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Rudy Fanfare voted for the former ruling party because he said he believes they attracted foreign business investment and stimulated economic progress.
Her parents stopped talking to her for a while when they were dating, and her best friend’s family told her to stop hanging out with Shabana.As for Kasim, who left his job as a clerk in a ministry to drive a taxi because his government salary was anemic, he believes that the PPP created economic opportunity.They might be corrupt, but their rivals were likely to be too, he said.Mutual distrust began with the first encounter, on boats from India where West Indian Blacks were seamen and Indians the human cargo.Indian women were sexually exploited by seamen of all races, but the crew were typically Black or white.Cultural differences — language, religion, food — kept the two groups further apart. I found some century-old examples in British Colonial Office archives of black and Indian couples, but for the most part the two groups remained sexually separate, and “douglas” continued to be stigmatized. In recent years, however, the word has been reclaimed, with scholars of the Caribbean from Yale to the University of the West Indies exploring what precisely the imaginative category “dougla poetics,” a sensibility in music and literature based in mixed roots, might mean.
I wonder if it might also be fruitful to explore the parameters of a “dougla politics.” If the mixed-race voters and mixed couples I interviewed are any indication, it might mean a resistance to definition, a volatility that could challenge the traditional way of conducting campaigns and practicing politics in Guyana.A rice farmer in his early thirties, whose mother is Indian and father African, talked to me about the poor state of draining and irrigation in the Berbice countryside.He complained about the (now former) government skimming off the top when selling rice to foreign markets, so that he got only half of what he should have with recent crops. And it irks him that the police harass drivers on the road with speed guns.“Dougla” is a slur meaning “bastard” or “mutt.” It has its origins in Bhojpuri, the dialect of Hindi spoken by the majority of Indians who migrated as indentured laborers in the 19th and early 20th centuries.In North India, the word was used to describe someone with parents of different castes.Famous for the song “Dularie Betty,” which asks in subversive refrain what a daughter (“beti” in Hindi) bearing the name lovely (“Dularie”) would do with the son of a low-caste man (“chamar ka beta”), the musician told me that he had written a political chutney for the People’s Progressive Party’s former president, Bharrat Jagdeo.