While I do not believe that our nation should bestow honors on citizens based on ethnicity, and that segments of our society have only recently expanded into the socio-political arena, as supported by Shah’s assertion that in 1970 he was the only officer in the Army, I believe that we are sometimes in too much of a hurry to bestow honors on athletes and entertainers. Their accomplishments, though in some cases exceptional, are only beneficial to the individual. If as a citizen the individual uses his success to enhance the larger society then, and only then, should that citizen be deemed deserving of national honors. As far as Indians not being involved in football as a Naparima alumnus I have to disagree. I remember many inter-collegiate tournaments where Naps came out on top and for the most part they fielded an Indo-Trinidadian team. Whether or not they pursued athletics on a professional level might be attributed to the left-over colonial bias that there is something degrading in athletics. A bias held by Indo as well as Afro-Trinidadians. Once our forebears became convinced of the benefits of an education, if you were not a doctor or a lawyer you were somehow a failure. This is demonstrated by the amount of money allocated to athletic/cultural development in the national budget. We cannot censure Indo-Trinidadians for another left-over colonial, nationally held bias towards the only musical instrument invented in the 20th century. Nor are they the only nationals to have a biased view of our nation’s cultural festival. These views are endemic in our society. We are somehow programmed to appreciate only those things, and people that our colonial masters validate. This is what I see as occurring here with the Naipaul issue. I refuse to be goaded into becoming another mouthpiece for the purveyors of dissension. The current state of our nation is the result of failure on the part of our elected leadership. I am heartened by the post of Lystra Kochin, Youth representation, and I remain hopeful that in time youthful, visionary leadership will bring our nation, kicking and screaming into the 21st century.