I never thought racial
sentiments can override an entire electorate to abandon the virtues of common sense and political analysis.
Long before the "Calcutta statement", the People's National Movement (PNM) embarked on fighting the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election based on the politics of race, which they know very well since 1956.
In hushed corridors, PNM activists would tell their would-be supporters, "You go vote for dem; is dem yuh want in office?" You know what the "dem" meant. For the uninitiated, it means people of East Indian descent or simply Indians.
In this THA campaign, I heard several callers to radio talkshows highlighting the fact that the PNM was conducting a campaign of distrust for the United National Congress (UNC)-based "Indian party"
(supporter of the Tobago
Organisation of the People —TOP). The pro-PNM stations just listened and never commented.
It is unfortunate for TOP that the UNC-based party supported them, otherwise TOP would have won several seats.
Tobago is 95 per cent
people of African descent, and they reacted positively to the perceived threat that they would suffer at the hands of Indians if the TOP should win. No wonder the results turned out the way
A sad day for Trinidad and Tobago.
David JV Ragoonath