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Independent Researcher @ Independent


Dr Nivedita Misra graduated with her doctoral degree from the Department of Literary, Cultural and Communication Studies, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. She served previously as Assistant Professor, Satyawati College (E), University of Delhi, Delhi, India, having completed her BA (Hons), MA and MPhil in English from the University of Delhi, India. She has to her credit publications in various peer-reviewed anthologies and journals such as Journeys, South Asian Review, Transnational Literatures and Postcolonial Text. She is presently a Member of Friends of Mr Biswas – a society dedicated to all things Naipaulian.

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Seepersad Naipaul’s Trinidad


Seepersad Naipaul and Hindu-Muslim-Christian Relations in Trinidad in 1932-33

Through a close reading of his articles in the Trinidad Guardian, the paper will highlight how Seepersad Naipaul portrayed the East Indians in central Trinidad during his 40 coverage of events in 1932-33. The paper will focus upon his articles within the socio- historical and cultural context of the 1930s Trinidad. During the 1920s and the 1930s, there was a steady stream of Hindu, Muslim and Christian missionaries who visited Trinidad and British Guiana. In a mixed religious milieu, Seepersad Naipaul knew that religious heads exerted political pressures by claiming to represent the East Indian community. Hindu, Muslim and Christian clerics were often influential community leaders having high stakes in denominational schools that were taking shape then. The influential Hindus and Muslims vied for greater local authority in society which, no doubt, spilled over to their control over local henchmen and gang-leaders. Such henchmen were often used to influence voters in the local elections. There are stray incidents of people bullying, rioting, and even killing pre-and post-local elections. Amidst all these, there were also attempts at maintaining the Hindu-Muslim unity and harmony. One such attempt was the Hindu-Muslim School. Seepersad Naipaul’s reports on the elections showcase a man of community learning to manage his own emotions as he developed his journalistic eye for news.

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