In his message to mark Indian Arrival Day which was observed yesterday, People’s National Movement PNM) political leader Dr Keith Rowley said East Indians who first set foot on these shores in 1845 and their descendants have helped to shape and fashion the nation’s identity.
Rowley said, “Their influence and contribution to the social, economic and cultural development of Trinidad and Tobago has assisted in no small measure in bringing us to where we are today and will without question, continue to help shape our fortunes in the future.”
Rowley noted “The words of our national anthem “here every creed and race find an equal place” are a constant reminder and gauge of what being a citizen Trinidad and Tobago means for each and every one of us. We who live in a nation of varied races and religions call this place home. We are accustomed to sharing in the diverse customs and festivals of our forefathers. We appreciate and enjoy the evolutionary mixes in the arts and I dare say the mixes amongst the races and ethnicities are beautiful. We are beautiful!”
Rowley added, “We speak proudly of our cosmopolitan nation, which is often described as a ‘melting pot’. This is not a weakness; it is in fact one of our greatest strengths. We all deserve the opportunity to be the best we can be and in so doing, help build a strong and better nation.
“It is for this reason that the vast majority of us were so sorely disappointed in the ugliness that reared its head last Friday in a demonstration in front of the Parliament Chamber. However, we can all take comfort in knowing that sentiment such as we saw on those placards remain the view of that misguided minority.
“We are a people who are happy to work and play side by side with our fellow citizens day in day out. We all strive for what is best for Trinidad and Tobago. We ought to be thankful for what has been bestowed on us and take steps to ensure that we make the most of the potential of what we have inherited,” Rowley said.