It is the 5th of June 2019. 146 years ago, on the 5th of June 1873, my folks, grandparents came to Suriname with the first boat of immigrants or girmityas. The vessel was named “Lala Rookh” and conveyed 399 immigrants, who were either willingly on-board or assembled by force for a variety of reasons.
A total of 34, 304 girmityas were dispatched till 1926. Of that sum, 11,512 returned to their town in Uttar Pradesh, India, where a large portion of the girmityas were selected. Incomprehensible were the conditions, the social isolation and false guarantees to the children like me who cry and sulk when we cut ourselves coincidentally. In spite of the hardship many had developed out of their miserable situation by starting their own businesses and pursuing professions.
As a young spiritual seeker, I try to recall in time and investigate why so many of us have a feeling of being a victim of society, and in our relationship with each other including among ourselves. Is it the action of our great- great grandparents, which we need to recover from? Why are so many of us still feeling victims of false guarantees? I am not a historian and I don’t have all the answers when it concerns the political monstrosities my par-adja or par-nana had to endure. Nor, am I in a situation to try and consider the maltreatment my par-adji or par-nani went through due to the highly stressful situations of the men among them.
Nevertheless, it is an agonizing inclination, puncturing my heart when I see comparable ‘issues’ hitting my age and the one after me. WE ARE BROKEN IN SOME WAY! What’s more! Most of us have sought the path of spiritualism through religion, dharma, arts, traditions and the famously good advice of Sadhguru. Few have come out of our ‘karmic state’ left by our great-great grandparents whom were so thumped and misled. They lost their voices to talk regardless of whether they could.
Thanks to my good acquaintances, Krishnamurthy, the man behind the Shiva Gana Organization, and Dr Visham Bhimull who continues the battle for Caribbean,Bhojpuri. They put a great amount of exertion into improving the youth to reach their sanctuary. We were housed and fed in their modest homes. Also, thanks to Professor Peggy Mohan and Mr. Motilall Marhe who did so much research not only on our Bhojpuri, but also on the best way to keep it alive.
All the previously mentioned individuals are conveying their part of spiritualism into improving our young generation. It is our decision whether we need to escape the agonizing cycle of resurrection into the pathway of our great – great grandparents. I suggest we let go of political flat reasons of why we are suffering so much in our own homes, and with suffering I mean, the daily painful feelings which make us feel victimized in our own shell. We are the offspring of the individuals who needed to endure so we wouldn’t need to. Much to their dismay we do!
By Priya J. Ramcharan, Paramaribo- Suriname