Worse than email gate are the people who believed Rowley’s propaganda

Chatting with a friend with a PhD he once said that “sometimes I am tempted to believe that PhD means Permanent Head Damage.”

Worse than email gate are the people who believed Rowley’s propaganda
Photo : Dool Hanomansingh

Manick told me that Simbhoonath Capildeo was offering classes in panditai and that he decided that he would go to the class. The class was being held at Pachim Kashi (St James Mandir) on evenings between 5-7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays.

“We were seated and Capildeo was standing in front of the class. There were about 15 of us. Looking at us Capildeo remarked: ‘I hope I don’t have a bunch of grass-cutters here.’ I felt bad and bent my head,” said the Manick.

The Capildeos were known for their intellectual prowess and so were the Naipauls. Were they arrogant? Many people attempt to paint some of our bright personalities as arrogant because they want to stand as equals with them; that others must appreciate and tolerate their ignorance.

Some of our bright minds have been at the receiving ends for their intelligence. I have heard the worst remarks made about some of the bright minds in the politics including Dr. Eric Williams. Intelligence is an expression of Mother Saraswati. However, without the presence of humility, that intelligence can work against us.

Sadly, too many don’t like to admit that they don’t know and sometime they want to show their intelligence by repeating what they heard. For example, I met my friend Tommy after a very long time. Our conversation went to Vidya Naipaul and Tommy remarked: “But Naipaul never acknowledged that he was Trini.” I was taken aback. I responded: “But Tommy, I have read most of Naipaul’s books and he had always mentioned that he was born in Trinidad.” Tommy smiled and said no more.

Too many times we listen to repeated lies and we accepted them as truths. This charge that Naipaul never mentioned his country of origin is one such lie that the unsuspecting and “grass-cutters” have grasp and ran with. It like a discount sale, everything cut by 50%. We simply take the biggest trolley and fill it with junk. In a similar manner we allow cheap propaganda and half-truths to easily penetrate our skulls!

Another propaganda I find very disheartening is the charge that “Gandhi was responsible for the partitioning of India into two nations.” Is that a fact or an opinion? If it is an opinion, then it has to be substantiated with facts and we can only get facts by research. To conduct research takes time. It entails long hours of reading and verifying much of the information we come into contact with.

Too many people have been victims of vicious propaganda. The recent email gate is a case in point. Those charges were laid in Parliament and beside the Opposition, many supporters of the PNM ran with this “truth.” It is not that Dr. Rowley lied to Parliament that is bad. Worse is that too many of us have made rooms in our minds to accept these lies half-truths and innuendos.

Rudranath Capildeo said that “if you send a donkey to university, he comes out an educated donkey.” University should be an institution to help us remove our blinders. Unfortunately, too many of us travel through university but fail to remove our blinders.

I listened to Pandit Abhedananda reading the Ramayan at Mayaro Mandir sponsored by the Parray family. His discourse was centered around the ‘right attitude.’  And the Pandit was so right. We need knowledge but also the right attitude. Rawana had much knowledge but was arrogant, thus bringing his downfall.

Pandit Abedananda also touched on peace in the home and lamented that when there is no peace in the home, it can be the most horrible experience. The poor attitude is firstly destroying the homes and that poison is gradually seeping to all institutions. Organizations across the land are failing because we cannot come together because of the arrogance and abhimaan that envelope us.

Chatting with a friend with a PhD he once said that “sometimes I am tempted to believe that PhD means Permanent Head Damage.”

The truth is we need to have knowledge and humility. Without that humility arrogance would cloud our intelligence and bring about our destruction. It happened to Ravana and so many. 

Ignorance is equally bad. We need to educate ourselves and don’t let others pour garbage into our heads. We need to read and develop our defense mechanisms against vicious propaganda. With no proper protections, any virus can invade our minds. Without that inoculation we shall continue to be at the risk of attracting viruses and other germs in the atmosphere.