- The Ministry of Culture of Trinidad and Tobago has been taken to court for discriminating against the country’s Hindu and Muslim culture
- The complaint comes after the Ministry omits 11 important Indo-Trinidadian cultural events from its 2016 cultural calendar
- The complaint also alleges that not one Indian oriented event was included in the Ministry’s calendar
Trinidad and Tobago, August 06, 2017: The Ministry of Culture for Trinidad & Tobago has been blamed for discriminating against its Hindu and Muslim culture. A prominent Indian activist Dr Kumar Mahabir has threatened to slap a court case on the Ministry.
The complaint submitted to Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) by the leagl team of Dr. Mahabir alleges that the Ministry did not include even a single event that is Indian oriented in its 2016 calendar. It says that the Ministry was clearly discriminating against Indian and Hindu organizations citing the names of Institute of Indian Knowledge, Tank Sound Company, The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Trinidad & Tobago Yatra Committee Inc, Karma: The Band, Missy & R Promotions, The Hindu Prachaar Kendra, International Day of Yoga Committee, Caroni Hindu Mandir, Casanova Productions, and UWI’s Film Programme Department.
In the Ministry’s 2016 calendar, these 11 important Indo-Trinidadian events were omitted. Furthermore, the calendar also missed the inclusion of several Indian Arrival Day celebrations that were held in the country after the national holiday. The Ministry of Development, Culture, and Arts has failed to include these major events which exposes the larger problem; the failure to incorporate the Indian culture in its society.
This exposure has raised many other questions. One very crucial implication is that the Ministry will not be funding these organizations. Dr. Mahabir raises the question, “Is there ethnic equity in the top hierarchy of the Ministry’s staff?
On the other hand, the Ministry of Culture is a big promoter of Christian Church organized events. It is interesting to note that at 35%, Indo-Trinidadians comprise the largest ethnic group in the society.
Dr. Kumar Mahabir had highlighted the exclusion of these several Indian events in a letter that was published regional as well as the international newspaper called ‘World Hindu News’. Dr. Mahabir, an Indo-Trinidadian himself, filed a complaint of discrimination against the Ministry.
The complaint has been launched under the discrimination category with respect to “provision of goods and services”
With ample evidence, Dr. Mahabir also claimed that Hindu and Muslim communities have suffered less favorable treatment as compared to other communities, based simply on culture and religion.
In his complaint letter, Dr. Mahabir demanded an apology by the Ministry to the communities. Further, he also demanded an explanation for the omission. However, the Ministry did not reply, the result of which has been the initiation of a legal inquiry.
– by a Staff Writer of NewsGram