Racist Stereotypes Unleashed against Indians

17

By The Piper

The PiperHardly a day goes by in the Guyanese media without centuries- old racist stereotypes hurled at Indians. This has been going on for the longest time, all the while hiding behind exposing corruption and fighting for good governance. Astoundingly, the ABC countries are silent on the matter, as are notable organisations such as the Guyana Human Rights Association, The Guyana Bar Association, and the Guyana Press Association.

The political parties (AFC and WPA) that have made the biggest claims for a multi-racial democracy are not only silent on the pervasive attacks against Indians, but tolerate letter writers and columnists who pen articles in their name and favour. The PPP, both in and out of government, pretends not to see or hear about the daily humiliation of half the country. This is ironic because the said trashing of Indian identity has been principally aimed at the PPP which is routinely described as a bastion of supposed Indian interests. When and how will this stop? Who will stand up? Where are the moderate voices?

The racist stereotype against Indians is straightforward and so I will get to it right now. A stereotype is basically a lie told about a group as whole, and repeated so often that it is taken to be true. The main stereotype against Indians is that they are money loving merchants at heart, and will do anything to protect their economic interests. In Guyana, that has been translated into basically sticking together and cheating everyone else.

Whether contractors or cane-cutters, shop-owner or chamber-maid, Indians are portrayed as always conniving to accumulate wealth to the detriment of others. Still according to this narrative, the PPP is the chief facilitator of this nationally organized scam. All others are victims of Indian domination. That is the basic story told everyday in the media.

Stereotypes are flexible in nature and are adapted to suit the situation on the ground. It is also well to remember that as the stereotypes are deployed, they are resisted. If the resistance is effective, then even more potent forms of the said stereotype are formulated, usually combined with more believable lies. More complex forms would give some praised to the targeted group with one hand but then immediately destroy the diabolically concocted generosity.

A good example is the way in which during the last election campaign, some opposition elements praised Dr. Jagan, only to then immediately lambaste people and the party he had worked with all his life.

Stereotypes and other kinds of incendiary political devices can never survive if enough concerned citizens stand up and protest their voices. Those truly concerned about Guyana and its future, instead of the instantaneous gratifications that come with victory, are obliged to protest the current campaign of cultural evisceration against Indians in Guyana.

It goes without saying that now the APNU is in power with the AFC, it has an even great obligation to stand up against all forms of cultural vigilantism, evidence of which can be found in the media practically without let or hindrance.

Africans, the world over, need no introduction to the destructiveness of stereotypes. They have been at the receiving end for centuries, even more than Indians. They know the hurt, the depravity of it all. How then, do we explain the rampant anti-Indian racism in the land of six races? Perhaps it is time to talk. A good place to begin is to acknowledge that many of these attacks are from anti-PPP Indians. The matter, you see, is a political one and unless that is recognized, progress would be difficult.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Good governance needs the basic problems to be solved amicably & peaceably. Since any country needs happy workers for economic development, their beliefs have to be respected. Whatever prosperity methods are used to develop the country must be encouraged by both major races. The Gov’t must act fairly to all strata for development of opportunities so the poorest to the richest will thrive for escalating benefits to the whole country. Disharmony sucks, peace & love elevates.

  2. In Guyana they will always be race issue unless ppp-pnc can come together as one
    and I can’t see that we need the Amerindian to rule There Land and tell the parties
    what to do.

  3. Mr. Piper, your column once again seems very much baseless and disaccording!!…My humble advice to you would be for you to quit while you’re ahead for your columns are largely unattractive!!

  4. Piper, you wrote an article recently on the dangers of bloggers and what they could do to incite racism. Here, another article on the issue of racism against Indo Guyanese..I have read the previous and this article with profound interest and am most distressed about the daily attacks, online and other print media, subtle or openly, on people of Indian Origin in Guyana. It is also happening openly particularly in and around Georgetown in particular. This is nothing new as I have first hand experience of this all through my working life in Guyana. While the current administration is crying out that it is a government of national unity, it is doing absolutely nothing about it. Instead, they are on a path of ethnic cleansing of many public institutions and replacing them with another section of the population.
    Indo Guyanese have been the victims of brutal attacks far way back in the 60’s and continues unabated to present day. Whenever they speak up or even try to speak they are labelled racist especially by some who have unlimited access to the press eg Freddie Kissoon who incidentally is ashamed of his ethnic identity.
    As one enters CJIA or goes into any government department.you are faced by officers/officials as if there is one race only living in the country The NIS in Brickdam is a glaring example of this. Looking at the police, fire, and military, as well as the judiciary services,they are PACKED with Afro Guyanese. Is this by chance or by design? Not until this is rectified, Indians will feel safe in the streets, in their homes or work places.
    The question: Is it a criminal offence for hard work and prudence?
    ( I contributed a comment similar to this once and Inews moderators did not publish it.)

  5. I can say the piper has not spoken for me.
    It WAS CLEAR that a particular group with close association with the past administration were benefactors of Govt largess.
    Many indians did not benefit from that assocaition, so the stereotyping that is being fluted clearly divides all guyanese into two groups not necessarily a racial distinction.

    • I think you should see that as a credible, general observation of the race issue by the Piper. It is not about specific individual or group of people. If you are denying that Indians are not be stereotyped then you are living on another planet.

  6. Stereotype is bothersome when the target is offended. indians in guyana boast about this Practice. Maybe the author does not live in guyana or is using this to stir up something greater. This is like saying that africans emphssising education for their children is prejudiced.

  7. To be honest the stereotyping you are referring to is indeed true because my peers and I, always refer to the indian race as being a people who only sees and understand the language of money and will do anything to get and keep that money. I know in my heart it is not true, but like you say if you keep repeating a lie often enough it becomes true. I have some great indian friends who have loaned me money in times of need, and I have done the same for them. What get everyone mad in my community especially me is the deliberate attack by the PPP/C on African Guyanese. Had it not been for the revelations at the Kissoon Trials I would not have really understood and gotten as mad as I got to hear all the horrible the PPP/C government doing to African Guyanese and even some of their own Indians for wealth and power. I bled and felt it for them. After those revelations I decided I was going to support APNU then the coalition come what may. All government must be fair and balance and if there is a perception that you have been unfair then you need to address it, in a very public way.

    • Brother, like you I have had and do have Indian friends, some for decades. Stereotyping and racism is age old, maybe inate maybe learned. We may never know. What we do know is people of different groups tend to generalize about other groups. In the Guyana situation it Is made even worst by politicians particular the jadgeos of this country. Maybe just maybe if we all learn to respect each other and not see race- in time it may get better even though I have my doubts. I am reminded of the Indian male who said in my presence ” All Black People are thieves”

  8. None of what you said has to do with stereotypes, there are just some folks who are determined to be lovers of wealth so they would do all that is unorthodox to get that wealth, you know the saying the love of money is the root to all injurious things.

    • sweetiecakes. You are the typical ostrich burying its head in the sand exposing your a**in the air A reflection of jealousy and intolerance of those who try to save and have a comfortable life. If someone invests his/her hard earned cash, it is only reasonable for that person to expect optimum returns for his/her investment. That’s basic economics.

    • So In your view, you do not see the issue of prejudice and/or ethnically motivated remarks hurled at an entire section of society to be a problem that we should be worried about? And I agree with you that there are some people that are like that, and that goes for every ethnicity around the world and the cause of that would be Greed. I think the major cause of this problem in Guyana is the lack of a proper education and the surplus of illiteracy. So in conclusion, if this country is to move from where it is now, then people would have to wake up and realize that its not about race; in fact we should see everyone as one race i.e the human race!

      • I accept your reasoning and your conclusion when you stated, ‘I think the major cause of this problem in Guyana is the lack of a proper education and the surplus of illiteracy. So in conclusion, if this country is to move from where it is now, then people would have to wake up and realize that its not about race; in fact we should see everyone as one race i.e the human race!
        Tell that to the APNU/AFC coalition who are now hell bent on ethnic cleansing of government departments. Notice James Bond is calling for the head of GRA
        The problem is people see colour first and then may be a human being thereafter.

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