VishMahabir posted:I am reading two books right now...
Rodney's History of the Guyanese Working People and Seecharan's Mother India...so my responses below are based on those two sources and what little I know about Guyana's history...
I make the following points...
1. The BGEIA was elitist, yes. But there was no other way that an Indo organization that represented Indians could have been formed without the elitists. Many of these so called elites were from rural areas who traveled to GT (and abroad) in search of opportunities. Many who were educated or returned from abroad settled in GT. The program of the BGEIA was broad and they made attempts to unite, protect and serve the interests of all Indos, in the city and the rural areas. For example, the founders of the BGEIA were from Berbice. Its program to register Indians to vote and fight for universal adult suffrage (for those over 21, elimination of property and literacy requirements, etc) were genuinely designed to help all Indians, just like African, Portuguese, and Chinese organizations that existed at the time.
To suggest that the BGEIA was racist is simplistic and ignores the broader goals of the organization. Its goals mirrored those of the League of Colored People (of which Burnham was a supporter).
2. Nathaniel Critchlow was indeed the father of trade unionism. However, according to Seecharan, whatever assistance Critchlow provided to sugar workers in the rural areas was limited in scope. He concentrated his efforts in Georgetown organizing the stevedores, ship workers, hospital workers, etc. He does not have a strong record assisting sugar workers or rural Indians.
In fact, some would also consider Critchlow a hypocrite. All his life he supported universal adult suffrage. However, he took a 360 degree turn and opposed it, giving a ridiculous reason as to why. Critchlow opposed universal adult suffrage when he realized that too many Indians were entering the political space and were becoming eligible to vote. He felt a greater number of Indos who could vote was a threat to Afros.
3. I dont disagree that the PPP is a de facto Indian organization. But we cant act like the other major organization, the PNC, is a multiracial organization either.
4. I would not place too much faith on what Ramotar is saying. He is a simpleton, a Marxist ideologue, and probably the worst President Guyana has has. His "analysis" is biased in favor of the PPP.
1. No one said that the PNC wasn't as racist as the PPP is. Ramotar focuses on the racism of the PNC and ignores the fact that the PPP is as racist. He then blames black people because they see the PPP as anti black and he ignores the fact that black people spent 23 years under PPP rule so don't need to be told by anyone what the PPP is.
Like most racists he considers blacks to be stupid animals unable to think for themselves. Well even a dog knows when they are being badly treated. No one needs to tell them this so blacks know exactly what happened to them under the PPP and have as much right to be vocal against this as do Indians have a right to complain about PNC racism.
But your Indo bias as usual gives Indians the right to critique PNC racism but denies blacks equal rights to complain against the PPP. Even your premise about "Indians turning the other cheek". Well I can say the same about blacks tolerating that Jagdeo blood bath and about Ramotar shooting them down in cold blood.
2. The BGEIA's SOLE goal was about Indians so why would Critchlow NOT have become suspicious of them? The BGEIA did NOT state as its goal and intent to unite the Indo and Afro working classes against colonial rule. You might query the extent to which Critchlow helped sugar workers but what you CANNOT debate is that he did provide some help.
What did the BGEIA do for blacks, aside from threatening to subdue them to domination by BOTH whites and Indian elites? THAT is why Critchlow became suspicious of the BGEIA. He did NOT struggle to uplift the black masses to see them succumb to domination by an immigrant elite. And yes in this era the vast majority of Indians were either foreigners or the children of foreigners and did NOT have any alliance or loyalty to Guyana.
Please itemize what the BGEIA did to assist African workers? Did they attempt to dialogue with the LCP who was struggling against colonial abuse? Why would Critchlow struggle to improve the lot of all Guyanese workers to see the BGEIA arriving with a selfish agenda of caring only about Indians.
I will await your response because I know it will be the usual hypocrisy that Indos can be only about Indos but Afros must be for everyone.