Saturday, November 27, 2010

Indian Time Ah Come

Selwyn Cudjoe has launched a book in Trinidad and Tobago, with a name that is sparking much debate about its appropriateness.
"Indian Time ah Come" purports to take a look at the Indian community's rise in status in Trinidad and Tobago, including their breaking of the political racial glass ceiling.
However, Sat Maharaj, champion of inclusion for other faiths in the country, admitted that he was uncomfortable with the idea. Our political figures have been plagued by corruption, petty bachanal, and a sort of "yuh in dere...get as much for yourself as you can" attitude. The word "politician" brings up ideas of mistrust...and  Sat is uncomfortable with this idea.

Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago as a person with neither Indian, nor African stereotypes being thrown at my character, you get to observe and notice various things.
Firstly, understand that families, communities, religious groups will have a natural affinity to each other. People of like mind always seem to associate with one another. So if you are from Indian heritage, you most likely went to an "indian school" were exposed to "indian" faiths and ideas. and your closest friends were indian...etc. The same thing would apply if you were from an African Heritage.

Added to which, there is a "port of spainness" about issues in this country, and the media, the government, the  leaders of before all tended to focus on the people, the ideas, the things that "port of spain" thought were important. Just take a look at our development in the communities and see where the money went.

What I noticed recently, since the coming of the new government, is a subtle time for Divali. there was much more focus on this Hindu festival. Having met people who live in that community, I realized that there were so many issues and ideas which this large sector of the population had, which never trickled into the consciousness of the country as a whole. Hindu festivals seemed to be well... not the "island celebrates" and takes part, but "dat is dem indian and dem festival." Its not like Carnival and Christmas, and Independence day where the whole island takes part.

And lets not talk about the religion. Sat Maharaj has been the champion for State issue not to be dominated by the Christian based faith.  Now lets get this clear, it is NOT an attack on these faiths, but rather a point of view that State matters should not be biased to one religion or the other. At State functions,and national festivals the government needs to be mindful that this is a multicultural society, and must reflect this in the organisation of national festivals etc.

It would make people uncomfortable for a while, but it would be an eye opener to view the world from a different lens. Perhaps it would assist in people becoming more tolerant of each other's faiths, because, even though we live together, go to school together, we do not worship together, as Christian based faiths are bent on telling their followers that to open up to other beliefs is to incite "malicious spirits" into their lives and hearts.

I cannot see anything malicious about sharing a puja with a Hindu neighbor, or attending a thanksgiving with an Orisa friend. The only malicious thing is a group of people driven to keep the divisiveness among our population.


FeatherStone said...

I agree so much with what you said!!! The change is refreshing.

DeadEyes. -_- said...

Hi five. My mum always tells me she never knew what racism was until she worked in PoS. Also, the time I ever felt there was racism in Trinidad was during election times, and in my classes in UWI, where the discussion involved older, over 40, people.

My conclusion, this generation of people coming up now are open minded, free and don't care about racism. What they care about is getting ahead, and they recognise that everyone has that ability, so they themselves are trying hard. Being racist will just slow the process. However, older people, they still have that thought that black or indian is like coming up against them! So terrible :(

Therefore, any sort of literature that stupidly attacks a race, or belittles it is retarded -_- And would only come from an older generation. That is my big hypothesis, ^^