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Dr Rowley ‘unreservedly apologised’ for sari skit—don’t mangle facts to make racism point

“[Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley] unreservedly apologised for the skit on his own behalf, on behalf of his party and all PNM supporters… [Letter writer Sanjay Dhalla] seemed to have missed all of that.

“[…] More than 70-75% of the students [at Presentation College, Chaguanas] were Indians. If some of them changed their religion in order to be admitted to these prestige schools, how is that the fault of black people, or the PNM?

“Those colleges and convents were and are still run by mainly Catholic and Presbyterian churches. Afro students who were Moravian, Methodist and Spiritual Baptists also changed their religion for the same reason…”

The following Letter to the Editor, which disputes some of the assertions made by Sanjay Dhalla in his case of discrimination suffered by Indo-Trinbagonians, was submitted to Wired868 by ‘Zigalo’:

Photo: PNM gorillas disrobe a female UNC supporter during the infamous sari skit at the party’s 2018 Family Day.

I am a lifelong supporter of the PNM and lived nearly all of my 64 years in Chaguanas. Firstly, Mr [Sanjay] Dhalla is distorting history. I don’t know if this is deliberate or just poor research on his part.

When at a PNM sports day a skit put on by a party group turned out to be offensive outside of the politics, he claimed that Dr Keith Rowley doubled down and refused to apologise for the religious insult.

Dr Rowley spent more than 30 minutes in a speech on the political platform educating the PNM massive on his own ignorance and subsequent understanding of the hurt that was caused by the skit. He delved into the religious significance of the disrobing of the woman and sought to educate us all.

He then unreservedly apologised for the skit on his own behalf, on behalf of his party and all PNM supporters. He didn’t apologise generically for ‘hurts caused in the past’; he directly addressed the particular issue. Sanjay seemed to have missed all of that.

I attended Presentation college. The one in Chaguanas. The best one. More than 70-75% of the students were Indians.

Photo: A Presentation College (Chaguanas) swim team.
(via Proud To Be Pres)

If some of them changed their religion in order to be admitted to these prestige schools, how is that the fault of black people, or the PNM? Those colleges and convents were and are still run by mainly Catholic and Presbyterian churches. Afro students who were Moravian, Methodist and Spiritual Baptists also changed their religion for the same reason.

I agree with Mr Dhalla’s general position that we all have to address these racial issues and I am not defending ‘African-on-Indian racism’. It too, is a reality.

Please don’t mangle the facts to make what is an otherwise good argument.

Editor’s Note: Click HERE for the initial Letter to the Editor by Sanjay Dhalla, which was itself a response to the furore over racist statements by Naila Ramsaran.

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7 comments

  1. “…African-on-Indian racism…It’s a reality..” where? Please give clear examples like that below

    https://www.trinicenter.com/Cudjoe/2005/2903.htm

    Has anyone ever heard of this behaviour as a complaint against africans???

  2. Two fictional red gorillas, remove an indian woman’s yello unc sari, to reveal a red pnm sari….an obvious metaphor, absent of malice or racist intent. If one wants to say that it is best to err on the side of caution, and not depict any disrobing because of the imagery…fine! All this fake outcry that ir was racist, and that indian sensibilities are so delicate, thst the skit offended their ETHNIC IDENTITY? RUBBISH! That is unc’s mischievous political incitement and nothing more!!

    • Lasana Liburd

      Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley apologised unreservedly. He does not need you to speak for him.

      • Ohhh, so the issue of the skit, is not open for independent analysis? Because the PM and PNM leader apologised, that not only invalidates my view, but i must abide by political correctness on social issues based on PNM position? RUBBISH!