Evaluating the representation of the East Indian communities in the national
political identity of Caribbean countries, and building on the discussion waged in
Guyana and especially Trinidad and Tobago, this article elaborates on the example
of Suriname. It argues that the Surinamese example differs from that of other
countries in the region with respect to the ample opportunity the Indo-Surinamese
community had to change their exclusion from political representation. A second
distinguishing feature of Suriname is the uncontested Creole preponderance.
Theoretically, the article differentiates the Gramscian concept of hegemony into
contested, resisted, and accepted hegemony in order to capture the relations
between the Indian communities and the national political identity. The article
argues that part of the difference between these Caribbean countries, and more
specifically, part of the self-restraint on the political agency of the Indian community
in Suriname, can be attributed to these countries’ ideologies and specific
demographic and political constellations.
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