What of the heroes of other races?

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS&VIEWS -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.