Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / MSJ: With Covid, murders, and colonial governance, T&T needs Divali more than ever

MSJ: With Covid, murders, and colonial governance, T&T needs Divali more than ever

“[…] As a country, we have the challenges of the never-ending Covid pandemic which is taking a terrible toll in lives lost and plunging families into mourning, an economy that is spluttering along unable to sustain jobs and businesses, huge inequalities of wealth and income…

“And a governance system that is still rooted in colonial institutions so that transparency, accountability and participatory democracy cannot be realised, no matter which party or individuals may be in government…”

The following is the Divali message from the political leader of the Movement for Social Justice, David Abdulah:

Photo: Divali in Trinidad.
(via British Council)

The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) greets all the members of the Hindu community on this very important religious occasion of Divali. 

Divali, as we know, celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil. It is also a message of hope that whatever one’s circumstances, no matter how many challenges we face, no matter how much evil there is, light and good will ultimately triumph.

In Trinidad and Tobago today, we certainly need that message of hope because there is so much that challenges us, as individuals and as a nation.

The horrific violence that manifests itself in murders and attacks against the most vulnerable, our women and children, and the daily struggle that so many people have just to survive—finding money to put food on the table, paying bills, taking care of the children; being unemployed; trying to find a job; being discriminated against because of where you live or how you look; the inequalities in our education system; getting access to proper health care; finishing school or university with no opportunities to use your skills and training; keeping a business going.

These are just some of the challenges that too many of our citizens face every day.

Photo: Police officers were on the scene of a bomb scare in downtown POS on 18 October 2021.
(via TTPS)

As a country we have the challenges of the never-ending Covid pandemic which is taking a terrible toll in lives lost and plunging families into mourning, an economy that is spluttering along unable to sustain jobs and businesses, huge inequalities of wealth and income, the impacts of climate change and our own degradation of the environment, and a governance system that is still rooted in colonial institutions so that transparency, accountability and participatory democracy cannot be realised, no matter which party or individuals may be in government. 

As if this were not enough for us to bear, the country’s politics has degenerated into nothing more than personal attacks against the other by members of the two parliamentary parties. 

This approach to keeping one’s electoral base by demonising the other is deepening the divisions in our society along the lines of race, religion and geography. And trust and confidence in institutions and leaders is fast evaporating.

In the midst of all this darkness, the message of Divali is so very timely. Light will win out! Good will triumph! We can have hope for a better life for all! 

Photo: A young girl lights deyas.

Our nation can evolve to a better place. But this will not happen by magic. It requires a people who are conscious of the need to bring about fundamental change and leadership that is enlightened and truly committed to struggle for social justice. 

May the thousands of deyas that will be lit on this Divali shine their light into the corners of our minds so that we can indeed have a ‘revolution of the mind’.

Shubh Divali!

About Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Want to share your thoughts with Wired868? Email us at editor@wired868.com. Please keep your letter between 300 to 600 words and be sure to read it over first for typos and punctuation. We don't publish anonymously unless there is a good reason, such as an obvious threat of harassment or job loss.

Check Also

Daly Bread: Hope! Can T&T find way past “dire social disorder”?

My first column on the subject of hope was written in July 2002. Currently, it …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.