PPP hoping to end this, but these new set turn out to be just as bad, and in fact even openly harass their own support base.

.

ksazma posted:
caribny posted:
 

To her the garments mean nothing more than a carnival costume would.

 

Is this how you think she sees the garments or is this how you see them?

She doesn't see the garments as relevant to her because she isn't Hindu, and isn't going to EVER have to wear this, unless she is in a carnival band where the theme is Indian culture.

Does that answer your question?  In case you don't know carnival is a core part of Caribbean culture and all sorts of themes are used and Indian attire is not unusual with this.

People in general and Guyanese in particular become jealous when some one has something that they crave but don't think that they can get.  Now can you tell me why she would crave the clothes that this man had in his suitcase, that is unless she is a Hindu?  

And I know that she is black because Bisram is making a racial case of this, which he wouldn't have if she were Indian. Then his focus would be about corruption.

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