In Trinidad and Tobago, we have a small Indian aristocracy that is loyal to their ambition and have displayed no hesitation in aligning themselves with the PNM to hold on to their jobs, family businesses and the perks of office. Many reasoned that if they are not critical of the government and turn a blind eye to their evils, they would enjoy the plums of office. Those individuals have mastered the yoga of stuffing their stomachs like Kumkaran and sleeping well while children go to bed hungry.
British rule in India was not difficult for Great Britain. Their strategy was simple – empower a few Indian princes by giving them the right to exercise power over their fiefdoms while accepting the Brits as their overarching ruler. At the end of British Raj in 1947 there were 600 plus princeling states to decide whether to join with India or Pakistan or remain neutral. (Maharaja Gulab Singh of Kashmir first opted for neutrality, but later, hurriedly, signed the instrument of accession to India for protection after Pakistani troops disguised as tribesmen began invading the Kashmir Valley.)
Where is Prince Rohan Sinanan? After his failure to win the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, Prince Rohan has gone into seclusion. Some have speculated that he was dumped into the PNM’s dog house and was admired for surviving the rage and venom of his boss after the Party’s defeat in Sangre Grande.
The offensive against Prince Rohan is nothing new. That has been the fate of all previous Indian princes that have fallen for crumbs from the PNM. Prince Winston Mahabir was damned and insulted in the worst manner by Maharaja Williams. Appointed Deputy Political Leader, Prince Winston felt that Maharaja Williams had respect for his views on national issues only to realize that he was powerless and his opinion carried no weight. This rude awakening saw him packing his bags and fleeing to Canada to survive in exile.
These Indian princes are not confined to the politics but have extended their presence in business and media houses and academic institutions. Very surreptitiously, these princes play the political chess game. For example, the princes wrote about Black Lives Matter issue but ignored the Grangeritis threat to the political and economic stability in Guyana. Our princes would be very cautious commenting on the protest in Port of Spain and may be more inclined to support the narrative of Stuart Young that the protesters were paid.
The Hindu community has suffered a paralysis after the passing away of Sat Maharaj. His death has only confirmed that he was the sole voice of the Hindu community. With the Guyana’s election issue lingering and yet to be resolved, many postulated that had Sat Maharaj been alive the Maha Sabha’s voice would have been thundering across the region.
In India, Sardar Patel (Iron Man) played a decisive role in bringing those princeling states within the Indian state. Their privileges and private purses were removed. It is time for the princes in the Hindu community in the Caribbean to do the dharmic thing and stop fraternizing with the enemies; thus putting your community at risk of being infected and subsequently killed.
These princes must be ex-communicated from the community. Many of them carry the imagery of community leaders that care when in reality they are in league with an oppressive regime not with the goal to win some major concession for the community but to feather their own nests.
In the hour of crisis these princes cannot help; nor can they make demands because they have traded their integrity for office and contracts. One would have expected the princes to negotiate the opening of the Couva Training Hospital, the Ramai Trace Hindu School, the Reform Hindu School and the Debe Campus. It is clear that the policy of the PNM is to suppress sections of the populations that vote against them. But this bias has grown blurred when there is the willing participation of the princes in the government. Like chickens rushing for the grains thrown to them, so do the princes respond to the goodies thrown to them by the politicians.
In Guyana we cannot deny the role of the Indian princes in giving legitimacy to the PNC regime of Guyana. Without the Lionel Luckhoo and the Siewdath Ramphal, the racism and discrimination of the Burnham regime would have been exposed internationally. Today the Indian princes in business continue to lend that legitimacy to the APNU/AFC regime.
How do we deal with those traitors on board the ship? We need to examine the horns. Where is the Captain Bull for this task? And herein lies the task. I hope a listing of the Indian princess can be compiled to reflect the following: Top 5 or Top 10 , Top 25. We need to identify and get rid of such toxic in the body politics. With a shortage of tetanus vaccine, such a threat can have dire consequences. Now is the time to act!