• 06 Oct, 2022

Opposition demand: More Indians in the Police, Civil Service and Cabinet

Opposition demand: More Indians in the Police, Civil Service and Cabinet

Opposition demand: More Indians in the Police, Civil Service and Cabinet

The Trinidad and Tobago Independence Conference held in the Marlborough House in London.

started on May 28, 1962 and lasted until June 8. The Opposition Democratic Labour Party (DLP) delegation to the Conference was led by Dr. Rudranath. N. Capildeo , followed by Ashford Sinanan and Tajmool Hosein. L. F. Seukeran, Peter Farquhar and Stephen C. Maharaj accompanied the delegation as advisors.

Two separate delegations, one from the Indian Association and another from the Maha Sabha - both from Trinidad - also went to London to protest against the independence constitution. In London, the DLP delegation increased the number of its demands. Dr. Capildeo added some points to the list of demands already made in the House. One of which was “Proportional representation should be provided for the followers of the DLP (East Indians) in the police force.”

Dr. Capildeo declared that the existing police force was predominently Negro and, therefore, it was one-sided and partisan. Proportionate recruitment of East Indians into the police force was essential in order to avoid all types of discrimination against Indians. It may be noted here that at this stage, the Indian Association, which represented an influential section of the East Indian community, had declared that if adequate safeguards were not provided for East Indians in the constitution, and if there was no provision for proportional representation and parity between East Indians and Negroes in the civil services, police force and the cabinet, then the country should be partitioned into Negro and East Indian states. However, the DLP leadership hesitated to support these demands in public in view of its claim that it was a multi-racial party.

Extract of Ph.D. Dissertation entitled “The Democratic Labour Party of Trinidad: An Attempt at the Formation of a Mass Party in a Multi-Ethnic Society” by Yogendra Kumar Malik, presented to The University of Florida in 1966.