is a response to last week’s column.
I am fed up
with your weekly Hindu-centric rants. I will just like to point out a few
points. Firstly, Trinidad and Tobago has the fastest growing economy in the
western hemisphere after Chile. The Government must be doing something
right. No training you say, (sic) I invite you to access the Web site of the
Ministry of Science and Tertiary Education, and observe the myriad training
programmes that are presented for young people.
feel that you people want Mr Manning to personally give out bank notes, as
Peron did in Argentina in the fifties. A government is there to provide the
opportunity for young people and they have it in T&T.
education from womb time (sic) to (sic) time? University is free right now
as you know.
medicine in T&T is socialised. Health care is free, (sic) prescription
medicine is provided for free and you must know that all the great medicine
in the US is not accessible to the ordinary person; (sic) unless you have
building at St Ann’s is the residence of the Prime Minister of T&T who (sic)
ever is elected the Prime Minster, (sic) it is not Mr Manning’s personal
home. Mr Manning will not be the Prime Minister for life, Idiot, (sic) and
the cost is not $148m , it is 30m. I can go on and on, but I will not waste
my time. So please right (sic) something intelligent.
response was incomprehension. What did the “righter” mean by “Hindu-centric
rants?” I never mention religion in these columns. As the product of a Hindu
father and a Muslim mother; educated by Irish nuns in Catholic convents in
India; growing up with the background knowledge that a million Muslims and
Hindus slaughtered one another during partition; attending an Anglican
school in England, studying existential philosophy that questions everything
from one’s own existence to the chair you are sitting on, why would I? I
only claim to be against bigotry and tribalism, which is responsible for 28
wars globally. That’s my religion.
response was to re-read last week’s column. I trawled through it looking for
traces of religion. Found nothing. I wrote about the lost potential in the
faces of those handsome young boys charged for the murder of Vindra
Naipaul-Coolman in a context of a country that despite its oil wealth is
succumbing to the cycle of poverty illiteracy and brutality due to our crazy
priorities, which pour oil funds on the PM’s residence and a stadium instead
of spending on health and education, which is what we need to prevent crime.
about Hinduism. I was left to read between my lines.
Hindu-centric thing about my column is my name.
In the 70s my
father, an Indian army officer was offered a wonderful opportunity by the Dr
Eric Williams government to construct what is known as the Claude Noel
When I met
Keith Rowley in the CNC3 studio last week he greeted me like a relative, he
hadn’t seen me in a long time and we both proudly proclaimed our Tobago
background. “Born and bred,” I shouted to Rowley as he left the studio,
getting flashbacks of the warmth with which the Tobago people took us into
their island and hearts and homes when our small family of five arrived as
immigrants. The PNM gave us a life here. I would be ungrateful and weird if
I suddenly turned into a PNM-bashing Hindu sadhu.
premiere of A Mighty Heart, a film about Daniel Pearl who was kidnapped and
beheaded in Karachi in 2002, his widow was quoted as saying that her
husband, an intrepid journalist, “didn’t represent a country or a flag, just
the pursuit of truth.”
What’s scary is that the e-mail I received
equates criticism of the executive as “Hindu-centric.” Now I’m praying that
this reaction isn’t a symptom of yet another society falling into religious
and tribal decay.