December 27th, 1999 By Cindy Williams

It's we (Indian) turn now

At the Annual Christmas Dinner of the United National Congress Couva North Constituency held in Chaguanas recently Prime Minister Basdeo Panday also the area's Member of Parliament is reported to have said that, " the UNC is now on top and we have become an easy target for those who want to remove us from the corridors of power which we have struggled so hard to achieve after some 150 years since our ancestors were brought to this country. They have passed on the baton like in a relay race and other runners would come to the forefront but the struggle must continue." This has been published and not refuted so far.

This statement to my mind is the revelation and the proclamation of a secret agenda and has very serious implications for our society and the people who live and work in it. It casts a shadow, and taints all future statements and actions by the PM and casts a different light on all his past utterances and activities. The statement if true raises some national concerns and questions, which include;

[1] Did all the people from other ethnic groups who supported his party knew of what his agenda, or what about his co-ethnics, were they aware of and do they share that same agenda?

[2] What about his Trade Union days speeches about the working class uniting and those who labour holding the reigns, now changed to those who came from India?

[3] What is the basis for the national unity call? Unite for what, or whose purpose ? Based on the statement, is the UNC party just an extension of the old DLP?

[4] What if a PNM leader had made similar statements, would certain people in the society remain silent as they are now? What about the media houses, the clergy, business organizations, and other politicians?

[5] Were the destruction of the NAR and the ULF part of a grand plan? Several top politicians and trade unionists should have some more to say about that.

[6] Did the persons who put the PM into power know what his agenda was or were they guided by hate and greed for position and power, which they must now certainly regret with or without this recent statement. It does not matter now, how many bridges and roads one builds, the building of a nation MUST be around shared ideals.

[7] Is this the reason the PM attacks and accuses everybody of being racist excluding the most rabid fundamentalist and divisive Hindu columnists and spokespersons who are well known in this country. Is this the reason they remain unscathed.

[8].Can we expect to hear ex-NAR and other members of his party openly disagree and condemn such statements which are guaranteed to increase distrust and fuel underlying resentments between the major groups in the society or will they quietly support in spite of the country before party lyrics.

Mr. Editor I have waited several days for a denial of that speech, before putting ink to paper and it now seems that the PM has no clothes. The sad thing about all this, is that many people who did not support Mr. Panday always held the view that he was not to be trusted.

In a more mature democracy, his resignation would have been demanded. The code for the UNC's campaign slogan "give yourself a chance " has also now been broken and we now understand. it's true meaning.

There is an old saying that you can fool some people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

I now await the voices who make much more noise when less is said in this society, may Almighty God and sensible people save this country. Is this man a national or an ethnic Leader?

Panday Klan  Panday

The politics of Race in T&T

HOTEP: January 13, 2000
Most people in this country are trying to figure out how the Prime Minister, Basdeo Panday, could get members of the PNM, both Africans and East Indians, to join his party or to remain silent. To understand this, one will have to look at the way the two major races operate in this country.

The majority of the Africans in Trinidad is ignorant of history, and does not accept being called Africans. They are divided into many other second class ethnic groups. We have the Christians a major bunch who are themselves fragmented and none of the fractions accept themselves as being part of any racial group even though they all retained the admiration and desires for white complexion. Then we have other little "religious" sects made up of African people. Most Africans here do not consider themselves Africans for reasons that I have explained in other articles.

The Whites have their own infighting but at the end of the day they close ranks behind their race.

The Chinese are also another close-netted group.

Then we have the Indians who are about the same in numbers as the Africans and have mostly kept to themselves. They have always retained and taught their racial culture under the disguise of religion.

Whenever this present Prime Minister speaks to the Indian community, he always reminds them about the struggles and sufferings of their ancestors in Trinidad, at the hands of the African based PNM. I must add that these are dubious and nebulous claims at best. In these public forums we very rarely hear them speak of sufferings at the hands of the colonial overlords who lured them here as Indentured Servants.

Because there have always been stimulation about East Indian racial pride under the disguise of religion, most Indians accept the advancement of the Indian Race as their highest duty.
In this type of environment, the Prime Minister can call on any Indian who belonged to any other political party and they will change loyalties for their own greedy ambitions but claim it is a call to duty. The followers of the Indian based party (UNC), accepts this change as these people fulfilling the Hindu agenda of bringing their race together.

I can imagine the Prime Minister calling a former PNM member Hosein, and telling him; "Boy why you letting down your race so, you ain't see this is we turn now and we people have to stand together if not for we self but for we people. I know you is not a Hindu you is Moslem but boy your race must come first."
Hosein would use this appeal as an excuse to further his greedy ambitions while retaining some sort of legitimacy.

One must remember that the Prime Minister is familiar with the writings of African Liberation leaders, and very often one will hear him using their quotes but with Indians replacing Africans. To other sensible African people he sounds crude because the experiences and situation of the Indians was never similar. But to the highly charged Indian community, this sounds like a leader who is ready for battle. These are fresh and stimulating war cries.

The Prime Minister and the leaders of Hindu organizations are constantly manufacturing phantom oppressions that the Indians must guard against.

Where does the Negro/African fit into this equation? The Prime Minister and his followers hear the responses ever time some of us mention the need for African programs, the majority of Africans are against this, for reasons I have explained in other articles. Some Indians also call this racist. The "African" based party the PNM has no central theme to mobilize supporters around them. All the leader is left with is promises of senior positions and money when they get back in power. The PNM leaders do not discuss things African, they call that divisive. They cannot use religion because African people are divided amongst the numerous variations of Christianity. They are really only left with the promise of jobs and money.

If jobs and money are the only stimuli they have, then their supporters can get that from the UNC or any other political party in power. Because there is no central theme with which to hold all the fractions of Africans together, the leadership of the PNM is at a disadvantage.
Nevertheless, it is a disadvantage encouraged by their own ignorance of racial history and how to rise above it.
They have created the disadvantage, because of their denial of a legitimate part of our social education. They neglected to introduce the history of the diverse ethnic groups that make up this society in the school curriculum. People could have acquired a better understanding of each other. This would have made it difficult for other opportunists to use racial propaganda to solicit political support.
They never sought to understand what the Hindu leaders were teaching the Hindu community. They even gave them taxpayer's money to propagate racial insularity under the disguise of culture and religion.

Their chief spokesman, Sat Maharaj, has said publicly that one must be born a Hindu to become a Hindu. In such a case, what they are teaching is racial exclusivity while using the finances of the very people whom they despise.

All of this power play is doomed to failure and I will explain this in greater detail in another article.

None of the parties in this state of ignorance can benefit in the long term. They are appealing for their support on dishonest and dangerous grounds, and in the battle to win supporters from each other's side they disenchant their own supporters who see the other side benefiting when their side is in power. It is doomed to failure.

Now read PANDAY'S new ELECTIONS rhetoric

Express May 29, 2000

THE rising sun, the official emblem of the ruling United National Congress (UNC), "cannot change everything, but we’ve got to try", said Prime Minister Basdeo Panday as he continued his attack against his critics, who were opposed to his mantra about national unity.

"It is tragic that some in our society are unrelentingly opposed to national unity, trying to divide in order to rule. When Trinis unite, we win," said Panday.

The Prime Minister was speaking on Saturday at a special fund-raising dinner at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, held by the Hindi Nidhi Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago, which honoured him for his efforts to ensure "Hindi finds its rightful place in the school system".

In a thinly-veiled reference to the controversial Equal Opportunity Bill now being debated in Parliament, Panday asked his audience if they doubted the need for "mechanisms to ensure equal opportunity for all, irrespective of creed, race or gender or disability or political affiliation".

He called for a mobilisation of resources to prevent defenceless women from being maimed and murdered by "detestable men".

"We have got to mobilise sufficient resources to protect innocent children from ruthless predators who would violate even their own offspring," he added.

Panday said there will be a new emphasis on religious values in the school system, even as technology is being embraced as a teaching tool.

He said four languages are spoken in Trinidad and Tobago.

"Creole is, of course, the language we all speak in Trinidad and Tobago.

Spanish, in our schools, is sanctioned by the State. Hindi is now also sanctioned by the State as a language to be taught in our schools.

"That’s not all. We also speak Jamaican dialect," he said.

"We must not forget that we also speak—at least our radio personalities do—a Bronx Brooklyn lingua franca that is not without its devotees."

But no AFRICAN programs on our STATE OWNED MEDIA while a station was given over for INDIAN programs.

.~#*THE END*#~.
The politics of race

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