Devant Maharaj

Here is what Devant Maharaj said at a recent meeting of the Congress of the People:

‘You are hearing this morning in the paper that Prime Minister Manning wants to buy out Laventille. Our taxpayers’ money would be paying that…footing that bill. And where these people would be coming? I am sure they will be your neighbours, next door in Central. But you have heard about the Prime Minister in his walkabouts in the Central communities talking about mixed communities, up to now he hasn’t defined what that means. But that is the bleak future of doom and gloom that lays before us if the PNM is allowed to come into power .’

This is Gerald Yetming’s response on behalf of the COP:

After discussion with Mr Maharaj, the COP has accepted his clarification that the statement referred on the one hand to a Prime Minister intent on driving wedges into national race relations with his expressed, but unexplained, desire to create ‘mixed communities’, and on the other hand, the clear indication of the PNM’s moves to create vote banks in certain constituencies to secure political victory.

He goes on:

We are assured by Mr Maharaj that his statements referred to a Prime Minister attempting to create racial distrust in order to preserve the life of his political party. We are also assured by Mr Maharaj that his statement referred to the creation of vote-banks to ensure that the PNM can capture seats and maintain State power at any cost.The COP is a national political party with an equal place for every single citizen. This was a founding principle on 10 September 2006 and remains one of our guiding principles today. No form of discrimination will be tolerated by the COP and indeed, Mr Maharaj shares and values that founding principle.

He also includes in the response condemnation of the actions of the PNM towards the people of Lavantille etc – all well and good.

Now I listened to Devant Maharaj’s entire speech on Power 102. Nowhere in that speech. I repeat, nowhere either before or after the comment about “your neighbours in Central” did Mr. Devant Maharaj mention anything about house padding. But hold on, let me back up a bit because I’m sure a lot of you are still stuck on the fact that Devant Maharaj was speaking on a COP platform.

Why in the world is Devant Marahj speaking on a political platform, let alone a platform of the Congress of the People? Of course Devant Maharaj has a right to belong to or associate with any political party or group that he desires. That’s his right as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, but who in their right mind would put Devant Maharaj on a political platform to speak.

Mr. Maharaj has won countless lawsuits against the Government and rightfully so, but he has a tendency to see everything as having racial overtones. In my opinion he should never be allowed to see the top of a podium, let alone given a mike. But here it is Devant Maharaj is speaking on a platform for the Congress of the People – a party that swears to do differently.

And not only did he speak and utter this racial diatribe about people from Lavantille moving into Central Trinidad, people from the COP appear to be not too bothered by it. How else am I to interpret Gerald Yetming saying that “the COP has accepted his clarification that the statement referred on the one hand to a Prime Minister intent on driving wedges into national race relations…?” That seems to me like a little bit of the same old party policy – which is “we don’t criticize or condemn our own” – most recently seen in the PNM’s absolute refusal to do anything whatsoever about the Larry Achong matter and the Camille “I’m a lawyer, but I can’t understand a credit card contract” Robinson-Regis matter.

So to Gerry Yetming, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. If you want to look like a fool, that’s your prerogative, but don’t expect me to follow.

I don’t want Devant Maharaj to be thrown out the party, but I would settle for him not ever speaking on a Congress of the People platform again.

9 Responses to “Devant Maharaj”

  1. bandwagonist Says:

    i too heard the speech in its entirety and was miffed that he was actually on a COP platform… i second your motion… even if we put politics aside we don’t need that kind of rhetoric at all

  2. Jumbie Says:

    Wan’t Devant Maharaj writing a column in one of the newspapers once upon a time? I remember a column that had a racist slant on everything….

  3. Mani Says:

    Bandwagonist, we don’t need that kind of rhetoric at all. On another note, I wonder if the COP has its ear to the ground at all. If it did, I can’t understand how they could ever put DM on a podium to speak.

    Jumbie, that is the man self….or could have been Anil Mahabir…one ah dem. I’m not sure whatever happened to the column though

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Anon from de last thread here, I get de posting itch….how tuh get ah name though???

    Anywayz, I can’t understand why they want to be associated with that man, if not to say, “Yuh see, we fuh de Indian cause…” If you catch my drift. Same politricks man. Dooks and Obama contract foot in mouth at the same time boy, papayo!!!

    Anyway, the same behavior seem to be coming out again. The recent incident at Waterloo, dispicable, yes, and sacreligious but I ain’t understand way the COP have to step in and further politicized and racialize the issue. I ain’t see no reason for any political party to get involve in that, first they want the government to pay for it. The government ain’t even get the chance before the COP jump in at it. Now if the government ain’t pay out some money it will be ammo for Devant and Sat to say they ain’t like Hindus and by extension Indians. Now my feeling is no political party should be involve because it just continue the cycle of dependence, everything the government have to do for we and de gimme gimme attitude, we can’t figure out anything for ourselves..

    I know alot of people won’t agree with me eh, but when my church get break into and ramsaked, robbed and thrash, we ain’t call for no government to pay us like they owned us something. We, the congregation prayered and God carried us through. We came together as a group and worked to restore our house. And by the way, this type of happenings is not as uncommon in Trinidad. Many churches are robbed annd thrashed throughout the country. This seem to be something more though, but I don’t want to speculate..

    Anyway, lemme enjoy my vacation, I quite in NY stressing…hiya yi!!!

  5. Mani Says:

    Anonymous, to create a name select “Other” under “Choose an Identity” and you could enter any name you wish.

    I hear you eh, but I disagree with you a little. I understand why you would want to compare the two but they are not at all similar. Remember the Temple in The Sea is a national landmark, not just a temple. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago set aside funds in 1994 (I think) to do maintenance work on it. Also from all appearances, it looks like the perpetrators had hate on the brain and not robbery.

    So when Dooks says he wants the Government to pay for it I think it’s more because of the nature of the crime and the Temple’s status as a national landmark and tourist attraction. So I can’t say that I disagree with him there.

    By the way, I don’t know how Obama will ever be able to live down the bomb Pakistan comment he made. It reminds me of the John Kerry’s “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” flip-flop. This is one of the reasons why I will never go into politics.

  6. Jill Says:

    sounds like COP is using DM to paint a racist slant on other parties, so they can get more racial groups to support them, does this make sense ? (i am trying to increase brain power by reading and putting my ideas out here haha) just a thought…

  7. trish Says:

    COP’s only chance for survival is to look like a legitimate alternative to PNM and UNC (I’m sorry UNC alliance). The only way they can do so is by practicing the policy of inclusion not exclusion. If they continue to have this DM on their platform all they would be is a diminutive UNC.

  8. Mani Says:

    Jill, I don’t really think so naw. The only people that stand to lose out from Maharaj’s comments are the COP. Plus I think that DM was painting a racist slant on his own party.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    This actually happened in the absence of Dookeran on his trip to China but was not surprising. Dookeran has been endorsing GOPIO for a long time now. One example was when GOPIO made a call for the “NATIONAL” library to be named after Sir V.S. Niapaul. GOPIO have also questioned the composition of the workforce at the Central Bank (of which Dookeran was a former Governor).
    The COP, rather than put light years between themselves and DM’s beliefs have instead come out and stated that they were misunderstood, yet put guidelines in place for future speakers. If he was misunderstood, why weren’t his statement clarified.
    We all know that the SDMS is behind the COP, therefore in his mouse-like leadership style, DM and others like him will always be safe. The funny thing in this whole situation is that UNC members are now accusing the COP of having racists in their party.

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