Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 1st 2013 Contents WORK IN PROGRESS
Saturday, June 1, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
One hundred and sixty-
eight years ago, May
1845, 227 sons and
daughters of Uttar Pradesh and
Bihar arrived on the ship
named Fath Al Razak in
Trinidad, West Indies. The
immigrants came with the
understanding that they would
have the opportunity to return
to India after five years of
History has shown that very
few returned and the Indian
diaspora has grown to well over
half a million, half the popula-
tion of T&T.
After a perilous journey, mal-
nutrition and fear replaced their
excitement and enthusiasm.
Loneliness and uncertainty
caused some to languish and
die, but many transformed it
into a source of strength, faith
They had no temples,
mosques or churches where
they could seek solace. The
landlords, the colonial British
Raj, discouraged social gather-
ings and subtly frustrated any
effort at worship.
However, the spiritual princi-
ples of the indentured mothers
were resilient and this prepared
them to develop skills to
change difficulties into oppor-
tunities. The indentured immi-
grant women skilfully and
silently used spirituality to pre-
serve the integrity of their east-
The Spirituality of Women
The immigrant women quiet-
ly reverted to their spiritual
resources for comfort and
brought out their powers of
determination, devotion and
divinity. They emerged the spe-
cial powers of love, stability,
mercy and compassion because
of their faith in God. Women
have jealously guarded their
devotion and divinity and
secretly used it for sustenance,
humility and tolerance. Devo-
tion is dedication and worship
to God whereas divinity is the
divine connection with God
through purity of thoughts,
words and actions.
When these two divine
engines are working in harmo-
ny, the third engine, called the
intuitive divine wisdom or the
divine intellect, is activated and
that gives one the power to
make the right decisions and
consistently do the right things
at the right time. People who
have this divine intuitive skill
often get solutions to problems
long before the problems arise.
This was the main source of
strength of the immigrants,
especially the women.
Economic Power and
Thriftiness of Women
The indentured immigrant
women may not have been able
to read and write but that did
not make them illiterate.
In spirituality, if you do not
have a formal education but
have that discipline to think out
sensible solutions consistently,
then you are very knowledge-
able or literate.
Because of the trepidation of
and the physical might of the
colonial masters, the indentured
immigrant women incorporated
their innate spiritual skills to
transform the impending diffi-
culties into opportunities. They
used their frugality with great
humility and quietly fortified
their social and economic foun-
dations with their thriftiness.
ers were so clever, thrifty and
possessed so much intuitive
wisdom that running an effec-
tive government treasury would
have been but a piece of cake.
They did not have a formal
education, but they possessed
competence and proficiency.
This is a lesson for the poorer
sectors of the world.
the Might of Culture
The first 100 years of inden-
tureship (1845-1945) are one of
the finest examples in world
history of how indentured
women immigrants used culture
and spirituality as might. The
faith of the indentured immi-
grants was nurtured by the
resilience of their spiritual
beliefs. This practice and belief
gave them hope and courage,
and it was through this perse-
verance, tolerance and faith that
they were able to remove the
darkness of oppression and
allow the light of divine justice
to make difficult jobs easy and
the impossible possible.
People of the younger gener-
ations now believe that they
can purchase this spiritual gift
and depend solely on their
gurus to remove their obstacles
and difficulties. They have lost
it because of arrogance and
Change, they say, is an eter-
nal truth of life and people
who claim that they can con-
trol their lives could not in
their wildest imaginations had
ever thought that their ances-
tors would come to this part of
the world to live and strive, to
multiply and to become the
inheritors of the place called
Today T&T can truly be
called a part of the Indies. If
we were to ask which force
sustained the early poor peas-
ants through their dark days
and nights, the answer would
unequivocally be the women.
returns next week.
- Poor taste at PP rally
It was in really poor showing for
the Prime Minister not to even ac-
knowledge the presence of Jack
Warner in the audience at last Fri-
day's PP rally in Chaguanas.
For all Mr Warner has done for
the UNC over the years and for
what he has done to put the UNC
and the People's Partnership in gov-
ernment and to help her to rise to
her high office, it reeks of ungrate-
fulness that neither the Prime Min-
ister, nor Errol Mc Leod nor any of
the leaders of the PP, except Ash-
worth Jack who met Mr Warner in
the crowd with Gypsy, none of them
had the decency to acknowledge
such a loyal, fierce and battle-weary
UNC warrior as Mr Warner.
It leaves me to wonder what sig-
nificance is humble me to them.
I did not expect much from the
ministers but I expected a better ex-
ample from the Prime Minister.
Mr Warner, it is clear they do not
want you in the UNC. But worry not;
you will rise and they will fall be-
cause of their hubris.
Time to form your own party!
My children attend a government
school in Las Lomas and have often
related incidents about a cleaner
there and how scared they were.
The cleaner screams at them unpro-
voked at the top of her voice individ-
ually or during assembly.
She has hit some of them with a
broom. I found out that she had
cursed a previous principal and a
school supervisor came and spoke
In full view of the student popula-
tion she cursed a teacher and
shouted for him to come out of his
class so she could beat him. This
teacher was verbally and almost
physically attacked in defence of his
It was during class time and the
children were traumatised. The
cleaner had to be restrained by two
teachers and the principal. Another
school supervisor came.
Recently she was again verbally
abusing children and an OJT trainee
tried to tell her that she should not
scream at the students like that. He
was verbally attacked and almost
A teacher again had to restrain
her. The security guard stood by
smiling and did nothing.
Children heard her screaming and
said there was a fight in the office.
They could hear her still shouting
more than an hour later.
Is the ministry waiting for these
violent outbursts to become physi-
cal? How can our children be put in
such an unsafe position?
This school has almost no vio-
lence among the students; what
kind of an example is she setting?
The current principal greets this
cleaner with a hug on mornings de-
spite her behaviour.
Parents expect no help from her,
so I am asking ministry officials to
please do not wait until she goes
through with her threats and injures
The safety of our children is at
May I ask what exactly is being done about the back-
log of criminal cases? In the recent past I've heard nu-
merous complaints about overcrowding and backlog in
our prisons and courts. But still no move is being made
to resolve this.
Now there's the suggestion of eliminating preliminary
inquiries. To add to the many cases that are already in
front of our High Courts? Seriously? I was compelled to
write this letter, being a very concerned citizen of T&T.
Sad to say but a nephew of mine is in prison awaiting
a murder trial for the past nine years! Kudos to the
prison authorities for today my nephew, Ryan, is an in-
ternational author of two novels and has gained several
O' level and A' level subjects.
He was arrested at 17 and now he is 26 years old.
How unfortunate for him. There's a difference between
a mistake being made associated with keeping the
wrong company and a criminal and I assume that our
judicial system should be able to differentiate this.
Ryan, along with his two co-accused, are literally beg-
ging for a plea bargain with the State but to get a court
available for only one month seems too much to ask for.
I do hope that someone, anyone, sees this and does
something about it.
ACROSS THE KALA-PANI
A view of President's House and garden from the verandah of the Office of
the President Tuesday. PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
Nine years without a trial
Links Archive May 31st 2013 June 2nd 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page