Shivratri is the most austere period in the Hindu calendar. It is a direct challenge to the State sponsored hedonistic Carnival which is a threat to social stability and family values. Shivratri was observed on Friday last by Hindus globally.
While the State pumps millions of dollars into Carnival, not a cent is given to Shivratri. More than two hundred mandirs across the nation sponsored three to seven night of worship preceding Shivratri with an average of 100, 000 Hindus in attendance each night. Meals are prepared and served to all. Moneys are spent in the preparation of venues and other paraphernalia. A mandir spends an average of $10,000 each night.
Hindus have held together this sacred festival but the State and our politicians at large continue not to see its social and spiritual values. No drinking of alcohol, violence and sexual freedom are associated with Shivratri. Our police do not have to patrol the compound of mandirs for anti-social. Behavior. Social peace and harmony are forged during this sacred period.
Hindus may not be perfect but they have all reasons to be proud of themselves. Despite the propaganda from media houses to drag all into Carnival -the Greatest Show on Earth- they have held steadfastly to their cherished festival.
Christians seem to have forgotten that Carnival is a pre-Lenten festival. It is a two-day celebration for Christians to have their “last dance” before Ash Wednesday, which begins a 40-day period of abstinence culminating with the observance of Easter Sunday. In the past, street processions ended at mid-night on Carnival Tuesday. It was deemed sacrilegious to take the festivities into Ash Wednesday and the police was at hand to enforce the law. Today the enforcement of such rule would erupt in violence and be viewed as anti- people and anti-black.
The truth is that Carnival has fallen into the wrong hands. Carnival can be likened to putting a kitchen knife in the hands of a criminal. This is exactly what has happened to Carnival-clean fun has morphed into a bacchanal with unrestrained indulgence of the senses. Worse is that such behavior has come to be associated with freedom from slavery. This attitude is articulated in the portrayal of the Canboulay riots in 1881 in Port of Spain.
Is Carnival a people’s festival? Carnival is a big money spinner for band leaders, calypsonians, soca-artistes, chutney singers, steelpan men, and the business community. Even our politicians have been manipulating calypsonians to promote racism and encourage personal attacks on their opponents. Calypsonians such as Cro Cro and a few others should be banned from appearing in state sponsored competitions!
Another beneficiary of this bacchanal culture is the government of the day. In fact, the PNM has used Carnival and more specifically, TUCO, to launch its diatribe against the UNC. State funding is directed to galvanize PNM support. Millions of dollars continue to pour into Carnival while large section of central and south Trinidad struggle without pipe borne water!
Eat, drink and merry is the new motto! These are the happy past time of Trinis who seem to be incapable of rising above having a nice time. The poor foolishly squander their moneys in these fetes only to wake up the next morning cussing the 1% for the shortage of forex, unemployment and the increasing cost of living.
Black hegemony must be resisted. Canival is a gross display of black hegemony. Today the entire nation is under the threat of the Covid19 virus. The obsession with Carnival is unbelievable, so much so that the government has simply shut their eyes to this threat. Cruise ships are disembarking hundreds of tourists and no screening is being done!
This government has to be told that they don’t have the right to put the health of the nation at risk to promote black hegemony. Such uncaring attitude by the government must be strongly condemned and rejected.