• 07 Feb, 2023

Trinidad police and media discriminate against Hindus, Muslims, mandirs and mosques

Trinidad police and media discriminate against Hindus, Muslims, mandirs and mosques

Trinidad police and media discriminate against Hindus, Muslims, mandirs and mosques

The Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) Police Service held an Inter-Faith Service on Sunday (8/1/23) themed ‘A Call for Renewal through Reflection, Repentance & Restoration’ at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Port of Spain. The Service was held in the wake of at least 12 murders committed in the first eight days of the New Year in 2023, and the historic 600 murders in 2022, a new record high for TT. 

 

 

Let us analyse this so-called Inter-Faith Service. The presence and sermon of the pundit and imam were marginal, meant mainly for window-dressing. These priests were not even named in media stories, their photos were not carried, and worse, their speeches were not reported – not even a sentence.  In contrast, a photo of Father Peter Aduaka, and almost all of his speech, were carried in the Newsday . Part of Aduaka’s sermon was reported in the Guardian  and Express.  The chief priest of the Orisha faith seems to have been not invited to speak. These are all Christian-centric, Port of Spain, so-called “national” newspapers that marginalise Indo-Trinidadians and their culture.

 

 

The same bias against mandirs and mosques exists annually when the law term starts with the procession of judges to perform “Service of Divine Worship” at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity. This is an unbroken tradition, notwithstanding the fact that there are scores of spacious mandirs and mosques in Port of Spain and nearby St. James that can be conveniently accessed by a bus shuttle service. This long-standing institutional bias has been established despite the fact that Trinidad and Tobago is a multi-religious society. According to the official CSO census data, Hindus account for 20.4 percent and Muslims for 5.6 percent of the population – together, about a quarter of the population. The majority of Hindus and Muslims are Indo-Trinidadians. Orishas (formerly called Shangos) are one percent, and Rastafarians are 0.3 percent.