A deep racial divide in T&T, says Panday

...and it will get worse, he says

(Trinidad Express) Former prime minister Basdeo Panday believes that there is a deep racial divide in the country that is going to get worse and trigger a revolution.

“One cannot help but view with awe the deepening racial/ethnic, class and colour divide that is tearing this society asunder. If we do nothing to deal with this issue, I predict that there will be a violent revolution in this country. Indeed, it may have already begun,” Panday posted on his Facebook page which generated a debate where many agreed with him.

Former prime minister Basdeo Panday

In a telephone interview with the Express, the former leader of the United National Congress (UNC) said that this country is headed for “serious trouble” and the criminality plaguing the land is a sign of the deep divisions.

“I think racism is intensifying, one sees it in the Parliament, one reads about it on Facebook all the time and wherever you turn there seems to be a heightening of the racial tensions in the country,” he said.

He said this is a social problem that is exacerbated by the political system that has two major parties racially and ethnically based.

“Unless we change the political system, I am afraid it’s going to get worse,” he said.

Asked what type of revolution he foresees, Panday responded: “As a matter of fact, I actually said that the revolution takes many forms and the violence we see in the country today, the rapid increase in the crime may very well be an expression of that revolution that I speak of.

“What is happening is we are going downhill and we are going downhill very fast. One sees the expression of racism much more prevalent now than it ever was and I think we have to do something about it,” he added.

Questioned on what citizens can do, he replied: “Change the political system because the political system encourages it.”

Panday said the firing of Public Utilities Minister Marlene McDonald on Monday is just one aspect of the greater problem.

“That is one only one facet of the ridiculous nature of the political system. The Government should not be in Parlia-ment, the Government should be separate from Parliament, the Executive should not be part of the legislature, no minister should be a Member of Parliament, no minister should have a constituency, a minister should be chosen from among the best and most intelligent, most educated and committed people in the country. That is what we need the political system to produce, not what we see and what we have going on in Parliament,” he said.

“I think we are going to get in serious trouble. We have seen it happen in Guyana and I think we are heading in that direction,” said Panday.