By PARAS RAMOUTAR
Port-of-Spain: Several high-profiled Hindus are being targeted by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, according to Sat Maharaj, secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha(SDMS), this country’s premier Hindu organization. Belting his thoughts as this country celebrates the 174 the anniversary marking the arrival of over 147,000 East Indians from India, during the period 1845 to 1917 on May 30, 1845, Maharaj chided the
Government for targeting East Indians on all spheres of governance and leadership. He was addressing celebrations at Parvati Girls’ Hindu College, Debe, Penal ,last Thrusday. “I wish to draw your attention to a number of high profile arrests of people in Trinidad and Tobago, and I want you to watch the pattern of the high profile arrests”. He identified: former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday, former attorney general, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Occah Seepaul, former Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma, former Attorney General,
Anand Ramlogan, former Senator Gerald Ramdeen, among several others.
“And I Sat Maharaj have been warned that I will soon join the above band of honourable citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. You see the pattern in the arrests. Have you noticed the pattern in the arrests.
One group of people, only one group of people”, he said. Trinidad and Tobago doesn’t belong to any single group of people, it belongs to you and I and all of us and more importantly it belongs to the children, the next generation He referred to a speech made in Tobago by Hilton Sandy in the presence of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley where the audience was calling to ban half of the population from going to Tobago.
“The Calcutta Ship is decoded language to stop Indians from coming to Tobago. If I had said stop the Africans from coming to Caroni they have charged me for sedition again.” Still strong at 88 years, Maharaj warned the people of this country that it was becoming a despotic state. My dear devotees any country that stifles dissent will denigrate into a state where the law is lost, a despotic state” In her message, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Paula Mae-Weekes noted that Indian indentureship was one of the most significant chapters of our nation’s history, forever shaping our demographic, economic and social landscape. She said that the indignities suffered during the journey from Asia continued throughout the period of indentureship as harsh rules, practices, and punishments
were enforced in an effort to control the lives of the labourers.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley noted that as we celebrate Indian Arrival Day, let us remember the sacrifices of all those who ventured here so many years ago. “Let us forever cherish the interwoven complexity of our multicultural society and be proud that we can hold it out as an example of harmony.
This is especially important in today’s world where we hear almost daily news of the turbulence caused by divisiveness and intolerance”.
Former Prime Minister, now Leader of the Opposition,Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in her address, said that Indian Arrival Day is not simply about the arrival of a group of people, but rather the commemoration of
a story of strength and determination which has evolved of the many years of struggle to success. “This special day commemorates the journey of the ancestors of our East Indian brothers and sisters made in 1845, while it celebrates the endurance as well as accomplishments the East Indian community has achieved with our nation framework in the past 174 years. The story of these indentured servants is a story of colonial exploitation as well as hardship and sacrifice, but their legacy lives on in an undeniable way,” Persad-Bissessar said.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and now Professor of Practice, Dept of Internati onal Affairs, University of the West Indies, Winston Dookeran, there will always be an emotional ties between Indo Trinidadians and the people of India. “And this ties will continue infinitely as a positive approach to continue the link between both nations, Trinidad and Tobago, and India. And this augurs well for the future”.
Acting Indian High Commissioner, Raj Kamal, said that the Indian diaspora continues to preserve their cultural and religious traditional accomplishments of their ancestors despite severe hardships. “The
sacrifices made by their forefathers did not go in vain, as the Indian diaspora in Trinidad and Tobago, is one of the most vibrant across the globe.”
Indian Arrival Day has been a national holiday since 1994, and it is observed with a galaxy of religious, cultural and socio-economic activities across the landscape.
Source: World Hindu News
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