9

The Indian Diaspora

No gold did they find, Underneath any stoneThey touched and turnedYetEvery stone they touchedInto solid gold they turned.”

—Vishwamitra Ganga Ashutosh

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and Cheddi Bharat Jagan were popular subjects of drawing room conversations in the 1960s. I was still in school at that time. I often heard my father and his friends talk about them. These names fascinated me because they sounded so Indian but I knew they were not Indians. Finally, I could not contain my curiosity and I asked my father who these people were. He told me that Sir Ramgoolam was the Prime Minister of Mauritius, an island nation off the coast of Africa and was known as the ‘Father of the Nation’ in his country. Cheddi Jagan was the ...

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