Treating COVID 19 Pandemic in Multi-ethnic Trinidad and Tobago

The Editor,

Dr.Mahabir

Submitted by Dr Kumar Mahabir

The stay-at-home-order in the ancient Hindu epic

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago delivered his address today (April 6) to update the nation on Government’s plans to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is not the first time that he has made repeated references to the Bible only, and not to the Quran or Ramayana.

Understandably, he is a Christian, but his national address must include references to the major religious groups in the multi-ethnic society. As former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday had said, a Prime Minister must represent all of the people

Prophet Muhammad commanded his followers with the order: “If you hear that there is a plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it (plague) visits a land while you are therein, do not go out of it.”

In his next address, Dr Rowley could also make a reference to the Ramayana, the largest ancient epic-poem in world literature, written about 700 BCE.

The allegory of the stay-at-home-order to avoid COVID-19 is represented by the sacred circle that was drawn around Sita’s hut to protect her from monsters in the forest.

Her brother-in-law, Lakshman, had drawn a circle in the sand with the tip of his bow while chanting a mantra (Lakshman Rekha). He said: “No demon can cross this line. Sita, you stay in the house; not for any reason at all will you cross this line. Don’t come out of the house. As long as you are in the house, you will be safe …”

In anxiety, Sita broke the directive and was kidnapped by the demon Ravan and taken in a flying chariot.

When that tragedy occurred, “the leaves did not flutter. The trees of Dandaka did not move. No breath of wind dared stir about the woods. The fast-streaming Godavari river slackened her speed from fright. The glorious Sun, who every day looks down upon our world, this time dimmed his light from the sadness of what he saw” (translated from Sanskrit by William Buck, 1976: 139).

Sincerely,

Dr Kumar Mahabir

27 comments

  • The context of article is so petty.
    A person seemingly with an axe to grind
    An axe if well sharpened could divide a nation on petty religious reasoning

    Liked by 1 person

  • If Church and State are separate in Trinidad there should be no reference to any religion.

    However, if the PM wants to express his personal faith publicly who can quarrel with him.

    That’s what works for him.

    Plus he is free to do so.

    If he were a Muslim or Hindu either one of those religions would have its own way of dealing with adversity and he would express his faith in those terms.

    That would be what works for him.

    If he was an atheist he would deal with the plan and say nothing about faith because he has nothing that works for him.

    Faith as much as common sense are going to get us through the tough times ahead.

    The PM can’t speak to religions about which he knows nothing without sounding insincere.

    All he can talk about is what he knows in his heart.

    Imagine if he were an atheist and suddenly embraced all three religions as his, just to be politically correct.

    Who would take him seriously?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Why is BU promoting this vile Indian racist? I have raised suspicions in the past about the general politics of BU. Why does a black focussed blog promote such nonsense. We previously had a similar guy pretending to be a Guyanese Indian.
    Does the chairman know what is racism? Or is it only white people can be racists? Or does he think it is a joke? Yet, if someone comes on with opposing genuine political ideas the keyboard warriors come out of their caves with a load of obscenities or threats of violence.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John

    Interesting comment, do you entertain the view a prime minister of a multi ethnic country should be sensitive to sharing perspectives that may serve to divide at a time when a harmonic state is preferred? Bear in mind Indian and Black are significant segments of the population.

    Like

  • Really at a time when the country is under unbearable measures to fight the Corona virus
    Being asked to make sacrifices and all this intellectual jac .a.ss can think of is to write and article which can pursue a dangerous path of division while throwing fuel on to a raging fire
    This clown ought to be ashamed of himself
    Makes for wonder how long has he been sitting in wait trying to find something any thing which he can used as political fodder against the PM
    The writer in my opinion is an intellectual terrorist having deep seated racist attitudes using subliminal messages to arouse mischievous emotions inside the minds of the people

    Liked by 1 person

  • He is associated with extreme Hindu organization based in the Red Spot at the corner of Curepe and the Eastern Main Road,lead by Satnarayan Maharaj. In 2015, his authorised autobiography, written by Dr Kumar Mahabir . I lived in Trinidad for ten years and Sat was well known as a racist. The Basdeo Panday regime funded this racist organization out of public funds. The Panday’s regime was soundly comdemned by Amnesty International and Human Right’s.The BBC reported on this fact.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Never heard of him but the article gave no other impression that he was on a mission to create havoc in an environment that is all ready weakened by Corona and the many social problems connected
    I guess in his mind the opportune time had arrive to further destabilized the country under the disguise of religious ideology or principles
    What a moron

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Makes for wonder how long has he been sitting in wait trying to find something any thing which he can used as political fodder against the PM.”

    Nah……. too easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  • ArtaxApril 7, 2020 7:39 AM

    “Makes for wonder how long has he been sitting in wait trying to find something any thing which he can used as political fodder against the PM.”

    Nah……. too easy.
    xxxcxxxcxccxcccccxcccccccccc

    Nah…not easy ..comparing apples to oranges
    Xccxcccccccvvvvvvvvvvvvv
    What is happening on home turf is tantamount to genocide
    Leaving gates wide open knowing the consequences

    Like

  • Trinidad has been racially and religiously divided for years. Mahabir is only being consistent in expressing opinions that support the views of people of his ilk.

    Dr. Lucas reference to Basdeo Panday funding a “extreme Hindu organization” in TT, reminded me of a ‘verbal dispute’ sometime in 1997, between owner of the Trinidadian Express, Kenneth Gordon and then PM, Basdeo Panday.

    Without going into too many details, Panday described Gordon as “pseudo-racist,” based on his belief the Express was being racially biased in its criticisms of his administration. Gordon filed a lawsuit against Panday on the grounds that the pejorative term, (which essentially means a cynical manipulator of racial feelings), was slanderous.

    It raised issues of freedom of the press and concerns over how the predominately owned black media was being unfair and marginalizing Indians.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Okay.

    Since you’ve suddenly developed the uncanny ability to read other people’s minds, I guess I’ll have to add ‘clairvoyant’ to your resume.

    Like

  • @ John April 7, 2020 6:51 AM
    “The PM can’t speak to religions about which he knows nothing without sounding insincere.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That’s exactly why he should have kept his mythological rants of any religion out of the affairs of State.

    Let the impartial disciplines of universal commonsense and science guide his political ‘mouthings’; not some reliance on faith in some false god(s) belonging to the culture of some long-dead mysterious tribe of humanity.

    The racist Kumar could have also done himself a huge favour by invoking the fifth amendment to intellectual governance.

    Why no reference to Egyptian or Greco-Roman writings about the plague?

    He, Kumar, could have used the opportunity to show himself as an equal opportunity racist by making reference to the Buddhist version of how to avoid the plague called Covid.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Artax

    Okay.

    Since you’ve suddenly developed the uncanny ability to read other people’s minds, I guess I’ll have to add ‘clairvoyant’ to your resume

    Xxxcccccc.

    No

    Just observing

    Like

  • David
    April 7, 2020 7:00 AM

    @John
    Interesting comment, do you entertain the view a prime minister of a multi ethnic country should be sensitive to sharing perspectives that may serve to divide at a time when a harmonic state is preferred? Bear in mind Indian and Black are significant segments of the population.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This is no one man show.

    Trump never appears on his own but with a group of individuals working to a solution.

    Best I could offer the PM is to follow Trump’s lead!!

    If there are members of the group who need to speak, in the multi ethnic community of which you speak, chances are they will be of a different persuasion and will know how to address persons of similar persuasions.

    No one can be all things to all people!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I swear, you wake up EVERY DAMN MORNING with the intention of insulting our intelligence. Don’t you ever tire of digging rabbit holes? Nobody is following that Orange Turd anywhere besides a bunch of right wing loonies! Not even the White Rabbit and certainly not Bugs Bunny!

    Like

  • “Trump never appears on his own but with a group of individuals working to a solution. Best I could offer the PM is to follow Trump’s lead!!”

    Yes, Rowley could ignore advice from the experts and appear with a group of ‘yes people’ working to HIS solution.

    However, he should try his utmost best not to ‘harbour thoughts’ of “following Trump’s lead,”…….. unless he wants to fall out of favour with the electorate and lose the next general election.

    But, PLEASE….. let’s not turn this into a ‘Trump thing.’

    Like

  • Not even the Easter or the ‘Energizer’ bunnies.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU
    You too like to stir the pot,don’t you? We do not have the issues raised by the author. Why did you see the need to publish this rant?

    Like

  • @Vincent

    Are you happy to interact with an equal opportunity blogmaster?

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 12 :34 PM

    Only if the author gives equal opportunity to the Blogmaster and persons looking like the Blogmaster.

    Like

  • I too enjoyed that little episode!!

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Artax, re “let’s not turn this into a ‘Trump thing.’…no need to worry about that.

    That man is now insulated from continuous attack for his ridiculous statements or leadership incompetence… his fellow leaders the world over like Bolsanaro in Brazil, Giuseppe Conte of Italy or the unwell Johnson (speedy recovery to him) have ensured that we view incompetence and maddening remarks with a wide-angled lens!

    Now that we capture so much folly in one shot the POTUS tho prominent fades into the collective WTF pic!

    Like

  • Felicia Doughtz

    Lol
    The Brahminist (Hindu) Strikes again! This psychological attack on the minds of bajans/african caribbeans masquerading as a cry for inclusion. Do you folks even fathom how ridiculous this article is?? How predatory and assuming of your ignorance it is? “Hinduism” PREACHES hate & scorn of African people…Skin, hair and facial features. But this Brahminist “Doctah” expects the said africans to exhalt his religion. The Brahminist psychology at work is to get the victims of their hate & scorn to worship their feet by way of one-sided political correctedness. The author shamelessly mentions Basdeo Panday as some sort of exemplar of “fairness”?? ANR Robinson, the former PM & President of Trinidad & Tobago in his autobiography,stated why he and his former colleague in N.A.R. (1986-1988) Basdeo panday,fell out of favour. Robinson stated Basdeo Panday demanded to have ENTIRE STATE ENTITIES under his then new ministry,STAFFED EXCLUSIVELY WITH INDIANS. Robinson also stated, that panday ALSO DEMANDED the “minister of external affairs & International trade” portfolio , and robinson made him so (1986-1988)….robinson said that he eventually found out that INDIAN GUYANESE were being funneled into Trinidad & Tobago, at a rate of 70 PER DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Felicia Doughtz

    Dearest David,
    You are a victim of an an insincere, racist, anti-african agenda, nakedly a lusting for ethno-religious hedgemony, but masquerading as a call for inclusion. Pseudo Intellectualism, hiding behind a weaponized degree is the hallmark of “Hindu”-Nationalism. Would entertaining Adolf Hitler’s call for inclusiveness of his Nazi (Hinduism Copied) religion by European Jews & Africans make one a “progressive” bastion of democracy, or……an imbecile?

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    I believe the indian arrival phenomena in the caribbean after slavery was a deliberate attempt by the plantation class to punish future black generation society with cultural and ethnic strife. Any keen observer of the human condition at the time could have predicted this outcome today. We are lucky that this wave of indian migration didn’t overwhelm other islands like it did Guyana and Trinidad or worse Mauritius.

    Like

  • Felicia Doughtz

    @fortyacresandamule,
    ….. You “believe” ?? …. It is historical FACT that the european colonists cum slave owners purposefully brought THE MOST hateful, scornful obnoxiously anti-black/anti-african peoples on the planet to ETHNICALLY BUFFER emancipated Africans & their former slave owners! The same sick, twisted minds that masterminded the plantation system, masterminded the perverse social engineering we witness today. So spiteful of African emancipation, they sought to rob their former slaves of economic, social & political advancement by transplanting the evil, racist “Hindu” Brahminist religion & its “DEVOTEES” to the caribbean & africa!! Whenever an indian seeks to guilt trip african caribbeans /bajans into subservience, acquiescence & submission via the BU or elsewhere, remember MAURITIUS!! A coastal AFRICAN island, where enslaved africans toiled for CENTURIES, the french colonists/slave owners SWAMPED the island with Indians after emancipation! Mauritius has been an official caste society since. Only “Hindu” presidents, ministers, ministries, police, army….INDIANS/WHITES ONLY!! Africans have been hopelessly subjugated and enslaved!!!THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT IN BARBADOS AND THE GREATER CARIBBEAN!!!

    All the while with fake smiles & cordiality!!!

    Like

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