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Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

Based on a recent Express newspaper's report dated May 12th, 2012 it was reported that the Maha Sabha laid the rules which stated that absolutely NO Hindu Schools are allowed to have the STEELPAN in their schools unless ALL Hindu Schools were given Indian Musical Instruments. It was also noted that the Ministry of Education has made a statement that the Tabla, Sitar and Cuatro will be added to expand the Pan in Schools program.

While the idea of expansion in the Pan in Schools program can be approached with an open mind, I find it extremely difficult to stomach the bowl of ''racial discriminating salad'' that is being forced down the throat of innocent tax-paying citizens in Trinidad and Tobago. ''Culture'' has become the driving force behind racism.

The most painful part of all the discriminating aspects in T&T is the fact that the youths are caught in the middle of the fire and are suffering due to the hypocrisy of the elders who are given the power to make decisions and are supposed to be the ones that lead by example. It's no surprise that I have always been quoted for saying, "My generation's greatest downfall is the generation which went before!"

The head of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), Mr. Sat Maharaj has made his point very clear and had no objections from the Government. It's a pity that the Steelpan is now being challenged by the Sitar, Tabla and Cuatro. The National instrument, which was created in Trinidad and Tobago and sold T&T to the world is now being questioned by the adults. 

After everything is said and done about the Steelpan and it's irrelivance for the Hindu schools at the moment, one would wonder what the Steelpan community would have to say. It's a pity that the voice of the Pan world is called Pan Trinbago. The last time Pan Trinbago was ever fired up would have been in January 2011 when Minister 'Gypsy' Peters made a cut to the Pan Trinbago cheque from $1000 to $800. They had their hugh ostentatious way of saying that Minister Gypsy must go. That same year in the finals of the Panorama, $75,000.00 was placed from Pan Trinbago into the Prime Minister's Children Life Fund. Since then, we had repeat winners in all categories of Panorama, no Pan in the 21st Century, No Pan is Beautiful and no money in the account to fund anything of importance. Where one would expect the persons that holds the responsibility of the Steelpan in their hands to make a shout, we are met with a loud roar of stillness in the air.

`The National Steel  Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) recently had a very successful concert featuring drums of India at the Naparima Bowl where the pans were used to demonstrate it's versatility and ability to adapt to Indian Music. The audience were totally appreciative of the result. Yet, while the pans seems to reap great rewards it will continue to have it's benefits dichotomized by the decision makers in the country who seeks personal gain to elevate themselves as the gods of the delerious voiceless inhabitants of a world where the ganges fights with the nile.

The million dollar question that I'm now about to ask is, "what happened to being called Trinidadian, Tobagonian or even better....Trinbagonian?" Is it that we are so caught up as Indian and African that May 30th and August 1st are the two most important days in the calendar of T&T? Dr. Eric Williams did make it clear that there is NO Mother India or Mother Africa, yet our elders have all felt it necessary to remind us of our History that we are so caught up in the past that we forget the present tense. We have forgotten that we are all free and opression was a word only found in the ''Gay'' dictionary...before Obama decided to talk about it. 

The heat of dichotomy got even more comical when Pearl ''Eintou'' Springer decided to voice her opinions of Sugar Aloes singing Tarrus Riley's composition entitled, "She's A Queen'' to Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar at the 2nd year anniversary of the People's Partnership's Govenrnment's celebrations. While I am not totally glamoured by the work of Sugar Aloes, I was totally appreciative of the fact that he had placed all bias feelings that he had in the past for the PNM and use himself to uplift the first ever female Prime Minister of T&T. I had absolutely no problems with him using the song during the celebrations. I don't see the reason for Mrs. Springer making a public statement about him singing a song composed by a Jamaican that had no emphasis to any specific racial background. Words such as 'natural beauty,' 'queen', 'she's royal' has absolutely no reason why it shouldn't  be used on the PM. She is a woman, she is beautiful and she was being uplifted by Sugar Aloes. It's not a reason to have racism bought into the spotlight. 

Audre Lorde once described racism as, ''The inability to tolerate difference, or to recognise difference as a beneficial force.'' Indeed she was right and sweet T&T is officially sinking to being a bitter people who are so different from each other that it makes us the same. On March 22nd, 2012 the Guardian reported that T&T was ranked 64th in higher education while India ranked 87th. T&T also ranked 52nd in the area of technological readiness while India ranked 93rd and instead of looking at ways in which T&T can use the Steelpan to improve education in the country and world status, Mr. Sat Maharaj found that the Sitar and Tabla must be sent to Penal/Rock Road Hindu School before a Steelpan can be found on the compound. Instruments that were given to the school by the Government had to be returned because the Sitar and Tabla wasn't included.

That action is why T&T is the way it is. The youth's have learnt that they are oppressed and must fight for survival. They fight for their ''turf'', they fight for rights...rights which they are not even sure of,  while the real mocking pretenders sit above and laugh their way to the banks. The real big fishes that were being seeked after, during the State of Emergency were right in front of everyone's eyes. They sat in the Parliament, they sat in the Police Stations, they sat at the heads of board meetings. It's no surprise the way the country is turning because if the top is corrupted then it's only logical that the ones below will fight for their portion of the pie as well. 

If the Politicians want to prove that they are really concerned for the PEOPLE, then I suggest you should be like everyone. Start with a minimum wage salary and save the treasury some money that can be later used to provide education, health care, national security and maybe a few Tablas and Sitars for the Hindu Schools. Everyone will be officially on the same level. Maybe after that is done you can remove August 1st from being Emancipation day and May 30th form being Indian Arrival Day and make one holiday during the year as ''National Dougla Day'' to celebrate everyone together. It will be one holiday less, and will allow room for more productivity. If anyone has a problem they can go to India or Africa to be where they call home. The fact is that it will never happen because of our society today and what it has come from so it's back to being spoon fed from a silver platter of faecal matter coming from our leaders and elders.




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Thanks for being BRAVE enough to call out this fake. Claiming to be patriotic, and hiding behind an American icon. Then he has the audacity, to tell me, that because I live and work in the US, I, somehow, lost my birthright and citizenship . He, SIDDS, and the rest of their "team" of co-agents of chaos, deception, and lies, are indeed a bunch of "asses", if they feel that I am the ONLY one taking notice. I may be the most vocal and memorable, for certainly, if I knew I owned the titles someone gives me, regardless of how offensive, I would remember that person. I am their GOD(DARD) FATHER, and I will "christen" them, by giving them names that suit their attitudes and "personalities". This prick (I can say "prick", right?), has been the most-disrespectful, sarcastic one of them all. I am SO GLAD, you said it first. Now, maybe someone can get that SIDDS FELLA (TIO) for me, lmtao. ("t" for "Trinbagonian". By birth and citizenship. "a" for "Terry".)


               PLAYA-HATER LIKE YOU. SIDDS (Stuck In Dougla Denial)


Hi Marcus,

As a Trinbagonian I am very proud of you. Your posting has substance and balance and is one of the best I have read on WST. Keep it going my brother, maybe others here will take your example and really contribute towards meaningful change in T&T. Thank you my brother!

I Think the "ass" means: 40% mixed-up "race", who until their encounter with racism, think they are not African, 40%, who because their skin is "Black" we automatically label "African", and 20% who are "Indian", without shame or apology. Who doesn't know an identity-challenged Negro to be quick to point out "Ah have Indian in meh!" Oh, and when convenient, notice how the same critics who say I am a "Black Nationalist", for bringing "race" into the discussions, and that there are "No Africans or Indians...only Trinbagonians", they themselves, when need to push their covert racist agendas, insert statistics based on "race", and use the same terms African and Indian - that they claim does not exist in Trinidad & Tobago. Then all they have to do is, try and get me off WST, for I am TRAINED in how to recognize racism, especially on the covert and institutional levels. Their attempt at projecting their own racist attitudes will backfire on them. Mark my words. And read theirs...especially SIDDS'.


Stay tuned, you will see who is the real mocking pretender....

Terry, that program already aired. It's called "The Audacity of A Mocking Pretender, Who Claims To Be A Patriot of ONE Country, While Displaying The Image Of Another." I gave it a "one torch up"! lol. Loosen the tiara, Lady Liberty. Just playing...

GHOST - Who Is ALWAYS in tune. ALWAYS!!!

Did another school get the pans that this one refused?

i have no idea. lol

I'm with you my brother. We are tomorrow.

You truly are, my young brother. Just remember, your "T&T Indian" counterparts, understand the importance of knowing and honoring their yesterdays, as well as looking forward to their tomorrows. I leave with with a concept to absorb your consciousness into: SANKOFA! (Look it up.) Shem Em Hotep (May you go in peace.)

GHOST - Who Knows That "ALL HISTORY IS A CURRENT EVENT." (Quoting Dr. John Henrik Clarke.)

In understanding and appreciating the depth of Marcus Ash's scholarly commentary, one must grasp and assimilate the behavior, message and sentiments of the following release



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