Public Relations Officer, National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC)
May 30, each year, must always remain a pointed day in the annals of Trinidad and Tobago’s rich history.
On this day, 177 years ago, a new civilization with its attendant cultural, religious, economic, social and language enlarged and enhanced our strength as a nation. Historians continue to assess the incoming civilization from that time, and even today, demonstrating to the world community, that the Indian diaspora’s arrival has engendered another beginning for the then British colony. The strength of our nation, economic and political, and otherwise gave a new impetus from colonialism to Independence, and now Republicanism.
The stories of hardships on their voyages and their eventual settlement have been told and revisited many, many along with their interpretations.
While we must not ignore those narratives, we must traverse pathways beyond those incidents, and move towards a new pathway not only for the Indian diaspora but for the movement of the state of Trinidad and Tobago.
There are manifolds issues and challenges that our forefathers faced then, and even our present stock of people today, but whilst we make not ignore or forget the past, we must always remember that it is in the past that would inspire us to engender new opportunities in politics or economics, or in other facets of national development.
Trinidad and Tobago is yet to develop a new synthesis for the total amalgamation of the varied ethnic entities.
We must stop singing praises in moments of observances or celebrations, only to remember them on the next occasion.
Indian Arrival Day, May 30, or Emancipation Day August 1, 2022, must be the total recognition of these communities, along with several others in this land must be noted with a sense of infinity, and with a nostalgic aura.
What happened in the earlier centuries, particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries, must always be reviewed in our history books. But look what is happening today, with Covid 19, the refugee issue in the Middle East, and more recently the Russian invasion of Ukraine, are all parts of the history of mankind and the world society.
Indian Arrival Day must demonstrate an immensely heroic, triumphant event. It must be revisited with the cognitive understanding that we must set a new vision in these days of recolonization of peoples and nations across the broad spectrum of humanity in the words of the Prophet Amos, “justice rolls down like water, and righteousness a mighty stream”.
Whilst we celebrate, Indian Arrival Day, let us not only reflect on our forefathers but also on our present generation and future ones, to continue to build and rebuild, our permanent place of abode, for the strength of a nation, can only be measured by the strength of its people.
The people of the Indian Diaspora have always answered this call. There is no reason they would ignore incoming ones. Happy Indian Arrival Day May 30, 2022
By Surujdeo Mangaroo