Mar 20, 2019 News
The National Cultural Centre (NCC) was alit with colour just recently when 51 schools across Guyana came together in celebration of the 102nd Anniversary of the Abolition of Indian Indentured Labour.
At the event schools showcased dance and drama to tell the story of commencement of Indian Indentured Labour and its abolishment in 1870.
The event which first began in 2017 at the level of the schools saw a much larger participation of secondary schools this year, with representations from Regions Three and Four. Organizers are already in preparation mode for a much bigger event in 2020. They are planning a special Berbice leg of celebrations to be staged at the Albion Sports Complex.
Speaking to Executive Director of Indian Culture International & Indian Cultural Trust, Mr. Sri .C. Yoogeandra, recently, this newspaper was informed that the event was a resounding success, and dutifully showcased the many talents hidden in our schools amongst our students.
He added that the event brought together a rich mix of the Indian culture as it beautifully told the woes of indentured labour and the joys of its eventual abolishment.
He added that next year, organizers will focus on earlier starting times to ensure students get to their destinations earlier. He noted that for 2020 the Indian Culture International body will also feature an Indian All Stars Spectacular that will feature a lineup of both local and international artistes.
Doodmatie Singh, Deputy Chief Education Officer, who was functioning in the place of Minister Dr. Nicolette Henry, who was unable to attend, noted that back in the days the foreparents of East Indians would have observed this day with prayers in their prayer of worship. She emphasized that the recent NCC event was a joyous celebration of the closure of Indian Indentured Labour.
She added that today, many are not familiar with the abolition of Indian Indentured Labour. Many seem to know about Indian Immigration which is celebrated in pomp and style there is need to educate also on the Abolition of Indian Indentureship.
She applauded Indian Culture International (ICI) for initiating the venture for yet another year, and for taking the lead in sensitizing all Guyanese, both locally and overseas, of this very important part of our history through such a grand festival.
She added the content of this nature would soon be added to the Caribbean Council of Examinations’ syllabuses for all assessments – including the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessments, CSEC and CAPE.
She added that any country, in any society where new knowledge has to be transmitted to the masses, the teachers and students are usually the primary source of dissemination and that is because of the cascade effect.
She urged teachers present at the function to share their knowledge acquired at the function with their various groups or grades of students and their parents, and the members of their communities.
Amongst the institutions that were showcased at the event were University of Guyana, the Cyril Potter College of Education, and several secondary schools across Guyana.
Amongst some of the presenters were Chutney performer, Harvey Gobin, of Leguan Essequibo Islands; singer Naryeshwar Bharrat, and talented dancers Nalaini Mootilall, Seema Budhram and many others. The Success Chowtal Gold Group particularly enthralled the audience with a breath-taking performance.
British transportation of Indian labour, 1842 to 1870, following the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire, it was again abolished in the French colonial empire in 1848, and the U.S. abolished slavery in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
A final resolution for the prohibition of indentured labour was proposed by Madan Mohan Malaviya on March 20, 1916. This was defeated, but assurances were given once again by the Government of India that indentured migration would end once suitable alternative systems were in place.
Most of these indentured labourers were drawn from the agricultural and laboring classes of the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar regions of north India, with a comparatively smaller number being recruited from Bengal and various areas in south India. Approximately 85% of the immigrants were Hindus, and 14% Muslims.
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
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