The mocking remarks in Trinidad’s Parliament on [12 / 6 /09] by two PNM Ministers, Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance and Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, Minister of Labour are the barks of two individuals who are out of touch with Trinidad’s society. Pumpkin, bhaji, doubles and polourie are the choice menu throughout the country.
We must pity these two Ministers who carry a memory of molestation by Columbus on Moruga beach. This inherited impaired mental cognitive reasoning has now become integrated into their DNA so much so that they don’t have the bandwidth to connect with Indian achievements in Trinidad!
This mental cognitive barrier that Colm Imbert and Jennifer Batiste-Primus have against agriculture must be treated as sacrilegious. Agriculture allows Indians to harvest bhaji, pumpkin and bodi, not only to feed the nation but also to send their children to colleges in the metropoles to become professionals. Despite the PNM government’s malicious acts to kill agriculture, this industry continues to flourish and remains the only hope for sustainable development and employment for this nation.
Had Jennifer Baptiste-Primus been sincere she would not have made such nimcompookish remarks. She has ignored the reality that doubles and polourie are no longer Indian delicacies but have grown to become national dishes, crossing ethnic boundaries. Even our Venezuelan migrants enjoy doubles and polourie and many are employed in the making and sale of it.
It is pathetic that after 181 years of emancipation, Jennifer Baptiste-Primus cannot act independent of her white slave master. Colm Imbert, in an effort to help her to grow and develop psychologically, remarked to her that “I don’t need your help.” That burden to teach good manners to Jennifer Baptiste-Primus is a sacred duty of massa to his slave. Massa would be in breach of his contractual obligation if he were to grant freedom to his domestic help without exposing her to good manners and conduct!
Associating Indian farmers and market vendors with laundering money is not the direction to go. PNM diehards must look at their Port of Spain friends to understand where the massive laundering is taking place. With a limited deadline to bank their money the people of Port of Spain have purchased all the washing machines and detergent and are busy cleaning and drying their one hundred dollar bills to meet the deadline!
I will stand in line any day to buy pholourie, pumpkin and roti. Not only does it taste delicious; it is equally healthy and more so, it keeps the money in Trinidad. This is unlike the many fast food brands coming out of North America. However much KFC Trinis eat, this food would always be an American brand!
Our local cuisines are not going to succumb to this invasion. Believe it or not, doubles and polourie are the number one fast food in the country. Boiled yam with salt fish and local soup are not going to disappear. Geera pork has made rapid strides over a short period and is well poised to become a star dish in our local menu.
Had Jennifer and her massa taken time to understand the history of the people she wants to ridicule, she would have refrained from such misadventure. India is the only continuous civilization in the history of humanity. No Timur and Aurangseb, Robert Clive or Winston Churchill have been able to have their way. Who are Jennifer Baptiste-Primus and Colm Imbert to think otherwise?
Among the revolutionary stars of modern times, Gandhi stands out. He did not borrow ideologies from the west such as communism, fascism and capitalism but held on steadfastly with the mores and values of the Indian people. His ideology was rooted in Ram Raj, the glorious reign of Rama of Ayodhya, the ideal ruler.
While Gandhi was London educated, he never failed to identify with his Hindu identity. He not only incorporated Hindu values in his political strategies but built bridges with the Indian masses to wrest power from the British.
And the power behind Gandhi was a vegetarian meal with pumpkin and bhaji. More importantly, he did not eat his food with knife and fork but saanay it with his fingers.
Bhadase, Sagan Maraj, founder of the Maha Sabha and first Opposition Leader, took pride in eating his dhal, rice and bhaji and would do so in the reception area in the Bomb office in Curepe. Patrick Chookolingo, the editor of the Bomb, cautiously told Bhadase that this image is not good for business. Bhadase dismissed him and remarked: “This is my place and I eat wherever I wish too.” Bhadase was making a statement that we must always cherish our delicious cuisine our ancestor passed down to us.
No slave master or his domestic help, no Colm or Jennifer should be allowed to determine what should be eaten and what should not.