Prime Minister's Indian Arrival Day Message
- Date: May 30, 2012
Prime Minister heralds Trinidad and Tobago as the Motherland
The commemoration of Indian Arrival Day presents our nation with the opportunity to reflect on our history, on the many paths we as peoples from different lands walked, to arrive at the nationhood we today cherish and defend.
For all Trinidadians and Tobagonians, the trails blazed by our forefathers possess a great number of guideposts that helped us to learn, and indeed errors which helped us to grow.
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons learnt through the rich and diverse history of our nation is that even as we held strongly and loyally to our origins, we also stood firm in our resolve to grow together, live together, thrive together and achieve together as one people, and one nation.
It was Mahatma Gandhi who put it best when he said: I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.
Today, 167 years after the first arrival of Indians to these shores, we as a people can lay claim to working towards being the fulfilment of that ideal to exist in a time where we hold firmly to who we are, representing one of the pillars upon which our nations continued progress stands, while sharing our space and our lives with each other, with no one community having its interest superseded by another.
We also commemorate an occasion which holds its beginnings in the pains of separation, in the disquiet of moments of change and the nervous excitement of newness.
We commemorate an occasion which shows us that in the toughest of times, it is our own sense of self and individuality that we must call upon to persevere.
Our commemoration today heralds how we have grown together, and how we have demonstrated that even as peoples from different lands, varied in our cultures, and different in our customs, we can celebrate our individuality and uniqueness, while still appreciating our diversity as strength.
Today we celebrate a community that has contributed to our nation a sense of purpose and an indomitable spirit to endure. Based on our experiences of the past we have cultivated a freedom envied by many nations of the world.
We celebrate the contribution of our forefathers who came from India and the lamps they lit for each successive generation along the road of progress to do better, achieve more and build allegiance to a new motherland the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
As we commemorate our history, celebrate our present in this our 50th year of Independence, and stand united in our hope for the future, may God bless our nation and continue to guide the construction of our peaceful, stable and united society. A happy Indian Arrival Day to all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.