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Ignorance about each other runs deep
The recent vandalism of two private prayer rooms of Hindu citizens once more highlights that our watchword “tolerance” remains a pappyshow. It is the most recent of several incidents, almost identical to the vandalism of a national monument, the Sewdass Sadhu Temple in the Sea a few years ago, and comes on the heels of our Opposition Leader making unfortunate remarks on bowing.
These are signs that ignorance about each other runs deep within our society. As a Hindu I know a lot of my beliefs and practices may seem strange to many, and may even be considered to be pagan. They are well within their right to believe so. However, that right certainly should not extend to acts of vandalism of private property.
My ancestors, whose way of life I now practise, worked tirelessly like everyone else to make this country what it is today, so why should I or any other citizen be made to feel less Trinidadian because we are Hindu. We now have a Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism. But this seems only to be a name change rather than a policy change.
Our Education and Cultural Ministries as well as religious bodies should realise that many of these unfortunate comments are due to ignorance and should work on stamping them out, starting with our schools. They should grasp at the opportunity to provide a curriculum where we can all learn about each other (not just about Hindus) in a secular, non-discriminatory manner.
Let our children learn that while I may not believe what you believe, I would respect that your belief is important to you.
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