Saturday, October 14, 2006

Divali - Trinidad style

The High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago Mr Persad hosted Divali celebrations- Trinidad style on 13 October.
It was an impressive and colourful event held at Uppal Orchid resort Hotel, New Delhi. There was Puja, devotional music and dance, magic show and dinner. No alcohol or meat, as per the Trini custom. And many Trinians undertake fast for a week before Divali. About 10 million Diyas are lighted in T and T on diwali day.

HC Persad is one of the most active and articulate diplomats in delhi.

In my speech, I described T and T as a land of Oil and Gas, Calypso and Carnival, Chutney music and Steel band and Naipaul and Laxmi Mittal.
Why Mittal? because T and T was his launch pad. He acquired his first steel mill in T and T, made his first million and got the confidence. Then he went on to acquire 10 more steel mills around the world, becoming the largest steel producer. He reversed the "East India Company complex" by becoming the richest person in UK and making the europeans afraid of him, when he was bidding to take over Arcelor.

Naipaul's treatment of India in his trilogy of books (India a wounded civilisation, An area of darkness and A million mutinies ) has provoked some Indians mutiny against him. I am not among them. Many of the comments of Naipaul are valid and the Indians need to reflect on them. Nirad Chaudhry and Pawan Varma have also pointed out the defects in the Indian mindset and society which need to be consciously corrected. But there is hope. If Naipaul visits the Mysore campus of Infosys, he will certainly celebrate the emerging new Indian mindset.

Both Mittal and Naipaul are success stories of Indians outside India. While Mittal has elevated the self esteem of Indians, Naipaul, through his criticism has provoked the Indians to think.

T and T is the most energetic ( so much of oil and gas), prosperous( highest per capita in the region- 13000 US $ ) , powerful country in caribbean. T and T could be the gateway for Indian business to enter the caribbean region. Essar is building a steel plant with an investment of 1.2 billion dollars.

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