President Revokes Nizam’s Appointment

The following is a press release from the Office of the President.

President George Maxwell Richards

President George Maxwell Richards


THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
TRINIDAD
REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

In the matter of the Constitution and of the Revocation of the Appointment of the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, as Chairman & Member.

His Excellency GEORGE MAXWELL RICHARDS, T.C., C.M.T., Ph.D., President advises that he has, with immediate effect revoked the appointment of Mr. Nizam Mohammed as Chairman and member of the Police Service Commission.

In so doing, His Excellency has exercised the power vested in him by Section 122A (1) (d) & (f) of the Constitution (as amended), all other powers thereto enabling and, after a most cordial meeting with Mr. Mohammed on Friday 1st April, 2011 when the business of the Commission was discussed.

***

NEWS UPDATE: APRIL 05, 2011

Warner: It’s a sign of T&T’s unity

Acting Prime Minister Jack Warner said yesterday the action by President George Maxwell Richards on the revocation of the appointment of chairman of the Police Service Commission is a clear indication that as a nation “we are not prepared to countenance any statement that threatens the unity of our national state.”

Following is his statement: I wish to acknowledge the action taken by His Excellency President George Maxwell Richards on the revocation of the appointment of Mr Nizam Mohammed as chairman of the Police Service Commission. His Excellency’s carefully deliberated action is a clear indication that as a nation we are not prepared to countenance any statement that threatens the unity of our national state. This has been an extremely difficult moment for the President but what we can be absolutely assured of is a Head of State and a Government that always put the well-being of all its citizens first before sectoral interests, which interests can easily divide us. Regardless of how painful such action may be, as a Government elected by the people of Trinidad and Tobago, we will always strive to do what is right.

http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2011/04/05/warner-it-s-sign-tt-s-unity

Feedback from the firing of Nizam Mohammed

By Alicia Llanos
April 05, 2011 – guardian.co.tt

President George Maxwell Richards yesterday revoked the appointment of chairman of the Police Service Commission, Nizam Mohammed, citing Section 122A (1) (d) and (f) of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2006. Section 122A (1) states: “The President shall, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, terminate the appointment of a member of the Police Service Commission, if the member

(d) fails to perform his duties in a responsible or timely manner; and,

(f) demonstrates a lack of competence to perform his duties.

Mohammed’s remarks were condemned by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as reckless and irresponsible.” Members of the Government, Opposition, the Police Service and other national organisations publicly called for Mohammed’s removal. Following are the comments from prominent members of the public:

Basdeo Panday, former prime minister

Basdeo PandayNizam Mohammed’s dismissal will further the consciousness of racism existing in T&T. Mohammed’s dismissal would not do anything to lessen the awareness of ethnic imbalances within the Police Service and other sectors in T&T. In my opinion Mohammed’s position was revoked due to political pressure placed on the Government. The Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar must come forward and explain to the public why Mohammed’s position was revoked. A similar statement must come from the President.

Sat Maharaj secretary general of the Maha Sabha

Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Satnarayan MaharajThere is no justification behind the dismissal of Nizam Mohammed from his position as chairman of the PSC. Mohammed “was only speaking the truth,” and there was no true justification for his dismissal. The President acted on public and political opinion rather than appropriately dealing with the matter of ethnic imbalances in the Police Service.

Dr Amery Browne, Opposition MP

Dr Amery Browne, Opposition MPNizam Mohammed’s position should have been revoked in July of last year when he failed to comply with lawful instructions after a traffic violation. Mohammed’s dismissal was an “example of the President fulfilling his responsibility and taking decisive action in the best interest of the citizens of T&T.

Dana Seetahal Senior Counsel

Dana SeetahalThe President made the right decision by revoking Nizam Mohammed’s position as he had proved himself incompetent of holding such a high-ranking position. Mohammed did not understand his remit and his statements showed his incompetence to head the PSC. His statements were void of cultural and social analyses and had the potential to cause a severe division within the Police Service. It was irresponsible to suggest one’s race determined one’s place in the hierarchy of the Police Service. His statements went against the grain of the history of the Police Service.

Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, former Attorney General

Ramesh Lawrence MaharajPresident George Maxwell Richards had no alternative but to take action against Nizam Mohammed. The President acted well within the constitution in removing Mohammed on the basis of his incompetence to hold such a position. Mohammed’s statements were made on his own “personal findings” and could have created “disaffection between races in T&T.”

Dr Hamid Ghany, senior lecturer in government at the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine Campus

Hamid GhanyThe revocation of Nizam Mohammed’s position as chairman of the Police Services Commission was necessary. The ramifications of Mohammed’s statements would have caused considerable damage to ethnic relations within the Police Service. If Mohammed had remained chairman, any East Indian would have had their nomination for promotion reviewed “in a light of suspicion.” Mohammed would have caused other members of the Police Service who were not of East Indian descent to feel threatened that they may not be treated fairly, based on the agenda he outlined to rectify ethnic imbalances in the service.

Israel Khan, Senior Counsel

Israel KhanNizam Mohammed was wrongly condemned. Mohammed became a suicide bomber being condemned not for what he said, but how he said it. Mohammed was within his rights to discuss ethnic imbalances within the Police Service. Mohammed’s statements became intangible to the Government, Opposition and the Police Service itself, leading to his condemnation. I do not agree with Mohammed’s position being revoked but understood it would be impossible for him to continue to work in the Police Service Commission. Despite my objections I respect the decision of the President.

Jack Ewatski, Deputy Police Commissioner

Jack EwatskiThe police need to remain focussed on the job they have to do. This includes providing safety to the public, apprehending criminals and solving crimes.

http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2011/04/05/sat-no-reason-dismiss-him

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NIZAM FIRED
AT ABOUT 11 o’clock yesterday morning, President George Maxwell Richards ended ten days of raging national controversy over the issue of a racial imbalance in the Police Service by announcing the revocation of Nizam Mohammed’s appointment as chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC).

YOU’RE FIRED!
President cites Constitution in revoking appointment of PSC chairman

Difficult choice for President
ACTING Prime Minister Jack Warner yesterday welcomed President George Maxwell Richard’s announcement that the appointment of Nizam Mohammed as chairman of the Police Service Commission has been revoked.

Rowley: Firing clearly warranted
OPPOSITION Leader and PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday argued that President George Maxwell Richards’ removal of Nizam Mohammed as chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) represents the assertion of a principle that the Presidency can be used “to contribute to the improvement and sustenance of the governance of the country.”

Nizam: I am a victim
Sacked chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Nizam Mohammed says he is a victim of breach of natural justice and process.

‘Max must explain decision’
Apparently stunned by the decision yesterday of President George Maxwell Richards to revoke his appointment as chairman of the Police Service Commission, Nizam Mohammed insisted that the President say on what grounds he was fired.

Cloud always over Nizam’s appointment
From the very beginning, Nizam Mohammed’s eight-month tenure as chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) was shrouded in controversy.

Dana and Daly praise President
President George Maxwell Richards got it right, attorney Dana Seetahal SC said yesterday.

3 PSC members: Ethnic imbalance never discussed
Three members of the Police Service Commission yesterday distanced themselves from comments attributed to former chairman Nizam Mohammed and wished him well in the future.

PSC’s work ‘will go on’
As they appeared to breathe a collective sigh of relief yesterday, three commissioners indicated that the work of the Police Service Commission continues, notwithstanding the fact that it now does not have a chairman.

Race issue still to be addressed
THREE members appointed to the Police Service Commission (PSC) yesterday admitted that the issue of racial imbalance within the ranks of the Police Service is an issue that must be dealt with. But just not now.

PSC member has ‘no view’ on Nizam’s removal
Police Service Commission (PSC) member Addison Khan says he has no view on the removal, by President George Maxwell Richards, of Nizam Mohammed as chairman of the PSC. He says Richards had a job to do and he did it.

Dumas: He didn’t have ‘speaking rights’
Former head of the Public Service Reginald Dumas says sacked chairman of the Police Service Commission Nizam Mohammed did not have the constitutional authority to address any perceived ethnic imbalance in the T&T Police Service.

Police Service must move on
MINUTES after President George Maxwell Richards revoked the appointment of Nizam Mohammed as chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Acting Commissioner of Police Jack Ewatski said the Police Service must move on and remain focused on its duties.

…Ewatski: Move on

Pastor Clive Dottin: Yellow card, Red card and the PSC

Media lauded for ‘vibrant’ coverage of Nizam affair
THERE was high praise yesterday for both the print and broadcast media for their continuous coverage of the matter involving fired Police Service Commission (PSC) chairman Nizam Mohammed.

Nizam out
IT was inevitable that Police Service Commission (PSC) chairman would soon be out of office after his surprising and unprovoked remarks to the Joint Select Committee (JSC) a fortnight ago. The writing was on the wall from the moment his remarks about redressing an ethnic imbalance in the top ranks of the Police Service were hit by both Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, each of whom held urgent meetings with the President.

Timely revocation by President
Yesterday’s decision by President George Maxwell Richards to revoke the appointment of Nizam Mohammed as the chairman of the Police Service Commission ought to bring an end to the ten-day imbroglio caused by Mohammed’s extremely divisive comments.

Nizam Mohammed’s mission impossible
The effect of an 11-line statement issued yesterday by the President was to bring the axe down on the knotty tangle that had since March 25 ensnared the Police Service Commission (PSC). The statement ended a tense waiting period by announcing that President George Maxwell Richards had revoked with immediate effect the appointment of PSC chairman Nizam Mohammed.

25 Responses to “President Revokes Nizam’s Appointment”


  • Well President,you should look at the rest of the Commissioners to see who were on time or not.
    I think the Wording of Nizam was wrong,at the time, but the truth of its contents are FACTS.
    The teaching services who employed Civil and non Civil Servants,in the 70s,were as racists as the Police Dept.I was victim of it.Only PNM,and Afro TNTs were given positions.
    They are asking for the Teachers,Doctars,UWI Lawyers etc,to give account.These professions Paid not by PNMs,but by hard working,cane cutters and Labourers.
    Now you give free reins.The boat people did not join,but They VOTED PNM without IDs.
    Check it out TNT Racists
    When Marlene Mc Donald said CHUTNEY MUSIC was not for NAPA,as she said,NOT THAT KIND OF MUSIC,Nothing was said about that.PNM is Black only with FEW TOPPINS. Eat Facts TNT.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. May you find a responsible, honest
    Trinbagonian to be the new Chairman of the PSC.

    • Sad day for the nation. Democracy is now determined by the PNM crowd. The Prez himself should resign…Hope Nizam finds a good lawyer to deal with this..

  • Congratulations to His Excellency the President, for his decisive position on this issue. A true UWI man, scholarly, deliberate, not rushing to judgment.
    Now, Raffique Shah and I have both advanced reasons for the imbalance in the police service. If Indian originated people regarded police work as “dog work”, and did not want to serve at the lower ranks, how can they expect to be elevated to the higher ranks? That there is an imbalance there, and in other areas of our society, is a fact, based on our history.Its like the Brits, leaving Palestine, handing over key elements, including weapons to the Israelis. We have to quote RAf again ‘war without end” there.
    Now, the problem was not the statement of imbalance, it was the threat of using parliament to remedy this situation, and this situation alone. It did not bode well for peace and quiet in our land. We can, as a society, review the qualifications for entry into the services- Fire, Coast Guard, Regiment and Police, and make a concerted effort to remediate imbalances, by taking in equal numbers of males and females, Indos and Afros and a few mixed ones, WHO MEET THE CRITERIA.
    Once, height and weight were seen as required for all services. Indians are smaller boned, generally, that Afros, so in the age of the technological force those requirements may be lowered.
    If all officers must do street duty at some point in moving up, a five foot two Indian woman may find that challenging in terms of crowd control.A threatened police officer may shoot first, then ask questions of dead men.(Tota-MAharaj?)

    These are items for discussion as we move forward, not for one man to try to use PArliament as a hammer to hammer the people of the country, and then say “I feel threatened” He was a threat to the society as a whole, now that he is out, may peace descend on that area of things, until some other idiot in the PeePee Party opens his/her big mouth. Notice where Kamla is when the s–t hits the fan!

  • Bernadette Gonsalves

    I am happy to hear this news.People has to know this is Trinidad and not the U.S.A. And no white men in Trinidad want to be a policeman.And for him to use the race card like that,he had was to go and a matter of fact it has more like him.

  • It was only a matter of time before he showed his try colours. And now his colours has gotten him fired. There are other persons within the PP that have the same agenda.

  • Good job Mr President, for not passing the buck , as some not too savvy politician thought you would.We might have accepted Nizam Mohammed, aka Tabla head , spurious arguments ,if he was equally outraged at the racial imbalance in land ownership, and businesses, that are obviously tilted against byproducts of Trini African slaves, that were told to , ‘go to hell,’ in favor of our more pliant ,indentured laborers Indo cousins ,’ with the former receiving no compensations whatsoever, once their services were no longer needed.
    His voice might have ring out true , if he demanded that his Hindu ,and Muslim brothers, were encourage to throw a bone, and employ a few folks of the Afro Trini persuasions, but we know that ain’t happening anytime soon.
    Most would have taken this opportunist seriously ,if he was angry by the actions of the previous 5 Prime Ministers of our country, and their respective parties , that did nothing to rectify a historical anomaly, that forced Black folks to gravitate to government jobs only, as a means of survival over the past 48 years since Massa left our shores.
    Nation building ain’t easy, and the job is surely made more difficult, with the likes of tribalist,divisive creatures , such as Nizam ,in position of power.
    Hopefully this is his last political breath , before he takes up his job as South East Karachi Imam . More importantly Queen K, I hope you realize ,who this selective shindig , was aimed at? Let me enlighten you . It’s you Madam PM , so as to create a serious rift , and destabilization amongst our collective people , by a man still mad at the fact that you ,and Jackie Warner, are firmly in charge of a party , both him, Panday, Sudama, and Ramnath ,once controlled. We wish them well.

  • @Gsneenan. Your comment is an indication of the confusion and unkempt pattern of your thoughts. It is people like you who have brought racism into T&T. And it is people like you who will keep racism in T&T until you run you are outed. T&T would have been better of if people like you with your inherited thinking had never landed in T&T. Then T&T would probably have been more like Barbados.

  • I think that Nizm was in the sewer up to his chin and then he started yapping his mouth and making waves now he drowned his own self.

  • SELWYN RYAN SAID THE SAME THING 20 YEARS AGO IN A UWI REPORT.
    GARY GRIFFITH SAID THE SAME THING.
    NIZAM SAYS IT HE GETS FIRED.
    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm !!

  • His appointment was revoked because he compromised his independence when acting on a Commission such as this. A lot of people have focused on race and people of African origin vs.pPeople of Indian origin. One cannot make such statements on a Commission like this. Unfortunately some people of Indian origin will see this as racist without examining the whole picture. The President did the right thing. And God help us if the successor is of African origin.

  • Look Wally, think clearly. Saying there is an imbalance did not get him “fired”. It is saying that he will use the Parliament to do something about it, when we all know that some people chose not service to the nation, but service to their pockets and family.Who knows what hold he has on parliament that he can bend it to his will and aparently create, overnight a couple of Indian deputy Commissioners, a trio of Indian Senior Superintendednt, and a couple of Asst. Commissioners of the same group. That could cause not only Bakr’s followers to take to the streets, but every rightminded person in TnT. It is the PEOPLE who must use parliament to effect chenge. NIzam is Nizam, he is NOT the people. Now, do you get it? AGAIN PRESIDENT MAX.I SALUTE YOU.

  • How many of you saw the Eye on Crime this evening with Sat Maharaj. If you did you would have educated yourselves with the facts on the topic and would not have written all that crap against Mr. Mohammed.
    I guess that you all are so racist, like Rowley and his gang that you cannot handle the TRUTH.

  • Nizam was doing his job, There is an imbalance in TTPS and it needs to be fixed ,When a good man does the right thing detractors and racists comments derail his rightful opinion.
    Look around most state projects are given to people of Afro persuasion, look around people.
    I commend Nizam for doing what should have been done a long time ago.
    When calypsonians make all sorts of very racist and ridiculous comments they are rewarded and glorified by black people and the PNM, when an outspoken racist Selwyn Codjoe make his racist comments he is given a Central Bank job ,the president makes no revocations but an Indian man rightful comment, he loses his job.
    Mr president we never hear you when PNM was raping the country, but you’re a big honorable man now all of a sudden.

  • Nizam can still be an advocate, the Prez could keep the job. My understanding is Martin George only attended 3 of the 14 meetings. Will the Prez fire him also??? NO absolutely NOT because he is the right race.

  • K.W says ” Take it, it is your history not mine”. This columnist is so illiterate. From the beginning of time, there was always racism be it Hutu killing Tutsi or black hating white or vice versa. or Forbes Burnham in Guyana sending his “posse” to rape and kill “them Indian” or Eric Williams calling some Trinis a recalcitrant minority and let me say with authority we are no longer minority.
    So acting as its not there will not make it go away.We are all guilty of it.
    We need to do things to alleviate the effects of it and not blame others who try to make the wrong things of history right!!!
    Mr. Mohammed is trying to make some of these wrong issues right.

  • The price one pays for being an appointed public official,is that one has to learn when not to open one’s indiscreet mouth and apparently threaten people. If I got mad at a grocer who shortweighted my groceries, for example, and pointing it out to him, he refused to do aanything about it, then I said, ok, I am going to fix you, just wait. The grocer would rightly feel that I was threatening him.Now the sequence of events here is not exactly a match, but NO ONE appontee to a board, can say what he or she will use the Parliament for.That is outside his baliwick. That is NOT his job. He should have run for Prime Minister, but since this government took power, a number of people treat Ms. Kamla with dsrespect, and these are her appointees. They behave as if shhe is an old woman gardener from Caroni who is playing at Prime Minister. They do not treat her with appropriate respect. IF Nizam had had the sense to say that there is this imbalance, that arose over the years due to many factors, and that he was appealing to the PM to put processes in place that would redress this and other imbalances, or if he had drafted a law and submitted it for consideration, and kept his mouth shut, he would have still been in his job. But he is the last in a long string of appointees and electees who do their own thing and expect Ms.Kamla to suck it up. Jack, Anand, Anil,Volney all have had severe bouts of footinmouthitis, and we dismissed it all as growing pains.Mr. Nizam was not satisfied with treating police officers with contempt, he took it personally and began to behave as if he is Mr. Trinidad and Tobago, and he could say what he wants, and Parliament would do what he want them to do.Big Mistake. Supposing again, that he was on the board of the UTC, and wanted a loan with no collateral, and was rightly denied it, woul he threaten to go to Parliament to create laws that would get him the loan he wanted? Would You, Mr. and Mrs. citizen want to be living in a country where this was possible?
    Kamla was forced to act. She had enough. He continued smugly to say he going to work, and got into a verbal spat with a lawyer who was and is not his lawyer. He made himself so totally inappropriate for this position, that his reforms have to be left to others.I hope he would take some time off, go on the Hadj, do some good charity work, meditate and re-center his head. He might yet be useful to the country, but he has stirred up so much animus that his position became an untenable one. This should be a signal lesson to those who love to hold their own personal press conferences. Clear your remarks with the woman in charge first. Now that she has “fired” one, note that I did not say “fire one”, another mouthy one could be next. This so far, is a problem only men have had. Male Chauvinism, maybe? Suck it up guys and learn to respect a woman in charge.(I hope these comments will get those determined to see it as a “race” issue to rethink.)Does Sat, Basdeo and those tired old heads help matters when they step in to stir things up?

  • With all due respect, I decline from commenting on this current impasse. Let time be the healer.

  • I am normally a very skeptical individual about politicians and all their political intrigues in general (both in Trinidad and Tobago and Worldwide), however I am extremely delighted that His Excellency George Maxwell Richards, T.C., C.M.T., Ph.D., The President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago had performed his duty, in accordance with the powers vested in him by Section 122A (1) (d) & (f) of the Constitution (as amended) and all other powers thereto by making the very wise decision to revoked the appointment of Mr. Nizam Mohammed as Chairman and member of the Police Service Commission (who had clearly demonstrated that he was “not fit for purpose”), with immediate effect. It is my firm belief that the President had done so by first putting the best interest of all the people of Trinidad and Tobago (way above the racially cosmopolitan diversities which constitutes the social fabric of this our beloved Nation), when making his crucial decision to revoke the appointment of Mr. Nizam Mohammed. I wish to personally commend His Excellency for this very noble action which clearly demonstrates without question the mark of a true man, a true patriot and also a true official representative of all the people of Trinidad and Tobago. I wish His Excellency George Maxwell Richards, The President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago God speed in The Office of The President of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

  • It’s a sad day in Trinidad’s ‘democracy’ when the president can act unconstitutionally and revoke the appointment of the PSC chairman for a factual statement.As a society we are enemies of the truth and this gives birth to our culture of corruption and cover-up.We are afraid to confront realities and engage in debate which are the signs of a primitive society,we will never progress to a first world status.I denounce the actions of the PNM appointed president and I call for his resignation as he did not act in accordance with the constitution.Nizam was definitely not incompetent like the hierarchy of the police service, he simply stated statistical evidence to aid an investigation into the promotional process in the police service.How are claims of racial discrimination to be investigated in this country?Who is to benefit from a corrupt and incompetent police service?Is the mafia running this country?

  • With very few exceptions(Sat and Bas, and the hemmer and mawer, Israel) the people have spoken in support of the President’s decision. Those who still cannot see that it was the right thing to do, are blind men with wooden spectacles.May the deyas lit in honor of their Goddess of light, shine upon them and illumine their areas of darkness clouded by bigotry or whatever else prevents them from putting country first. May Mr. Khan too, go on a hadj, and in that climate of spiritual purification, stone away the devil that clouds his reasoning.

  • There could not be racism from the begining of time, that is an illiterate pronunciation, and indicates the maker is prone to making statements without any understanding of the meaning of the words he uses, or the sense of the statements he makes. Human life did not begin with diverse races of peoples.

    There is no evidence of racism in Europe and many other cultures prior to the middle ages. The exception would probably be India where there was a caste system that differentiated and stratified people according to their color. Racism outside of that arena took hold as groups began to enslave Africans and sought to rationalize it on the basis of the superiority.inferiority argument. It is perhaps ironic that the caste system in India was also structured along those lines.

    No racism is not a part of my origin or cultural belief system. In fact the tolerance of Africans for outsiders, strangers featured as a Trojan Horse in their desturction. From the Hyskos entry into Ancient Kimet to the invasion of others into the indigenous lands of Africans, this acceptance has seen them becoming dominated and discriminated against by the very people they either welcomed into their midst, fought to open societies they could come to later to and enjoy, or even fought in wars to defend or protect their rights.

    Your ignorant and insipid view of history is not unique. It is the template for the mindset of those who masturbate the idea that they can have their cake and eat it too. That they can sneakily practised nasty cultural traits while screaming discrimination in order to silence any examination of these traits. Well you had better wake up and smell the coffee. The dusk of this kind of political correctness hath fallen, the dawn of unapologetic exposure of the nakedness of this hypocritical King has come. And no amount of imbecilic postulations can alter this.

  • A Pakistani aquaintance of mine, in commenting on the role of Christians in Pakistan, pointed out that he “always knew when it was Christmas” the servants did not come to work, and he, as a boy, had to empty the slop pail for the entire family(the bucket in which you stored your body wastes overnight.) He was speaking quite unselfconsciously, to a group of internationalists that included one Swiss woman, and Englishwoman, a Dutch couple,two Americans of Europen ancestry, another African American, and myself, all Christians. There was also a Japanese couple.
    When PAkistan was formed, the Muslims moved to a segment of British India that Jennah had insisted be theirs alone, and they promptly began to use the Christians in their midst as the lowest class-the Chamar.

    He made me wonder if humans have a very basic need to feel that they are better than someone else. This could be why some people of every race have rejected the concept-proved by DNA analysis- that we all originated from one woman who lived in the Congo basin about 250,000 years ago.
    Are people’s prejudices so ingrained that they hold on to them for dear life?

    An interesting study for a group of Trinis at UWI-Sta is to undertake an investigation of how the Tulsis(Toolsees) and the Naipauls and others, acquired Braminical status in TnT when they all came as labourers on the same boatloads. As for the tendeny to add Singh to one’s name(as in Sawaratsingh, Narinesingh, Adjodhsingh, these people did not come with the honorific Singh appellated to their names. Some of them simply gave it to their firstborn sons.At Cumuto RC School, in the late forties, early fifties, there were many boys whose names were different from ther brothers, and it was not due to infidility on their mothers’ parts, but to their wanting to improve their standing in the community. That same wanting to improve made them decide not to go into the police and other services. Money to Indians, allows one to move up in terms of ascribed class. Bhadase Maraj was one such. Wealthy and Illiterate. In the Afro community, which valued the ability to read and write one’ own name, at least, he would just have been a dunce with money. The inheritor of his wealth by proxy(namesake) takes on the same aura, but no one knows where he went to school.

    Anyway, I would be interested if some social scientist at UWI, organized a team of five, two Afros, Two Indos and a Mixed- Cinese? to do this study on how Indo-trinis came to have a Braminicl class.The results may shatter some people’s perceptions.

  • Racism from the beginning of time?RAcism first manifested itself on a arge scale in Europe when the gypsies or Roma people, originaly from Maharastha State in India, migrated to Europe. They were dark skinned and dark haired, and were treated rather badly by Europeans who are fairer. Just last year there was a mass deportation from France of Roma people, back to Romania. Other blond haired Western Euopean countries have tended to follow France, but not so spectacularly. The Roma have been in Europe for more than seven hundred years. They marry their own, and do not seem to want to integrate, or maybe rejection by others make them seem so.
    The idea of using the term “gypsy” to describe people who believe in fortune telling by reading of palms, the wearing of bright mis-matched or mixed match clothing, head bands and beads, the idea of being “of no fixed place of abode” in the legal sense, (Ms Elaine my mother would say “nowherereans” )comes from Europe’s attitude to the Roma people. That attitude was also extended to Jewish people, who were originally from the middle east and dark-skinned. Among Jews the name Swartz means Black( Arnold Swartznegger’s name really means Black Jew, who is Black) as much a nonsense name as that of a man from the Dominican republic I know whose first name is Primitivo. I was shocked, and asked who named him. He smiled and said it was the name the white planters gave to his grndfather, and he is DETERMINED to keep it. He is a charming man, but what a name.
    I digress. The first examples of active racism against a people in Europe was the indigenous Europeans attitude to the Gypsies-Roma. Today, the parliaments of Britain, France and Holland have African originated members of their assemblies. There are African Peers of the British Realm. The Roma are still chased all over the place. Is it the fult of the Roma, or that of others who need someone to feel better than? Shakespere’s plays show racism, and it was apparently demonstrated in Bartolomew de las Casas infamous remark that Africans are better suite to manual labour, so the Spanish, Brits, French and Dutch brought both the cotton being cultivated in Africa and the sugar cane from Cyprus to be cultivated in the Americas by free African labour.Bondsmen then came to be called slaves.Brazil and India are recorded as being the last countries to abolish slvery. Let us make sure that we in TnT do not slide bcakwards.OK? End of history lesson for tonight.

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