By Gaiutra Bahadur
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While Nathan Wachtel, the celebrated historic anthropologist, again to the village of Chipaya, the positioning of his broad fieldwork within the Bolivian Andes, he realized a gaggle of Uru Indians was once being incarcerated and tortured for no obvious cause. much more surprisingly, no one—not even his closest informant and friend—would talk about it.
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This was according to his instructions and on the model of Lenin’s tomb. He was not, as it turned out, the curb against Soviet-style socialism that the United States had hoped. Seven years after Burnham died, Jagan finally ascended to the presidency. And in his own death, he ascended to a status approaching sainthood. His wife, Janet, would be elected to succeed him before the year was out. â•… During our visit, the air was still charged with mourning. I bought a children’s book called “When Grandpa Cheddi Was a Boy” and a tape of folk songs canonizing him.
26 THE WOMEN’S QUARTERS furnished the most recruits, for his trouble collecting women for the colonies. In a 1903 letter to Guianese officials, he chastised the magistrates for holding single women for at least ten days, not up to ten days, before registering them; recruiters needed to gather several dozen women to travel together from the countryside to Calcutta, but before enough women could be cleared of suspicion, a month would often pass, pause enough for second thoughts and desertions by the women.
It was the summer of 1997, and as we waited for our flight at Newark Airport, I watched other passengers lug duct-taped bags—bags bulging, I was sure, with Goya Sardines in Tomato Sauce, Betty Crocker Instant Potatoes and Cadbury’s Chocolate. These things had made Guyanese mouths water in seasons of shortage, and relatives overseas still kept hefting them back home whenever they visited, as if the regime had not ultimately changed, as if the economy had not eventually liberalized, as if import bans had not finally been lifted.