As Hindus we must empathize with converts. They are people who have involuntarily rejected their ancestry. They have been brainwashed not to think critically but to accept blindly what is taught to them. To this end most regions of the world including the Caribbean that have succumbed to imperial forces are among the most backward. In China, India and the Far East where people take pride in their diverse heritage, there are superior social and economic development.
Every Hindu who participates in Pitri Paksh rituals must thank their ancestors for holding steadfastly to their culture and traditions. Their ancestors are unsung heroes whose triumphs must be celebrated. When Hindus make offerings to their departed, it is resounding proof that they had stood up against the Mahmoods of Ghazni and the Aurengzebs; against the machination of western imperialism and black hegemony.
Hindu kings always fought each other for kingdoms but never disrupted the social order. That was part of the Hindu Kshatriya (warrior code). However, when the Arab invaders came it was different. Soon Hindus awoke to reality that it was a new polity, not just a change of rulers but a complete imposition of a new civilization. It was relentless wars, destruction of shrines, looting and plundering of resources, raping and kidnapping of women, beheading and enslavement of those who chose to fight back.
Every institution that was indigenous to India was challenged. Increased taxes were demanded from the people. Non-Hindus (foreigners) were employed in the highest offices of the state and local converts were generally employed as low level functionaries. Hindus who did not convert survived as second class citizens by paying increased taxes and not enjoying any protection from the State.
One institution that has served Hindu society and has been a bane of resistance to foreigners is the caste system. Led by the Brahmins and Kshatriyas, Hindus did not surrender to the invaders. History confirmed that Europe fell to Christianity within 50 years. In India, after 200 years of British rule the Christian population is 2.3%.
Egypt fell to Islam in less than 20 years, Iran in less than 15 years but after 700 years of Islamic wars India had less than 10% Muslims in its population. Our warriors such as Guru Gobind Singh, Rana Partap, Shivaji and others refused to surrender to the Islamic sword.
Today Hindus in the Caribbean are faced with a black hegemonic force projecting themselves as the sole heroes of this society. No longer are Charles Dickens, John Hawkins and Queen Elizabeth our heroes; it is Bunji Garlin, Cro Cro and Lord Kitchener. The contribution of Issac Yankaran and Usuff Khan to music have never been given it due place. Musical instruments are no longer the piano, sitar and guitar; it is the steelpan and the chac-chac. Even heroes of the steelpan such as Jit Samaroo and Bobby Mohammed are highlighted grudgingly.
The black agenda to rewrite history must be resisted. “Christopher Columbus’s statue must be removed” is the refrain. Milner Hall at St Augustine Campus (named after Alfred Milner, now branded a white imperialist) was renamed Henry Sylvester Hall, after the renown Pan African leader. Why not naming a new institution after Sylvester? But that is the imperialist way-appropriate and incorporate as your own!
The contribution of our governors like Arthur Gordon go unacknowledged. C. L. R. James, a foremost intellectual of the 20th century, though black, was labelled an enemy of the people by Dr Eric Williams, the Black Messiah. Bhadase Sagan Maraj, Tazmool Husein, Captain Arthur Cipriani, Albert Gomes, Kamal Mohammed, Adrian Cola Rienzi and Basdeo Panday who made significant contributions are all ignored in this relentless drive to paint the Caribbean Sea black. Imagine the Piarco International Airport that was built during Panday’s tenure as Prime Minister is not named after him! Even the achievement of Nobel Laurette V S Naipaul goes unacknowledged.
Abrahamic beliefs are all about hegemony. It is an ideology that poisons the minds and turns it against its own community. Indian converts to these absolutist belief systems are no different. Imperialist ideologies are never about development but about control and exploitation. In Corentyne, Guyana there are several mosques within a three-mile stretch but no hospital or schools. The same can be said for Latin America where the landscape is filled with magnificent churches but little in the way of meaningful development.
Barakah Grounds, a gift of 10 acres of land from the State to Inshan Ismael for the building a hospital (which he proposed), is today a few huts selling bar-b-q and other foods. More recently, Barakah Grounds is being used for the drag racing to the discomfort and anger of the residents nearby. However, when Hulsie Bhaggan, a former Member of Parliament and a resident of the neighborhood, complained about the noise suffered by residents, Inshan Ismael suggested that she “drag her bottom on the road.” But I am not surprised by this response. He can afford such a response because his has been blessed with the privilege to abuse heathens.