Professor Bridget Brereton [UWI] has a very cryptic way of writing about Indians in Trinidad. I want to comment on two of her articles:
1. Comparing slavery and Indentureship [Trinidad Express, Aug 4th,2011 ]
2. Kabir Panthi [ Jan31st 2019]
I have compared Slavery and Indentureship as to who suffered more.
By claiming Black people suffered more she is doing Indian people in Trinidad and Guyana an injustice. It is justifying them to become 3rd class citizens and frankly what antics Brereton use to measured suffering is very unfair. Suffering is actually based within one's own narratives.
Professor Brereton noted that the Kabir Panthi Philosophy of tolerance came to Trinidad by Mr. Colbert Nepaulsingh’s grandfather Mr. Newall Dass Nepaulsingh around 1893 and was reported by a British Government official Mr Comins that stated the Kabir Panthi movement started in India 1448. Brereton's story is all about the founder's son and grandson who all had all converted to Christianity with Christian names and them attending Presbyterian schools. Isn't the practice of tolerance, respect of all faiths, non- violence, and equality of all human being needed today and always?
Then Professor Brereton continues to write and demonstrates how loving and tolerant the Nepaulsingh family was by marrying a Muslim woman [Colbert Nepaulsingh ] and Colbert son then married an African women to demonstrates how tolerant they were and this is what is needed today.
What the Nepaulsinghs' and the Kabir Panthi movement preached originated out of Hinduism / Sanatan Dharma. Respecting other faiths and tolerant to others is and was the practice of most Indians in Trinidad.
The problem in Trinidad that Indians face is that they carry tolerance as a burden while at the same time they are being victimized in many ways. Indians are far less violent than others and Hindus are the ones that does not get respect for their 'religion.’ And why do Indians have to marry different ethnic group to prove themselves tolerant and respectful.
Mrs. Brereton is being disingenuous when she preaches respect of our differences of cultures and ethnicity.
Guyana is an excellent example of Indian tolerance where they are obeying the constitution whereas Africans are taking advantage of Indians.
Can we respect our differences?