The Changing Social and Political Landscape of Trinidad and Tobago

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 22, 2010

(A Lecture delivered at the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards)

The PeopleI wanted to thank my friend Brian Moore for inviting me to address you as a part of the educational lectures that are being offered by the Bureau of Standards to acquaint workers about common trends in the society that are likely to make them more efficient in what they do. I also wanted to remind them that anytime they reduce their work to its mere technocratic dimensions they set themselves on a road that misses the essence of the jobs they perform for their society and their constant evolution as informed workers. Therefore, it is good thing to be here today to share with you my sense of what transpired over the last month in the society and why I believe that Trinidad and Tobago has arrived at another level of its social and political development.

In Trinidad and Tobago, when anyone tries to give an honest appraisal of what transpires in society or, at any rate, how he sees his society developing one is always tempted to call him a racist and to describe his analysis as a reflection of his party or ethnic affiliation which they claim prevents him from seeing things in an objective manner. However, to the degree that one considers himself a public intellectual it is to that degree that one has to continue to grapple with what Gandhi called “the Truth” which one can only discern, in our country at least, by looking at the historical trajectory of the society, seeking to determine what the events of the past month is liable to mean for the development of our society.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise if I say that one of the most important developments in this society over the last century has been the triumph of the People’s Partnership (PP) whose decisive triumph at the last national election changed how we do our politics and the alignment of social forces in our country. In this context, I see the triumph of the East Indian segment of our society as the most important result of the last election in that it suggests that the society overcame another hurdle in its development. I can trace that development by looking at some of my own work and some of the things I have been saying over the past few years.

As all of you know, East Indians arrived in Trinidad in 1845. Through no fault of their own they undercut the economic gains that the Africans had made as a result of the abolition of slavery in 1834. In his book, A History of Indians in Guyana, Dwarka Nath observed that after the abolition of slavery the “colonial planters were faced with the difficulty of obtaining an adequate supply of labor. They knew that they could no longer rely on the Negroes to work regularly, and it became clear to them that unless something was done without delay, a crisis was near at hand.” William Burnley, the largest slaveholder in this country even took a trip to the United States to recruit the freed slaves to fill the gap left by the Africans but was unsuccessful in his endeavor. The Indians, therefore, filled the gap that Africans had left on the sugarcane plantation.

Having served their indentureship, by the 1890s, the East Indians moved in large numbers from the estates to the newly established villages and emerged within that period as a political force in the island. By 1897, they formed the East Indian National Association of Trinidad, an organization that acted in defense of their interest. Eventually, it became “one of the major Indian political organizations during the early twentieth century. During this period, the East Indians participated in mayoral politics in San Fernando and in the movement for constitutional change. Girad Tikasingh writes that Indians reconstructed the panchayat, “the one traditional Indian social institution, which had the potential capacity for challenging political activity.”

In that same year, an Immigration Ordinance sought to deny the Indians many of the freedoms to which they were entitled for having served their period of indentureship. Their objection to this ordinance brought the Indians closer together and signaled their political strength. Things reached a boiling point in June 1899 when Rev. John Morton, vice president of the Agricultural Society, proposed that East Indian immigrants who were being recruited as permanent settlers were not to be entitled to a free passage back to India. Jugmohun Singh from Tacarigua, one of the wealthiest shopkeepers in the island summoned a panchayat to consider Morton’s motion which, according to B. Beharrysingh “had never been submitted to the consideration of Indian people whom it would affect.” They could not accept such an act.

In the presence of at least 1,000 Indians from all parts of the island the Indians challenged Morton and let him and the island know that henceforth they would speak for themselves. By their action they signaled they had become a part of the national community. On July 26, 1899, the Mirror wrote that the “East Indians of Trinidad form a very important part of the body politic and there is no doubt that it will not be very long before we shall find them represented in every walk in our social and political economy, and that the day is not too far distant when they will claim, and we doubt not successfully claim, an unofficial seat at the Legislative Council table.”

In 1925, the first elective legislature was established in Trinidad and Tobago. Although the East Indians were against the elected system their fears turned out to be ill-founded. At the first election one Indian member, Sarran Teelucksingh was selected. In 1928, Teelucksingh was joined by two other Indian members, F. E.M. Hosein (St. George) and T. Roodal (St. Patrick). Roodal, a leading member of Cipriani’s Workingmen’s Association, brought a substantial section of the Indian working class into the labor movement with him. Eventually, Roodal emerged as an important leader in the Indian community.

Adrian Reinzi, a fourth Indian was elected to the Legislative Council in 1938. An important leader in the society, Reinzi worked with Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Bulter and the labor movement to advance the causes of both the East Indian and labour. Apart from Reinzi, four of the seven members elected to the Legislative Council in 1938 were representatives of labour: Cipriani, Roodal, Teelucksingh and Milliard. Cipriani was white; Milliard was black and the three others were Indians. In 1946, the first year in which the election was fought under universal adult suffrage, four of the nine victorious members were Indians. Although Indians consisted of 35 per cent of the population, they represented about 44 percent of the elected members. Two of the four elected members were placed in the Executive Council.

Nineteen forty-five proved to be a very important year for the East Indian group when they celebrated one hundred years of residency in the country. The Indian Centenary Review, One Hundred Years of Progress, 1845-1945 described the scene on the First Arrival Day of East Indians in the island.

Weeks of arduous preparations by the Hon. Timothy Roodlal and his committee of organizers were well rewarded when 20,000 Indians formed on the greens of Harris Promenade in front of the Town Hall and marched into Skinner Park with Mr. Roodal and the Acting Governor at the head…To those privileged to witness the spectacle the day will ever be remain indelible in their minds. In its course our pioneers were remembered and tribute paid them and the part their descendants have played in the advancement of the Colony was vividly portrayed. Months of labour was rewarded by the remarkable response in number by the orderly behavior of the mammoth crowds and by the sense of unity and strength which the coming together of Indians from every walk of life created. Truly a fitting climax to 100 years of successful settlement in this Colony”

Roodal headed for the Celebration Committee while Mitra Sinanan read greetings that were sent from distinguished personalities such as Mahatma Gandhi. Rienzi and M. J. Kirpalani made stringent appeals for donations to create a fitting memory for Indians in the island while the Hon. T. A. Marryshow, that distinguished West Indian labor leader and champion of a West Indian Federation, spoke on behalf of the West Indian Community. This was a significant moment for East Indians in Trinidad and Tobago. It marked a compact they had made with a land of which V. S. Naipaul would write in A House for Mr. Biswas when he contemplated how the in-betweenity East Indian of an earlier generation felt about the land:

In the arcade of Hanuman House, grey and substantial in the dark, there was already the evening assembly of old men, squatting on sacks on the ground and on tables now empty of Tulsi Store goods, pulling at clay cheelums that glowed red and smelled of ganja and burnt sacking. Though it wasn’t cold, many had scarves over their heads and around their necks; this detail made them look foreign and to Mr. Biswas, romantic. It was the time of day for which they lived. They could not speak English and were not interested in the land where they lived; it was a place where they had come for a short time and stayed longer than expected. They continually talked of going back to India, but when they opportunity came, many refused, afraid of the unknown, afraid to leave the familiar temporariness. And every evening they came to the arcade of the solid, friendly house, smoked, told stories and continued to talk of India.

Naipaul was writing about a time (perhaps in early 1930s) when, as he says, not even his younger brother, Shiva, could not have envisaged. However, Indian Arrival Day Celebrations of 1945 signaled an important moment in East Indian history in Trinidad and Tobago. It was a time when they were beginning to feel a sense of their mass. They had settled on the island. They did not necessarily feel they were a part of the land.

Trinidad itself had gone through some significant changes in the first part of the 20th century. From 1920 to 1935 Captain Cipriani and the Workingmen’s Association had played an important part in changing the social conditions of the island through their agitation for several important social amenities such as age old pensions; a modicum of representative government and fortnight holidays for municipal workers.

The Oilfield workers strike of 1937 went a long way to change the political situation in Trinidad and Tobago. The deteriorating conditions of the workers in the oil belt and sugarcane workers in the agricultural districts allowed Butler, with the help of Reinzi, to rally dissatisfied workers to his cause. In 1936, he formed the British Empire Workers and Citizens Home Rule Party and became a dominant political figure in the country. The emergence of universal adult suffrage in 1945 and the raised political consciousness of East Indians led to an important alliance between Butler’s party and the East Indians who banded with Butler to make him one of the most prominent political leaders in the society between 1935 and 1956.

Dr. Williams and PNM entered the political arena in 1956. Needless to say, Black national consciousness was on rise since Butler came on the scene. When Williams arrived organizations such as the Teachers’ Education and Cultural Association, a predominantly African group, provided a platform that allowed Dr. Williams a foray into Trinidad and Tobago politics. Dr. Williams’ Oxford education; his teaching at Howard University and this work with the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission had prepared him adequately for the tasks that awaited him as the political leader of the PNM and eventually Prime Minister of the island. He and his party ushered in a new political culture in which party politics began to matter more than individual attempts at seeking political office. It was not so much that parties did not exist prior to his arrival but they became more solidified and accepted as a form of political organization once he came onto the scene.

The first twenty years of PNM’s rule was characterized by the achievement of internal self-government, national independence and republican status in 1976. It also saw to the massive transformation of the economy that was aided by the work of other governments that came into power. Between 1956 and 2010 Trinidad and Tobago’s national income increased 50 fold, our average income rising from US $380 in 1956 to US 20,000 in 2010. Our GDP rose from about US 273.7 million in 1956 to US 163.3 billion in 2010. In 1963, our unemployment rate stood at 13.7; today it stands 5.8 per cent, a more impressive performance that either the U.S. or Europe.

Within that period, however, several changes were taking place in the society. For one thing the East Indian population grew from about 35 per cent in 1946 to about 42 per cent in 2010 whereas the African population decreased from about 46.8 per cent in 1946 to about 38 per cent of the population in 2010. In the period, nationalism — the mantra of the PNM — gave way to globalism, a phenomenon to which the PNM had not adjusted itself fully. Although PNM came up with its 2020 vision the lack of internal democracy within the party and a kind of anti-intellectualism prevented the PNM from attracting the best persons into the party. Meanwhile the party seems to have forgotten founding doctrines of “morality in public affairs” and the education of its members which led to the spectacle Calder Hart and the UDeCOTT scandal and a lack of questioning the various taken by the party and the government that represented it.

PNM was beset with other problems. Among the party leadership there arose a lack of accountability to its members and the general public. Many party members and the general public resented what it saw as authoritarian tendencies of the leader and an inability to listen to what party members and the general public were saying. Sensing this tendency, in March 2010, I compared Patrick Manning’s lack of listening to a similar tendency that emerged at the end of Dr. Williams’s career and made the following observation: “There came a time when Dr. Williams not only lost touch with his society’s discourse, he also seemed to become deaf to some of the things people were saying. Once he ceased to listen, he merely uttered himself, he was unable to hear what others was saying and thus destabilized the dialogic project and dislocate himself from the discursive political process. One might be seeing a similar intransigence on the part of Mr. Manning. In a way, it may be a curious example of getting what he wanted by getting rid of anyone who seemed to have had a contrary point of view but not anticipating the outcome of such actions. Yet all is not lost. If Mr. Manning and the other members of the PNM government can initiate what I am calling respectful listening then they can resuscitate a productive dialogue with the public. At this moment of crisis, there is no more urgent task than the practice of respectful listening on the part of every member of the Government and even the members of the press.”

The death of Dr. Williams in 1981 coincided with an ended PNM’s hegemony and decentered the nationalist agenda. After PNM’s defeat in 1986, (it had lost the Federal elections in 1958) national governments changed five times — an indication of the fragmentary and unsettled nature of the society and the crying need for something different. Although Vision 2020 tried to fill the gap, its inability to cater to people rather than obsess about things (big buildings, gigantic projects, etc.,) diffused the post-nationalist movement further.

Today, the society is at a crossroads. The PNM has lost its way but the PP has not offered anything different. Initially, it was in competition with the PNM to offer the society more things (a rise in old age pensions, a raise in the minimum wage, etc.,) although the realities of governing has given them pause over the promises they made. Suddenly, crime is once more in the headlines having taken a hiatus suggesting that getting rid of crime may not have been as easy a matter as they thought. The intimidation of the Integrity Commission and bullying tactics of the Attorney General may be a harbinger of things to come. Experience has a way of teaching the harshest lessons as the PNM learnt at its peril.

Although it is too quick to tell, the PP victory might be an impetus towards the creation of a truly interracial society. In the throes of victory, Sat Maharaj declared triumphantly “From being totally discriminated against, we find an equal place” as if to suggest that East Indians can only feel they belong and not discriminated against if they control the government. Anything short of that is tantamount to discrimination and racism on the part of Africans in the society. In this context one cannot rule out the possibility of the intensification of ethnic chauvinism although I believe that the climate is more propitious for the lessening of ethnic tensions.

The election of the PP represents a triumphant of the East Indian presence in Trinidad and Tobago. Their social evolution over the years suggests that their taking a leading party in the society was inevitable and was certainly made sweeter by the support they garnered from the population. That even Jack Warner, an African and chairman of the UNC, had to wear a rakhi, the Hindu symbol of brotherhood and fellowship, demonstrates how thorough Hinduism and penetrated into the life blood of the nation.

Every Trinidadian and Tobagonian can share the pride that every Indian person takes in the triumph of seeing one of their own come to power very much in the way that black people all over the world took pride in the election of Barrak Obama to the highest and most powerful office in the world. In this sense every citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, black as well as white, Christian as well as Hindu, can justly take pride in the election of the first Indian woman to office outside of the continent of India.

Although it is true that whole world—certainly the non-white people of the world—welcomed Obama’s election to the presidency of the United States and his favorable rating reached as high as 79 per cent immediately after he was inaugurated, the tide had begun to turn and he might even be in danger of not being re-elected in 2012. At the end of the day, if one cannot perform or if one does not seem to share the pain of one’s people it is not likely that one’s days in high office would be long. Trinidadians and Tobagonians are no exception to this rule. Indians and Africans are willing to get the PP the benefit of the doubt but we expect them to perform and to leave Trinidad and Tobago a better place than they found it.

So that even as I congratulate Prime Minister Bissessar on her victory and wish her the best in office, I also leave her with the advice that Wendell Phillips, a great American freedom-fighter, who, in his address, “The Scholar in the Republic,” to Harvard University in 1881 made the following observation:

Trust the people-the wise and the ignorant, the good and the bad-with the gravest questions, and in the end you will educate the race. At the same time you secure not perfect institutions, not necessarily good ones, but the best institutions possible while human nature is the basis and the only material to build with. Men [and women] are educated and the State is uplifted by allowing all-every one-to broach all their mistakes and advocate all their errors. The community that will not protect its most ignorant and unpopular member in the free utterance of his opinions, no matter how false or hateful, is only a gang of slaves.

The PP has an opportunity to offer a new momentum to the development of our society. We would judge them by how well they conduct themselves in office; how well they treat with the minority classes; how well they allow different and divergent views to flourish and how well they approach questions of civic and citizens education, not to be confused with the mad race we see in our citizens towards becoming certificated. Learning and knowing our history and the culture of all our various ethnic groups are the necessary prerequisites for the flowering of a new civilization. And just in case Kamla needed the inspiration, I offer the advice of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest men who ever lived. She only needs to substitute Trinidad and Tobago where Gandhi writes India:

I shall work for an India in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country, in whose making they have an effective voice, an India in which there shall be no high class and no low class of people; and India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs. Women will enjoy the same rights as men. We shall be at peace with all the world. That is the India of my dreams.

15 thoughts on “The Changing Social and Political Landscape of Trinidad and Tobago”

  1. “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice.” Joseph Dunninger

    Here’s hoping Madam Prime Minister’s dreams for Trinidad & Tobago are like Ghandi’s dream for India and not Indian reality. Thanx also for educating those who maybe never understood the effects of Indian indentureship on the lives of Africans and African-Caribbeans. Many immigrants come to the United States, their minds filled with the racism that America exports, it is a true victim/survivor of colonial theft and oppression who understands what a differerence 40 acres and a mule would have made to the lives of African-Americans and their communities.

  2. Dr. Cudjoe, I wished you had offered the same advice to Mr. Manning as he destryed our country. The main difference with this government is that it is willing to listen to other people’s ideas and suggestions. Unilke the PNM under Mr. Manning who believed that he had all the answers, and listened to no one.

    The PNM is dead and deservedly so. PNM, under Mr. Manning did nothing for the most vulnerble of its followers in Laventille and Morvant. PNM destroyed the work ethic of the Africans. I wish that PNM remains dead until this new government can get its agenda on the road to sustainability. Sure, we need a strong opposition for our democracy. But, with labor as part of the neew government, labor will be the opposition in the mean time.

    For too long Mr. Manning and the PNM have stiffled growth and innovation. Mr. Manning was unwilling to try new ideas. This new government is willing to go GREEN. Thatis an important element for our development. Trinbago has all the necessary assets to enter the GREEN stage of human development.

    There is much to be done for the PNM has made a mess of our country with its madness of building and building without paying attention to the environment. I know the road will be rough for the new government. The citizens must step forward and help our new government complete its mission: To give every Trinbagonian an opportunity to shape its development. To give every Trinbagoian space to grow. To give every child security from the devastation rendered on us under the PNM.

    Dr. Cudjoe, it is a little too late for your analysis. The time for your criticisms was when the PNM was in power. You ahd your chance to check the madness and you failed. You are not credible. So stop your winning and let our government do its job.

  3. Good article, touches on the salient points. Would like to see a blunt analysis of the Black hegemony…. And where is black culture currently?. It is still a mystery to me. I am still trying to understand the black man. Sometimes I see fear of domination and yet historical the black man has nothing to fear, because when Indians are in charge all benefit. Indian oppression at the hands of black man is frightening. Guyana’s Burnham saw thousands of Indians fleeing oppression. During the dark days of Burnhamism one Indian lady running away from some black rapists jumped into a latrine. Today she resides in the U.S. still afraid of black people. I met a young man who lost his mother and father in 1960’s uprising in Guyana, he was just a child when black murderers came. His mother grabbed him and hid him under a blanket. She was shot dead he was shot in the hand. Today he harbors no ill–will towards black people but feels sorry for them.

    In Fiji the story repeats itself in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya similar stories can be told. In Trinidad, Indians felt the wrath of the black man under Mr. Manning when hundreds were kidnapped, including little Vijay Persad(still missing). Mr. Manning smilingly said “the kidnappings are targetted”. Evidence exist of police and army involved in kidnapping operation, strangely none has been prosecuted. Even the head of the Anti-kidnapping unit complain about a lack of equipment.
    But Indians are good natured people and any kind of reprisal act is quickly dismissed. He who dun wrong will one day be the recipient of justice, here on in the hereafter….hmmmm. Something to think about.

    1. steupsss……yet, noone cares about all the black youths killing each other. Then then opposition clearly showed that when they were quick to support the anti-kidnapping bill because it was an indian problem but refused to support any other anti-crime bills….go figure, with the mentality like khem’s it all makes sense

      1. I said at the beginning of this blog that the goodly professor needs to do a complete analysis of black culture. If you understand the culture then you can deal with problems associated with it. My suspicion is that he being a black appologist will seek to present a broken culture in the best of light. I would not blame him for that because it is the nature of tribals to defend their own. Having said that my heart is aggrieve everytime a young man’s life is concluded at the end of a barrel of a gun. Regardless of ethnicity.

  4. Let’s be real, who brought the ‘Thuggee’ mentality to Trinidad and Tobago? The difference between Black culture and every other culture is a refusal of the Black genteel class to make use of members of their ethnic group who choose the Thug life.
    Every other ethnicity, beginning with the original Thuggee society, the descendents of Abel; have rode the backs of their super Thugs to ascend to power. If the leaders of the PNM were smart they would have utilized the grass roots power of Abu Bakr; but no, they were too good to associate with his likes; not so for Panday.

    If the old adage is true that history is written by the victor; which translates to the victor being the beneficiary of the most favorable evaluation, then the story of Cain and Abel or Qabil and Habil presents us with an enigma. For after having destroyed Abel and any chance for his progeny, the responsibility of history was most surely in the hands of Cain and Cain’s descendents. What human rational would cause them to portray Abel in such favorable light? Certainly such self-effacement cannot be embodied in the character of a murderer?

    Black folk do not need to analyze Black culture, they already know themselves, they need to delve deeper into the other cultures that have been imposed upon them; esteem them not by their words; for history has revealed them as masters of the art of propaganda, rather let their actions unveil their character. If we do we’ll find that Cain was minding his own business cultivating his allotted land taking from nature only what he needed, when Abel ran him off his land because Abel’s flock was so out of control, that the overflow began to raid Cain’s fields. Cain decided to move on, but as Cain kept moving on the prodigal Abel kept showing up leaving a trail of decimated land and sea behind him.

    As Dr Cudjoe explains, Indian indentureship undermined African and African-Caribbean economic advancement; though he does not blame them; but I say, a scab, is a scab, is a scab; and the history of labor union movements is rife with examples of how a scab should be treated. Why then should Indian scabs be shown deference by African-Guyanese or Trinidadians, Fijians, Ugandans, Kenyans, Tanzanians et al?

    Nevertheless, they always have, and if we’ve learned anything from that history; it is that there are no examples where it ends well. For instance, will this non-national police commissioner perform his duties on behalf of all the nation’s citizens or will he be too beholden to those who hired him? And, how will this translate; further persecution and encarceration of the powerless residents of Lavantille or will he go after the Yatchsmen who bring the guns and drugs into our communities; the ones masquerading as legitimate businessmen? Does the new regime need an outsider to enforce new citizens’ rights violations, a task that might present problems for a closely connected national? These are questions we should be asking as responsible citizens, while paying close attention to the actions of those in whom we have entrusted our lives and the lives of our children.

    1. “As Dr Cudjoe explains, Indian indentureship undermined African and African”. That is another stupid etho-centric racist conclusion. Indians undermine nothing. A look at Haiti one of the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, controlled by black people,proves that the saving grace of the black man is the movement of Indians in the Caribbean.
      Indians did not and do not depend on the black man for anything. In the past or in the present. He just jealous…

      1. No need to emote Khem; even your name you’ve stolen from the African. Spend some more time in your History books; or maybe you’re reading the wrong books if you read at all. Not even the most destitute African is jealous of a Gujarati.

      2. u really need to revisit your history books to understand why Haiti is where it is… a matter of fact you should look into Jamaica’s history too. Then come back and tawk….big steupssss

  5. Khem said ,”my heart is aggrieve everytime a young man’s life is concluded at the end of a barrel of a gun. Regardless of ethnicity.” So is mine Khem, whenever another of my Indo Trini sisters are murdered , and kids poisoned ,at the hands of some ,jilted ,frustrated , rum drinking , out of control , insecure, and foolish tribal member ,who claims to be her husband, or boyfriend , due to the fact that he was brought up believing that women and children are footstool, that should be abuse without mercy, unless they emanated from some prestigious background, and so call noble , pagan religious social caste. For every kidnapped,murdered or missing little Vijay Persad that you can can point to, and wish to lay blame on African folks , there is a 8 year old Hope Arismandez killed by 28-year-old Sunil Ali, or a Sean and Sarah Siechan poisoning, by a Himragh Sookhai,loving dads that you, along with your country hating experts , conveniently choose to ignore, as it does not help bolster your stupid case of genocide.,92149.html

    I am equally appalled, when white color crooks and bandits steal with impunity while in position of trust, and power ,or engage in culturally influenced chicaneries ,for self aggrandizement , at the expense of innocent folks , then in the end ,are opting to bawl like a castrated, constipated Tarzan, when caught , about phantom racial prosecution, and or politically motivated discrimination to gullible global audiences , so as to avoid jail time.
    What characters like you kiem needs to do is to leave the man that you describe in typical condescending fashion as the “goodly professor,” alone,as he has never hesitated to call out folks from his own race when he found them wanting, and demanded from leaders from within his party to do the right thing when he believe that they are at fault. Do you have the guts to , demand of your intellectuals to do similar analysis from within the tribal camps , so that neglected victims rights can be addressed, and our society as a whole elevate? We seem similar rush to judgement in so called democratic Guyana ,against an intellectual sister in Dr Kean Gibson, who is simply attempting to do what the corporate elements of the complicit media refuse to do- speaking truth to action.

    Khem,once more ,Sweet T&T aka Rainbow Country , would never , ever become a Guyana , no matter however how much smelter treaty agreements, or skewed immigration maneuvers are orchestrated by tribal neighbor cousins Jagdeo , and Madame K. It is imperative that rational minds finally open up , and address the underlying factors that are affecting our society , and preventing it from fully developing , and it’s working together to build a socially cohesive nation.
    Folks like Dr Cudjoe , and Dr. Kean Gibson are necessary safety valves , and are up to the challenge of starting the long overdue debate , but are we?
    The choice is clear toss salad, or melting pot, and guess who is coming to dinner folks?

    1. Neal,
      There is a lot of unnecessary fear in your writings. Indians survived the Burnham, Eric Williams and Manning regimes and despite valient efforts to suppress, destroy and eradicate Indian thought, work ethic and culture, the opposite happened. The Oppressors are now dead or half dead.

      It is the same for Afro centric thought, philosophy and culture, sitting in the back seat will do the black man a whole host of good. He will learn the ways of the Indian. He will learn hard work, respect for property, love of family and philosophy of caring and sharing. These values are etched within the DNA of Indians. And so I see a brighter future for black people in Trinidad and Guyana.

      The gun culture is the biggest threat to T&T security. The Minister of National Security have to hit the ground running. He have to buy (use blimp money)illegal guns off the street at market value and stop the flow of these guns.
      It is the only way to save black youths from destroying themselves and T&T. Social programs are not working, in fact the money from these program fuel the gun culture.

  6. Of course I am fearful , but not of what you think knem, my people are the undisputed Jews , referred to in the Blacksungod Bible, are made of excellent stock , knows what real prosecution is , and have survived over 400 years, of slavery and worst, at the hands of white savages, along with their Asian brown , and yellow accomplices. What I am really afraid for is my country. After decades of sound democracy , most of it can easily be fretted away at the hands of a bunch of malicious ,barbarians , closet crooks ,and bandits, with the authority to cause irreparable damage, in the three to four years they can desperately cling on to power , before the people get a chance to kick them out , and say good riddance for another 16 years -when they again wish to send a subtle message to an astute successor.
    Hey kiem there is one name that you -I am certain- purposely left out, or your head is so far up your rear end it is affecting your logic. I am referring to Basdeo Panday, remember him? You should, as he more than Burnham, Eric Williams, and Manning ,have done more to suppress, destroy, and eradicate, Indian thoughts, work ethics, and culture, that it is no longer funny. His ploy to ensure lifetime control and power, was to encourage Indians to pretend to be stupid ,dependent , powerless, desperate , self loathing idiots , even as they controlled 80 % of the country’s economic power, and equal political power in the country, with dem Africans they claimed to be a victim of.
    Guess who you should be eternally grateful to for opening their eyes to boundless possibilities ? You know him , Jack Warner, the man you, and your party, will continually under estimate to your peril , until he make a stab for the Kamla’s juggler, so as to assume his rightful position as the next, and 7th Prime Minister of our country.
    Oh shocks, I just burst ‘little khem,’ bubble. You and these comedians did not naively think that this man would invest half his fortune to destroy Panday the national hate-monger , restructure the UNC ,and COP to his liking , and elevate Kamla as the first female in this country to power , then sit around and smell her petticoat for ever would you?
    Listen folks, a guy like Jack , who cannot put a coherent sentence together, did not rise to prominence as FIFA VP ,which is one of the world’s most powerful sporting bodies, by chance.When USA gets into the simi-finals of the 2010 World Cup, who do you think they are going to thank for helping make SA the most popular spot on earth , even with all it’s problems, and finally making the sport popular in their country?
    Did I hear you correctly when you said , “gun culture is the biggest threat to T&T security. The Minister of National Security have to … buy .illegal guns off the street? “I am beginning to get worried about this guy , is he from this planet , a Yankee NRA spokesman, or simply a dense 16 year old mentally challenged character that recently learn to read his first standard four book?
    Listen kid we do not have weapons factories in our country. In case you did not know,90% of these illegal weapons came into our land, via unchecked business containers belonging to competing business tribes of the Indian, Arab,Chinese,Mulatto/ Mistizo elites, and old moneyed European community.
    The containers remained unchecked because these miscreants had custom officials in their back pockets. Police were not doing their jobs because they were on the payroll of these crooks , black folks are packing the jails, and dying en-mass , as they are unable to afford to bribe law enforcement, and judicial authorities, with impunity like is done by the aforementioned groups.
    Here is a line I want you to bite on, and convey to these square pegs phony religious clowns,that are occupying the round holes of governmental power. In their overzealousness, and quest to solidify power , as is their Karma, they should remember the words of these three wise books. It states in Proverb 27:26 of the King James Blacksungod Bible, page 1342 of the Koran, and Chapter 10786 of the Bhagavad Gita , “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.”
    A word to the wise is sufficient my friend. Love country, over tribe.
    Lord how I despise, dem self loathing, country hating phonies, especially when we know they only began appreciating the land of their birth since May 25th.
    What is it 1,795 days until this charade is over? Ahhhhhhhhh,I love this land,and that’s why I refuse to give up on degenerates such as khem!

    1. “Blacksungod Bible”– what is this???
      Neal: I don’t particularly enjoy beating up on people’s race, because we are all individuals. Sure ethnic identity is a necessary explanation for your deterimental situation. Slavery was not localized to black people alone. In Roman history it was a common practice.

      Indentureship was similar to slavery except harder. (1) The journey from India to Trinidad was much, much longer. (2) The merchants bringing the indentured labourers through the process of time overloaded the ships, many many died in this journey. Their greed for money was no different than the slave trade. All indentureship did was replaced slavery with a different name. (3) When Indians started work on the plantation, their supervisor was a man with a whip. If they did not work and work hard in the hot sun they were beaten mercilessly. How was that different from slavery?.

      The black man enjoyed the benefit of Indian labour. While Indians were toiling in the hot sun building the economy, the black man was in shade enjoying his freedom. This he did from 1845 onwards. Indians continued to toil in the hot sun until the 1995 when that generation retired and the younger generation turn from the toil in the sun.

      For 150 years the black man savoured the fat of the land actually replacing the white man as Indian masters. So why do people like you Neal feel that Indians owe you sumtin??? The PNM as far as know ruled T&T for over 40 years..Longer than any other party. And today look how you misbehavin with me nah.. All yuh people never satisfied eh…

  7. khem you need to wake up and smell the coffee. Open your eyes to what is really happening around you. Jack is out of the box.

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