Prime Minister Rowley Can’t Count Indians


Submitted by Dr Kumar Mahabir

A few days ago, Prime Minster Dr Keith Rowley lashed out at mainly Indo-Trinidadian (Indian) critics by saying that they were “trying to stir up racial hatred” in the multi-ethnic society.

He was reported in the media as saying that his ruling PNM party “continues to be the only true national party” in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) where “every creed and race find an equal place.”

Rowley added: [J]ust remember half of the PNM Government is Indian” and that “those Indians [critics] are insulting the Indian population … please have a conversation with them [Indians in the Government].”

Rowley was trying to deflect criticism by ethnic, religious and women’s groups that his party had promoted violence on a sari-clad Hindu and Indian woman in a skit at its Sports and Family Day on Sunday August 12, 2018.

There are 23 PNM Members of Parliament (MP) in the House of Representatives. Of these, there are only two (2) Indians: Faris Al-Rawi and Terrence Deyalsingh. Indians, therefore, constitute a trifle nine percent (9%) of PNM MPs in Parliament.

Apparently Rowley miscounted. Half of the PNM Government is not Indian. There are only 26 percent (or 6) Indians in Cabinet as Ministers viz Clarence Rambharath, Terrence Deyalsingh, Kazim Hosein, Rohan Sinanan, Franklin Khan, and I reluctantly threw in Faris Al-Rawri too in the daal pot.

Seventy-four percent (74%) or 17 Ministers in government are non-Indians. There is a margin of error of plus or minus one minister whose ethnicity could not be determined.

The PNM Indian minsters are neither recognised nor respected by the vast majority of Indians long before the PNM’s refusal to select Kamaluddin Mohammed or Errol Mahabir as the Prime Minister on the death of Dr. Williams in 1981.

According to Government’s CSO population survey in 2011, Indians consist of 35 percent of the population, the largest ethnic group in the country. Comprising 26 percent in the government, Indian ministers are, therefore, underrepresented and do not find a proportionate “equal place” in Rowley’s PNM administration.

The Ministers in Rowley’s Government who are all members and representatives of the PNM have tremendous rights, powers and privileges. Pursuant to Chapter 5, Section 74.1 of the Constitution, the Prime Minister and Ministers in his Cabinet have been empowered to “have the general direction and control of the government of Trinidad and Tobago …”.

Rohan Sinanan is the only Hindu in Cabinet and Kazim Hosein is the only Muslim. These two non-Christians were installed in the Cabinet in June and November 2016 consecutively, more than a year after the PNM took Government in September 2015.

Rowley appointed these two non-Christian Ministers after complaints by Hindus and Muslims that they were not represented in Government. Sinanan represents six percent (6%) of the Hindus and Kazim 20 percent (20%) respectively in the population. According to the CSO population survey in 2011, Hindus comprise 18% of the population and Muslims 5%. Sinanan can, therefore, be seen as a window dressing because Hindus are grossly underrepresented in Government.

Operating under a republican constitution, the Prime Minister in T&T heads a cabinet of ministers who are chosen by him or her. In the current administration, Rowley has the power to appoint and revoke ministers in his cabinet who are executive, high-ranking decision-makers.

The book Caribbean Islands (1989), edited by Sandra Meditz and Dennis Hanratty, states that in T&T: “The prime minister is by far the most powerful figure in the government and is responsible for running the government. The prime minister chooses cabinet ministers from Parliament, who are then appointed by the president, and he can change ministers and ministries at will.”

There are 19 ambassadors chosen by Rowley to embassies abroad. Of the 19 ambassadors, only three (or 16%) are Indians: H.E. Garth Chatoor in Ottawa in Canada, H.E. Roger Gopaul in South Africa, and H.E. Stephen Seedansingh in China. Sixteen percent (16%) is not half (50%), Mr Prime Minister and Political Leader.

Despite the etymology of her last name, Jenelle Pariag is not an Indian. Pariag is the Acting Consul General in Miami in the USA. His Excellency Dave Persad was T&T’s High Commissioner in India until he resigned in July due to reportedly corrupt “financial accountability” in the embassy.

An attorney and former chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation under the People’s Partnership Government, Persad joined the PNM campaign during the general election in 2015. It is widely believed that he was awarded the diplomatic post for his betrayal of the People’s Partnership.

Appointments of High Commissioners/Ambassadors are made by the President in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister. They are highest-ranking representatives of T&T in their respective host countries and represent the interests and policies of their home country.

The abysmally small number of Indians as directors and heads of State boards would be another article for another day.

18 thoughts on “Prime Minister Rowley Can’t Count Indians

  1. David, are you trying to be obtuse…have you no idea what is going on around the world with the muslim filth? Open your eyes – the statistics are plain.

  2. We know things often break along ethnic lines in multi racial countries. In the USA the white population is believed to be 62%. Please do go tell mr TRump that 62% of his cabinet needs to be …….. Let dont even look at the gender divide etc. Leaders lead; sheep follow; and there is usually some collateral damage along the way.

    As a political leader; u do not get that job in the Westminster model by being a straight arrow, unfortunately. PM Rowley probably did some back room dealing etc. In Tdad the PM hopefully know his political landscape well. All Indians or ethnic groups don’t necessarily vote for their ethnic candidate as the constituency branches probably nominate the best of the willing and someone they think will/can win. like in Barbados they probably got strong holds that run along party and ethic lines.

    The Americans often say that elections have consequences, if the leadership of the political parties don’t divide up the spoils based on ethnic lines then they may be a good reason or political reason other than your ancestral heritage; .

    • What are you saying Enuff?

      Mahabir is a racist?

      Some may say he is simply referring representing his ethic group?

  3. @ Enuff August 24, 2018, 8:34 PM,

    You have given an excellent and a concise reply to Dr Kumar Mahabir latest posting. The BU family can decipher the real meaning behind it. I am uncertain where Dr Kumar Mahabir’s ancestors hailed from, however the country of his ancestors would have imported a vast number of African slaves to boost its economy for centuries. Even to this day, the descendants of these African slaves have zero civil rights and continue to be mistreated in an appalling manner.

    May i suggest that Dr Kumar Mahabir’s returns to his ancestral home and do some research on the comments that I have made above. His race baiting and hypocrisy should not be tolerated on BU.

  4. Talking Loud

    You keep on watching.

    When some of us pointed out to the blog owner after the 2nd post (for me that is) – that this man is overtly racist and we should not be giving him space on this site to spout his open indo centric racist arguments – we were shut down.

    Only a black man would be so blind as to not see there is no all embracing valuable insights to be had from these posts .Its all about racial supremacy about the indian, hindu class.

    If the situation was reversed you think he would allow this crap which has adds no value to this space to be posted on his blog? Think again skippa.

    I was not going to even respond until I saw Talking Loud post.

  5. He is in my mind the Hindu equivalent of the Jihadists. Have a look at India and see how the BJP militant wing gets on.

  6. I am one of those bloggers that does cuss and disagree with bloggers. However, I do not support censorship or banning.

    The only time I express support for banning a blogger was his/her contributions were so long and so frequent,that in between comments from other bloggers were almost hidden

    Blogmaster “If it isn’t broke don’t fix it”.

    Keep up the good work

  7. @ T.Inniss August 25, 2018 8:23 AM
    “Only a black man would be so blind as to not see there is no all embracing valuable insights to be had from these posts .Its all about racial supremacy about the indian, hindu class.”

    Why don’t you try to figure out how come, that same ‘indian hindu class” came to own and control possibly over 75% of the economic wealth of T&T?

    These same barefooted and mostly illiterate East Indian ‘kafirs’ arrived in Trinidad with only clothes on their backs but with their culture intact.

    From where or whom did their get their ‘nouveaux’ riches if not from the excessively materialistic purchasing habits of the culturally denuded Africans who arrived on different ships before?

    The same ‘Indian hindus’ came and found the blacks (even out of chains) who are now mainly the hewers of wood and carriers of water for those trying to ‘cover up’ their roots buried deep in their ‘original’ Dalits caste.

    Aren’t the same black politicians like Rowley now also buried deeply in the corrupting pockets of the same East Indian communes who, quite justifiably, perceive themselves as ‘superior’ in every way (except sports, entertainment and in following the white man’s religion) to the now socio-economically marginalized and crime-ridden ‘black ghetto communities’?

    Black people need to stop blaming other ‘races’ for their current predicaments. They were once seen as the white man’s burden. It seems that burden is now being shifted to the East Indian and Chinese.

    The long journey of recovery must begin with the first step. Let that step be the immediate rejection of the gods of others and look to the God above who gave them their black skin in the first place.

    Om Shanti to the Aten!

  8. Perhaps Miller never saw this excerpt of an interview with the late Anthony Bourdain, it caused quite a commotion in T&T

  9. Trinidad and Guyana have this major hang up with Indian and African cast mainly along religious lines.The Indian in both countries sees himself as Indian first and Hindu or Muslim second.In between there are the ties that bind them together.The African however, and this is throughout the diaspora,sees himself as a native.Further he hangs on to the plantation mentality in his goings out and his comings in.His religion,education,mode of dress,his cultural outlook is what he has do well imbibed in his nurturing that to depart from it and the dependency syndrome it engenders is anathema to his psyche.The plantation is alive and well in the African diaspora.

  10. @ Enuff August 25, 2018 8:13 PM
    You sure you’re not mistaking the Hindus with the 1% aka for the Syrian/ Lebanese?”

    Only goes to underscore the point that the blacks continue to waddle, after so many years, at the bottom of the economic barrel.

    Aren’t the same Syrian / Lebanese the most recent of the nouveaux arrivants to Trinidad? Aren’t these the descendants of so-called refugees fleeing religious persecution in the ME?

    How did these immigrants with no money in their pockets acquire their wealth to become in a relatively short period time when compared with the blacks become ‘successful’ business tycoons?
    Clearly not off the backs of the French Creole, the British colonizers or even the almost-decimated indigenous people Columbus found!

    So much for selling cloth and haberdashery to black people playing Mas in their ‘drugged’ stupor!

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