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Saturday 20 April 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Name the Chaguanas Library after Naipaul

THE EDITOR: Noting his international stature as a thinker, a writer, an academic and world-renowned novelist, the West Indies Department of International Relations at UWI should use the works of VS Naipaul as a medium to rework the whole gamut of international relations and international affairs.

Also, as a tribute to this literature icon, the Chaguanas Library should be renamed the VS Naipaul Library, as he was born just a stone’s throw away. This would be a noble testament in his memory.

Let there be, too, an academic course at UWI in the vast bodies of literary thoughts by Naipaul and about him. Additionally, our primary and secondary institutions of learning should introduce a study or course on him. Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie and Prof Ken Ramchand are two names that come to mind to undertake this initiative.

Mere platitudes are not enough. Something concrete must be done to mark his life as TT’s only son, by birth, to receive the Nobel Prize. This would be a most fitting tribute to Naipaul because his 31-odd books.

Naipaul remains a pivotal figure in the stream of literature and philosophy. And as the world grapples with his demise just six days shy of his 86th birthday, the people of TT mourn his passing.

This is the opportunity for the Government “to shine,” in the words of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, and give Naipaul the international respect he so richly deserves. A religious service or cultural event should be hosted by the Government, and a condolence book opened at the local government offices, the Tobago House of Assembly and our foreign missions.

We must cherish his life on Earth, despite some misgivings about his sayings and works. He told us about what he believes in his own style about life and living. Some of us may not like his thoughts on the sociology of our life, but that is why we must respect him.

I agree with Dr Jerome Teelucksingh of the History Department of UWI to host an annual lecture series on Naipaul, bringing in some of our own internationally-acclaimed writers and others from around the world.

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and the Ministry of Education should jointly embark on this initiative.

Naipaul’s life and work is a gift to the world. We must recognise this and pay tribute him. We must respect and honour our own icons.


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