The Arts Journal Volume 11 Numbers 1 & 2 (2018)


This issue of The Arts Journal is devoted to the Centennial of the end of East Indian Indentureship in 2017. This event has been observed in countries
where Indian indentureship was introduced or where Indians in the Diaspora live.

A Conference was hosted jointly by the Universities of Warwick and London, at Senate House, London, in October 2017, the first of a 15-year
series of Conferences on the theme of indentureship; a few of the presentations at that Conference are featured in this issue including the
Keynote lecture, titled ”The Crescent in the Caribbean” by one of the Caribbean’s distinguished historians, Professor Brinsley Samaroo. We thank
Professor Samaroo for making available the presentation to The Arts Journal

Conference papers include Nalini Mohabir’s "Return Migration of lndentured Labourers in the era of Decolonization”; and Doshi Bhavik’s “The Postcolonial Legacies of Indentureship on Indians in Guyana and Suriname”.

Scholars who chose not to submit their Conference papers nonetheless submitted ongoing research on the theme of Indian indentureship: Mark Tumbridge’s “The First Crossing” — this article is accompanied by a Muster
List which Tumbridge painstakingly recovered from the British Archives; Judith Misrahi-Barak’s "Strategies of Resistance in Transcolonial literary Constructions — Translations from the Caribbean to the lndian Ocean”. The
issue is enriched by Brinsley Samaroo’s fresh research: ”Orientalizing Caribbean Society: Chinese and lndian Diasporic Journeys; Emeritus Professor Kenneth Ramchand’s “Elvira, you is a Bitch” ~ a critique of
V.S Naipaul's The Suffrage of Elvira; and Rueben Lachmansingh’s ”Indentureship and the Opium Trade”.

Here in Guyana, in March 2017, The Arts Forum mounted a Visual Arts Exhibition at the National Library to mark the occasion, featuring the works of established and emerging artists of South Asian heritage, some of which are featured in this issue. An invitation was extended to The Arts Forum to mount an expanded edition of this ehibition at the National Gallery of Art, Castellani House, Guyana.

This issue also celebrates the 100th birth anniversary of Cheddi Jagan, first Premier of Guyana who, in the late nineteen-forties dared to challenge the colonial plantocracy Thoughtful Tributes to lagan are featured here by
Ralph Ramkarran, Patrtcia Benn, and Miles Fitzpatrick.

As we were preparing this issue, we received sad news of the passing in England of celebrated Guyanese poet and novelist Wilson Harris. Tributes to his life and work are included here, one by Ryhaan Shah, another by Michael Gilves , and to poems by Sasenarine Persaud

A novella by Sasha Parmasad is poignant in its portrayal of the fate of sugar workers at the Caroni estate in Trinidad if only because it has a familiar ring of pain for sugar workers currently displaced from certain estates in
Guyana a century after indentureship ended. A short story, several poems by acclaimed poets and at least three insightful Book Reviews vie for place within these pages.

This issue represents the scholarly and creative works by or about Indians in the Caribbean who continue to contribute richly to the distinctive culture of their respective societies in myriad tangible ways.

Ameena Gafoor.



The Crescent in the Caribbean: African and Asian Islamic Survival
Professor Brinsley Samaroo

“Floods of Fire”: Representations of the Migrants ‘ and the Black Slave in Theopihilus Richmond's The First Crossing
Mark Tumbridge

Elvira, you is a bitch
Kenneth Ramchand

Strategies of Resistance in Transcolonial Literary Constructions
Translations from the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean
Judith Misrahi-Barak

Ryhaan Shah. Poems: One day and the Next; Hibiscus

Indran Amirthanayagam. Poem:The Word

Orientalizing Caribbean Society: Chinese and Indian Diasporic journeys
Professor Brinsley Samaroo

Ihe Postcolonial Legacies of Indentureship on Indians in Guyana and Suriname
Bhavik Doshi

Return Migration of Indentured Labourers in the era of Decolonization
Nalini Mohabir

Indran Amirthanayagam. Poem: How shall we close the play

Indentureshiop and the Opium Trade
Reuben Lachmansingh

Bernadette Persaud

Indran Amirthanayagam. Poems. This is not about cooking and Sustained


The Secret Life of Winnie Cox
Professor Emeritus Frank Birbalsingh

God ’s Spider
Linda Rodriguez Guglielmoni

An Accidental Life
Professor Emeritus Frank Birbalsingh

Aftermath of Empire: The Novels of Roy A. K. Heath
Professor Emeritus Frank Birba singh

The Indian Caribbean: Migration and Identity in the Diaspora
Ryhaan Shah


Wilson Harris: A Remembrance
Michael Gilkes

Hawking & Harris
Ryhaan Shah

Her Dancing on Leaves: Re-reading Palace of the Peacock
Sasenarine Persaud

Observance of Cheddi’s 100"‘ birth Anniversary: Lest We Forget
Patricia Benn

Reflections on Cheddi Jagan - (1918-1997)
Ralph Hari Ramkarran

The Late President Cheddi Jagan — A Tribute
Miles Fitzpatrick

A Tribute to V.S. Naipaul
Ameena Gafoor


Market Day
Ellie Nyland

Kairi: Extract from a Novella
Sasha Kamini Parmasad


Indian Caribbean Migration and Identity in the diaspora
Lomarsh Roopnarine

Aftermath of Empire: The Novels of Roy Heath
Ameena Gafoor