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Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago to organise Lecture on Human Slavery on August 27

Trinidad and Tobago is a dual-island Caribbean nation near Venezuela and is a blend of multicultural and multi-religious society

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August Lecture Series i invite

Port of Spain, August 21, 2016: The Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago presents its August Lecture in collaboration with the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, August 27. The event will take place at the National Museum and Art Gallery, Frederick Street, Port of Spain at 6pm.

Trinidad and Tobago is a dual-island Caribbean nation near Venezuela and is a blend of multicultural and multi-religious society. The presence of Indian Diaspora there makes it more lively and continues to induce spiritual reconstruction among the people. If one visits the place, they will find a whole new scenario, but only a few know that this transformation has travelled decades.

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Port of Spain is the capital of Trinidad and Tobago and there is no denying that Carribean colonies were built on the backbone of slavery. In 1845, on May 30, a small sailing ship weighing 415 tonnes, the Fatel Rozack, was tied up at the lighthouse jetty in Port of Spain, Trinidad. After almost a 3 months and 6-days voyage from Kolkata (then Calcutta), around the southern tip of Africa and across the southern Atlantic, it came to Trinidad.

Newly arrived Indian labourers in Trinidad. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Newly arrived Indian labourers in Trinidad. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

As History says, this was no ordinary ship. With it, she brought 217 Indians who were given the false idea that they were heading for a better life and will work on the sugar estates of Trinidad. While five died on the voyage, most of them were women and under 30s. To the surprise, only five of them were men. On reaching the Port of Spain, Gazette reported, “the general appearance of the people is healthy”.

This was just the beginning! Soon over, 143,939 Indian labourers were shipped to Trinidad in the next 72 years. The majority of the labourers, that is 240,000 were sent to Guyana (then British Guiana), 36,000 to Jamaica, and smaller numbers to St Vincent, Grenada, St Lucia and Martinique.

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Indian Labourers came from several areas the country, such as- Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal  (through the port of Calcutta) and Oudh. Not just that, in the early years it came through Chennai (then Chennai) as well. The labourers, most of them belonged to Hindu faith and only a few of them were Muslims.

The details mentioned here are just mere glimpses of their lives, the documentary holds in it much more. One has to watch it, to get closer to the lives of these Indian labourers, share their struggle and unsaid pain. One journey that doomed their lives forever! Their experiences were akin to slavery.

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Survey Says More Than Half of The Indians Talk to People With Opposing Views

The fieldwork was conducted from November 26-December 7, 2018

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Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York.. VOA

Amid allegations of “intolerance” of diverse opinions in the country, a new survey for the BBC’s Crossing Divides season has found that 56 per cent Indians profess to have conversations with people with opposing views on issues like politics, climate change, immigration and feminism at least once a week.

Further, 42 per cent urban Indians polled said that they felt comfortable sharing their political opinion with others even if they have a contrary view to theirs, showed the results on Tuesday, making India the fourth country with such a large proportion of population that feels at ease with political viewpoints.

The other three markets endorsing this view were Turkey (61 per cent), Mexico (45 per cent) and South Africa (43 per cent), according to the survey conducted by market research firm Ipsos.

At the bottom of the heap were Japan (seven per cent), South Korea (27 per cent) and Italy (28 per cent).

“The study shows that Indians are taking the opposing views in their stride and have figured out a mature way of dealing with them by avoiding direct confrontation,” Parijat Chakraborty, Head of Ipsos Public Affairs, Ipsos India, said in a statement.

The study, however, also showed that 43 per cent self-righteous urban Indians believe that those who oppose their views care less about India’s future.

But only two in 10 Indians (22 per cent) feel that people’s divisive views on politics are dangerous for the society.

Just as social media companies have come up with transparency rules for political ads, they should have similar features for influencers so that people can distinguish between commercial space and personal space. Pixabay

Nearly 70 per cent of urban Indians believe that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are giving a voice to people who would not normally take part in debates and social issues.

Further, 63 per cent Indians credit social platforms like Facebook and Twitter for breaking down barriers between the public and those wielding power.

“Also, majority of Indians exhort the merits of social platforms as interactive mediums. Downside being, social platforms are denounced for being divisive though,” Chakraborty added.

Also Read- Air Pollution Kills Around 6 Lakh Children Every Year, Claims UN

While 43 per cent Indians hail the positive impact of immigration on India, 20 per cent hold the contrary view, the results showed.

The findings were part of a global study carried out online among adults under 65 across 27 countries. Nearly 20,000 adults participated in the survey.

The fieldwork was conducted from November 26-December 7, 2018. (IANS)