Plantation Mentality Prevails in Williamsville

Plantation Mentality Prevails in Williamsville
Photo : Councillor Vashti Sookhoo

Trinidad and Tobago is a society locked in a colonial past. The colonial privileges have not disappeared. There is still the colonial merchant class who enjoy the choicest and juiciest parts of every budget. And the bearers of the cross still believe that they can infiltrate the public space peddling their salvation balm.

The legacy of the plantation has refused to die. Though there has been much upward social mobility over the past decades there are  few who believe that they have a mandate from heaven. This is akin to the prescribed places for social groups during the colonial era.  The whites were automatically positioned at the top and the field slaves at the bottom. Not surprisingly, when the Indian indentures began arriving to take the work of the ex-slaves, they were looked down upon as social inferiors.

Even within the Indian community an elite bunch was created to acts as interpreters between the masses and the ruling class. This resulted in the creation of a rural gentry class that alienated themselves from their traditional way of life. This rural gentry class were brainwashed to hate themselves and pour scorn and contempt for everything Hindu and Indian. These converts no longer viewed Hinduism and Hindu history through their eyes but through the eyes of the English and the Europeans. They literally ceased to think, thus echoing the sentiments of the ruling class.

These converts came to accept that Hinduism was inferior and cannot be equated with Christianity. It only explains why a rural district like Williamsville in south Trinidad there would be objection by the rural gentry class to the installation of a picture of Lord Ganesh in the community park when on the said park there is on display a picture of Jesus. The objection to the presence of Lord Ganesh by the lingering rural gentry class is an indictment against social progression. It is a social ossification of prejudice and backwardness of an era long gone.

The closure of Petrotrin and its negative impact on tens of thousands of workers, their families and communities means very little to this rural gentry class. They care little about the rising crime rate and dilapidated roads and bridges in Williamsville. In any protest to improve the infrastructure their active participation is withdrawn. They live not for the community but to perpetuate an era of bigotry and fanaticism of a bygone era.

Williamsville needs investors who can create jobs for the people. Congratulations must be extended to Stackhouse and other business houses that continue to expand their businesses, thus providing much needed jobs to the desperately unemployed youths. It is this spirit of entrepreneurship and creativity that the people must embrace; not bigotry and fanaticism. These vestiges of our colonial past must follow in the footsteps of Coucillor Vashty Sookhoo who led a protest of villagers to highlight the deplorable condition of the roads.

It is a shame and disgrace that Garth Road in Williamsville has been in such a deplorable condition and the rural gentry class did nothing.  This only happens because they are hand in glove with the PNM and would never do anything to embarrass the government. Nevertheless, they have the energy and zeal to fight Lord Ganesh, their grand parents’ god.