Indian Arrival Day messages

By Richard Lord
Monday, May 30, 2016 –

lettersOn the observance of Indian Arrival Day today, President Anthony Carmona says the indigenous Indian culture brought by indentured labourers benefitted not only T&T but the world.

In his Indian Arrival Day message, Carmona said East Indian culture has produced doubles, Trini roti and curry blend and chutney music. He said citizens must remember the journey of the East Indian forefathers during the current times of economic challenges He said the East Indian presence in T&T has also had a great influence on the Caribbean way of life.

According to Carmona the “Panchayat” was brought to the region by the East Indian indentured labourers. He said the “panchayat” was possibly one of the earliest manifestations of mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Carmona said the panchayat system is structured community mediation at work and can be an important feature of restorative justice in the Criminal Justice System. Carmona, a former criminal judge and a strong advocate of restorative justice, said he used that “system at the end of the trial, sometimes upon conviction, to arrive at a just and fair sentence or penalty.”

“The panchayat system should be used more in T&T to settle many instances of violence, criminal activity and social hostility, adding that T&T’s greatest resource was its human resource.”

PM Rowley: Ship of State will not destabilised

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says the ability of citizens of this country to unite in diversity was one of the nation’s greatest successes. In his Indian Arrival Day message, Rowley said that was greater than the successes in academia, diplomacy, music, fashion and sport.

Indian Arrival Day is being observed annually marking the arrival of the East Indian indentured labours to this country. This year marks the 171st anniversary of their arrival.

“We must be justifiably proud of ourselves for our enviable ability to live together, in unity, under God.” He said T&T was a better country from religious observances such as Eid-ul-Fitr and Divali.

“Our East Indian brothers and sisters have made outstanding and invaluable contributions to the socio-economic development of T&T.”

Rowley said while the country continues to grapple with unacceptable levels of crime and criminal behaviour the population was not prepared to give in to the criminal elements. He said his Government “will work tirelessly to ensure that the ship of State is not destabilised.”

He called on citizens to “recommit to making T&T a country which stands as a lasting example of unity and strength in diversity.”

Kamla: Let’s preserve our country

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in her Indian Arrival Day message, is calling on citizens to do all they can to preserve the gains acquired by the nation over the past years. Persad-Bissessar said citizens have two choices: to barely exist and survive as separate groups or to stand together as a nation.

She said, “As the nation observes Indian Arrival Day today, citizens will do well to remember that T&T is a land of many people, those indigenous to our land and those who also arrived under starkly different conditions from the great civilisations of the world, Europeans, Africans, Chinese, Indians, the Middle East and elsewhere.”

She said Indian Arrival Day offers people of Indian origin an opportunity for reflection about the journey and the footsteps of their ancestors and those from other origins an opportunity to reflect upon the journey and footsteps of their own ancestors.

Persad-Bissessar said such reflections will make T&T better able to understand and appreciate the trials and tribulations of “all our forefathers as they laboured to build the unique model nation we have become, a nation demonstrating unity in diversity.”


14 thoughts on “Indian Arrival Day messages”

  1. Panchayat

    Indian caste government

    Written by: The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica

    Alternative titles: caste council; pañcayat; panchayet; punchayet

    Panchayat, also spelled Panchayet, or Punchayet, Hindi Pañcayat, the most important adjudicating and licensing agency in the self-government of an Indian caste. There are two types: permanent and impermanent. Literally, a panchayat (from Sanskrit pañca, “five”) consists of five members, but usually there are more; the panchayat has a policy committee, however, often numbering five.

    The panchayat sits as a court of law. Cases are heard in open meetings in which all members of the caste group concerned are entitled to take part. Any evidence that has any conceivable bearing on the case is admissible; it can be produced by either party, by onlookers, or by members of the council. Types of offenses adjudicated in meetings of the panchayat are breaches of eating, drinking, or smoking restrictions; infractions of marriage rules; breaches of a caste’s customs in feast; breaches of its trade rules; the killing of certain animals, notably cows; and the injury of a Brahman. Less commonly, the panchayat handles criminal and civil cases actionable before a court of law. Panchayats of Muslim castes try only a few of the offenses, as the rest fall under fiqh, or Islamic law.

    Penalties take the form of fines (paid by distributing sweets to a caste group or by contributing to a caste fund), the obligation to offer a feast to the beradari (family brotherhood) or to Brahmans, and temporary or permanent excommunication. Pilgrimage and self-humiliation are sometimes levied, but physical punishment is now uncommon.

    The passing of the Evidence Act by the British in 1872, with its strict rules of admissible evidence, led to a bypassing of the panchayat by some caste members who began to take their cases directly to the state court (see Indian Evidence Act). Some castes try cases that have come up before a state court or retry them after the verdict of the state court has been given. The Congress Party in India made a point of creating village panchayats as local instruments of government, the so-called panchayat raj, or government by panchayats.

  2. Carmona proves my point! Imagine a sitting president of T&T …a professed catholic…calls for the instituting of “caste” (vatna)…a system of hierarchy based on hindu ideology grading human beings based on skin colour=varna=”caste”…he wants this in public instutions! Is reema the hindu or is he?? Reema must have a degree in theatre….her puppet mastery is astounding!!…
    but…then again….i”ve seen it before…light skin african….
    hundu female…typical!h….since he is light skin….caste ideology doesn’t affect him the same as oh…let’s say Dr. Rowley!

  3. Happy ‘Only IndiNs & Hindus Arrived in T&T Day’ to one and all!

    BREAKING NEWS! Indian Talk Show Host and nominated minister under Kamla’s UNC/PP pRty Ian Alleyne is complaining that ghere are too many ‘Venezuelans’ in and coming to T&T…he even brought a gardening Hoe on set and said that there were too many of ‘that’ in T&T already (referring to trafficked venezuelan women brought by indian businessmen across the country and exploited) This is where the interests Of Indians and Africans collide!….Ian has not yet complained about his UNC/PP party flooding T&T with Hindus from India and guyana to boost their voting base and marginalize African people….the subtle issue is that Venezuelans are christians and African/spaniard/mulatto/mestizos and the indian politicians and population want to ensure hedgemony…..but they wouldn’t say that openly….one must add the dots….how long has the ‘india in style’ “expo” been going on???….Indians are flowing from caste infected India to T&T and guess what??? They do not like african prople!!…what happens when accomplish their goal???
    This is why africans have to have their own tv stations and networks and promote their own agendas…..imagine the nerve….Ian will dare not complain about indians from all the way in India BUTTTTTTTTTTTT he complains about starving venezuelans (christizns eh..he says he is christian,…LOL)…what a disgrace this society is becoming…i have heard about indian nationals who can barely speak without a thick accent or english for that matter, complaining about all the (africans) from ‘small islands’ coming here…..

    1. Well said by our resident racist, you certainly have not disappointed. I am sure Yoruba concur with your drivel.

  4. Tribute to jahajis.

    The hustle of the moment the excitement of the day,
    The vision of a land free and future stay.

    We entered the ship and said goodbye to the past,
    Sailing on the high seas we saw land at last.

    Alas at a new and diffrent place we stepped ashore,
    We were checked and quarantine preparing for the task at hand.

    Our days started at dawn and our nights were late,
    As we labored in the land working in this estate.

    Time was spent building our dream
    Strong in conviction as a united team.

  5. “In my humble view, a critical and underutilised system, brought to the Caribbean by our East Indian forefathers, is the ‘panchayat’ system, quite possibly one of the earliest manifestations of mediation and alternative dispute resolution,” …..President Anthony Carmona

    “Those who arrived toiled in the sun by day, and agonised by night as they determinedly worked with their children to make a better life. Though the emotional connection to India remained strong, Trinidad and Tobago was the new home to which our forebears pledged their hearts and passions,” ….Kamla Persad Bissessar

    “Pundit Narin Tewarie has appealed to the Hindu community to reflect on the past 171 years and see if they can do better to maintain the dignity, tolerance and discipline of their ancestors who came from India to work on the sugarcane plantations.”…….. Today’s Guardian

    Above are three quotes from the President of the Country, the Opposition Leader and one purportedly made by a leading pundit of the Hindu religion.

    All three addressed the importance of Indian Arrival Day and how they are to be treated in the ‘new world’ of their ancestors. One hundred and seventy one years of residence is a pretty long time and one in which can really measure not their arrival but how they settle into their ancestor’s new environment.

    Much has been said and written about ‘Indian Arrival Day’ and it’s phrasing of the word “arrival’ to illustrate the relevancy of the Indian presence in the country. Many Non-Indian intellectuals have questioned the difference between Indian arrival and the arrival of any other group that settled in the country and there is yet to be a full comprehension of it’s exact meaning. This is because non-Indians need to be schooled on why Indians ‘arrived’ and others have not sought to dignify their presence with the word ‘arrival’. Our history have taught that the whites arrived as explorers and later became planters, the blacks arrived and toiled as slaves, providing free labor to augment European development, the Chinese were brought in as traders. Indians, on the other hand arrived as indentured workers to replace the slaves, who after being given their freedom, were NOT awarded land, remuneration or lodging. The the Indians who arrived with contracts (mostly five year contracts), benefitted with pay for their labour, barracks type lodging for themselves and their families and an option to return to their homeland on the expiration of their contracts. This brings us to ask the question, what does Indian Arrival Day means? The question should be directed first, to the Indian and secondly to the non-Indians. I am absolutely sure the answers would be varied and complex without arriving at a meaning to triumph one’s arrival and to ignore the arrival of others.

    As described by the President, one gets the impression that he was trying to advise us that the arrival of the Indian provided us with a form of mediation called ‘panchayat’. This to his advice, could be interpreted to mean that the general population could adopt it as a means of settling differences.

    The Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar in her message reminded us that the new arrivals worked hard and agonized by providing means of survival for themselves and shaping a brighter future for their children. It was a future the slaves never could have negotiated nor make accommodations for in providing free labour to the European. She stressed that their passion for the land that they left of their own free will to labour in the new world, was still part of their legacy and their passions will alwaYS REMAIN THERE.

    In Pundit’s Tewarie’s message, he admonished the Indian community to keep in their perspective, the discipline, tolerance and dignity that their ancestors displayed in shaping a better future for their offspring.

    In assessing the messages from these national leaders, it can safely be assumed, that they were addressed to the Indian community and to be consumed as reminders to the Indian way of life and continued adherence to their aspirations of growth and harmonization of their culture. Nowhere in their messages, were there suggestions to assume that Indian Arrival Day provided us, the larger population with related sustenance that the larger population can benefit from. In other words, the messages did not invite and encourage participation by the wider population to take comfort in the examples of Indian hard work and dedication to their heritage. There are omissions from these messages, on how non-Indians can or should be inspired by the arrival of the Indian.

    Trinidad and Tobago is, if not by definition a melting pot of cultures. By today’s behavior and mores, the European influence is very strong. The French, English and Spanish especially, have influenced religion, commerce, governance, culture and sadly brutality in our way of life. The African was forced to sacrifice, self, heritage, custom and labour to satisfy the greed of the European and therefore had to find a way out. The only way out allotted to him was through self expression. The avenues where self expressions were available were through sports, entertainment and where allowed intellect, to show that he too had a brain that can be utilized to make contributions towards a better way forward. In this respect he was denied the freedom to excel. The Indian, on the other hand had no such restrictions. He came and flourished with his culture. He never posed a threat to the European masters and was allowed to pursue his dreams and way of life without conditional deviations.

    So, with the aforesaid put into perspective, are the leaders of the Indian Arrival Day celebrations using the occasion to dignify their past singularly? Are they putting their experience to of living in the melting pot to enhance themselves only? Or, are they using their experience to foster better relations with the other significant minorities that make up the cuisine of behavior that is the nation of Trinidad and Tobago? It would be a disservice for me to venture to answer these questions with any degree of accuracy, because to do so, I would have to assume what Indian Arrival Day means to me as a non-Indian. I am yet to learn from the Indian community what that means to me and how I should show appreciation for its celebrations or how the future of our country can be enhanced by it.

    1. Well said Kian. I think we all celebrate in our way. As the Opposition leader implied we should all think of the day our ancestors came here regardless of ethnic origin. The name Indian Arrival Day should be change to Heritage Day and Emancipation Day removed (Too many holidays). Heritage Day would be an inclusive celebration. As you note at the end of your blog you are still wanting to know how to celebrate this day.

      Heritage Day would include Indian Arrival, Emancipation and all the fabric of our ethnic past. In any nation over time that nation becomes a “melting pot” and citizens have several ethnic identities. Currently as an example 22% of the population is dougla and growing. With Chinese, Venezuelans, Colombians and other ethnic groups coming to TNT I can see a National Heritage Day as a holiday replacing the other two.

  6. In my reluctant but nevertheless considered view, Indian Arrival has been a blight on the country. That is a harsh summation, but I say it without passion, like a general dispassionately assessing the disposition of his own and the enemy’s forces. Indian arrival has been in fact an indo insurgency from day one.

    It is an insurgency because not only have they refused to assimilate into the creole culture of the host country, despite open-armed invitation, but they are on and have been on a trajectory intended to engineer a take-over.

    That is a general problem, as Alyssa has well articulated. Not only T&T has had to contend with indo insurgency, but also Guyana, Fiji, etc. In Mauritius, we see an indo insurgency that has succeeded.

    Therefore, I hope my compatriots do not condemn me as a spoil-sport or worse, for wanting and having no part of “Indian Arrival”. There is a churlishness to the naming of that day that rankles. Why should we as a country, home to many ethnic strains that have created some sort of working creole calalloo, celebrate, uniquely, the arrival of another ethnic strain that goes out of its way to denigrate the host?

    The latest and deplorable example is Sat Mahar’s (I do not say Maharaj) ill-mannered tirade against the Roman Catholic Archbishop. Perhaps he judges that the indo insurgency has succeeded, and now he may speak without even the restraint of ordinary expectations of public decorum.

    But I am not writing to defend the Archbishop, nor the Roman Catholic faith, with which I sharply disagree.

    I merely want to make the point about indo insurgency, as contrasted with indo assimilation, and as implicit even in the naming of the holiday as “Indian Arrival”. The insurgent nature of the indo presence is announced in the very name. No other ethnic group has been so ill-mannered as to demand or inflict another such holiday in its ethnic name upon the rest of the creole calalloo.

    But why do I go so far as to call Indian Arrival a blight? I say so not because of what we have witnessed in Fiji, Guyana, Uganda, and indeed Mauritius, pertaining to the bitter fruit of indo insurgency in those countries. I say so because that is what is implicit in the scriptures that prophesied “Indian Arrival”.

    “Yahweh shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.” (Deuteronomy 28:49-51)

    “The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.” (Deuteronomy 28:43)

    We the “Negro” scattered to this land are Hebrew Israelites of the seed, under the curses of Deuteronomy 28:15-68. So too are the natives of Fiji, many of the tribes of Uganda, our “Negro” brethren of Guyana, Mauritius etc. The indo-Aryan that was sent to all these places are of the seed of Esau (I have expounded on that point at length, elsewhere), the twin brother of Israel. They were warring from the womb; Genesis 27:41.

    So the Book is being fulfilled. It is indeed a blight rather than blessing that is being fulfilled in the coming to this land of indo insurgency. It is something not to be celebrated by us, but in fact lamented.

    But we brought it on ourselves for disobedience. And we are to draw lesson from it, and to return to and obey the Law of the Covenant. WHen we do so, the blight will turn into redemption. Which is nigh.


    1. Yoruba wrote “So the Book is being fulfilled. It is indeed a blight rather than blessing that is being fulfilled in the coming to this land of indo insurgency. It is something not to be celebrated by us, but in fact lamented”

      As the book clearly states to “love your neighbour as yourself”, “do unto others as you would have them do to you”. Yoruba you are full of hate, you need to practice loving others instead of judging them. God is the master we are all servants. A servant cannot judge another servant that is left up to his master. Before God we stand or fall not before Yoruba. Remember Yoruba the same measuring rod you used to judge will be used against you. In this case you are using race. God created all races and you did not choose yours nor did I. So stop your religious bigotry.

      1. Mamoo:

        As usual, you err, not knowing Scripture.

        The verses that I cited are curses, not blessings. A blight is another word for a curse. All verses from Deuteronomy 28:15-68 refer to *curses* that would befall true Israel. The ones I cited fall within.

        My job as a servant of the Most High is to bring these to the attention of my Israelite brethren, that they may draw from them necessary instruction, and draw the conclusion that would lead to their/our salvation: return unto and obey the Holy Covenant law to which we, and we only, are subject. You missed that point. Let me repeat:

        But we brought it on ourselves for disobedience. And we are to draw lesson from it, and to return to and obey the Law of the Covenant. WHen we do so, the blight will turn into redemption. Which is nigh.

        I don’t recall telling anyone to hate. Rather to look dispassionately at the facts, and evidence.

        The indo-Aryan Edomite also may draw instruction from the verses cited. But my concern is not to seek the salvation of the Edomite, rather that of my Israelite brethren. The option to give up their evil ways remains, and indeed to opt in to the Holy Covenant; Ezekiel 47:22, Isaiah 56:6-7.

        There is cautionary instruction in the cited verses for the Edomite also. I will leave that to you to ferret out. First must be established the *facts* of the matter. It will of course be a challenge for you since you fall, in the cited verses, into the category of a carrier of blight.

        I am well aware of Scripture that enjoins the Hebrew Israelite not to abhor (hate) an Edomite, “for he is thy brother”; nor an Egyptian (African/Hamite), “for you were a stranger in his land”; Deuteronomy 23:7.

        I am far from falling afoul of that commandment.

        Pointing out the fulfillment of the curses of the verses I cited hardly counts, ipso facto, as “hate”. A general need not hate his “enemy” in order to defeat him, far less merely to describe the disposition of his forces. Moreover, a wise general is ever ready to make peace.

        In any case, it is the purpose of the enemy, that *God* sends against His people, to wake us up that we may return and follow His law. Although a blight, you serve a useful purpose.

        Finally, consider this:

        “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” (1 Corinthians 2:15)

        I continue to withhold from you my peace, but to all others I say,


        1. “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” (1 Corinthians 2:15)

          Yoruba how do we know you are a spiritual man when you promote so much hate on this board? God is love. Go and read 1Corinthians 13 the “love” chapter in the Bible. There you will discover what love truly is. Without it we are nothing.

          1. Yoruba how do we know you are a spiritual man…

            How did Ahab get to know that Elijah was a servant of God? And the 450 priests of Baal?

            …when you promote so much hate on this board?

            I deny that, and you are unable to prove it because untrue.

            To expose hate is not to espouse hate.

            To expose racism (see again The Indian Policy) is not to espouse racism, nor hatred.

            The missionary must condemn sin. That obviously does not mean that he also thereby condemns the sinner. These are simple distinctions. Don’t continue to *pretend*, to get them twisted.

            God is love.

            Yes He is. But I doubt you understand what that means and doesn’t mean.

            What it doesn’t mean is that Satan is off the hook. His final end in the lake of fire is already written. When you see Satan cast into that lake of fire, your turn will not be far behind… if you continue on your present path…

            As a servant of God, I condemn baal worship in all its forms, including varnashramadharma man-made idolatry and system of oppression, as well as white-god gentile christianity.

            For a clear understanding of what “baal worship” is, see, again,

            …Baal the white false god

            I withold my peace from you and your ilk, but to others I say


  7. I think by now, many are aware of my views on popular Hinduism with its built in prejudices and how dangerous it is to the development of any society. I do not necessarily agree with all the comments and manner of delivery in rebutting the anti-African, anti-Black mindset that is inherent in Hinduism as well as in most other mainstream cultures. Having said that, I find it more than dishonest for Hindus to be calling other people racist for fighting this tide of denial and opposition to examining the racism in these cultures.

    There will be no unity unless these prejudices, not only in Hinduism, are addressed in a way to change attitudes and behaviours. Until then, social improvements will be slow and plagued with unnecessary challenges.

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