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Mr TeeKay seh: "The BG Colonization Scheme (BGCS) is not what Eric says it was. It had nothing to do with making BG a colony of India. The BGCS was a proposal by several prominent Guianese East Indians of the time to reopen Indian immigration to BG. It is true that Critchlow and other African Guianese associations opposed the plan which would have made East Indians the dominant group in terms of numbers - hence serious implications for political power and wealth/income distributions. Critchlow's position was understandable. There were other colonization schemes such as the one to resettle Jews in the interior, as well as the one to resettle Turkish Assyrians. Perhaps Eric is signalling some Freudian undertones in modern times...hmmm...I wonder which group the PNC in secret collusion with GECOM is registering for the election? Hmmm...we already know which political party's leadership said "the only friends I got is PNC, I only give PNC wuk." Hmmm...the post-2015 employment patterns in the public service is clear for all to see."

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Hey hey hey...Mr Phillips seh in he letter:

The little known British Guiana Colonisation Scheme has influenced many attitudes in today’s Guyana

Dear Editor,

The information provided in this document resulted from research originally done by Ras Moses and Jonathan Adams of the Guyana Reparations Committee.

One hundred years ago, on the 5th December 1919, one of the most significant historical events in Guyanese history occurred. On this day, Britain offered India the colony of British Guiana (Guyana) to become a Colony of India.

Yet, this event is unknown to 99.99 % of Guyanese at home and abroad and this event is conspicuously missing in almost all Guyanese history books. This critical event has been erased from Guyanese history. This event is known as the British Guiana Colonisation Scheme.

The absence of any mention of this event is indeed very strange given there were other major events in Guyanese history around this same time. All of these other events are well recognized in Guyanese history.

The British Guiana Colonisation Scheme occurred in 1919, the same year the Treaty of Versailles was signed to end World War 1. This Colonisation Scheme was introduced just two years after the end of Indian Indentureship in Guyana in 1917.

This significant event also occurred around the same time Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, the Father of Trade Unionism, formed the British Guiana Labour Union (BGLU) in 1919. Incidentally, 2019 is also the 100th anniversary of the formation of the BGLU.

How can one of the most significant Events in Guyanese history, the East Indian Colonization Plan of 1919, which was the most dominant issue in British Guiana, India and Britain for over 10 years (1919 to 1929) not be in Guyanese history books. How can such an important event not be in our memory? Not mentioned in the proverbial Letter to the Editor, so popular today. How is this event, given our proclivity for racial issues around almost every matter in Guyana, not etched in our memory or psyche?

What was the British Guiana Colonisation Scheme that is sometimes referred to as the β€œEast Indian Colonisation Plan to make British Guiana (Guyana) a colony of India?

Simply put, the British Guiana Colonisation Scheme was a strategic plan to make British Guiana a Colony of India. Over the first three years of the Scheme, seven thousand five hundred (7,500) Indian families from India would have migrated to British Guiana and be given special rights and benefits to make British Guiana a Colony of India.

There would have been free transportation from India to British Guiana, free living quarters on arrival, free medical treatment for all family members, guaranteed land for cultivation, unrestricted freedom to practice both Hinduism and Islam, the celebration of six major Indian holidays (For Hindus: Howley, Dewali and Deshara; for Muslims: Eid Fitar, Eid Zohar and Moharrun), free primary education and a school with Government aid where Indian languages would be taught. There would also have been special legislation to protect the Indian Colonist from being called or designated a β€œCoolie”.

Three quotes highlight the strategic goals of the British Guiana Colonisation Scheme and are taken from the records of the Combined Courts of British Guiana. These quotes are taken from correspondence written by the three most prominent Indians from British namely Joseph A. Luckhoo, W. Hewley Wharton and ParbhuSawh.

Quote #1

β€œWe would then have hundreds of prosperous villages and thousands of square miles of flourishing crops springing up from the fertile soil of the Colony, and by the exploitation of the Gold, Diamond, Aluminum (bauxite ore) and other mineral and forest wealth of British Guiana, the three century old dream of Sir Walter Raleigh regarding our Magnificent Province, the fabled land of El Dorado, would be realized.

Quote # 2……From the same document.

β€œWe are in a position definitely to state that the Indians now resident in British Guiana comprise about 45 per cent, of the entire population of the Colony, and they are better, safer. Happier. And more prosperous there than those residing in any other parts of the world, and even we venture to say India itself. It may be well to mention that in the social and religious aspects Indians enjoy perfect freedom. Their general ideas in these respects are somewhat more westernized that in India. All Children in the Colony are entitled to receive free and compulsory education

Quote # 3……From the same document.

β€œWe, the Indian representatives of the imperial Colonisation Deputation of British Guiana, now formally state that that it is our desire , aim, and our object, if possible, to induce more Indians from the Motherland to join our ranks, increase our numbers  and so help us to make British Guiana an Indian Colony. This is really, the Empire’s clarion call to India”.

W. Hewley Wharton, Chairman

Parbhu Sawh, Member and businessman

Joseph A. Luckhoo, Secretary

Indian Section Imperial Colonisation

Deputation of British Guiana

In 2013, Professor Emeritus Clem Seecharan highlighted the friction the British Guiana Colonisation Scheme created between Africans and Indians during the decade-long debate and trips to India by prominent Indo Guyanese of the day.

He wrote about African concerns of Indian domination being exacerbated β€œby fears that prominent Indians, such as J.A. Luckhoo and Dr William Hewley Wharton, were committed to creating an β€˜Indian Colony’, with the possible renewal of immigration from India, after the end of indentureship in 1920. African apprehensions were sustained in the 1930s, when prominent Indians, such as Peter Ruhomon and C.R. Jacob, advocated building of a β€˜greater India’ in Guyana. This imbedded a resilient fear among African Guyanese that they would lose everything to the Indian juggernaut. Moreover, the notion that British Guiana is an El Dorado, with stupendous resources, has fed continual apprehension between Africans and Indians that whoever inherits the kingdom is on the royal road to a Golden Age”.

Knowledge of the British Guiana Colonisation Scheme is important in understanding Guyana today. This is because the British Guiana Colonisation Scheme has influenced many attitudes in today’s Guyana as the country has evolved from Slavery through Emancipation through Indentureship to Independence and finally to Republican status.

The official discussion of the British Guiana Colonisation Scheme ended in 1929 when Mahatma Gandhi would not support such a Scheme until India was given its Independence from England.

History must be taught in Guyanese schools if we are to become a cohesive nation in which all races respect each other through common knowledge of our history and through common respect for the contributions made by each race to Guyana.

I hope a revamped school curriculum will be introduced to our schools especially given the tremendous changes occurring because of the immigration of people of many nationalities pursuing their own β€œoil” dreams.

Yours faithfully,

Eric Phillips

Chairman, Guyana Reparations



Β© 1985 - 2019 Stabroek News. All rights reserved.


Baseman posted:

Lessons, is coolies who jeopardize other coolies for self interest.  Gandhi stopped the program for India independence!  What difference would another 50k have made!

But then again Jagan would have caused a bigger mess!

Bai, coolies allow demself tuh get tricked because dem foolishly see de world through rose colored lenses. Anyone with good judgment would have stayed far away from giving the wicked PNC the keys in 2015.

The records of El Dorado does not indicate Guyana is that place. The Spaniards picked up a man in a canoe, sick with fever. He spoke of a golden city. A well known fact to all seafarers to be anywhere in South America, the Atlantic to the Pacific. Raleigh, trying to save his neck proclaimed El Dorado to be the Wild Coast, never specific to Guiana.

British Guiana was a British Colony. Even Africa and Asia was ignored as the place with large ethnic population. The few whites juss dominated the place. I doan know why Eric seems to think that the British cared for the Black ppl thoughts on the matter. He should thank Gandhi, for him alone stopped it. Indian immigration never stopped in Africa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and wherever else British interests were paramount. Guyana only had sugar in a rapid changing world trade.  

Hey hey buddy seh muss poase dis from Mr TK skool papah: 

"Ethnic insecurity was at the forefront of the Nunan-Luckhoo
scheme to renew immigration from India. Initially, the Colonisation
Scheme did not only seek labour from India, but also from the West
Indies, China and Africa (Vining 1978). West Indian governments
immediately opposed the plan, citing their own labour shortage.
The planters preferred Indian labourers, thus the proposal to
reopen Indian immigration. However, Critchlow’s British Guyana
Labour Union (BGLU) vociferously opposed the planned settlement
of new Indian immigrants (Seecharan 1997). Senior members of the
BGLU were also members of the Negro Progress Convention
(NPC). The NPC opposed the plan on both economic and political
grounds. They believed that such immigration would further
depress the wages of African workers, a position that was also taken
by Francis Kawall, the de facto Indian leader of the time and head
of British Guiana East Indian Association (BGEIA). Although the
position of the NPC appears to be grounded in sound economic
rationale, their position on wage suppression was less convincing,
given that they supported immigration from regions that would
have preserved the ethnic balance in the colony. They were,
therefore, concerned that, in the long term, Indians would dominate
the society politically, as is the case in Mauritius. Seecharan (1997)
observes that the black leaders were correct; moreover, he notes that
the Colonization Scheme would have produced an Indian majority
in the colony, with potential for their political domination."

Django posted:

I have all the documents related to Colonization Scheme , actually India disagreed with the idea of settling more East Indian Immigrants in Guyana.

Yeah...but doh is not waht dem bais disagree pon? Dem seh how coolie want dominate blackman foh renew de scheme...dem musse want to justify de secret action of de citizen minista...wonder what dem one lovers like Snowie Rowie and Guana gat foh seh. 

Labba posted:
Django posted:

I have all the documents related to Colonization Scheme , actually India disagreed with the idea of settling more East Indian Immigrants in Guyana.

Yeah...but doh is not waht dem bais disagree pon? Dem seh how coolie want dominate blackman foh renew de scheme...dem musse want to justify de secret action of de citizen minista...wonder what dem one lovers like Snowie Rowie and Guana gat foh seh. 

Them fellas need their heads to be examined , trying to re-write history.

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