Heritage Preservation


It is only an immature and insecure people who try to scrub their history clean. We do not revere Christopher Columbus. And no one worships before his statue in Port of Spain.

It is a historical artefact like so many buildings, roadways, place names and the archives which document our mistreatment by our colonial masters, that mark our passage through time.

In 2000 years the Italians have not demolished the Colosseum, on the grounds that it represents the barbarity of their past. And Roman architecture and statuary are painstakingly excavated and carefully preserved by the descendants of those who were brutally dominated and enslaved in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

No one seems to be advocating the destruction of the sphinxes, pyramids and statues of Egypt although they were built on the backs of hundreds of thousands of African slaves who were worked to death solely for the personal glorification of a few kings and their elite.

And for the most spectacular reminder of the many wars, religious persecution and massacres wrought by invaders from Central Asia, you have the Taj Mahal. Yet, although Indians still bristle at the sufferings of the era, on most recent enquiry there were no firm plans for its removal.

However, if we wish to indulge our present surge of moral indignation we should pay some attention the other vestiges of our subjugation, such as the Red House, Governor House and Lighthouse. And in this frenzy of moral purity, let us pause to acknowledge that we are living on stolen land, and just give it back.

The greatest impediment to development is an unthinking population. Carry on.

Anthony Wahid