Stop the Persecution of Indians

Stop the Persecution of Indians

Photo : Harry Raghoonanan

Rowley needs to be informed that Indians are not going to continue living like second class citizens under his PNM administration. Indians are very much aware of the history of discrimination of the PNM against Indians but we have chosen to put that aside and give Rowley a fair chance. Now that two years have passed, Indians are now resolved in their conviction that Rowley has not deviated from the PNM’s policies of yesteryears which were aimed at decimating and emasculating the Indian population.

 In its desperation for power in the 1956 PNM connived with the Colonial Office to deny power to the Indians. This is not to mean that the British loved Africans more. It only means that the PNM leadership and its supporters are more malleable (like putty) and can be fashioned to suit colonial agenda. Unlike the Africans, the Indians are more of themselves, proud of their religious beliefs and traditions. Indians have never accepted the propaganda that they were heathens but held their heads high, proud of their heritage and their abilities.

I am noticing a trend in Rowley’s governance aimed at painting Indians as corrupt and lacking patriotism. It is similar to the propaganda of the Nazis against the Jews. The depression in Germany following the defeat of Germany in the First World War was blamed on the Jewish people.  More so the Nazi had its SS Troopers, Brown Shirts and Gestapo at its command to persecute and exterminate Jews.

The 1961 General Elections saw the true nature of the PNM. Notwithstanding that the  British aided PNM rule after the 1956 General Elections to form a government, the PNM went on to lose two elections-the Federal Elections in 1958 and the Local Government Elections in 1959. Such defeats were too much for the PNM to accept that its Political Leader, Dr Eric Williams, in a state of frustration, made the infamous verbal assault of describing the Indians as a “recalcitrant minority.” This statement remained to haunt the PNM but there was never any retraction. No wonder the “Calcutta ship” was made in the presence of Rowley with no reprimand or condemnation. It is the culture of the PNM!

The hostility towards Indians was demonstrated in physical violence against Indian homes along the East West corridor and reaching as far as Chaguanas in the 1961 campaign. There was a group of thugs from East Port of Spain who would embark on the train and journey to Port of Spain to disrupt DLP campaign meetings. The Indians would retaliate against these hoodlums invading their districts and soon the police were at hand to “manners” the Indians. Indians who were victims of physical assaults by PNM supporters had their homes searched by police for guns and ammunitions. In El Dorado, Tunapuna there was heroic resistance against that PNM assault.

The connivance of the police and the PNM administration is reminiscent of the Mongoose Gang of Sir Eric Gairy fame.   The former Prime Minister of Grenada used this hired gang of thugs as a private militia under his dictate to terrorise and murder his opponents.

The Tonton Macoute was a special unit within the Haitian army under the direct command of Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti.  It was used to murder, rape and commit the most dastardly and heinous acts of violence against the citizens opposed to the Duvaliers. This obsession to hold on to power at all cost by the Duvaliers saw Haiti sinking into an abyss of political and economic mayhem that it may never overcome.

 We are seeing every signs of this Toton Macoute-Mongoose Gang attitude in our politics today. It is becoming clear that a few element within the Police Service are working hand in glove to intimidate the Opposition. When the Opposition criticises the policies of the PNM, the Prime Minister and his frontline ministers resort to threat of “lock up and jail.”  Camille Robinson-Regis went on to read from a copy of a search warrant in Parliament which purports to search the premises of Dr Roodal Monilal, Member of Parliament for Oropouche East. We are witnessing Stuart Young authenticating the forensic viability of text messages in serious allegations of criminal conduct by public officials. Why is the Police not taking action to investigate the allegations of the Opposition?  Is there a Moongoose Gang within the Police Service to carry out the instructions of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley?

The Prime Minister has failed to inform the nation what steps he is going to take to clear the air on Faris Al-Rawi’s children’s escapades in a shooting range with high-powered guns at the military base in Cumuto. Strange things, even death, have occurred at the Cumuto military base, all shocking to right thinking citizens, if not the PNM loyal supporters. Is the PNM stating that minister’s children are above the law…untouchables in Trinidad and Tobago?

The PNM government is painting a picture that anyone who criticises its policies is corrupt. Harry Ragoonanan, a long standing member of the PNM, was suspended on spurious allegations of a conversation with a Chinese national to influence the procurement of buses for PTSC. I am happy that Ragoonanan has promised to fight back. It only demonstrates that he did not surrender his testicular fortitude while serving in the PNM. I know the same can be said for Rohan and Deyalsingh!

We are reading of the Fraud Squad’s investigation of Jwala Rambarran, former Governor of the Central Bank and recently appointed temporary Senator on the UNC bench. In his contribution to the debate on the 2018 Budget Rambarran was able to expose the lack of policies of the PNM to diversify the economy.  It was this contribution that irked the PNM so much that its “Moongoose Gang” was sent immediately after to intimidate Rambarran.

 Kallco and Namalco, two companies granted contracts to extend the Churchill Roosevelt Highway to Manzanilla and the Highway to Point Fortin respectively are now being viewed as corrupt by the Joint Consultative Council of the construction industry (JCC). The JCC appears to be selective in its complaints about the awards of contracts. It appears that the JCC only raises alarm when companies like Namalco and Kallco are awarded contract. I don’t recall the JCC complaining about the failure of the PNM to deliver the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, the Scarborough Hospital and so many projects where billions were spent with no sight of completion.  Is the JCC a tool in the hands of an elite business class to destroy its business competitors?  We have already witnessed the closure of Super Industrial Services (SIS) with the coming to power of the Keith Rowey. Is that the fate that awaits Namalco and Kallco?

Gary Aboud’s one-man road show Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) is a dagger that is used conveniently to stymy the development of certain businesses houses.  The FFOS is concerned about the impact of the extension of the CR Highway to Manzanilla on the environment.  FFOS is now being given its opportunity in courts to show reasons why the project should not continue.

I await the FFOS expressing concerns of the increased cost of diesel and its impact on the livelihood of our fishermen. Such concerns are least in the radar of Gary Aboud.  No wonder the cries and pains of our fishermen and their families fall on deaf ears. Some business houses are already engaged in the importation of fish and would only be too happy to see that the little remaining of the fishing industry in the country is destroyed altogether.

This attitude of FFOS reminds me of Molly Gaskin of Wild Fowl Trust fame. With two water fowls and ducks at a Sanctuary on Petrotrin compound, Molly Gaskin was propelled to celebrity status in our local media. With that new fame she targeted the rice farmers in the Nariva Swamp accusing them of destroying the natural ecology. Her protests saw the intervention of the government that resulted in the expulsion of the farmers from the Swamp. Her objective was realised-don’t develop a local rice industry so that the importers can continue to import and harvest lucrative profits.

The FFOS and the JCC are no different from our few officers and politicians who wield power not for the good of the nation but for a powerful elite group. I may not know much of this group but I can say with certainly that they reflect the morals of the Aesop fable “The Dog and the Bone”. Is greed going to finally cause this elite group to become so hated that they lose everything that they have accumulated?

It is now clear that Dr Roodal Moonilal, Jwala Rambarran, Harry Ragoonanan, the directors of Namalco and Kallco among others are not prepared to surrender before might. Harry Ragoonanan is only demonstrating that his long association with the PNM has not robbed him of his manhood. He has declared “war” on the PNM because he has stones like a quarry.