The last ‘pahalwan’

By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2015

Raffique ShahThe battle for leadership of the UNC has ignited a discussion on leadership in a broader context, with the party’s founder, Basdeo Panday, weighing in on the issue.

According to my columnist colleague Sheila Rampersad, Panday told her that Indians tend to seek a “pahalwan”-Hindi for warrior, strongman-to lead them. Sheila cited Panday himself as an example of the phenomenon. In 1973, he succeeded Bhadase Maharaj as leader of the sugar workers’ union, and in 1977 he succeeded in transforming the only organic inter-racial party ever (my view…I was a co-founder), the ULF, into an Indian party.

Bhadase, who was not averse to the use of violence in conducting business, running the union, religion (he was a founder of the Maha Sabha) or leading the Indian party, the PDP, was in his heyday a man more feared than respected.

What Panday seems to suggest is that the UNC today is looking for a new “pahalwan”, the presumption here being that it remains an Indian party, hence the quest for a strongman (or woman) to resurrect it.

While I agree that the UNC remains an Indo-based party, it has attracted some non-Indians. And I do not agree that the strongman phenomenon is characteristic only of Indians. Every race, every religion, every region if not country, has had what I prefer to call its maximum leaders who were also populists.

From Latin America (Peron, Fidel) to Africa (Nasser, Mobutu, Kenyatta, Nyerere), Asia (Marcos, Mao, Lee Kuan Yew) to Europe (Churchill, de Gaulle, Hitler, Stalin), the world has known scores of strongmen who graduated from being popular to absolute, who were adulated by the majority of their people, but who eventually were reviled, and in instances, hounded out of office.

Many of them morphed into tyrants.

But the day of the strongman has ended. Maximum leaders who cultivate the personality cult, find themselves rudely confronted by populations who have gone past that era.

Panday did not seem to recognise this development, and he paid the ultimate price when he was roundly rejected in the 2010 internal elections. His claim that the process was “rigged” rings hollow.

In any event, besides the “pahalwan” image that he adopted early in his career, he had other qualities that ensured his longevity in politics even as he lost many elections. These include oratorical skills, his training as an actor that he used effectively, ruthlessness, and yes, charisma.

Unfortunately for the UNC, by the time the membership got around to spitting out Panday, it had little to offer as successor, nothing close to Bas. Like all megalomaniacs, Panday did not believe in succession planning.

So Kamla succeeded, but she was no orator, was not endowed with intellect (oh, she’s bright, but that hardly counts), had no vision for re-engineering the party. She offered only charm.

She fell woefully short of what was required to transform the UNC into a modern political force.

But she was lucky. Patrick Manning, overcome by hubris and bungling his way, was a disaster waiting to happen. And Winston Dookeran and his COP, as well as other entities that did not count much by way of votes, but which presented a facade of national unity, came together at an opportune moment in our electoral history.

Post-2010, Kamla, stricken with hubris in believing that hers was the face and personality that launched 400,000 votes, adopted the cult of personality. Everything was Kamla, Kamla, Kamla.

Her face was etched on mugs, plates, copy books, key rings, buttons, buntings. The discerning among the electorate, who had made the difference in the 2010 general election, frowned upon these excesses.

But rather than take note and take corrective action, instead of consolidating her leadership through inspiration, she descended faster and farther into the abyss.

Every time she travelled abroad, the entire Cabinet turned up at the airport to welcome her home.

I can’t think of another leader in the world today who exhibits such delusions of grandeur, or put crudely, such crassness.

Kamla 2015, the theme of the UNC’s campaign, was the ultimate insult to the intelligence of the above-average elector: to paraphrase a famous de Gaulle quip, I am the party.

This dotishness was endorsed, encouraged, applauded by the very people who are challenging her today, and frontline supporters who were flag-wavers yesterday, but who today cuss Kamla in the vilest manner.

Can any “pahalwan” rescue the UNC from the political wilderness into which its mass of supporters wandered, eyes wide open, but blindly following the maximum leader?

I should think not.

The sun has long set on the strongman-and the conceited woman.

This might well herald a new dawn, a reincarnation of that organically-integrated dream that died prematurely in 1978, murdered by the last “pahalwan”.

41 thoughts on “The last ‘pahalwan’”

  1. Why must there always be an Indian party vs a Black party? Like the lady wanted votes for the personality, so do those two parties seek votes based on ethnic values. Get back to a multiracial party and let the people vote for the party!9n

      1. Africans in India.
        BENGALURU: Indian migration to Africa, Gandhi’s days in South Africa, Mandela’s espousal of Gandhian methods -the long and warm relationship between India and African nations is well known, but what’s often forgotten is that Africans arrived in India as early as the 4th century -some as traders, some as slaves -and stayed on to become rulers of states and trusted aides of local kings.

        An exhibition, `Africans in India: A Rediscovery’, which opened in the city on Friday, aims to highlight this connection. The show, which comprises photographs, paintings and documents retracing the achievements of Africans in India between the 14th and 17th centuries, is on loan from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library. It will be on show at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts here till the end of December. It’s an interesting show that offers a glimpse into a time when multicultural India drew people from across the world as traders, scholars, soldiers and slaves.

        “Not only were the African men and women creators of their own accomplishments, but they also found themselves in societies in which enslavement did not necessarily preclude social ascension, where being a foreigner, having a different religion, being of a different race were not insurmountable obstacles to reaching the upper echelons of society,” explains K M Chandrashekar, programme officer at the Southern Regional Centre of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

        Most of the Africans, who were packed into slave ships and brought to India, were from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, and were called Habshi or Siddi. They were prized for their military prowess, and it’s from these men that generals, commanders and rulers emerged. They were usually employed in specialized jobs such as bodyguards in royal and noble households, and as a conse quence became close to those in power. So while they were enslaved, many managed to gain the trust of rulers and eventually even seize power, explains the exhibition. Many slave women become beloved queens as well.

        Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, Africans left their mark on the political landscape. The African-ruled state of Sachin, for instance, was established in 1791 in Gujarat. It had its own cavalry, coats of arms and currency. In 1948, when the princely states were incorporated into independent India, Sachin had a population of 26,000 -85% Hindu and 13% Muslim. Another state that was ruled by a dynasty descended from African traders was Janjira in present-day Maharashtra.

        1. Lol….african arrival in india is what started the indian civilization. Again, indian scientists have, on ca era, via the bbc confirmed this…so saying that they arrived is dishinest & misleading….THAT PARTICULAR GROUP may have arrived later on Buttttttt Indians are descendents of ethiopians…who later mixed with meditteraneans = Dravidians! + invasians of ‘aryans’ + rape + other groups migraton/trade = modern ‘indian’ phenotype

  2. Raff is quoting sheila rampersad out of context (T&T)..of course there are other ethnic grouos around the world who elect vagabondish leaders…but in Trinidad & Tobago, the indian community stands out like a sore thumb in this regard! Dr. Williams, George Chambers, A.N.R. Robinson, Patrick Manning & Dr.Rowley…these persons prided themselves in having class & decency….now compare that to Indian Trinidadian leaders- $10 million in a london bank account, then PM said that he didn’t know about it because hindu women handle the money..remmember that? Oma sitting on Evander Hollyfield’s Lap…Dhanraj “wine dhanraj” Singh…remember that murderer?….Remember the man who
    died in the then PM panday’s official residence? PM Panday
    calling colm imbert a douenne…accusing ken gordon of being a pseudo racist…calling for a ban on vivian richards,for referring to the west indies team’s characteristics as african influenced, & the embarassment of the last five years that was Queen K ….apparent public platform intoxication, living out of her personal residence, while the sister & family stay in the PM’s official residence,sister using PM1 to go to carnival parties…attempting to, but being stopped from touching the president of india’s feet, taking a jahaji bundke of 200 people to india to visit family, taking another jahaji bundle of people to brazil & then to china….what a disgrace…addressing a crowd at the hilton (urp workers) telling them “hands up, hands out, up! Out!”…. Having to be corrected by the president of cuba for equating black with evil & white with good….having a retired american basketball player lift her up in the air to dunk a basketball…..

    1. The chief PNM MACO at work here. She is such a good MACO that she hold the record for inventing stories and hullicinating over the UNC, a party she wish she was a member of…

      1. Lol…Mamoo…be honest….you don’t want to say ‘maco’…use the other word…the one you call African people at home…you know…with your children & family..

        1. That word you referring to suit you but it is not in my vocabulary. It was the favourite word of the Ku Klux Klan as they hang the brothers,burnt homes, rape women and destroyed lives. Indeed the Caucasian treatment of the African is similar to the African treatment of Indians. Two of the most violent races on this planet.

          By the way I just finish eating some Delicious soup from my African spiritual sister. I have no problem with our African brothers and sisters. We get along very well, we eat from the same pot. But you Winnie is the one with the problem. Look in the mirror.

  3. Kamla was the best leader this nation had seen since independence. The roads, drains, schools, health care, tertiary level education, all symbols of development were doing exceptionally well. Yes there were excesses but the fundamentals of economic development was strong boasting a 3.5% unemployment rate. Those are the things that matter to the common man.

    Foreign direct investment in TNT energy sector 2007–2014 source central bank website. In the millions.

    From 501 million in 2010 to a record 2071 million in 2014.

    When Kamla assumed office this is what the PNM left behind.

    Ministry of Housing $8 BILLION


    Outstanding VAT $2 BILLION

    Owed Contractors $2 BILLION

    Loan for Waterfront $2.7 BILLION
Outstanding Fuel Subsidy $6 BILLION

    Loan for Tarouba Stadium $500 MILLION

    Loan for RACKET RAIL $500 MILLION

    Outstanding Wage Negotiations $9 BILLION

    She met an economy that was poorly mismanaged and in decline. She worked hard to turn it around. Settling 130 wage negotiations about 89 left by the PNM. Workers received 20-25% increases during the 5 years. She did not raise taxes but eliment VAT on some 7,000 items. Manning was planning to get rid of government workers but Kamla kept them.

    In 3 months, PNM, increased fuel by 15%, increased VAT on zero rated goods by 12.5%, increased NIS to 13.5%, increased business levy by 200%, reintroduce Property Tax, send home hundreds of workers, freeze salary and bonuses and not a man say a word.
    Even their most prominent supporters in the health services were told NO Backpay. Not a dog bark.

    Everyday since the PNM assume power death reigns in the nation, shooting, drowning, murder, accident even suicide making a come back. Great is the PNM.

    But as they say all this is the beginning of sorrow. Only 3 months and the media gone silent, the unions are quiet, and dogs have become strangely quiet! It seem all has finally fallen asleep.

    1. “Kamla was the best leader this nation had seen since independence” Mamoo

      yess yesss Mamoo & the second “best” was Basdeo Panday….right??

      This is what african people need to remember the next time they think of spending their money on food ….the person you’re buying from may more than likely share Mammoo’s view!

      1. African people are better off in Africa, they have poorly adjusted to Western Society some have simply not adjusted as is evident with Alyssa aka Winnie. Winnie if you ever sat in an air condition government building and draw a huge salary because you have a PNM party card then you don’t deserve to eat. I say don’t go to market or spend your money on food chances are it was grown by people like me. We don’t need your money because it was stolen from the treasury.

        1. “African people are better off in Africa, they have poorly adjusted to Western Society some have simply not adjusted…”

          This can actually be a compliment as African people should never adjust towards accepting racism, colorism, sexism, wars for profit, and so many ills that are hallmarks of Western Society. Many people adjust easily as they have forgotten their roots, like Europeans, and share those false Western values. But then again, it was African people who left Africa and first entered Asia, Europe, and the Americas from whom all else evolved. So where do we go from here arguing with folks who hate their foreparents for no valid reason other than they were black?

          1. I am so proud of myself for drawing mamoo out of his troll cave…pelting verbal faeces at african people for 5 long years…i decided to set traps that his species (troll) cannot resist…so as clever as he believed himself to be…here he is in the sunlight all covered in his own excrement for all to see what was actually in that cave…


          2. Ahhhhh that post was “jusssst riiiiight”….i want mamoo to read justright’s post carefully…2-3 times to digest how you (moomoo) actually insulted yourself…”western society” has many components…what is it about it that africans (if we are to entertain Moomoo the clown) cannot “adjust to”…more importantly what is it about western society that allows indians as a group to thrive in….CAPITALISM??…maybe so…more than anyother group (even the chinese), indian society is hevily PROFIT & STATUS (caste) oriented…africans are mostly christians in the west or muslims…so from a religious standpoint africans reject vanity & materialsm in the church..however more & more they are slaves to petty materialism (more than any other group)…but Hindus unlike christians or muslims beleive in wealth, status & power as an important
            goal…the fixation on this religiously makes them ultra competitive…always needing to prove superiority over others (caste)…this is why Moomoo’s theoty about indians bei g smarter than africans is a double edge sword…if you look at the names of indians who are attaining high marks & degrees, it is lopsided in favour of hindus…is Moomoo saying that Hindu indians are more intelligent than Muslim Indians???….Give me a break…

          3. Skin Colour, Land, Money Power, Status
            Skin Colour, Status, Power, Money Land
            Skin Colour, Money, Status, Land,Power

        2. Ahhh thanks for the racisr advice mamoo,..,buttt unlike you i do not believe in caste…therefore i do not scorn produce because of who grew it…no…that is YOUR religion….

          1. What racist advice? Winnie you appear not to have pass standard 2 chile. It seems everything you write about is a methaphor for race and racism you label others as how you feel. That is not a nice way to live in a multi ethnic society. Weak people need race and that is all they talk about. God created the races so don’t fight with me because you born black and ugly.

            Just three days ago I blessed an African family with $700 they have a few kids and was obviously in need, they didn’t mention or asked me. But that is my world I live in as I said yesterday I had soup from one of my African sisters. I love them all equally.

            So stop this race talk Winnie it is embarrassing enough to read what you and Kuntakente write. Although Kuntakente is not as bad as you. (Some of the times).

  4. There is no comparison between Eric Williams and others with the Indian Leaders of T&T. Those African leaders never sought to create “African” parties. That is the difference. For Indians in this Caribbean geography, and in places like Fiji, Mauritania etc, governing involves them becoming George Orwell’s Revolutionary Pigs.

    That is how the Indian racist mind works. Read the thrust of the arguments of Mamoo and TMan. It is always crafted along the lines of “Well we Indians are the one with the brains, can make the decisions”. “We have the degrees and the academics”. “We graduate from college more than you”. I mean when you read it the image of George Orwell’s Squealer comes to mind, and his echoing of the same sentiments.

    Comrades!” he cried. “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples, and this has been proved by Science comrades, contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.”

    I always believed that George Orwell managed to perfect time travel, came to the Caribbean and observed how the Indian Political leaders in Guyana and T&T operated, and when he returned used their personalities as the model for his Animal farm pigs.

      1. I’ve taken a quick scan. It looks interesting, but I don’t have time right now to delve deeply into it. I will return to it and revert in due course. I’ll say only that I detect on even the slight reading a variety of unexamined assumptions that do not accord with Holy Writ, e.g. the “out of Africa” pattern of human migration, and also the idea that man has been around longer than 6,000 years. Whatever the history spoken of, I’m confident that Holy Writ will prevail over the science-istic assumptions and speculations of the day. For one thing the dating methods used are completely unreliable, sometimes circular in logic. Anyway, when I have more time I’ll read it more carefully and revert, especially concerning the origin of the Indo-Aryans, about whom I’ve been guided that they are a branch of the Edomite family by paternal seed-line. Gotta run.


        1. Yoruba, as always, i thoroughly appreciate your in depth, un mamoo-analysis of the subject matter. Additionally, i want you to keep in mind that whenever i refer a link, there is a distinct, thoughtful reason that i did so…I am the least interested in the genetic oink & history with how indian civilization came into being…although i know & believe it to be important. However, my main focus is the daily political & social issues that african people must geapple with concerning their society, heritage & indian cultural, social, religious values that are in opposition to it. In short, Africans need to learn about hinduism (the facts, not lies, spins & propaganda designed to blind them to the malicious mindset that exists in abundance towards them & WHY) Hindu scriptures & the baghavad gita contain the values & moral system that ‘hindus’ adhere to & shapes their outlook towards society & its population. Therefore, reading the translations of what is contained in them directly from the source is paramount. What i like about that source in part, is that it discusses the fact that nowadays, with the realization that thjs information is readily available & they cannot control of limit the information non Hindus are accessing from the gita & rig veda….many Pundits are attempting to Metaphorize (‘spin’) what is contained in these ”holy scriptures’ to obfuscate from non-hindus & in particular Africans, the IMPLICATIONS of these teachings & how it shapes the minds of its followers towards society (western & christian) & african people (Dark skinned in particular). E.g. Divali’s theme “lightness defeating darkness” is not about knowledge overcoming ignorance….it is part of the theme of hinduism & indian history i.e. Light skinned invaders of ancient india Defeating the native, black skinned, east african descendent that began ancient India. This history was passed down for thousands of years by Hindu pundits for thousands of years…they propagated this….BUTTTTT as i pointed out before, which is a goal of Hindutva, is to literally lie about history to further political & religious objectives for upper caste Hindus…you see…they now realize that their actual history (how it factually unfolded, not what they wish it was) ILLIGITIMIZES, in the eyes of the rest of the world, their political & social stranglehold over
          Indian society, the oppression & marginalization of the original inhabitants= Untouchables & their original language & culture…AND black skin & features in india! “Ramleela” is considered to be by untouchables & celebration of the caste mindset & violence against untouchables, as rawan was actually their ancestor…think about…celebrating beating & burning the black skinned person…this is why it is so sad to hear african people not merely respecting the right of freedom of belief, but propagating a value system that celebrates the subjugation of themselves…

      2. It is known that when the Hyskos migrated from the Caucus mountains into areas not described as the Middle East, tha journey also took then eventually into India. There is no real separation in terms of prominent appearance, of people we call today Indian, Europeans and Arabs. They all come from a common Aryan strain, appearing first as nomads and shepherds, and penetrating and usurping cultural and religious beliefs and myths.

        Sometimes we tend to look for complexities when reality is quite obvious. Racial Prejudice is ubiquitously common to these three specific groups. They are the only groups in this world whose racial prejudice is based on some mythical but strenuously held concept of racial superiority. The manifestations of their prejudice is the same. I mean if you blind your eyes to the demographic history of Mamoo and TMan, it is like listening or reading the comments of the usual right wing racial nut railing against Obama and yelling that he was racist and dividing the Country. Freudian displacement and transference psychological traits are so similar one gets the impression that they studied from the same playbook.

  5. Rodwell, Have you heard fuad khan’s remark about the health advisory committee against ‘unc doctors’? He is a perfect example of the drop in standard of medical professionalism in T&T since the Aryan mafia took over…a couple years ago “Dr.” Khan was photographed at a carnival fete with his proudly donned T-Shirt which read “I am a Lesbian”…could you imagine that? A then cabinet minister of health (a man) donning a t-shirt “i am a lesbian” & What about his remarks to the african couple who he lured into having their triplets in T&T (for prestige) and when they F#***** it up, he said that they were “ungrateful” to complain……! Imagine that eh??…what a disgrace!…the couple could have gone to the us or uk or even canada & gotten first rate treatment for free…they mamaguy them to have it in T&T out of some warped patriotism which was really about the local doctors getting the prestige….and when their children DIE…oh..they are ungrateful!!…so said then Minister of health at the time Fuad Khan…because the state (taxpayers $$$) was spent to buy equipment to facilitate the births!,,,,
    Imagine the gall of this guy to try to claim victimization for unc (indian) doctors….but we must also remember that when tim gopeesingh made the “ethnic cleansing ” accusation against the manning regime, he was supported by this same Fuad khan claiming he was bypassed by a nigerian doctor…i.e.e.. he (indian) deserved the position…..Fuad Khan’s behaviour & demeanor should be of concern to the african community….i remember listening to i95.5fm interview with him about the changing of the rules for the entry of nurses, which many africans in that profession were complaining was a veiled attempt to circumnavigate the process headed by african nurses, to force indians in….he made the remarks that it could be perceived that the nursing exam was discriminating against some….well they forced in as much indian nurses as they could…Now that nursing is becoming more prestigious & well paying….is time for indians to take over…that is the mindset…every sphere of employment that has become attractive to the indian population, the mindset is to displace africans from leadership as well as rank & file….
    There is a widely held view among africans, that iMPATT is a UNC pressure group…although it is written MPATT, i keep hearing iMPATT…maybe the “i” is understood so it doesn’t need to be written down…like a “reverse silent”

  6. Alyssa, thanks for inviting us to the “Death of a Guru” by Rabindranath Maharaj. While I have not yet read the whole book, I have read excerpts of his travails and experiences and is a testament to his will and search for inner peace. It is a credit to his mom, who despite being part of her brahmin husband’s life of worship as a guru until his death, always found
    the courage to study her bible in private. Inspire of the fact the Rabi was himself a guru and was well respected by the hindu community, he yearned for inner peace of mind and not the materialistic offerings of the gita. I was taken aback when I read that the gita does not preach forgiveness. Rabi found that out when he interacted with his cousins who were baptized in christianity. A particular line struck me as how isolated Rabi was as a brahmin pundit. Even though he was taught that his caste was the highest and there was none (outside of his caste) better than him, he found out when he went to Queens Royal College that “According to his religion, they were clearly without hope. Yet they were not inferior to him, in fact he found hard to compete with them. ” This bring me to the garbage being spilled by Mamoo. His mantra of all the “good” done by the last PP government that we should somehow find appealing. This reminds me of the psalm that says “The fool hath sayeth in his heart, there is no god. Corrupt are they and have done abominable inequities”. When evil passes for goodness and the masses accept it, then we are all in serious trouble. Again thank you Alyssa. It is exactly what I always say about blogging. If one is not edified by it, then there is no sense in participating.
    My brother calls me everyday and says to me that what Alyssa is doing keeps him glued to the internet and this blog in particular. This is consoling and gratifying to anyone who makes contributions as well as she does. Of course, there are distractions such as Mamoo, TMan and Loyal Trini. But it is their unchristian comments that motivate sounder and more in-depth analysis and motivation to seek truths that were heretofore submerged.

  7. Kian, THANK YOU, now you must appreciate the nauseating dishonesty “indians in t&t don’t practice caste”….why LIE???

  8. It’s hard to believe that so much comment base on race.
    As a fifth generation Trinidadian(not Caucasian) so much of you ,still pushing the race card, perhaps some of you need to get out of your cocoon a bit more and mingle with others, you’ll discover there are people out there, who have moved on.

    1. One of the things I notice about my non Indo Trinidadian people is the naiveté with which they view everything. James, I have news for you. It would be terribly naive to not notice the cultural and social developments in our country, if you did not notice the cultural and social swings towards hindutva during these past 5 years. We a a multi-cultural society – yes but the push is towards a hindu reality. I refrained from saying this but since you see “too much race” let me ask you, what good is kartik snaan to you? I do not fault the hindu, it is his cutlture and beliefs but when the media pushes it on us, do we blindly participate and say yes, it is our way to salvation? If the media’s intention is to push the events on us, then we as civilized human beings have a right to question it! Don’t you think so? You don’t just ask questions, you seek information about it. If, in so doing race becomes factor, then it is in essence a matter of race. Why does one has to be negative or positive when such questions arise? We have to be mature in our take on things that most consider sensitive and peculiar. One of the reasons why we are where we are today is because the black politicians are always afraid to be called “racist”. It is this same word that has been used to cowe him into submission, thereby always giving in to situations that are sometimes undeserving of the results that we get. Take for example, the Trinity Cross. All kinds of accusations were made boy the hindu and muslims to the effect that it was “racist”. As one who has intimate knowledge of how it came about to being called The Trinity Cross, I can assure you that race was NEVER, I repeat NEVER a factor in the naming of the award. But we gave in to the foolish idea that it was racist and now we have a watered down version of it – Order of Trinidad and Tobago. What exactly does that mean in real and qualifying terms? Manning was weak and coward in giving in to Sat Maharaj because he was afraid of being called a racist. Now tell me the significance of the name that replaced it? If we do not stand up for values, we will soon find ourselves being called something that we did not bargain for. Winston Dookeran went to India and told there that they (hindus) are working on making Caribbean people ‘Indians’ (or words to that effect).
      Should we just remain and not notice these things happening around us? It is Not racist to ask questions that things you know nothing about. When ‘celebrations’ are introduced to us as a national feature, we ought to seek knowledge and understand how those celebrations affect us and whether it is necessary for us to be involved or not.

  9. Ohhhhh….they moved on?? Like on september 7th?? RUBBISH….you are either purposefully ignorant, or dishonest!

  10. Has anyone really read this article? This nritual is to cleanse ‘bad karma’…i have proven via reference (India Untouched) the connection between karma & skin colour…this articlw says that 1956….1956, the year that the first Non-Colonial,Non- white government (PNM) came into office…it marked at least symbolically the dismantling of OVERT white, minority rule in T&T…we know that the Indian community wanted a Hindu to be PM and they voted as such in this year of 1956….ar africans to believe that this was just a coincidence, that according to the article, that the first time this ritual was done EN MASSE….the largest gathering ever since 1845,was 1956???, with the first African PM?? And now after 5 years of ‘brahmin’ rule, after a heated loss of power…’bad karma’ must be cleansed!(Rawan as PM)
    Do you think the author just happened to mention these details about 1956….these coded messages are being sent like volleyballs right over the head of africans…. i.e. we are not supposed to notice!….we are not supposed to decipher the ‘aryan’ code….OPEN YOUR EYES!

    Non-Hindus should ALSO begin to view politics & voting in T&T in a religious context…. i.e. what is best for (african) christians

      1. Alyssa, since this is a ritual about cleansing of the body and soul, what does that have to do with us? Why is the media so intent on telling us the ‘holiness’ and cleansing rituals of the hindu religion? I don’t read where they make it a point to tell us about Corpus Christi, All Saints or All Souls and Easter. Another thing, the waters of the Ganga (Ganges) is said to be ‘sacred’ and ‘cleansing’ by the hindu, does that mean that I (a non hindu) consider it that way too? Since hinduism is not met belief system I have to look at it differently. I am not faulting the hindu for his beliefs but as an objective reader, while I respect the hindu for what he believes in, I cannot ignore how the Ganges is looked at from a non-hindu perspective. Newsweek magazine in an article published in January 2015 describes the festival held in the Ganges this way: “The mythological story of Ganga the self-cleaning river god—she lived in heaven but chose to live on earth to purify the sins of all those she came in contact with—fuels countless festivals and holidays in India. Tragically, though, it’s often respect for Ganga the god that leads to disrespect for Ganges the river.”
        The magazine went on to give a practical account of the Ganges of today: “What’s flowing beneath the surface is much worse: Millions of gallons of industrial effluents and raw sewage drain into the Ganges each day. The results are devastating. Diarrhea, often caused by exposure to fecal matter, kills 600,000 Indians per year, and waterborne diseases throughout the Ganges River basin, many a result of the polluted waters, cost families $4 billion per year. Sanitation and water pollution issues cause 80 percent of the diseases that afflict rural Indians.”
        From my non-hindu perspective, this would be more of a concerns to me than the festival of Kartik Snaan. Not because the media chose to enlighten us about this festival means that we should accept the ‘holiness’, cleansing’ and ‘moshka’ as spiritual.

  11. We ignore the racist machinations of this assembly to our peril. Diversity is not possible under Indian Hindu rule in any part of this world. It is always the same thing, whether it is our own T&T, Guyana or FIJI. Leopard do not change their spots

  12. Actually Rodwell, the Brahminists welcome diversity….as long as each group Knows ITS PLACE!… long as you accept subjugatibon & slavery…you are all welcome….to clean my dry toilet with your hands…clean the drains…did you hear about how URP work was perverted in the last 5 years?…workers had to drop & pick up pets for officials…clean their yards…clean their drains…look at Hema Ramkissoon’s ads for her show…you see that prideless african woman lapping up the coffee from the table? know…the one with the natural hair(deliberate)that needs Hema to civilize her with a coffee Mug…that’s HER PLACE!

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