What of the heroes of other races?
THE LETTER “All religions should promote unity” in the Sunday Tribune of November 5 refers.
Ebrahim Essa should get his facts right. When people talk about the indentured Indians and the passenger Indians, they refer to people who were taken all over the British Empire to replace slaves on the one hand, and the merchant class who came on their own from Gujarat (and some from Mauritius) on the other hand. No merchant class came from Madras or Uttar Pradesh.
While it might be true that not all the passenger Indians arrived “with silver spoons in their mouths”, none swept the streets, worked in the coal mines or as domestic workers. They did not live in tin shacks or go to school under trees, without shoes and jerseys in winter. In fact, check out the names of teachers and pupils in early Indian schools, and see how many were from the merchant class. And see how many Muslims either taught or attended the same schools as other Indians.
It is a shocking perversion of the truth to say “our recent heroes” all emerged from the Gujarati communities. Which “our” is he talking about? Do the dozens of “heroes” from other races not count as “our heroes”?
Even if he is narrowly focused on the “Indian” community, what about all the non-gujarati heroes/ heroines? Dr (Kesaveloo) Goonam, Frene Ginwala, Korshed Ginwala, JN Singh, Radhi Singh, George Sewpersadh, Phyllis Naidoo,
Strini Moodley, Lenny Naidoo, Saths Cooper, Billy Nair, Krishna Rabilall, Sadha Naidoo, Indres Naidoo, Mewa Ramgobin, Kay Munsamy, Swaminathan Gounden, Mac Maharaj, Govin Reddy – the list is endless.
Finally, why does he use the hyphenated term “Hindumuslim”? They are two entirely different people. Surely he would not write about Christian-muslim or Jewish-muslim or Buddhistmuslim? VINODINI NAIDU Chatsworth