WHEN discussions on Indian Arrival Day first surfaced sometime in the 1970s, United Labour Front (ULF) founding ideologue Lennox Pierre insisted that I should intervene in the debate over a public holiday to mark the Indian presence in Trinidad. At the time, the Indian Review Committee, led by Ramdath Jagessar, vociferously argued in favour of marking the arrival of Indian immigrants in 1845. Continue reading I arrived in 1946→
For a number of years the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha has been advocating that the Ministry of Culture be renamed the Ministry of Multiculturalism with all the attendant policy changes. On May 28, at the SDMS Indian Arrival Day dinner at the Centre of Excellence, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced that she heard the Maha Sabha’s call and that the Ministry of Arts and Culture would be renamed the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism. We have always advocated the culture of a country in the spontaneous expressions of the people and that the State has no business in culture except as a facilitator. The State must not decide which of the various cultures of our land should receive enhanced funding and which shouldn’t. Political affiliation and support must not be the measure of state support. Continue reading Ministry of Multiculturalism→
EVERY year, come Carnival or Emancipation Day or Spiritual Baptist Day or Indian Arrival Day, one hears the same refrain: the Government ‘ent give we enough money to celebrate we special day.
Carnival band leaders, who charge mas’ players severely for their flimsy costumes and all-inclusive-wee-wee-enhanced, two-chord-bands, threaten to blank competition sites because the steelband fraternity gets more dollar-support than the NCBA. Steelband leaders grouse about not having enough funds to paint their instruments, far less compensate the people who make music. Baptists shout loud about being discriminated against, and the scores of groups that mark Indian Arrival Day cry our louder: Discrimination! Continue reading Of pride and prejudice→