Indians were victims of racial discrimination during the period of the dictatorship in Guyana. The Indians never obtained justice and there were no commission of investigation. There should be one!
I note a delegation of Black American legislators has been in Guyana for a fact finding mission on racial discrimination. To restrict a study to alleged discrimination faced by one ethnic group in a plural society is bound to result in charges of bias.
Guyana is a racially polarized nation that has had a long history of troubled race relations — between Africans and Portuguese, Africans and Indians, Africans and Amerindians, Portuguese and Indians, Mixed races and Indians, among other violent encounters between and among the races. All groups at one time or another were victims of discrimination in our divided nation.
During the period of colonial rule, there was deep seated and intense race hatred, including the perpetration of violence by the White colonial masters against all non-White groups. Even the Portuguese (Madeira Whites) were the subject of discrimination from Anglo Saxons, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, and other Whites. The Scottish, Welsh, Irish also had their negative experience from the Anglos. Religious groups were also victims of the dominant Christian faith. No overseas or domestic mission ever undertook a study of ethnic or religious discrimination in Guyana.
Power changed hands in 1966. An ethnic dictatorship was established. Indians and Amerindians and other ethnic minorities became victims of racial discrimination if not persecution until a change in administration in 1992. Some studies as well as investigation on racial discrimination during that period between 1966 and 1992 were undertaken. They were published, substantiating claims of racism against groups not supportive of the government. A group that I belonged to in New York also carried out surveys during the 1979s thru 1990s that uncovered cases of racism against Indians. Our group penned with authoritative, substantiated evidence many articles on racism and religious discrimination perpetrated against Indians and Amerindians in Guyana during the period of the ethnic dictatorship. Wealthy Portuguese and Mixed were also victims of racism. Regrettably, left wing Guyanese groups in New York did not carry such studies although they acknowledged that racism existed in Guyana. They were more interested in fighting the capitalists rather than the racists and building socialism. Ironically, Guyana is being transformed into a capitalist state.
Any mission seeking to study discrimination in Guyana must start at 1966 or even before during the period of self rule from 1953 onwards.