If Winfred James wants something of significance to do, he should focus his mind on resuscitating Tobago, which is literally in life-support. The allocation of 4.03% of the annual national budget keeps Tobago in this near-death experience and if withdrawn, Tobago will be a morgue.
Strangely, before the arrival of Hardick Pandya in 1845 aboard the Fatal Rozack, Trinidad was in life support. Thank to Hardik and his compatriots, Trinidad was rescued from economic ruin. Prior to the arrival of Hardick, the Jameses of the Caribbean were resigned to a life of perpetual merriment, basking in the sunshine, drinking rum and Coca Cola, fornicating, and attending church on Sundays.
It was the toil of the Hardicks that rebuilt the ailing economy. Not only the sugar industry but new avenues of production such as vegetable cultivation, rice, and dairy farming were added. The Hardicks also introduced their languages, dress and cuisine and their belief systems.
Winfred James is the typical New World Man who runs from his ancestral culture, hates his ancestors but feels privileged to masquerade the embellishments of western civilization. It would have been more profitable for Winfred James to praise the Indian community for preserving its cultural identity rather than embarrassing himself. If Winfred James is finding himself short of fuel to continue writing, he should retire rather than making a nuisance of himself!
James could have looked at African names and their meanings and shared them with his readers. For example, Abeba means flower; Ada means first daughter; and Amara means mercy or kindness. James is not interested in his African identity, else he would have made some effort to renounce his slave-name and adopt an authentic identity such as Kojo, Kwame, Mobutu, or Ntini.
Tobago is frozen in time and James carries Tobago in his mind. Hence, he sees nothing wrong with names like Bottom, Handcock, and Butcher. In his world everything western is praiseworthy while everything Indian is inferior, thus his depraved mindset.
Winfred James is the loudest mouth in the room because he is afraid of himself. His attempt to ridicule the Indian community is a desperate cry of an individual who is living on borrowed glory. Hardick is real and authentic while Winfred is borrowed like the dog that put horns on his head to storm a party.
Worse is how proudly James wore his borrowed trappings and yet attempt to make a mockery of Hardick who have fought to protect his identity. Hardick is not 200 or 2000 years but 5,000 years and counting. Hardick and his ancestors know how to lay down their lives to protect their civilization; not to surrender and bow their heads to every barbarian that come knocking at their door.
The demand for reparation by Blacks should be refused. Instead, the Europeans should charge them for copyright infringements. People like James shamelessly borrow everything from the Europeans and yet have the audacity to demand reparation. It is time that James and those of his ilk are made to pay an annual tax for their ‘borrowed’ names, languages, cuisine, clothes and even the political, legal and all administrative systems that govern their lives.
Hardick can only be Indian; not white or Chinese. Hardick is not only a name but a slogan for fertility. Imagine a world with 1.5 billion Hardicks! That is certainly too much for James to swallow and more so with Hardick Modi at the helm stepping up to the global challenges with not only purpose but also style.
Winfred James must patiently come around to accepting that the Hardicks are here to stay, and he must learn from their tolerance and hard work.
By Dool Hanoman Singh