If today Indo-Trinis are finding themselves living in the doldrums, it is because the majority have failed to worship beyond Goddess Durga and Goddess Lakshmi. We need to reflect deeper into our psychological make-up, be ready to acknowledge who we are and make amends where necessary. We should not let the ideologies of capitalism and communism define our identity. We must understand that we are the atma, divinity and not just a creature in need of food, clothing and shelter. It is the sole panacea for overcoming our ‘next meal’ syndrome!
We are living in great times! To those of us who have read history and understand the struggles of nations, we should not despair over the hardships that the economy is undergoing and more so the political mismanagement of Dr. Keith Rowley.
The present economic and political scenario is an opportunity for us to prove our mettle. In the Bhagavad Gita Arjuna, the heroic warrior, was faced with a similar circumstance. He had to make a choice-to fight or surrender to the enemies. After he put forward the argument to avoid the war, Sri Krishna rebuked him. He told Arjuna that warriors live for the opportunity to die in the battlefield defending dharma or law and order. Sri Krishna also told Arjuna, that should he die in battle he would gain heaven and should he win, the kingdom would be his to enjoy.
Unfortunately, too many of us opt for migration when they are confronted with the present situation. An immigrant life is one of hardship and toil-buy food and pay rent for shelter. Immigrants in most societies are at the bottom of the economic ladder with no opportunity to enjoy the finer things in life. Few of them succeed in living the middle class dream and their children do not make it to Ivy League colleges. It is an existence at the edge of a social cliff, wandering like zombies knowing fully well that however much they integrate, they and their descendants would always be labelled immigrants. They would be called Paki and other slurs and they would have to either ignore those labels and get on with their lives or hide themselves in a corner and sulk.
Indo-Caribbean Americans appear not to have a view on the politics in the USA. Interestingly, they vigorously comment on political and social developments in the Caribbean but silent on the politics in their adopted homeland. What is happening there? Hope that someone can explain!
I have heard Indo-Caribbean Americans showering praises on African American for their fearlessness in fighting discrimination. The question must be asked: What are the Indo-Caribbean Americans doing to fight for equal civil rights? Why the sponging on others’ hard work?
This brings me to a related point. Do Indo-Caribbean people suffer from a Fatal Razak hang over? If not, why the fixation on survival and where the next meal coming from? Why the emphasis on medicine, law, accounts and information technology? Why are we not excelling in literature and drama? Netflix is a billion-dollar company and so is YouTube! Are we going to see Indo-Caribbean people embarking on careers in the movie industry? We are not living in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s. Many of our youths come from backgrounds where their families can support their pursuit of the arts; yet, this is not being done!
I cannot forget one gentleman asking me “so Doolar, what subject you teach?” When I told him History and Social Studies, he responded- “Oh! You teaching those duncy subjects!” I was dumbfounded! Wisely, I laughed it away because I know that I rather be a bright historian than a dunce doctor!
A lecturer in Geography at the St Augustine Campus wanted to find out why so few students are studying Geography as a CAPE subject and decided to send his students to the colleges to get the views of CAPE students. Interestingly, the consensus was that the Geography syllabus was too cumbersome and entails too much reading and it would be difficult to get a Grade A.
Our students are trained with blinders! They are driven along a straight and narrow path to the finishing line. The joy and the aesthetics of studying has been lost! Do our students at the St Augustine Campus find time to look at the Northern Range or join a hiking club and go trekking to the many scenic spots on the Northern Range?
Kevin Ramnarine, former Minister of Energy, once told me that one of his MBA students at Arthur Lok Jack told him that she does not read a daily newspaper because it would not help her to pass her exams. I could not believe what I was hearing!
With Navratri-nine nights of worship to the Goddesses- about to begin, I hope that Hindus would find time to reflect on Mother Saraswati, the Goddess of Self-Actualization. She is not just a Goddess of SEA/CSEC and CAPE but more so, the Goddess of the Arts and Humanities!
If today Indo-Trinis are finding themselves living in the doldrums, it is because the majority have failed to worship beyond Goddess Durga and Goddess Lakshmi. We need to reflect deeper into our psychological make-up, be ready to acknowledge who we are and make amends when necessary. We should not let the ideologies of capitalism and communism define our identity. We must understand that we are the atma, divinity and not just a creature in need of food, clothing and shelter. It is the sole panacea for overcoming our ‘next meal’ syndrome!