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Kaiso 'tata' on Tidco website

By Terry Joseph
February 20, 2003

The Tourism and Industrial Development Company (Tidco) yesterday hurriedly removed the calypso page of its Carnival on D' Net website, after calypsonians expressed outrage over its content which described the artform as "Tata".

Now in its eighth year, the current edition of Carnival on D' Net was launched last month at a glitzy Hilton Trinidad soiree that featured calypso performances and promised a number of "positive images of the festival, descriptions of its major components and updates on premier events".

Instead, quite the opposite materialised.

On Sunday, Culture Minister Pennelope Beckles was visibly astonished after being shown a copy of the calypso web page by the Express. She promised to fully explore the site and take corrective action.

Under the rubric "Carnival 2003", Tidco's Carnival on D' Net website featured a calypso page exclusively dedicated to an article by BC Pires headlined "Tata in the Round", a scathing critique of the work of Iwer George, Impulse and Bunji Garlin.

Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) general secretary, Brother Resistance, described it as "outrageous and unbelievable".

"If it were not right there on the screen I would never have believed that Tidco, an agency that uses taxpayers' funds to promote The Land of Calypso, could turn around and use the worldwide web to dismiss the season's entire catalogue, calling it 'Tata' for all the world to read," Resistance said.

He added that "while we believe in freedom of expression, given the context of the Tidco website, this was completely inappropriate".

In a prepared response, Tidco communications manager, Renatta Mohammed, yesterday said "Pires' controversial article remained unedited by Tidco for a limited period in the interest of freedom of expression and with the disclaimer that the views expressed were not ours.

"However, the article has since been replaced as its lifespan has lapsed."

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