• 07 Feb, 2023

PNM in Trinidad has a long history of mocking Indian names

PNM in Trinidad has a long history of mocking Indian names

PNM in Trinidad has a long history of mocking Indian names

In the ruling PNM political meeting in Trinidad on May 26, 2022, Minister Camille Robinson-Regis repeatedly called the first, middle, maiden and married name of “Kamla Susheila Persad-Bisessar” about four times to the loud cheers and laughter from PNM supporters who were gathered in Arima. The reality is that Minister Camille Robinson-Regis was mocking the name of the Opposition Leader. Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar responded appropriately to the minister.

The PNM has a long history of race-baiting and mocking Indian names. In 1956, the PNM used pictures against the opponents, teasing, “Show me Your Capra.”  (See F. C. Brassington, The Politics of Opposition (1975)).

On April 1, 1958, PNM leader Dr. Eric Williams accused Indians of being a “recalcitrant and hostile minority.” But it was Eric Williams and the PNM that destroyed the Federation, not the DLP. (Eric Williams, Inward Hunger (1969)).

In his book In and Out of Politics (1978), Dr. Winston Mahabir referred to Williams who made “savagely contemptuous references to the Indo-Trinidadians.” Mahabir cited occasions when Williams referred derisively to an Indian from Coon Coon Village, evoking peals of laughter from the PNM supporters.

Minister Camille Robinson-Regis in the May 26th used the same kind of language against the Opposition Leader, further describing her as a “cowardly deceptive, dishonest, disingenuous individual …”  And PNM supporters cheered loud and laughed. Since its formation in 1955, the PNM has always been engaging in race baiting and ridiculing of Indian names.