Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 3rd 2013 Contents Indian culture as part of T&T s
Do you think that attitude still
No. That has changed consid-
erably. Since Divali Nagar started,
the culture has gone on the nation-
al and international stage, as it is
broadcast all over the world. We
are getting text messages from
almost every corner of the globe.
Mr Sharma, have you ever tried
to take advantage of the fact that
our prime minister and some of
her top ministers are Hindus and,
therefore, the NCIC should be
treated more favourably than the
non-Hindu based organisations?
(Adamantly) Mr Raphael, we
have steered clear away from the
politics as much as possible and
of course individual members will
have their preferences, but as an
organisation we do not endorse
any particular party.
We invite all MPs, every single
one of them, at our opening cer-
emony each year.
What kind of bill are your faced
with staging the Nagar pro-
gramme, let s say this year?
We do not have the final figure
as yet but this year it is estimated
in the region of $3 million, with
the Government contributing $1.5
million, an increase of $.5million
Mr Sharma, it appears that the
Divali Nagar is better organised
than the African Emancipation
Day activities. What is the NCIC
doing better than the Emancipa-
tion Support Committee?
(Quickly with a guarded
response) That is coming from you,
right? I have not been to the
Emancipation celebrations and it
appears to be a well-organised cel-
ebration, but in the case of our
programme we have been in it for
so long, we love our culture, we
want to ensure that it is preserved,
propagated and we are buoyed by
the response from the public.
It also apparent that more
Afro-Trinis attend the Divali
Nagar than Indo-Trinis do at the
do you think accounts for that,
if I may say, imbalance?
(A big smile) I cannot doubt that
because I have not been to the
Emancipation programme, and
perhaps in recent years Indo-Trinis
are a little bit scared going into
Port-of-Spain because of the crime
wave and so on...I am not sure. I
don t know why they are not
Finally, Mr Sharma, do you
have anything else to say which
I was unable to extract out of
(Shifting in his chair with a
broad smile) I think you have cov-
ered quite a lot of ground, and I
did not expect you to get me into
all kinds of politics and racial things
(laughter) but without that the
article will not be very good read-
ing. I am sure what you have done
here will create good reading.
November 3, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
because I really don t think it might
be discrimination. It is just...
Any similar type of experiences you
might have gone through?
Yes. For our country s 10th anniver-
sary of Independence we were a very
small and struggling organisation at
that time, we went to the former min-
ister (whom he named and who has
since passed on) with overall respon-
sibility for the celebrations and asked
him if we could get some assistance to
run our show throughout the country.
And there was a lot of argument
about whether East Indian culture was
part of T&T s culture, and it was clear
to us that the minister (name called
again) made it very clear that the gov-
ernment of the day did not consider
East Indian culture.
Wait, wait, Mr Sharma, are you
speaking the truth, the whole truth
and nothing but the truth?
Mr Raphael, I have no reason to speak
an untruth and as long I live I will
always remember that encounter.
To continue the story, he told us,
however, "We are going to give you
$10,000, but please do not advertise
at any of our shows that the govern-
ment of T&T has given you $10,000."
Because they did not consider East
'NCIC does not endorse
any political party'
For our country's 10th
Independence we were a
very small and struggling
organisation at that time,
we went to the former
minister (whom he named
and who has since passed
on) with overall
responsibility for the
celebrations and asked him
if we could get some
assistance to run our show
throughout the country.
And there was a lot of
argument about whether
East Indian culture was part
of T&T's culture...
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