I am still trying to understand why Blue Waters needed to import 39 non-nationals to work on its bottling plant when there is such high unemployment among our youths and specialized workers from Petrotrin and other related enterprises.
When Kamla Persad-Bissessar questioned Stuart Young about this matter, the latter mansplained: “This was a request by a manufacturer to bring in specialized workers to upgrade their plant. This is not unusual or unique. The persons entering would have presented their negative PCR test, they will be paying for their quarantine at a State-supervised quarantine facility” (Express, January 30, 2021). Continue reading Backward Ever→
Last Thursday, in his response to a letter written by 23 Afro-Trinbagonians about the placement of Black students in our secondary schools, Kamal Persad, coordinator of the Indian Review Committee, responded: “It is clear the under-performance of Afro-children in the education system is still at the top of the black agenda. Accordingly, these 23 persons of African descent adopted an unmistakable black race position” (Express, January 14). Continue reading A Black Race Position→
It is gratifying that we are looking anew at many of the institutional arrangements and practices that we have accepted blithely over the years.
Recent articles by Reginald Dumas and Marina Salandy-Brown, the SEA discussion by The UWI scholars, and Theodore Lewis’s brilliant article on the subject have been instructive. Today’s discussion, “A Time for Healing”, sponsored by The UWI Faculty of Law in collaboration with the Catholic Commission on Social Justice, promises to be an exciting affair. Continue reading Embracing all our history→
I have been following the “the polytricks” taking place in Guyana, a land that “has been a torn and tortured terrain with divisive seeds sown in the colonial waters” as Sir Hilary Beckles described it (Express, July 13.) It’s not an overreach to say we are witnessing a replay of a traumatic encounter that took place years ago.
In 1970 Forbes Burnham declared Guyana a Co-operative Republic. I visited Guyana in 1972, the year in which the first Carifesta and the Non-Aligned Nations’ conference took place under the aegis of Comrade-Leader Burnham. It was a new and exciting time. Continue reading Making a Truce with Reality→
There was a minority view back in the 1980s/1990s when the lobby for a holiday to mark the presence of Indians in Trinidad & Tobago was loudest, that the termination of indentureship in 1917, not their arrival in 1845, should be celebrated. If that had prevailed, this year the Indo-Trinidad community would have marked the centennial of end of their semi-slavery. But the very vocal majority had their say and their day, hence the declaration of a public holiday on Arrival Day, May 30, the date when, in 1845, the Fatel Rozack docked in Port of Spain and deposited 200-odd wretched Indian souls on these shores. Continue reading I arrived by birth→
I did a double-take upon reading Freddie Kissoon’s post-May Day column in the Kaieteur News of Guyana. I don’t know Kissoon personally, but I do know that he’s an activist and a writer who is not averse to controversy, who writes as he sees things, damn the consequences. Continue reading Indian Tribalism→
The brutal attack on three African students at Rajiv Chowk Metro station hit headlines last week, reopening debates on racism experienced by Africans in the city. There is no official version yet of what the students – Yohan Koumba Daouda and Mapaga Yannis, both students of Amity Institute of Information Technology, and Guira, a first year BBA student of Sharda University – had done to incite the attack. One of the witnesses, who posted a video of the incident on YouTube, reportedly said that they were accused of ‘misbehaving with female passengers’ by making lewd comments at a woman on a train. Another report said that in the rush to board a train on the Yellow Line, one of the students was pushed aside. He apparently made a comment against Indians in protest, which then angered some passengers. Continue reading Update: African students recount racist attack in India→
With Narendra Modi taking office as Prime Minister of India following a convincing victory in the month-long general elections, the world’s largest parliamentary democracy, India, stands at critical crossroads.
The close to 200 million voters who propelled the controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power comprise in the main Hindu nationalists who see the country as Hindu first, anything else afterwards. But they were not the decisive elements that drove the Indian National Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty out of power in a humiliating rout. Continue reading Whither India?→
The historical truism is that Indian “indentured servants” came from India to Trinidad on 30 May 1845. They did not come from Indo. Ergo, the descendants of these original Indians are Indian-Trinbagonians. They are not Indo-Trinbagonians. This label is totally Euro-centric, ahistorical and must not only be relegated to the ash heap of T&T’s cultural/ethnic history but must also be expunged from T&T’s societal lexicon. Continue reading Indian Arrival Day — Afri-centric Analysis→