Professor Brinsley Samaroo highlighted the stealing of the inheritance of Hindu and Muslim widows and their children during the colonial period in Trinidad. In his research Professor Samaroo has uncovered more than one hundred widows and children who lost their properties because the law of the land did not recognize non-Christian marriages.
“Usually, a French Creole with some inside contact would claim the property on the ground that the widow was not legally married despite the fact that marriage was solemnized under Hindu or Islamic rites,” said Professor Samaroo.
Professor Samaroo was the feature speaker at the launch of Nandi Village, a book by Dr Primnath Gooptar and hosted by the NCIC Heritage Center, Divali Nagar Compound, Chaguanas on Sunday December 15, 2019.
Nandi Village is an imaginary village in Trinidad between 1920 and 1970. The 180-page book published in Amazon, highlights the social and cultural life of the East Indians: weddings, the pay yard on pay day, the tent cinema, the roaming Sadhus and the wide range of social and cultural activities.
Dr. Gooptar said that the book “forces us to think and connect with the time and challenges faced by our ancestors; it also infuses historical personalities such as Bhadase Sagan Maraj, Ranjit Kumar, Saran Teelucksingh, Timothy Roodal, Champa Devi, Adrian Cola Rienzi among others. Nandi Village provides us with the cultural life of the community through cultural troupes such as the Indar Sabha that performed in farewell nights at weddings”
Primnath Gooptar is a biographer, social worker, cultural promoter, former school principal, Hindi film scholar and lecturer in Indian Cinema, UWI. He has presented several papers on the Indian indentureship experience in several countries including Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, Mauritius, St. Vincent and India.
Primnath Gooptar holds a PhD in Cultural Studies (UTT) and has published eight books:
- Ranjit Kumar – Bridging East and West (co-author B. Brereton). (2012)
- Bala Joban – The First Indian Movie in Trinidad. (2013)
- The Impact of Indian Movies on East Indian Identity in Trinidad. (2014)
- Cultural Persistence – 50 Years of the NCIC. (2015)
- The Ramleela of Sangre Grande. (2015)
- Cry of the Lotus: Volume 1: Religious Poems and Wounded Society. (2017)
- Cry of the Lotus: Wounded hearts (2019)
- Harry Charran: From the Cane field to the Book Store (2019).
Winston Dookeran, former Governor of the Central Bank and former Minister in the People’s Partnership Government, remarked that “we have done well to preserve our culture. Now we must work to give expression to that heritage.”
Independent Senator Deoroop Teemal and Chairman of the NCIC Heritage Center in his welcome address highlighted “the need to document our history” and went on to emphasize the role of the National Heritage Center “to work with writers and researchers toward this goal.”
Also speaking at the launch was Deokinanan Sharma, Chairman of NCIC. He praised Dr Gooptar for the work he has been doing to document the history of the Indian community and pledge the continued support of the NCIC.
Kenneth Ramchand, in his endorsement of Nandi Village, wrote: “Dr. Gooptar’s experimental choka of fact and fiction goes down well.
Nandi Village is available at bookstores throughout the country: Academic Plus, St. Augustine; Anjanie’s Pooja Store, Sangre Grande; Charran’s ’s Bookstores-Tunapuna, Trincity and San Juan; Jadoo’s Trading, Arima; Little Store, Cure;pe; Mohammed Book Store, Port of Spain, Gulf City, Tunapuna, Chaguanas and other locations; Olde Book Shoppe, St Augustine; UWI Bookstore, St Augustine; RIK Services and AMAZONE.COM