It’s my latest column, friends, which I’ve been told no Caribbean Hindu has dared to write for more than a century. It refers directly to the Trinidad Presbyterian religious genocide attack on the Trinidad Hindus. I do not have direct personal information on the Presbyterians elsewhere. Remember this caution: Any Hindu who converts to Christianity is automatically sending his Hindu parents and ancestors to burn in hell forever. It’s the price of conversion. No person who has not accepted Jesus as his saviour can enter the Christian heaven
Whenever I write about the Presbyterians in Trinidad I don’t put water in my mouth, and inevitably many people get really mad vex with me because for the first time they are seeing the victim point of view and they don’t like it one bit. This is just a small sample of my bitter medicine for them.
- The Presbyterians have been the greatest disrupters and destroyers of the Hindu community in Trinidad, doing their conversion and education without the slightest regard for the negative consequences of their actions on us Hindus.
- We Hindus didn’t invite the Canadian Presbyterian foreigners to come to our home country Trinidad, the place where we had made our home and where most of us were born, but they came anyway. Why did they come to Trinidad? It’s no secret. They came to destroy Hinduism, they came to convert us to their religion and wipe out our ancestral dharma thousands of years older than their Johnny come lately faith. They didn’t come to give us education: schools were only the tool they used to get at the Hindu children and their parents to convert them. You cannot imagine our horror at the arrogance of these vultures coming into our country and telling us Hindus we were heathen, idol worshippers, sinners, animal god worshippers, worshippers of many gods, inferior to them and other Christians, bound to burn in hell forever unless we abandoned our ancestral spiritual path for theirs. They had zero respect for our spiritual path.
- What made it worse was the hypocrisy of the Canadian Presbyterians and their Trinidad converts in believing exactly what they were condemning in us Hindus. These frauds were pounding us non stop for having many gods instead of having one god like them, when we could see plainly they had many gods, Jehovah/Jesus was one, devil god Satan was two, plus millions of angel gods, cherubim, serubim, assistant devils to Satan, millions of gods by any count. They are still doing this TODAY.
- These Presbyterians were always then and now attacking us Hindus for idol worshipping, saying our idols were false gods and evil gods. But we could see plainly they had their idols in plain view, idol statues of their god Jesus all over, idol crucifixes over their churches and around their necks, holding their paper book Bible as another idol. If these things are not idols that are revered and worshipped, what are they?
- Presbyterians then and now loved to lash us Hindus for having animal gods, you have a monkey god, you have a elephant head god, god cannot be an animal but only a man! They can’t answer when we tell them about their sheep god, yes Jesus is the lamb of god, the Holy Spirit is a dove a bird god, and best of all Moses saw their god Jehovah appear as a plant, a burning bush god.
- There whole point was to make us Hindus ashamed of our worship systems and our scriptures and our beliefs, and they rejoiced when weak Hindus threw out our murtis and scriptures in the garbage and picked up their garbage Bible and idols as our own. How would they have reacted if we Hindus had gone to Nova Scotia and told them their religion was false and their gods were bogus?
- The net effect of the Presbyterian mission was the disruption of the formerly cohesive Hindu community into a “superior” and “enlightened” Presbyterian gang who cut themselves from any social or community relations with the Hindus and the despised heathen gang of sinful, backward, depraved Hindus. I remember clearly that the small Presbyterian group around my home village in Penal would not come to our birthday parties, weddings, pujas, even sports and games, and wouldn’t invite us Hindus to theirs either. They viewed us as outcastes and yes we viewed them the same and would have nothing to do with them. The loss was theirs, as we were way bigger than them and they remained isolated in their self made prisons, believing themselves to be almost like white people. What a joke.
- When the contest between the Indians and Africans for political power emerged in the fifties, pretty much all the Presbyterians took the side of the African PNM party and they have remained so to this day. When the PNM declared the mostly Hindu Indian supporters of the Indian party to be enemies and began massive racial discrimination against them the Presbyterians said nothing about this glaring racism and have remained silent to this day. We Hindus have long regarded the Presbyterians as enemies who are not to be trusted, and we have cause.
- The Presbyterians have always made much of their push to establish schools for the formerly neglected Hindus, but did the Canadians send down money to pay the teachers and build and maintain those schools? No way. So where did that money come from? Did Presbyterian converts raise those huge sums to build schools, pay salaries and upkeep for the schools? Hardly. The Presbyterians have always been a tiny group compared to the Hindus ten times their size. The financing of the Presbyterian school system came mostly from the Trinidad Treasury, owned by the people of Trinidad and Tobago, and a very large part of it from the Hindus who were were than a quarter of the population! The Ministry of Education funded those Presbyterian schools, taking plenty of our Hindu taxes to run their schools and discriminating against Hindus in that school system. No Hindu could get a job in one of those schools unless he/she converted to Christianity, and they placed tremendous pressure on Hindu parents and children in those schools to convert. When you ask what was the difference between the Presbyterian schools in Trinidad and the Residential Schools in Canada that tried to take out the Indian from Indian and Christianize /westernize them the answer is none at all. The Presbyterian schools aimed to remove the Hindu from us Hindus and Christianize/westernize us. It was nothing less than religious genocide, as they said openly that their aim was to wipe out Hinduism and make us ALL Christians in their Canadian image. What’s the proof of that? I will tell you mine. I went to Grant Primary School for six years and Naparima College for seven years and in both Hindus were the majority and Christians the minority group. They had us saying their Christian prayers every morning and never had a Hindu mantra. They marked Easter, Christmas, all the Christian events but never ever even mentioned any Hindu event like Phagwa, Divali, Shivratri, Kartik, nothing, nada. Yet we Hindus were many times bigger in number than the few Presbyterians. This pattern of discrimination against Hinduism continued all through the 19th century and into the late sixties of the 20th century. Many Hindus of my generation will confirm this. Is it time for an apology from the Presbyterians for the harm they have done? I think so.
- When you count the cost, the greatest damage done by the Presbyterians was to the self-esteem, the psychological balance and the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Hindus, none of which they will even acknowledge today, much less apologize for. I and tens of thousands of Hindus like me were ashamed to be a Hindu, believed myself and my parents and neighbours to be backward and inferior. We were ashamed to say we were Hindus, would never say a word in Hindi in public or sing a Hindi song, or wear clothes like sari, shalwar or worst of all a dhoti for males. As a young man, I would have died rather than put on a dhoti in public. We were ashamed to eat our roti and pumpkin in school for lunch while the Presbyterians and blacks would proudly eat their ham sandwiches. WE laughed at our own obzocky Hindu names and all of us tried to get a Christian first name- my brother Krishna started calling himself Kristian, my sister Indra became Sandra, they gave me the home name Bobby but I never used that name in school or in life later.
- I would say like many a Hindu, I went to Presbyterian schools and got a good education that allowed me to do well in life, but I don’t see that I owe the Presbyterians anything as that education was mostly paid for with my taxes and the taxes paid by my father and many other Hindus. Happily for me, I never converted to Christianity, and as a young adult rediscovered my Hindu identity, my Hindu culture and heritage of millennia in the making. But I know Hinduism in Trinidad has been mortally wounded and will drop to 1% of the population by 2051 at the current rate of decline. The Presbyterians weakened it seriously and the Pentecostals are finishing the job. If there is any consolation it would be the news I hear that the Presbyterians in Trinidad are eating dirt and declining fast. Here in Canada, the Trinidad Hindus are doing pretty well but the Presbyterians are eating dirt like all the Christian churches. Most of the Presbyterian churches have become United Church and they are eating dirt and declining fast too. As they would say in Trinidad, it’s the vengeance of Moko.