Rekindling Bhadase Maraj legacy
Monday, June 25 2012
THE EDITOR: Thank you for space to congratulate the Hindu Prachar Kendra for using their Indian Arrival Day function to remember and rekindle the outstanding and unparallel legacy bequeathed to posterity in TT by the late Bhadase Sagan Maraj – trade unionist, religious leader, parliamentarian, landowner and philanthropist par excellence.
The Kendra filled a huge void in our socio-political history by drawing national attention to the unmatched and colossal humanitarian response that a simple man such as Bhadase made in improving the lives of the rurally dispossessed, illiterate and docile.
Bhadase was a seventh-standard Caroni villager who stood up to the intellectual and pedagogic Oxonian credentials and stature of the late Dr Eric Williams, trounced him in the 1958 Federal Elections and sent him “bazodee” to the extent that the latter had to resort to the introduction of the infamous voting machines to secure his political space. In the socio-political annals of TT, Bhadase remains the most unsung, unheralded, unappreciated and devoted nation builder using his own resources and resourcefulness to build schools and mandirs to complement the work of the Canadian Mission in educating and training the rurally-isolated and neglected Indo-TT communities to achieve social and economic mobility. No single Trinbagonian has done more to emancipate the Indian community from illiteracy, political dormancy, exploitation in the sugar industry, urban discrimination and the ravages of the wrought by the tentacles of post-1956 ethno-nationalism.
Even after his demise, the large acreages of land that he acquired in Pasea South, Morang, Enterprise, Maingot Road and elsewhere became home to thousands of poor squatters who today are able to build comfortable homes on these lands and earn the opportunity to be classified among the house-owning landed gentry.
The cow-sheds that Dr Williams called his Hindu schools have now emerged as high performing production lines for churning out among the best and the brightest students in TT.
I endorse the resolution adopted at the function that having regard to the stewardship of Bhadase, his stellar national achievements in education, trade unionism, religion, culture, wrestling, entrepreneurship and politics that resulted in the accelerated development of the human resource potential of our people during the crucial period of the 50’s and 60’s in TT the PPG should look into the feasibility of erecting an appropriate monument to celebrate and consecrate the legacy of the late Bhadase Sagan Maraj for the edification of posterity and as a symbol of our national gratitude to a great, noble, selfless and humble nation-builder.