MODERATOR of the Presbyterian Church, the Rt Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan says Indian Arrival Day should never be seen as a monopoly to be used or observed by any one religion.
She said it is a day that is inclusive of a history and culture of all whose forefathers came from India whether their ancestors were of Muslim, Christian or Hindu persuasion or others who have an Indo-heritage.
Abdul-Mohan said some of the ancestors who arrived on the Fatel Razack in 1845 had already embraced other religions before that momentous journey.
She said many fail to take cognizance of the fact that the indentured labourers who arrived 176 years ago included people whose religions were other than Hinduism.
“St Thomas the Apostle, had already gone to India long before Trinidad was even discovered and many Indians were Christians,” she said. For 2021, TT is commemorating Indian Arrival Day amidst the covid19 pandemic and a state of emergency.
“It is noteworthy and the opportune time, as well as a blessing, to mention that like other ethnic communities, the Indo-community brings with it tenacity, loyalty, devotion, faithfulness, hard work and sacrificial labour.
“Having being placed in a foreign land, our fore-fathers and mothers made TT a home away from home despite health and social hardships and challenges.”
She said since that historic arrival in 1845 many generations, including her own, has benefited and continue to benefit from a rich heritage and illustrious history, one being, a holistic education.
“Like other communities the Indo-community has played and continue to play an integral and invaluable role at every level and within every institution of our society, regardless of religious persuasion, social status or educational background.
“By hard work and sacrifice, the Indo-community has always aimed at ensuring a bright future with great possibilities for all citizens.
“It is our prayer that with the unstinting support of all communities the work and witness of the Indo-community will be increasingly maintained so that every citizen will become spiritually aglow, intellectually alive and passionate to serve God and humanity for a much better TT and that every colour, creed and race can truly find an equal place,” she said.