International Jahajee Journal (IJJ), August 24th, 2008

Our peace of mind increases in spite of suffering; we become braver and more
enterprising; we understand more clearly the difference between what is everlasting and
what is not; we learn how to distinguish between what is our duty and what is not. Our
pride melts away and we become humble. Our worldly attachments diminish and, likewise,
 the evil within us diminishes from day to day.
Mahatma Gandhi
by Carolyn Kissoon,
Shiva Chakan, who is stricken with diabetes, wants to become a paediatric
And by the looks of it, the 16-year-old is well on his way to achieving his dreams.
Shiva, who’s most prized possession, an iPod media player, was stolen at a
diabetic camp last weekend, was among scores of secondary school pupils who
received their CXC Ordinary Level results yesterday. For each of the eight
subjects he wrote, Shiva, who attends Presentation College, San Fernando,
TRINIDAD, received grade ones.
“I was elated when I got my results, I worked really hard and I knew I would do
well but I did not expect this,” he said.
Shiva, who lives with his family at Ste Madeleine, Trinidad, said since he was
diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year and he began studying on how the
disease affected children.
“And I want to be able to do something to help other children, because I know
what they are going through,” he said.

NAYA ZAMANA by Guyana Dharmic Sabha 

President Bharrat Jagdeo Saturday evening, just before the staging of
Naya Zamana’- an evening of classical Indian dances at the
Cultural Centre
(NCC), congratulated the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha
for organising the event and for the organisation’s creativity and
persistence in assisting to promote the Indian culture over the
Reminding the large audience at the event about the struggles of our
Indian ancestors who survived near slave-like conditions during the
colonial era, President Jagdeo said they were successful in carving out
a position for those who followed. “The colonial authorities consistently
tried to dehumanise the people who came here by changing their religion,
their language and their art forms, because they saw that as a way of
controlling them. But they did not succeed; so we have today, this
wonderful culture that they have contributed to this land and that has
become part of the Guyanese culture,” he said.

Warwick University honours
Yesu Persaud with Doctorate

Warwick University honours Yesu Persaud with Doctorate
Dr. Yesu Persaud (left), President of GOPIO GUYANA

“An exemplary Guyanese whom a lot can be learnt from” Hans Barrow

“No one can take away that he is an example for all who would wish to walk in his footsteps” Major General (rtd) Joe Singh
“A splendid example of progress from poverty to stellar achievements” Professor David Dabydeen

Scores of
dignitaries and eminent entrepreneurs turned out at Le Meridien Pegasus
hotel, Georgetown, GUYANA,  to honour Dr. Yesu Persaud who was recently
awarded an Honorary Doctorate for honourable causes by the University
of Warwick in the United Kingdom.
The University only bestows the
honour on some 10 persons each year out of a field of literally
hundreds of individuals worldwide.

David Dabydeen, who chaired the proceedings, noted that Dr. Persaud’s
beginning was very humble as he started working in the canefields of
He, however, pointed out that despite his modest foundation,
he has served in a number of eminent positions which include Chairman
of Demerara Distillers, Founder and Chairman of Demerara Bank, Chairman
of the Trust Company Guyana Limited, Chairman of the Institute of
Private Enterprise and Development (IPED) and Chairman of the Private
Sector Commission of Guyana. He also served as President of the Guyana
Manufacturers Association, Vice President of the West Indies Rum and
Spirits Association, and a member of the Advisory Group to the
Caribbean’s Chief Trade Negotiator, Sir Shridath Ramphal, on CARICOM
international negotiations.
He has also been an Associate Fellow of the University of Warwick’s Centre for Caribbean Studies for the last 10 years.
“Yesu Persaud is a splendid example of progress from poverty to stellar achievements,” said Dabydeen.
Persaud is one of Guyana’s leading businessmen and philanthropists who
is renowned for his support of human rights, his outstanding
contributions in business and Indian history and culture, and his role
at conceiving the Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED).
“His notion of helping people to help themselves is the most effective way of eradicating poverty.”
Persaud is the recipient of several international and national awards
including the Gandhi Organisation Plaque for his contribution to
promoting Indian culture in Guyana, the Cacique’s Crown of Honour for
the development of new industries in Guyana in 1983, and the Glory of
India Award and Certificate of Excellence by the India International
Friendship Society in 2005.
2006 India honoured him with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for his
outstanding contributions in business and Indian history and culture.
Persaud is a founding member of Guyana’s Indian Arrival Committee (IAC)
which was later converted into the Indian Commemoration Trust, and he
is single-handedly responsible for creating the Monument Garden which
marks the arrival of the first batch of Indian indentured labourers to
Guyana in 1838.
Dr Persaud was described by many of his friends and
colleagues last evening as a humble man who did not disrespect or
He was described as an open individual who would greet anyone on the social ladder from top to bottom and did not disparage.
“He is one of the persons who never hesitated to allow a person to realize their fullest potential.”
Chairman of IPED, Dr Leslie Chin noted that it was because of the
vision of Dr Persaud that IPED was formulated and one of the values he
instilled at that organsisation was the value of financial stability
for all.
Randolph George described Dr Persaud as a man of outstanding character.
“We ought to be thankful as a country for people like Persaud.”
Hans Barrow told the gathering that Dr Persuad was an exemplary Guyanese whom a lot could be learnt from.
Major General (rtd) Joe Singh noted that the distinguished persons in
the audience were testimony to the depth of Dr Persaud.
He added
that Dr Persaud was a man who never made age a factor and gave
unselfishly of his time. “No one can take away that he is an example
for all who would wish to walk in his footsteps.”
Singh also noted
that it was fitting for Dr Persaud to be honoured while he was alive
and urged that it be done in more cases for people who have served the
country faithfully and unselfishly.
Dr Persaud, in expressing appreciation
for the award and compliments bestowed on him, said that he was proud
of his humble beginnings and that he learnt “from a young age to
respect all, love all and hate none irrespective of who they are, given
that we are all part of the human family…cease to do evil, learn to do
good given that what you sow you reap.”
According to Dr Persaud, a
person is what he/she makes themselves and humility would take an
individual a far way. He added that one of his life’s philosophies was
to “do your best and nothing but the best.”
Dr Persaud acknowledged
that a project that he was particularly proud of is IPED, which gives
persons an opportunity to own their own business, and it was his
tribute to Guyana.
He estimated that IPED has been responsible for
the establishment of some 40,000 businesses and the creation of some
50,000 jobs.
In offering a bit of advice, Dr. Persaud said that
nothing happens if you don’t make it happen given that God has blessed
“us all with faculties (brain) and we must use it.”
He added that if all was to contribute to society it would be a better place.
Persaud was also adamant that there was no reason for this to be a poor
country since the country is blessed with an abundance of resources.
noted that what needs to be accomplished is the putting aside of the
division that exists in the country. “If we can come together we can
transform the nation….we will prosper.”
Dr Persaud is currently working on his autobiography.

From Bengal to Bushlot to Belize –

by Karan Chand

Karan Chand is a Guyanese living and teaching for the past 19 years in Belize
 City, Belize.
This book is on the list for Literature at two high schools in Belize
and others are now considering it to be included as an additional text.

From Bengal to Bushlot to Belize – THE INDENTURED IMMIGRANTS 
is available from the author – E-mail  kchand16@hotmail. com

Indians in America:
Before and after Attaining Citizenship Rights
By Inder Singh, President of GOPIO International

from India started coming to the United States of America at the
beginning of the twentieth century. Most of them worked at menial jobs,
lived in appalling conditions and in crumbling structures. Except a
few, all were single, could not bring a spouse from India nor allowed
to marry an American. For forty five years they lived in the shadows of
American society. After a long struggle, in 1946 they got the right to
US citizenship. Thereafter, they could buy property, get a job
commensurate with their qualifications, marry a person of their choice,
and were free to travel and visit India, the country of their birth.
Indian nationals had lived for years in a free country without freedom.
However, after Indian nationals obtained political rights, there has
been a dramatic change in Indian community’s contributions to the
country they have adopted as their home.

first part of this article describes the hardships, hostility,
humiliation and bigotry the early settlers encountered and their
sacrifices, perseverance and tenacity that defied all odds, while they
managed a sustained campaign for political rights in the country of
their domicile and hope, the United States of America. The second part
describes those immigrants who came after the grant of citizenship
rights and the liberalization of US Immigration laws. They comprised of
professionals, high-tech workers, students and sponsored relatives.
Several made laudable contributions in various ways to the country they
have adopted as their home and also contributed significantly to the
resurgence of India.

Beginning of Indian Immigration
In 1897,
Queen Victoria of England and the Empress of India, included a Sikh
regiment from the Indian Army in her diamond jubilee celebrations. On
the return journey, the soldiers were sent back to India via Canada.
Most of these soldiers were originally farmers and were fascinated with
the potential for farming opportunities. They dreamed of returning to
Canada after retirement. And some of them did return. India and Canada
were both part of the British Empire and Canada became the destination
of choice for many emigrants from India. Emigration from India to the
USA started as a trickle while many came from Canada from the porous
borders with America.

April 5, 1899, four Punjabis who had worked in the British Royal
Artillery in Hong Kong, landed in San Francisco and were allowed to
stay in the United States by the US Immigration Service. The grant of
permission for them was an encouraging signal for others to follow
those four pioneers.




Episodes of Indian Experience
by Professor Kenneth Ramchand
Professor Kenneth Ramchand is Professor Emeritus of West Indian Literature,
University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Emeritus of English (Colgate University),
currently, Associate Provost, The Academy at the University of Trinidad and
Tobago for Arts,
Letters, Culture and Public



I want to do a ballet on the Ganges: Hema Malini

Hema Malini produces Revathi film


Dubai, Aug 17 (IANS) Bringing the Ganges river and the issues surrounding it today onstage is the next
big dream of veteran Bollywood actor and internationally acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer Hema Malini.

‘The next ballet I want to do is on our great river Ganges,’ Hema Malini told IANS in an interview here.

‘I have already made the script. I want to bring the Ganges on to the stage,’ she said.

She explained that her new ballet on the Ganges would carry an environmental message.

‘It is a beautiful concept, you know.
It starts with the mythological beginning (of the Ganges). But it goes
into today’s time and issues associated with the river. An
environmental message will be given,’ she
said. Talking about her other works, Hema Malini was very enthusiastic about another ballet she has
called ‘Draupadi’. ‘I have 12 actors playing the roles of the Kauravas
and Pandavas. I play the role of Draupadi. Our great epic ‘Mahabharata’
is then told from Draupadi’s point of view,’ she said.

Unity with Guyana and Suriname?
Dear Editor,
I am for integration but not
with Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The reason is
not ethnicity as some may be tempted to think but simply economics.
What do these country have to bring to  this “political marriage” with Trinidad and Tobago?
A political union with Guyana and Suriname will have many more advantages. These are as follows:
1. Guyana and Suriname
have vast acreages of land and a strong agricultural secotor that can
become the breadbasket of the Caribbean, thus ensuring food security for the region.
2. Trinidad and Tobago’s abundance of diesel and gasolene can be provided to Guyana and Suriname at a subsidized price to boost agricultural production.
 Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago have a common historical, cultural
and political experience that can be built on. For example, in all
three countries there are large numbers of Africans and East Indians
that are familar with and share religious and cultural practices.
4.Eco-tourism is a major
industry that can be explored in Guyana and Suriname. The Kaituer Falls
, the rain forests and the vast rivers of Guyana  and Suriname are 
a paradise for  naturalists.
5. Association with Surimane will provide markets for trade with the Dutch-speaking Caribbean and the Netherlands.
6.Trinidad and Tobago’s natural gas can be used to assist Guyana and Suriname with its aluminium smelter production rather than the need to establish smelter plants in Trinidad.
7.Guyana has gold and other precious metals that can be exploited and traded in international market for precious foreign exchange.
9. The potential for wealth
creation will give rise to a high standard of living, low inflation and
neglible criminal activities including homicides.
10. Lastly, Trinidad and Tobago has Brian Lara while Guyana has Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Trinidad and Tobago has nothing
to gain by an association with those islands. The only solution to
those three states is for them to apply to the UK for dependency status
and if successful, they would be lucky to be part of the European Union, an economic power house.
A unity with Guyana and
Suriname is essential for Trinidad and Tobago if we are to think of our
survival beyond 2012. If we don’t move speedily in that direction we
may also have to apply to the UK for dependency status.
D.H. Singh




Indian Indentured Immigration to Trinidad
by Deosaran Bisnath,
Editor, International Jahajee Journal
President, GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago.
Part 1 : Origin of The Coolie Slave Trade 
NRI saga goes back over 2,500 years

By Kul Bhushan
For most of the new NRI generation,
the Indian migration started about 60 years or 100 years at the most.
But this saga goes back over 2,500 years ago much before Biblical times
to distant shores of Africa, South-East Asia and the Far East.
Considering that they travelled by sailboats into uncharted seas in
voyages that took months to the Far East, it remains a humongous
Most of the second NRI generation in
the US and Britain traces its roots to their fathers who left their
motherland after India became independent. Canada is an exception as
sturdy Punjabi farmers settled there earlier around 1930s. NRIs in East
and South Africa, Mauritius and the Caribbean go back to just over a
century when their forefathers went abroad to work as labourers to
build a railway in East Africa or work on sugar plantations.
While Sri Lanka and Myanmar are just
over the horizon for Indian seafarers, negotiating tricky straits and
storms to land in Java, Sumatra, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bali and the
Philippines demonstrated their real test of skill and endurance over
2,500 years ago. Sailing west was relatively easy as the annual monsoon
winds carried their sailboats from Kutch to the Gulf and then south to
East Africa and a few months later, they returned as the winds changed
into the opposite direction.
“The diaspora of Indians in ancient
times to the countries of South East Asia and the annals of those
kingdoms by the Hindu colonists were quite unlike the later European
ways of colonization,” writes Utpal K. Banerjee in his new book ‘Hindu
Joy of Life’, “Among the European powers were the English, Dutch,
French, Portuguese and Spaniards, all five of which acted with explicit
support of home government and were accompanied by military forces to
back them to forcibly impose supremacy over the people of other
countries; mainly to exploit the resources of the colony and benefit
their homeland.”
The Indians, on the contrary,
enriched the native populations by introducing the art of writing, high
degree of culture, improved methods of cultivation, improved
handicrafts and introduced new industries, claims Banerjee. “Indians
went out of their country without any sort of backing of any of the
Indian states,” he said. “Hindus left their motherland to settle abroad
in colonies and not to make fortune and run back to motherland. It was
diaspora in the truest sense, where the penetration of Hindu
civilization, culture, languages in South East Asia took place so
peacefully that the indigenous population never felt that their country
had been taken over.” Here is a book that chronicles the 2,500 years of
Indian settlement abroad in lucid terms in one of its chapters. This
highly readable panorama of the Hindu way of life, as opposed to narrow
religion described in dry, abstract terms, presents the full canvas of
the arts and culture that endures in all NRI communities to this day.
In full colour, it is an ide
al introduction for the new NRI
generation to learn about their heritage from their gods, scriptures to
their fine arts, dance and music. The author writes with the experience
of travels to almost all the countries with NRI populations and many
more where he was sent to lecture on Indian art and culture.
He scripts the NRI saga right up to
the present day. He outlines how the British rulers channelled the
recent waves of Indian settlement abroad. After the abolition of
slavery, the planters needed farm workers and so they tapped the huge
manpower resource of India for the sugar plantations of Jamaica, South
Africa and Mauritius from UP and Bihar. They needed workers to build
the Kenya Uganda Railway towards the end of the 19th century, so they
sent them from Punjab. They needed farmers for the hostile lands of
Canada and so Punjabi farmers were allowed in.
After the Second World War, both
Britain and the US needed factory workers, skilled professionals and
admitted Indians in large numbers from 1960 onwards. The latest flow of
Indian immigrants to the US, Britain and Canada came from east Africa
in the 1960s to 1980s when the independent African governments wanted
to provide jobs for their indigenous peoples. At the end of the last
century, Indian IT workers went to fix the Millennium Bug in the
computer systems followed by thousands of IT professionals.
Wherever NRIs settled, they have
prospered. As law-abiding citizens by and large, they have preserved
enduring Indian values. And they have maintained their links with India
from distant lands through their way of life. Banerjee pays NRIs a warm
tribute by writing, “This is no mean achievement, in spite of the
initial handicaps and owes a lot to the innate vitality of the Indian
civilization.” In brief, India has always been ‘a soft super power’.
A media consultant to a UN Agency,
Kul Bhushan previously worked abroad as a newspaper editor and has
travelled to over 55 countries. He lives in New Delhi and can be
contacted at:  

GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago
a chapter of GOPIO International.
P.O. BOX 2286, Chaguanas. TRINIDAD.

The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) unequivocally and
categorically reiterates that there is only one authorized GOPIO Chapter in
Trinidad and Tobago, namely GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago, with its leadership
team that was installed on February 29, 2008
in Freeport,

The executives of GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago include Deosaran Bisnath (President);
Varsha Maharaj (Secretary); Oscar Ramoutar (Treasurer); Ena Maraj, PRO;
Directors (Niranjan Bhaggan, Jaganath Seeram-Maharaj) ; and
Youth Officers (Shivanie Ramcharitar, Sacha Mahabal and Avinash Sanu).


GOPIO International emphasizes that former GOPIO of Trinidad and Tobago chapter
president Devant Maharaj does not function in any capacity in GOPIO International,
any of its councils or chapters, and is not authorized to make any such representations
on behalf of GOPIO Int’l or GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago.


GOPIO is a secular, non-partisan, not-for-profit, international organization based in
USA with chapters in various parts of the globe, representing the interests and
aspirations of People of Indian Origin (PIOs), and promoting awareness and
understanding of issues of concern — social, cultural, educational, economic, or political,
to global NRI/PIO community.


GOPIO can be contacted:

Inder Singh (President, GOPIO Int’l) at gopio-intl@sbcgloba  or by
tel +1-818-708-3885, Ashook Ramsaran (Sec General, GOPIO Int’l) at
ramsaran@aol. com

 or by tel +1-718-939-8194, Deosaran Bisnath
(President, GOPIO of Trinidad & Tobago) at
deobisnath@yahoo. com
by tel +1-868-687-7529

Become a GOPIO member: write to –
GopioTT@gmail. com

GOPIO on the NET:

http://gopiott. blogspot. com/

http://www.gopio. net


Fiji to hold forum on elections

The interim Attorney-General of Fiji
says his country will hold its own forum to discuss future elections,
but New Zealand is not invited.
Fiji’s interim leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, refused to attend a Pacific Islands Forum in Niue this week.
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark says
he did not want to explain why he backed away from a promised deadline
for elections next year.
But Fiji’s interim Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says New Zealand blocked the Commodore from post-forum talks.
He says Fiji has now invited the heads of the United Nations and the Commonwealth to its own forum on elections.
Fijian leader Frank Bainimarama has issued a bold warning to the Pacific Forum nations – be wary of New Zealand and Australia.
The so called “statement to the nation” is
in response to the Forum’s ultimatum for Fiji to hold elections by
March, or be suspended, after Commodore Bainimarama was a no-show at
the talks in Niue.
The self-appointed Fijian leader says New
Zealand and Australia seem to have taken over the moral leadership of
the Pacific region.


~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~
user posted image

I was born from the nectar of immortality as the primordial horse
and as Indra’s noble elephant. Among men, I am the king.
Among weapons I am the thunderbolt. I am Kamadhuk, the cow
that fulfills all desires;
I am Kandarpa, the power of sex, and Vasuki, the king of snakes.
Bhagavad Gita 10:27-28 

The ego is like a stick dividing water in two. It creates the impression that you
are one and I am another. When the ego vanishes you will realize that Brahman
is your own inner consciousness.

Some realize the Self within them through the practice of meditation, some by
the path of wisdom, and others by selfless service.
Others may not know these paths; but hearing and following the instructions of
an illumined teacher, they too go beyond death.
Bhagavad Gita 13:24-25

~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~


Netherland: A Novel
by Joseph O’Neill
Chuck Ramkissoon, Trini self-mythologizing entrepreneur-gangster
Review From Publishers Weekly
van den Broek, the Dutch-born narrator of O’Neill’s dense, intelligent
novel, observes of his friend, Chuck Ramkissoon, a self-mythologizing
entrepreneur-gangster, that he never quite believed that people would
sooner not have their understanding of the world blown up, even by
Chuck Ramkissoon. The image of one’s understanding of the world being
blown up is poignant—this is Hans’s fate after 9/11. He and wife Rachel
abandon their downtown loft, and, soon, Rachel leaves him behind at
their temporary residence, the Chelsea Hotel, taking their son, Jake,
back to London. Hans, an equities analyst, is at loose ends without
Rachel, and in the two years he remains Rachel-less in New York City,
he gets swept up by Chuck, a Trinidadian expatriate Hans meets at a
cricket match. Chuck’s dream is to build a cricket stadium in Brooklyn;
in the meantime, he operates as a factotum for a Russian gangster. The
unlikely (and doomed from the novel’s outset) friendship rises and
falls in tandem with Hans’s marriage, which falls and then, gradually,
rises again. O’Neill (This Is the Life) offers an outsider’s view of New York bursting with wisdom, authenticity and a sobering jolt of realism.

In Joseph O’Neill’s third novel, Netherland, there are two great love objects: the city of New York and the game of cricket. Hans van den Broek,
the novel’s Dutch narrator, seeks solace in both the place and the
sport after September 11, 2001, when he finds himself adrift in the
city. We know he watched the destruction on television in the midtown
office where he works, that the trauma that followed is the ostensible
reason for his foundering marriage, and that the catastrophe forced
him, his wife, Rachel, and young son, Jake, out of their Tribeca loft
and into the Hotel Chelsea. When Rachel leaves for London
with Jake, Hans slides into a state of depressed alienation, which is
relieved, in part, by playing cricket in the city’s outer boroughs with
like-minded comrades from the West Indies and Asia.
On one of these excursions, Hans meets a
Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon. This hyper-articulate, bamboozling
entrepreneur with a grand dream of building an American cricket arena
holds a steady if rather vague fascination for Hans, and the two fall
into an unlikely friendship.
Excerpt from Netherland.
The afternoon before I left London for New York—Rachel
had flown out six weeks previously—I was in my cubicle at work, boxing
up my possessions, when a senior vice-president at the bank, an
Englishman in his fifties, came to wish me well. I was surprised; he
worked in another part of the building and in another department, and
we were known to each other only by sight. Nevertheless, he asked me in
detail about where I intended to live (“Watts? Which block on Watts?”)
and reminisced for several minutes about his loft on Wooster Street and
his outings to the “original” Dean & DeLuca. He was doing nothing
to hide his envy.

“We won’t be gone for very long,” I
playing down my good fortune. That was, in fact, the plan, conceived by my wife: to drop in on New York City for a year or three and then come back.

say that now,” he said. “But New York’s a very hard place to leave. And
once you do leave . . .” The S.V.P., smiling, said, “I still miss it,
and I left twelve years ago.”

It was my turn to smile—in part out of embarrassment, because he’d spoken with an American openness. “Well, we’ll see,” I said.

“Yes,” he said. “You will.”

sureness irritated me, though principally he was pitiable—like one of
those Petersburgians of yesteryear whose duties have washed him up on
the wrong side of the Urals.

But it turns out he was right, in a
way. Now that I, too, have left that city, I find it hard to rid myself
of the feeling that life carries a taint of aftermath. This
last-mentioned word, somebody once told me, refers literally to a
second mowing of grass in the same season. You might say, if you’re the
type prone to general observations, that New York City insists on
memory’s repetitive mower—on the sort of purposeful postmortem that has
the effect, so one is told and forlornly hopes, of cutting the grassy
past to manageable proportions. For it keeps growing back, of course.
None of this means that I wish I were back there now; and naturally I’d
like to believe that my own retrospection is in some way more important
than the old S.V.P.’s, which, when I was exposed to it, seemed to
amount to not much more than a cheap longing. But there’s no such thing
as a cheap longing, I’m tempted to conclude these days, not even if
you’re sobbing over a cracked fingernail. Who knows what happened to
that fellow over there? Who knows what lay behind his story about
shopping for balsamic vinegar? He made it sound like an elixir, the
poor bastard.

At any rate, for the first two years or so of my return to England,
I did my best to look away from New York—where, after all, I’d been
unhappy for the first time in my life. I didn’t go back there in
person, and I didn’t wonder very often about what had become of a man
named Chuck Ramkissoon, who’d been a friend during my final East Coast
summer and had since, in the way of these things, become a transitory
figure. Then, one evening in the spring of this year, 2006, Rachel and
I are at home, in Highbury. She is absorbed by a story in the
newspaper. I have already read it. It concerns a group of tribespeople
that has emerged from the Amazon forest in Colombia.
They are reportedly tired of the hard jungle life, although it’s noted
they still like nothing better than to eat monkey, grilled and then
boiled. A disturbing photograph of a boy gnawing at a blackened little
skull illustrates this fact. The tribespeople have no idea of the
existence of a host country named Colombia, and no idea, more
hazardously, of diseases like the common cold or influenza, against
which they have no natural defenses.

“Hello,” Rachel says, “your tribe has come to light.”

I’m still smiling when I answer the ringing phone. A New York Times reporter asks for Mr. van den Broek.
The reporter says, “This is about Kham, ah, Khamraj Ramkissoon . . . ?”
“Chuck,” I say, sitting down at the kitchen table. “It’s Chuck Ramkissoon.”
She tells me that Chuck’s “remains” have been found in the Gowanus
. There were handcuffs around his wrists and evidently he was the victim of a murder.
don’t say anything. It seems to me this woman has told an obvious lie
and that if I think about it long enough a rebuttal will come to me.

Her voice says, “Did you know him well?” When I don’t answer, she says, “It says somewhere you were his business partner.”
“That’s not accurate,” I say.
“But you were in business together, right? That’s what my note says.”
“No,” I say. “You’ve been misinformed. He was just a friend.”
She says, “Oh—OK.” There is a tapping of a keyboard and a hiatus.
“So—is there anything you can tell me about his milieu?”
“His milieu?” I say, startled into correcting her mooing pronunciation.
you know—who he hung out with, what kind of trouble he might have
gotten himself into, any shady characters . . .” She adds with a faint
laugh, “It is kind of unusual, what happened.”

I realize that I’m upset, even angry.
“Yes,” I finally say. “You have quite a story on your hands.”



Corentyne High School Holds 70th Anniversary Gala in NYC
By Vishnu Bisram
alumni of Corentyne High School – J C Chandisingh Secondary School
(CHS—JCCSS) of Port Mourant, Guyana, celebrated its 70th Anniversary
and Re-Union 2008 on Saturday, August 9, 2008 at the posh catering
venue of Antun’s located in Queens Village, New York City, USA.

event was a well attended gala affair graced by the presence of a
capacity crowd of 650 plus specially invited guests. Attendees were
predominantly graduates, former teachers and principals of CHS—JCCSS
and their respective spouses, friends and well wishers. Attendees came
from Europe, the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, several from the
Caribbean countries, Guyana and from all over the USA.

Special guests include Guyana’s Ambassador to the United
States, Hon. Bayney Karran of Washington, DC. Keynote Speaker was Jules
Nathoo, a former teacher at CHS—JCCSS who now resides in Canada. Former
CHS—JCCSS teacher and principal Jagdat P Deonarine attended as a VIP
guest, along with his wife Elaine, a former student herself. Also in
attendance: famous cricketer Joseph Solomon and wife Betty, as well as
former teacher Sewcharran Gunraj, Dan Sukhu, Chetram Singh, Dr Mahendra
Deonarine, Mr and Mrs Austin of the UK and Jane Baichu, one of the
oldest surviving alumni – and several well known former teachers whose
contributions are noteworthy.

The Chairman of the 70th
Anniversary and Re-Union 2008 Planning Committee was Ashook Ramsaran of
the class of 1964, formerly of Bloomfield Village, Corentyne, now
residing in USA. The MC for the event was Rishi Singh, graduate class
of 1971 and former teacher at CHS—JCCSS, along with Co-MC Bibi Hydar,
graduate of class of 1977.

It was a grand affair
and a very successful 70th Anniversary and Re-Union 2008 re-union event
that brought together alumni and former teachers spanning several
decades and from various parts of the world. In summary, it achieved
its objectives with unmatched style and elegance.

Indians in the Virgin Islands
Courtesy Lloyd Harradan
Friday, August 22nd 2008

(Virgin Islands Daily News 22.08.2008]

THOMAS – While the distance between India and the Virgin Islands is
thousands of miles, the local Indian community acts as a vital bridge
between the two, Ajay Gondane, India’s deputy consul general, said
who has more than 20 years with the Indian Foreign Service, arrived in
the Virgin Islands today to meet with government and education
officials and members of the Indian Association of the Virgin Islands,
which comprises nearly 70 local businesses and 500 members.
will address the membership tonight at the association’s 61th
anniversary of India’s independence event at Marriott’s Frenchman’s
Reef and Morningstar Beach Resort.
Cultural dance, food, and dress showcase and celebrate Indian culture during the event.
Gondane said he has been looking forward to his first visit to the Virgin Islands.
said it is important to establish and bolster links with the Indian
community in the Virgin Islands and to let the community know that the
consul general’s office supports them.
“We want to ensure they are keeping their roots and connections with India,” he said.
who is based in New York, said he hopes to meet as many people and
government officials as possible, and he has a meeting scheduled with
Gov. John deJongh Jr.
joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1985 and has worked in various
positions in Indian embassies in Damascus, Baghdad, Vienna and Ankara.
In 2006, Gondane was a visiting fellow at the Henry L. Stimson Centre
in Washington D.C.
He has published an analysis on terrorism in South Asia and two books on social development issues.
Association President Mulo Alwani said he is looking forward to
Gondane’s visit. Someone from the consul general’s office always
attends the association’s annual celebration.
India Association of the Virgin Islands aims to cultivate and celebrate
Indian culture within the territory. Alwani said that for years, the
members have committed themselves to improving the entire community by
giving education scholarships and making donations to schools and
medical facilities.
“This is our home,” Alwani said. “We are part of this community.”
organization’s donations include: $100,000 pledge to Charlotte Amalie
High School, $100,000 pledge to Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute,
and $20,000 to Lockhart Elementary School.
the late 1980s, the association has provided a total of $49,000 annual
scholarships to students attending the University of the Virgin
Education is very important, Alwani said.
“No one can take away your education,” he said. “If you have an education you can go anywhere in the world and be successful.”
‘Disillusioned’ Indians in SA want revival of Gandhi’s party
Prominent South African activist Fatima Meer has said revival of the
Natal Indian Congress formed by Mahatma Gandhi can only help the Indian
community that is feeling “marginalised” and “isolated” under the
ruling ANC, which is grappling with infighting and corruption.

NIC was formed in 1894 by Gandhi to fight discrimination against
Indians during the aparthied days and jointly worked with the African
National Congress. It was dissolved after aparthied was abolished and
ANC came to power in 1994.

was a mistake the ANC had made. It disbanded the Congress and it took
over the apartheid stooges,” Meer, herself an anti-aparthied leader who
turns 80 on August 12, told in an interview at her home in Sydenham
area here.

whose parents had come from the Gujarat and who is a close family
friend of ANC leader and anti-aparthied hero Nelson Mandela and his
former wife Winnie, predicted the state of affairs within ANC would
force “a great number of South Africans” not to vote for the party in
May next year.

a political party, the ANC was fine and totally acceptable but to
organise better, the Indian people needed an organisation”, she said.

Meer said the Indians had a very strong organisation in the Natal Indian Congress.

wrote to Mr Mbeki soon after he became president in 1999 that it had
been a tragedy that the ANC had asked the NIC to be disbanded. It was
an organisation that stood by the ANC always,” she said.

said she favoured the revival of NIC because she believed a large
percentage of the people of South Africa were disillusioned with the
current divisions within the ANC, which is witnessing a bitter power
struggle between President Thabo Mbeki and party chief Jacob Zuma.

Racial taunts spark protests by Indians in Malaysia
LUMPUR: About 500 angry ethic-Indians on Monday staged a protest
outside a school demanding action against a teacher who allegedly
hurled racial slurs against students from the community in western
Malaysia’s Selangaon state.

to the police report, a woman history teacher had allegedly called
Indian students in a Class four and five ‘Negro’, ‘black monkeys’ and
other derogatory names.

The crowd began gathering outside the Banting school’s main entrance near here at noon and staged a protest for two hours.

The teacher had also
allegedly said that the community members were stupid and prone to thievery, the
Star daily reported on its website.

The alleged incidents took place on July 17 and 22 when the teacher had allegedly beaten up some Indians students.

students also alleged in his report that the teacher had written the
word ‘keling pariah’ on the board and lost her cool when the Indian
students told her that they did not like being called names, it said.

of Malaysian Indian NGOs secretary Gunaraj George, who was among the
protesters, said such abuse would only breed hatred and racial
polarisation in schools.

one in his or her right frame of mind would have said these things.
Given this, the best option would be for the teacher to be assigned to
a desk job and not be allowed to be near youngsters anymore,” he said.

Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong said the schoolteacher might be
sacked if the allegations proved true. “The allegations were serious as
no one was allowed to insult others, especially in a school
environment,” said Wee, who was asked to comment.

The ministry was awaiting an official report before taking any action, he added.

‘Munnabhai’ inspires seminar on modern Gandhigiri
JOHANNESBURG: Bollywood film Lage Raho Munnabhai has
inspired a slew of protests worldwide using Gandhian methods, such as
people swamping officials with flowers. Now it’s the turn of the
academics to discuss modern Gandhigiri.

Gandhi had led a march in South Africa in 1908 to protest a law asking
all Indians and Chinese to carry registration certificates with them,
and hundreds had publicly burnt such documents following him.

the centenary of that historic march, the Centre for Indian Studies
(CISA) at the Witwatersrand University, Indian Consul-General Navdeep
Suri and the Gandhi Centenary Committee Monday hosted a colloquium on
The Bonfire of 1908: Passive
Resistance Then and Now

Mahatma’s great-granddaughter Kirti Menon headed the colloquium. P.K.
Dutta of Delhi University, an expert on Indian popular culture, related
how Gandhian ideas were now being revived in India in new ways.

Dhupelia-Mesthrie from the University of the Western Cape, a
granddaughter of Gandhi, spoke about a housing project next to a busy
motorway in Cape Town that has resulted in a lot of social tensions
there. She said that Gandhian strategies might have led to a different

Ebrahim-Vally from the University of Pretoria shared views on how young
Indian people in South Africa understand Gandhi’s ideals and how it
relates or does not relate to their sense of being of Indian origin.

Sitas, a professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Crain
Soudien of the University of Cape Town spoke about the relevance of
Gandhian ideas to new movements that are trying to address

addressed the role of Gandhi in what he called “neo-Gandhians” in the
anti-militaristic movements across the globe, while Crain referred to
the African Renaissance led by South African President Thabo Mbeki and
how Gandhian philosophies might have led to different outcomes in his
attempts to bring about such a transformation.

were also presentations by Raymond Suttner of the University of South
Africa and Goolam Vahed, professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal,
on how the African National Congress (ANC) grappled with some of the
ideas of non-violence as opposed to the need for a violent struggle in
South Africa.

colloquium ended with a poster presentation by struggle veteran
Kantilal Naik, also attached to the host university, who said Gandhi’s
philosophy was relevant during the five decades of struggle, and was
even more relevant now, 14 years down the line of becoming a democratic

“We are now
faced with other types of difficulties – crime, fraud, lies, arrogance,
self-enrichment, economic meltdown, and rising poverty. What is there
left for us, but to adopt Gandhi’s principles to bring about some
sanity in our country?”

‘Satyagraha is a contribution of S African Indians to the world’
JOHANNESBURG: Mahatma Gandhi might
have been a just a footnote in history if it were not for the support
of the South African Indian community that brought him in South Africa
as a young lawyer and got him started on his now legendary struggle
against oppression, according to South African Arts and Culture
Minister Pallo Jordan.

“We all know and speak highly of
Mahatma Gandhi, but very few people will ever give recognition to the
fact that without the support of the Indian community in South Africa,
the name Mahatma Gandhi would not even have been a footnote in
history,” Jordan said.

He was speaking at Saturday’s centenary celebrations of a historic event led by Gandhi at the Hamidia Mosque in Johannesburg.

Hundreds of people including South African dignitaries and India’s
Culture and Tourism Minister Ambika Soni joined him in burning copies
of the registration certificates that all people of Indian and Chinese
descent were required to carry under a law in 1908.

Gandhi’s protest march against it is widely seen as one of the first acts of his philosophy of Satyagraha.

experiments in Satyagraha; his experiments in harnessing non-violence
as a power of truth and bearing witness against oppression, proved
successful because the Mahatma’s call received a response from the
Indian community of this country,” Jordan said to a loud applause from
the hundreds of locals, expatriates and children who had gathered
outside the mosque for the first in a series of events to mark the

Satyagraha is the singular contribution that South Africans of Indian
descent have made to the history of not only South Africa and India,
but many other parts of the world.”

Jordan said it should
never be forgotten the rallying to Gandhi’s call by the thousands of
Indian South Africans had been: “There is a tendency, especially today,
to relegate the role of various communities and individuals to the
background. That is very wrong; it is an injustice; and I think it is a
misrepresentation of the truth.”

He said the rejection of the
registration papers by the Indian community at that time had proved to
the world that an oppressive law could be made unworkable.

was a lesson that has gone throughout the world and has informed every
struggle in the 20th century. In honouring Gandhiji, we must also
honour and recognise the singular contribution made by this community,
to the struggle for liberation here and in every other part of the

Indian overseas Congress honours NRIs on I-Day
LONDON: A leading solicitor, a broadcaster and a social activist were among the four NRIs
honoured here by the overseas wing of the Indian National Congress, for
their outstanding contribution to society, on the occasion of India’s
62nd Independence Day.

Solicitor Hari Singh, poet and
broadcaster at Kismat Radio Sathi Ludianvi, social activist and
prominent leader of the Conservative party, Anita Kapoor and eminent
doctor Dharmendra Tripathi were felicitated by India’s Acting High
Commissioner to UK Asoke Mukerji here last night, at event organised by
the Indian Overseas Congress (UK).

Kapoor, freedom fighter and President of the IOC (UK) said NRIs were
proud of India’s achievements under the leadership of Manmohan Singh,
emphasising that economic growth must be all-inclusive and effective
steps should be taken to bridge the gulf between rich and the poor.

Mahindra, MLA and former cabinet minister of Punjab, who was a special
guest on the occasion, said the Indo-US nuclear deal would go a long
way in making India strong economically.

He also hailed the strong stand taking by India in safeguarding the interest of farmers at the WTO talks.

a message, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh complimented NRIs for their
efforts to be good citizens of their adopted countries, while keeping
alive their links with India.

In her message, Sonia Gandhi,
Congress President and chairperson of India’s ruling coalition said,
“We are making India into a strong country, strong in its independence,
strong in the defence of its territory and integrity, strong in its
economy, strong in its commitment to the values of secularism.”


Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

This is the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth Divine Incarnation. It falls on the 8th day of the
dark half of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September). This is one of the greatest of all
Hindu festivals. Lord Krishna was born at midnight. A twenty-four hour fast is observed on this
day, which is broken at
Temples are decorated for the occasion. Kirtans are sung, bells are rung, the conch is blown,
and Sanskrit hymns are recited in praise of Lord Krishna. At Mathura, the birthplace of Lord
Krishna, special spiritual gatherings are organised at this time. Pilgrims from all over India
attend these festive
Sri Krishna is the ocean of bliss. His soul-stirring Lilas, which are the wonder of wonders, are
its waves. The honeyed music of His flute attracts the minds of His devotees from all three
regions. His unequalled and unsurpassed wealth of beauty amazes the animate and the
inanimate beings. He adorns His friends with His incomparable
If you cannot read the whole of the Srimad Bhagavatam during these days, at least you should
recite the following four most important verses from the book. The leading two verses and the
closing verse are the prologue and the epilogue
“Hear from Me the most secret knowledge coupled with the essential experience and its
“May you realise by My Grace, the knowledge of Myself and what form, qualities and actions I
am endowed
1. “Before creation I alone existed. There was nothing, neither existence nor non-existence. I
am that which remains after
2. “Understand that to be Maya or illusion which is devoid of any purpose, which is not to be
found in the Self and which is unreal like light and
3. “As the primary elements are amalgamated, with one another and also separate from one
another at the same time, so I pervade the whole universe and am also separate from
4. “The aspirant should, by the method of positive and negative, know that thing which exists
always and
May the blessings of Lord Krishna and Sri Radha be upon you all!

Gorgeous Farnley lass Janeena Basra has sparked a cross-border battle of beauty after scooping a title in Cheshire.
Gorgeous Farnley lass Janeena Basra has sparked a
cross-border battle of beauty after scooping a title in Cheshire.
Janeena Basra sparks Miss England beauty battle
The stunning 23-year old has just won a place in the final of the Miss England contest
after winning the regional Miss Halton Pride contest. If she wins that, the brainy beauty –
who has two University degrees – will go on to represent her country in the Miss World
later this year.
However as a Leeds native triumphing on the other side of the pennines, Janeena’s
victory has angered some people who believe a local girl should have won.
Miffed Halton folk have flooded a local website with comments such as “Where is the
justice in a girl from Leeds being crowned?” and “How is she going to fulfil her duties as
Miss Halton Pride?”  Another irate local said bluntly: “I bet the new Miss Halton had

even heard of the place until a few weeks a go. Disgraceful!”

juju \JOO-joo\, noun:
1. An object superstitiously believed to embody magical powers.
2. The power associated with a

[David] Robinson, sounding confident and sure, said that the time for juju
and magic dust had passed. ‘To be honest with you, I think it’s beyond
that’, he said. ‘It’s very hard to come up with magic at the end’.
— “Knicks Find There’s No Place Like Home”, New York Times, June 22,

‘You ever heard of juju?’
Skyler shook his head.
‘Magic. You talk about this and it’ll be the last talkin’ you do. You’ll just open your mouth and nothin’ will come out’.
John Darnton, The

are told, for example, of the Edo youngster, apparently both Christian
and traditionally African in his beliefs, who was heard to mutter
‘S.M.O.G.’ over and over when he and his companions were threatened by
‘bad juju’. When questioned he replied, ”Have you never heard of it?
It stands for Save Me O God. When you are really in a hurry, it is
quickest to use the initials’.
— “The Spirits And The African Boy”, New York Times, October 10,

any terminal she is using, a co-worker puts up a sign proclaiming, ‘Bad
karma go away, come again another day’. When she was pregnant, she
said, she crashed her computer twice as often — she attributes that to
a double whammy of woo-woo juju.
— “Can a Hard Drive Smell Fear?”, New York Times, May 21,

Juju is of West African origin, akin to Hausa djudju, fetish, evil
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~
‘jahaj’ = ship; ‘desi’ = Indian
‘JahajeeDesi’ = The Indians who crossed the Kala Pani by ship,
the Indentured Indian Immigrants, and their descendants.

For Free Subscription to this Newsletter, or to Join the JahajeeDesi
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