Indians, Amerindians should be treated equally, fairly

Dear Editor,
This is in reference to a letter by one Asquith Rose in another paper, in which he saluted the black struggle for equality in America (Mar 6). I commend Rose for his missive focusing on the struggle of black Americans for recognition of their role (achievements) in the USA in history books, and saluting the scholar responsible for conceiving and promoting Black History Month.
East Indians and other groups have also joined the struggle for equality in America.
The roles and contributions of blacks, as he rightly stated, were marginalised and belittled in the literature on American history. The contributions of other ethnic groups, like the native Indians, Asians, and East Indians (South Asians) historically have also been marginalised in America, and are slowly being addressed as these groups become politically assertive and demand equality.
Similar to the problems that African Americans encountered, Indians and Amerindians in the Caribbean are marginalised in the literature of West Indian history. The topic of Indentureship, as an illustration, has been a mere footnote in Caribbean history. CXC textbooks don’t attach much importance to mention of Indians, and this is not dissimilar to the underrepresentation of blacks in history and literature books used in American schools.
After repeated complaints and lobbying of legislators and educators by black scholars and politicians, the grievance has been corrected in the USA, where African Americans are now accorded relative equality and equity in studies in history and literature.
In the Caribbean, Indian scholars have repeatedly complained about, and protested, the meagre treatment of Indians and Amerindians in books in the studies of West Indian History and Literature. Indian writers are hardly studied in literature. The administrators of CXC and UWI have ignored repeated complaints to address the problem and accord justice to the aggrieved groups.
West Indian educators should follow the lead of the white establishment in America in addressing African American complaints, and do the same at UWI and CXC, treating all groups equitably and fairly, and ending racial discrimination against Indians and Amerindians, and all groups. The study of Indian and Amerindian history as a discipline and the roles that Indians and Amerindians play in English literature should be promoted similarly to that of African Caribbean people and African Americans.

Yours faithfully,
Vishnu Bisram