December 9, 2019
Ministers Imbert and Baptiste, why pick on bhaji and pholouri?
It is patently clear that the People’s National Movement (PNM) is persistent in its prejudice to demonize Indo-Trinidadians (Indians) in this harmonious, peaceful, multi-ethnic nation.
This prejudice began in 1956 when the party’s founder and leader, Dr. Eric Williams, dismissively described Hindu schools as “cow sheds.”
Williams also branded Indians as “a recalcitrant and hostile minority” in the wake of his party’s defeat by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) led by Bhadase Sagan Maraj in the 1958 federal elections.
This prejudice persists up to this day – 61 years later – with Minister Rohan Sinanan broad brushing all Indian politicians who are not members of the PNM as “thiefs”.
Ministers Colm Imbert and Jennifer Baptiste-Primus have just followed the mind-set of their party’s founder in their contribution in Parliament on Friday, December 6, 2019.
In speaking about suspected money launderers, Imbert questioned the true source of funds of fishermen and farmers of pumpkin and bhaji. Baptiste-Primus chimed, “And Pholuri.”
Imbert did his trademark cynical grin as the main cat-like-faced character in the children’s storybook How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Why did Imbert and Baptiste-Primus pick on bhaji [Hindi word for spinach] and pholouri [Indian delicacy]?
Is this an ethnic dog whistle to slander Indians? Is this an act of sedition to incite public disorder uttered under the cover of Parliamentary privilege?
Why did Imbert and Baptiste-Primus not include vendors of pudding, souse, gyro, pow, corn soup, roasted nuts and benne ball? Not forgetting the burger vendors, especially the one near the Point Lisas Roundabout which Baptiste-Primus must have surely patronized.
Dr Kumar Mahabir
San Juan, Trinidad and Tobago
Mobile (868) 756-4961