POLITICAL and social activist Bernard Yawching said he expects backlash over his book The Hidden Agenda of Race Relations in Trinidad and Tobago.
The new book accuses the United National Congress (UNC), the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), and some members of the Hindu community and the East Indian community of promoting a racist agenda. It tracks events from a 1913 speech by former Arima Mayor FEM Hosein about Africans not being as productive as Indians to more modern-day controversies such as Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar describing the Prime Minister as an “oreo.” Continue reading Bernard Yawching defends book accusing UNC, Hindus of racist agenda→
IN ALL the recent instances of wrangling over vaccines from India, a key issue has been left unaddressed.
The heated reactions to both Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh’s mischaracterisation of the custody chain of vaccines donated by Barbados and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s letter to the Indian Prime Minister have deflected attention from a more profound diplomatic quandary which this country faces – as well as Caricom as a whole. Continue reading A passage to India→
Trinidad and Tobago, a weird place sometimes, is given to extremes. Imagine an embalmed man in a sitting position, placed in the tray of a hearse and given an open-air last ride past the Prime Minister’s office on his way to his final resting place: “Dressed in a suit and seated in a chair, Che Lewis’s body was placed in the back of a vehicle by the Dennie’s Funeral Home and driven around the capital city” (Express, November 26). Continue reading A Macabre Display→
IN 1970, I was the only Indian officer in the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment. I was also the youngest officer, having graduated from Sandhurst in July 1966, some four months after I had turned 20. When I returned from England in January 1967 to take up duties as a platoon commander, it was the first time I got to know the Regiment (as it was, and still is, commonly referred to), since I was sent to Sandhurst in 1964 without any prior training locally. At the time, fewer than five per cent of soldiers were Indians, a ratio that may still exist, although I suspect the numbers will have moved up slightly. Continue reading Black Power and Indians→
The Honourable Mr Justice Frank Seepersad in his electronic Easter Message to the PCTT (Express 13 April, p.17) would seem to posit that the current exponential and unprecedented rate of the destruction of human lives now nearing 100,000 wrought by COVID-19 would appear to be, inter alia, a grim manifestation/reminder of the sovereignty of God over all things. Continue reading Is COVID-19 the Flaunting of God’s Sovereignty?→
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, early on Sunday mornings, we would hear the bells ringing out loudly in the street as a band of women, dressed immaculately in white with varied colored head ties proceeded to the Tacarigua River to conduct their religious rituals. At the tender age of six or seven I did not know what such celebrations (I saw it as a celebration) were about. All I knew was that my Tantie Lenora was among that band of women. Somehow, I felt embarrassed or even ashamed. Continue reading My Spiritual Inheritance→
Makeda Darius’ response, in song, to Prof Selwyn Cudjoe’s claim that the late Sat Maharaj reminded him of US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, earned her the National Women Action Committee’s (NWAC) National Calypso Queen crown. Her piece was entitled, No Martin. Continue reading Makeda Darius crowned NWAC National Calypso Queen→
A few weeks ago I wrote about the presence of money in our churches. Rev. Henry Richards of St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Tacarigua, absconded with over $1,000,000 in the 1880s whereas Pastor Vinworth Anthony Dayal, pastor of the Third Exodus Assembly Church in Longdenville, accumulated about $31 million, the product of 19 years of tithes. As we contemplate these excesses, we must remember there are better exemplars of God’s words and how His blessing manifests itself to believers. Continue reading Blessed Are They Who Hunger after Righteousness→
Archbishop Henry Richards was one of the most respected members of the Tacarigua community. His brother, S. L. B. Richards, the rector of Trinity Cathedral, was considered the “embodiment of Christian charity and was never so happy as when engaged in the relief of distress or suffering.” His well-attended funeral in 1877 demonstrated the esteem in which he was held by the community. Continue reading Tithes and Thefts→
After it was reported that Pastor Vinworth Antony Dayal, leader of the Third Exodus Assembly Church, had assembled $29 million in assets over 19 years, Dr. Knolly Clarke, head of the IRO, declared: “Each church has their own way of doing things but in the Anglican Church and I think in the Roman Catholic, we have trustees. We audit our accounts every year. Our church is very strict with funds. It is not a one-man show” (Express, January 3, 2002). Continue reading Tithes & Thefts→