The appointment of Christine Kangaloo as President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a proud moment for the Indian diaspora. It is happening at an opportune moment when India is on the rise, not only economically but also as a world power given its current chairmanship of the G20 nations.
President Kangaloo must have been quite aware of the challenges of lice and other infestations that had plagued the children of indenture, but which were finally overcome. To overcome those challenges demonstrated a culture of determination and resilience of the diaspora that makes us all proud.
By President Kangaloo continuing her maiden name after marriage to a Garcia, she is only demonstrating her pride in her ethnic identity. She is only continuing the legacy of her forbears who though converted to Christianity under colonial domination, refused to relinquish their ancestral names, President Kangaloo is a living proof of the adage -once an Indian, always an Indian.
Her rich crop of hair is an endorsement of the power of coconut oil that her grandmother must have taken pride in pouring liberally on her head. Had she not applied coconut oil, she might have fallen victim to fungi that weakens that cause dry scalp with the possibility of going bald and having to wear wigs as is the misfortune of a few parliamentarians. Even her hairstyle has become a salient feature of her personality – a reflection of stability and sophistication, not a whimsical descension of parliament into a fashion show.
No government or business corporation or religious body can function efficiently without the inputs of Indians in our beloved country, notwithstanding the PNM. The middle management of private business corporation are efficiently managed thanks to the faith and trust the business leaders reposed on Indians.
It would only be wise that the public sector recognizes the worth of the Indians and give them more prominence in the senior ranks of the public service. The current runaway crime can only be resolved when the Police Service Commission revisits the concerns raised by Nizam Mohammed, a former chairman of the Police Service Commission and for which he was unceremoniously dismissed. Had the then PP government led by Kamla Persad Bissessar heeded the concerns of Mr Mohammed and employed more Indians in the middle ranks of the police service, the crime that plagued the nation today would not be with us.
Indians are known for hard work, and this is being demonstrated by the cleaning of the rivers by the Ministry of Works. For the first time in the history of the country such a comprehensive program of dredging and cleaning of rivers is being done. It is the result that come when an Indian is empowered and given the latitude to work.
In conclusion, I want to underline how proud I feel that a daughter of the diaspora has been appointed to serve in the highest office in the land. The past President was a monumental failure with many citizens calling for the dismantling of the Office of the President. I am confident that President Kangaloo would lift the benchmark of this esteemed office to new heights as never seen before.